Posts in Writerly Self-Care
Why I Set & Quit a Hundred-Book Reading Challenge

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” — Stephen King

I’ve always been a reader, but in my early adulthood, my reading habit waned. Between demanding coursework and a struggle against depression, I rarely reached for the hobby that had entertained, encouraged, and inspired me throughout my youth. This all changed several years after I began writing.

I was disappointed in my progress and the quality of my skills when I stumbled upon this quote from Stephen King. Like a lightning bolt, realization struck. How could write phenomenal novels if I wasn’t reading them? 

In the months to come, I challenged myself to cull my mindless television consumption, a habit I’d picked up to distract me from the darkest days of my depression, and to replace those hours with reading. In the first year, I read 24 books. In the second, 35. That number continued to increase until my reading habit plateaued around 80 books a year. 

That’s no stack to scoff at, certainly. But I’ve always been one to strive for grander heights, which is why I challenged myself to read one hundred books in 2019. Now, five months and 35 books later, I’m calling it quits. Why? Well, that’s a complex question to answer, one that’s steeped in reflecting upon how I define my self-worth as a creative…

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Five Simple Tips for Conquering Creative Burnout

You’re excited about your novel idea. You want to write it, and you know you should be working on it, but life keeps getting in the way. When you do have time to write, you find yourself too physically and mentally exhausted. Burnt out to a crisp.

No matter where you are in life, you likely balance so many commitments that coming home to stare at a computer screen after a long day of school or work can seem like just another chore. Taking a break feels counterintuitive. Doesn’t that make the problem worse? How can taking a break from your passion prove refreshing?

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5 Ways Writers Can Stay Creative (beyond simply writing + reading!)

As writers, writing and reading are obviously the two best ways to fuel our creativity.

But reading and writing aren't the only ways we can stay on top of our creative game. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that you aren't truly maximizing your creativity if you aren't staying active in other areas of your life.

What fuels an artists' work will be different for each of us, but in this week's #FridayFive, I'm sharing five ways that I encourage creativity in my own life outside of simply writing and reading in the hopes that these steps may prove helpful to you as well.

Ready to dive in? Scroll to read a written recap or check out my #FridayFive video below (or over on Youtube---don't forget to subscribe!).

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What are your writing strengths? (It's time we celebrated them!)

As writers, we often spend a lot of time dissecting and criticizing our work.

We're also no strangers to doubts and insecurities, as we discussed in last week's video and blog post. But just how often do we acknowledge or even relish in what we're doing well? Friends, it's well past time we started celebrating our writing strengths!

Today, I challenge you to think about where your writing strengths lie---and then share them with the world. You can do so in a blog post or a video, in the comments below this article, or over on social media. Wherever you feel most comfortable.

So, are you up to the challenge?

Don't worry, I'll kick things off by sharing a few of my own writing strengths first. You can can catch them in today's video below or over on Youtube, or you can scroll to read through a written summary. Let's go!

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What are your writing insecurities? Here are a few of my own!

Every writer has doubts. Fears. Insecurities.

But in a world where we share the very best version of ourselves online, the version we want others to see, it can be difficult to remember that the writers we follow on social media aren't perfect. Not even the bestselling ones.

I'm certainly no exception to this reality. I have a bevy of insecurities that often weigh down my writing life, but I'm tired of letting the pressure to live up to other writers' online highlight reels dictate my confidence in my writing.

Insecurities are normal, and they don't have to keep you from living your very best writing life. That's why I'm sharing my own writing insecurities today! Check them out in the video below or scroll to view them in text.

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10 Ways to Care For Yourself As a Writer

Back in the summer of 2016, I wrote a very personal article for the blog.

In it, I revealed that I battle depression and shared tips on how to write while living with a mental illness. I never could have imagined how much of an impact that article would have. It's one of the biggest reasons why I want to talk more about writerly self-care on the blog this year!

As writers, our work is so mentally and emotionally draining. It’s not hard to fall into periods of burnout or extreme doubt, which, being so difficult to overcome, can prolong our writing ruts even further and leave us feeling defeated.

This is not a pattern I want you guys to fall into, which is exactly why I want to share ten ways you can learn to care for yourself as a writer today on the blog. Sound like a plan?

Let’s dive in!

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How to Write a Novel When You Have a Full-Time Life (with guest writer M.J. McGriff)

When it comes to making time to write, I have it pretty easy. My schedule may be frequently packed, but I'm an independent, childless woman who works from the comfort of her own home. I have a lot of opportunity to make writing a priority in my life — but my daily schedule certainly isn't universal.

Many of you have shared with me your struggle to find time to write in your full-time lives. So when Margaret McGriff, a writer I've long considered to be Superwoman, asked if she could share her top tips on this topic here at Well-Storied, I immediately said yes. I couldn't think of a single person who could better share such advice with you all.

So, writer, if you have a passion for storytelling but often struggle to make the time to write, this is the article for you. Without any further ado, I'll hand it over to Margaret...

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Are You Ready to Conquer Writing Overwhelm?

Let's face it: writing isn't always easy. Sure, it's fun when we're in the zone—when we have a brilliant idea in mind and the words just seem to flow. But most of the time? Most of the time, writing is hard.

All too often, we battle tricky plot holes, the urge to pick apart our every written word, the monstrous task of editing, and all the other glories that come with being writers. And unfortunately, it's pretty easy to let the overwhelm of tackling tough writing struggles turn us to procrastination rather than productivity.

So, how can we flip the script? That's exactly what we're going to talk about today!

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Five Ways to Recover After Writing Burnout (with guest writer Nichole Severn)

I’ve been there—several times—and I bet you have too. You work non-stop on getting that draft finished, going through round after round of revisions, then copy edits. Add on top of that your family life, the day job, and keeping up with personal relationships.

All of that together is bound to lead to a burnout every now and then. You start dreading opening that document, your brain hasn’t come up with any new story ideas, and you even hate the idea of logging online to promote your blog or book. You’re not alone.

Every writer has experienced burnout, but not every writer has been able to come back from it. You can. You can shuck off the exhaustion and lack of motivation and get your career back on track. I’m going to show you how.

Throughout the years, I’ve gone through what I call miniature burnouts. They only last about a couple weeks and, really, these types of burnout are about catching up on sleep and getting back into a routine. However, in 2014, after several full-blown rewrites of my latest release at the insistence of my editor, I suffered from a two-month long burnout I just couldn’t bounce back from.

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