I got up this morning at 6 a.m. and sat down at my desk…then I spent about an hour staring at my computer screen trying to decide where to begin. I have several ghosting projects, my regular articles, a book I’m trying to edit and one I’m trying to finish….and yesterday was the last day of the school year. Needless to say I was feeling a bit overloaded.
So what’s a writer to do when it seems there is an avalanche of work to do? Over the years I have developed a few techniques to help me when I get overwhelmed. Some of them are from friends and other writers who also have found themselves staring at the screen as though it was a foreign object and some are my own tried and true methods.
1. Walk away – I know, I know….but you have work to do…I get that, but sometimes it is better to get up and do something completely different. I got up this morning and did laundry. If anything was going to make me want to go back to writing it is the laundry. (that and dusting)
2. Read – I find that sometimes I just need to be inspired by another writer. I pick up a book and read and it seems to help me get back on track.
3. Work on something unrelated – When I am overwhelmed with projects that I HAVE to get done, I work on something I want to get done. Sometimes it helps to step into a project totally unrelated to what has to be done today.
4. Make a list – I am a list person. I love lists. I often sit down and write down what I have to get done and then knock it out one thing at a time. My saying…one dragon at a time.
5. Take a day off – Every now and again it is a good thing to just take a day off. I have to get away sometimes to remember what it is that I love about what I do. It’s okay….the work will be there when you get back.
These are just a few suggestions and I am sure that other writers have more. Please share those ideas with the rest of us. We can all use a little help from time to time.
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