Pausing to Reflect

After tomorrow, 2016 will be a quarter of the way over. If your year has gone anything like mine, you may have found that you are running, constantly. While I’m pretty sure this is a semi-regular norm of modern society, I also think it is one of the greatest detriments. Taking a few minutes to pause, reflect, and let the frenzied thoughts of our mind have a moment to settle can be highly beneficial.

With this in mind, I’ve asked several of our contributors to share the one thing they’ve learned about the writing journey so far this year. Take a few moment to read through their lessons, and feel free to add yours in the comments below.

Tasha Seegmiller

I’ve learned that sometimes it feels like you will be the one waiting FOREVER for something to happen, to finally figure out how to make it to the next stepping stone. But if you keep working and learning and writing and supporting while you are waiting, your chance to leap to the next stone WILL come.

Helen Boswell

Whether you have a good day or a bad day is largely dependent on your attitude and perspective. Whether you have a good WRITING day or bad WRITING day is the same. Just as it’s not healthy to compare your day with how someone else’s day went, your writing progress, accomplishments, and growth should be measured by one standard: your own.

Elaine Vickers

I’ve learned that there’s a difference between “writing time” and “developing a writing career” time. If I let the latter eat too much into the former–if I spend my precious writing time answering emails or fixing my website or working on an ARC list–I begin to feel the same emptiness as when I’m not making time for my author self at all. Protect your actual writing time, my friends.

Liz Isaacson 

I’ve learned — through something really painful and disappointing, actually — that an author needs to stay true to their vision for their own story. That just because someone wants your story to be something else doesn’t mean you have to make it that way to please them. After all, authors have a right to have a vision for their characters and story that shouldn’t have to change if they don’t want it to.

Sydney Strand

Be creative outside of writing and it will​ help you think more creatively. I’ve been actively doodling and joining doodle challenges since November/December. This has helped me revise better because I’m seeing plot points that are not the easier route I took for the initial draft. By making myself do these other creative outlets, I can see (in these quicker, non-75,000-word pursuits) how much better an odd choice can make a doodle better/more memorable.

Jenilyn Collings

I’d heard this before, of course, but I’ve learned that everyone struggles with the ups and downs of being a writer. Everyone has moments (or days or months or even years) of self-doubt. But just because you struggle with that (and everyone does) it doesn’t mean that what you are working on isn’t worth it. It doesn’t mean that you are the worst writer in the world or that you won’t ever improve. 

What have you learned so far this year? 

Tasha Seegmiller is a mom to three kids and high school English teacher in Southern Utah. She writes contemporary women’s fiction. Her loves include Diet Coke, owls, chocolate and cinnamon bears. She is the managing editor for the Thinking Through Our Fingers blog as well as the Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly magazine, where she also serves as a board member. Tasha is represented by Annelise Robey of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.