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Life can be really hard sometimes, really amazing sometimes, uplifting, heartbreaking, thrilling, boring, lame, terrifying, sometimes . . . sometimes . . . sometimes . . .
I saw this quote on Pinterest. Cliche? Maybe. But it means, “The importance is in trying.” French, no less. I’m no expert in French, but the phrase is just so comforting.
Anyways, I guess I’m just saying this: Keep trying. That’s what matters.
the bbb blogger
Thank you Aspernauts blogger for this award!
the bbb blogger
I would like to thank Funny Dog Moments blogger for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. How sweet! 🙂 Thank you!
3 Things that Have Inspired Me
- Seeing another new year! I always feel more hopeful and inspired to do better when I have a fresh start.
- Being out in nature. I feel like any time I go for a walk or an adventure, I feel more inspired to explore again!
- Reading good books. Whenever I read a good book, I feel more inspired to write!
What makes you feel inspired? Share below, please and thank you!
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Are the stars too distant? Pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn the all.
— Margaret Fuller, Life without and Life within
Love means that you are willing to sustain another person.
Who do you sustain?
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“Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset.”
True or false?
Joss Whedon said it. It must be true.
Quest time. How do you even find your weirdness? What if you don’t think you’re weird? Is not being weird weird? You’re probably worried now that you don’t have a great asset.
Have no fear! Take advice from cats.
5 Ways to Be Weird: Lessons Learned from Cats
1. Embrace your inner, wild animal. Don’t let anybody intimidate you! Their opinion doesn’t matter, anyway.
2. Smile. Embrace your weird smile or laugh or giggle. Whether or not you think it’s weird, you’ll make others smile, too.
3. Sleep. Nap. More. Anywhere. Not only will you look weird, but you’ll encourage others to embrace weird sleeping times and locations, as well.
4. Transport yourself. Does that even make sense? Anway, maybe how you get places helps define who you are. You can be “that guy” who drives a golf cart or “that girl” who gets around in a wheelchair or “that kid” that only hops on one foot everywhere. Oh, you’re so cool. I mean, weird.
If anything, at least while you are busy getting around, allow yourself time to ponder and to consider who you really are.
5. Clean. Cleanliness is next to weirdliness, right? Maybe not. But it can be! Whether you like to clean or not, doesn’t matter. It’s how you clean that matters. Cats clean themselves with their tongues. Now, it would be really weird if you did that. However, I’m suggesting something more like listening to certain songs when dusting or doing yoga when doing the dishes. Do your thing.
Anyways, here are just 5 ideas. Only 5! These tips are just stepping stones to help you find your greatest asset—your weirdness. And you don’t have to take my word for it. 🙂
Do you have any tips of how you find your weirdness ?
Sally dreamed of becoming a successful writer. For several years, she had been working as a freelance writer. Her upcoming project was due in a few hours. At first, Sally was enthusiastic about the new project, which she’d been working on over the last two weeks. But every time she picked up her laptop to write a sentence, no inspiration struck.
After the initial excitement of the project wore off, Sally felt increasingly rushed to finish the assignment. Additionally, she started to avoid writing whenever she could: she would do a load of laundry, scrub the kitchen floor, shampoo the carpet, vacuum the stairs—anything to avoid writing. Disagreements and arguments between clients and Sally seemed to happen regularly.
Now, well after midnight, Sally stares blankly at her computer screen, realizing that her eleventh hour is quickly coming to a close.
Identifying the Problem: What is Writing Burnout?
The fictional anecdote above could happen to any freelance writer. Whether freelance writers have worked independently for several years or have been working on one project for several months, writing burnout can happen. Burnout means that an individual experiences mental or physical exhaustion because he or she is overworked or stressed. Writing burnout is a real problem. But what are the signs of writing burnout, and what can be done about it?
How to Recognize Writing Burnout
Recognizing writing burnout can be difficult for many freelance writers. On the LinkedIn group page called “Freelance Writers,” web writer and small business owner David K. William posted an article and asked how to deal with burnout. William posted Tiffany Faming’s article called “3 Signs You Are Approaching a Writing Burnout.” In this article, the three signs Faming warned of were the following: first, “you don’t want [the article to be] perfect, you just want it done”; second, “you’ll take any opportunity to avoid writing”; and third, “you’re having problems with clients.” Although these signs may seem obvious, freelance writers must be aware of how they are feeling in order to identify burnout.
In the story at the start of this essay, Sally experienced all three of these signs. First, she tried to rush through writing to complete the project. Second, she cleaned instead of writing (which is always a bad sign). Third, Sally argued with clients more often than normal. If freelance writers experience one or all three of these signs, they are probably feeling writing burnout. After addressing the telltale signs of burnout, what can freelance writers do about the lack of inspiration?
The Responses: How to Resolve Writing Burnout
If freelance writers begin to feel exhausted from writing, they should find options to resolve the problem. On the LinkedIn group page, David K. William’s question was how to deal with writing burnout. In the comments section of this post, freelance writers offered their ideas they use in their own work. Their suggestions fall under two main categories: take a break or continue working. These two ideas could appear contradictory; however, freelance writers must determine which suggestion works best for them.
First: Take a break.
On the LinkedIn page, many freelance writers suggested taking time away from projects. For example, freelance writers could stop writing and start reading. Ronald Joseph Kule, a contributor to the LinkedIn discussion, explains, “When facing burnout, I realize this phenomenon as a stuck, one-way flow: too much outflow. So, I pick up one of my books written by another author and sit and read it in a different physical space from where I work.” Reading books may not only help freelance writers clear their minds but also help inspire them to write like other talented authors. In another comment, Roger Livesey explains that after reading blogs, he not only becomes more motivated to write again but also learns something new from what he read. After reading, the new information freelance writers learn could inspire their writing. Taking a break can help freelance writers beat burnout.
Of course, there are other options of what a freelance writer could do to beat burnout. Creative options—away from the writing arena, of course—should help freelance writers. For example, freelance writer Susan Shuman explains that she takes a break by finger painting or coloring. Being artsy instead of wordy could be a good way to get out of a funk. Another option for some freelance writers is drinking. As David Cooper, another contributor to the LinkedIn discussion, explains, “[G]o to the nearest bar like Ernest Hemingway did,” or as Frank Cagno describes, have a drink and have fun to “clear your mind.” Religious and/or non-alcoholic freelance writers will not take this suggestion for moral reasons. However, having fun and clearing your mind—even when drinking is not involved—can help beat burnout.
Second: Continue working.
On the other hand, rather than taking time off from writing, the second suggestion is to continue working. This process can involve continuing to write the current piece or focusing on other tasks, such as editing or writing something else. Elizabeth Haynes explains on the LinkedIn comments section, “Mostly I just have to force myself to write, albeit in smaller chunks than usual. No writing = no paycheck.” Money is always a motivating factor, especially for freelance writers. Freelance writers could feel more motivated by pushing through and working in smaller chunks at a time, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the whole project. Haynes continues, “[S]ometimes getting an influx of new work gets me moving again. Sometimes if things are slow I have a harder time writing than when I’m really busy.” Although constantly pushing work out will certainly lead to burnout, staying busy is beneficial for freelance writers.
Another way freelance writers can feel motivated is by editing or rewriting other parts of their work. Editing is an essential part of the writing process, but editing can also help freelance writers feel motivated again. In the LinkedIn post, another freelance writer, Matt Duncan, claims that “editing my work helps me get over a block. Editing [is] the part of writing that is the least creative and I find that the creative side of my brain [will] fight to work when I’m not using it.” Editing may not seem creative for some freelance writers; therefore, working that part of the brain—the supposedly less creative side—could motivate a freelance writer. Additionally, freelance writers could try rewriting previous sections of their work. In the LinkedIn post, Vicki Roth describes her process: she likes to “take something [she has] written before and rewrite or correct it.” By rewriting, freelance writers could not only dispel burnout but also create better writing.
Although taking time off or continuing work may seem like contradictory options, both are valid for freelancer writers to try if they feel unmotivated. What works for one writer may not work for another. For freelancer writers, what is important is to be aware of how their bodies are responding, mentally and emotionally. However, if these options do not dispel burnout, what else can freelance writers try?
Additional Ideas of How to Resolve Writing Burnout
There are many ways to resolve writing burnout. The opposite of burnout is to stay inspired. Elsie Larson is the creator and writer of the blog A Beautiful Mess, a company that hinges on inspiration, imagination, and creativity. Her success story is based on her ability to avoid burnout. When working on different projects, she suggests five tips to stay inspired: first, “carry a journal”; second, “find a new muse”; third, “develop a creative playlist”; fourth, “refresh your workspace”; and finally, “prove yourself wrong” by making a list of “the impossible” and then accomplishing those goals. When freelance writers evaluate how they are feeling about a project, they can try these ideas to continue staying inspired.
Maybe freelancer writers need to get away. Where should freelancer writers go to find inspiration? As Elsie Larson suggests, freelance writers could try a flea market, the library, a local historic district, or a bookstore. Perhaps they would prefer to go outdoors: have a picnic, take a country drive, or check out a flower shop. These ideas are just a few places for freelance writers to go to avoid writing burnout and to become more inspired.
Freelance writers must recognize their career goals and work hard. As wealthy freelance writers, the reality of writing burnout is important to be aware of and to recognize. Freelance writers should be conscious of how they are feeling about work. Then freelance writers can adapt to their needs easier. As a result, wealthy freelance writers may be emotionally and mentally fit—in the workforce and in life.
- Faming, Tiffany. “3 Signs You Are Approaching a Writing Burnout.” The Web Writer Spotlight.Web. 19 Oct. 2014. http://webwriterspotlight.com/3-signs-you-are-approaching-a-writing-burnout. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. http://webwriterspotlight.com/3-signs-you-are-approaching-a-writing-burnout.
- Larson, Elsie. “5 Tips to Staying Inspired.” 8 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/09/5-tips-for-staying-inspired.html
- Larson, Elsie. “10 Places to Get Inspired.” 18 July. 2012. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/07/10-places-to-get-inspired.html
- William, David K. “How do you deal with writing burnout?” Freelancer Writers. Web. 19 Oct. https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?goback=%2Egmp_101577&commentID=-1&item=5813587096371240964&type=member&gid=101577&view=&readyComment =true#lastComment.
Exactly one year ago, I started my blog! What started out as a class assignment has turned into a beautiful blog! ❤ Thank you for your support. Celebrate with me! Do something beautiful, for yourself, for someone you love, for a stranger, whatever! Then post in the comments below. What did you do? I wanna know!
Thanks! 🙂 I hope you all have had a beautiful year.
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“In the story The Little Prince, the fox was wiser than he knew when he said, “Now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, trans. Katherine Woods , 70). The odyssey to happiness lies in the dimension of the heart. Such a journey is made on stepping-stones of selflessness, wisdom, contentment, and faith. The enemies of progress and fulfillment are such things as self-doubt, a poor self-image, self-pity, bitterness, and despair. By substituting simple faith and humility for these enemies, we can move rapidly in our search for happiness.”
~James E. Faust, “Our Search for Happiness”