Feeling Overwhelmed

And, I thought writing the novel was a daunting task. It is more fun, for sure, but editing is tedious mind-numbing work. It can become overwhelming especially to those of us new to the craft of writing novels.

Thank God we have experts to help us along the way. Janice Hardy from Fiction University is one such expert. She is my number one go-to resource.

Janice understands the complexities of self-editing and offers some great advice in her article, How to Edit a Novel Without Feeling Overwhelmed.

The six main points:

  1. Decide whether you want to edit or revise. The processes are not the same.
  2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. Set a word count, a number of scenes to work on and stick to it – a must when you’re working with 70,000 words plus.
  3. Don’t try to cover all the bases, focus on one thing at a time – setting, character, dialogue, and so on.
  4. Set a time limit – Time management is a biggy for me. It’s easy to get lost in the process, or become impatient.
  5. Leave the advice books on the shelf while you’re editing – love this one! It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘how-tos’ or the ‘should’s,’ and not get a thing accomplished.
  6. Make a plan and let it be your guide – Use a calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever planning tool helps you accomplish your goal.

For more information, check out, How to Edit a Novel Without Feeling Overwhelmed.

I’d love to hear your tips. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Recommended Reading for Writers – Taking Control

For those of you who enjoy a stroll through the Cow Pasture, sorry if my lack of presence has disappointed you. OR, maybe like me, you have been too busy with your hectic life and holiday schedules you didn’t realize I was missing. The point being, it’s okay. I understand.

From October through December is probably the busiest and fastest moving months of the year. They are also, often the most anxiety-producing, at least for this writer. Between family holiday get-togethers, cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, and all the other holiday festivities, it gets more difficult every year to manage time, stick to a writing schedule, or slow down enough to enjoy the moments.

Throw in a few family health crisis on top of the mix, and you have the recipe for neglect. Something has to give and more often than not, it’s writing – be it a blog, WIP, or networking via social media.

Of course, truth be told, I laid off most social media a long time ago. Not, because I don’t want to connect with you and other writers, I do; but, because it seems to have turned into more than a network. Instead of a way to network, it has become a platform for everyone to spout their opinion or a propaganda tool. I wrote about this topic once before in my article, Has Facebook Become Toxic? It’s all too much sometimes for this writer. I don’t want to belabor the point, but, suffice it to say, I don’t need the added anxiety.

As writers, I believe, we put more pressure on ourselves than most people, and it seems to escalate during this time of year. Who thought November would be the best time of the year to run a 50,000 word novel challenge. Yet, NaNoWriMo is one of the most popular challenges for writers. Even I jumped on the challenge bandwagon this Fall. I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo, but I did take on the 10 K Social Writing Challenge through ChapterBuzz. I admit, my anxiety increased, substantially as I attempted to stay on track, I also made enormous progress on my novel, Hello Hell. We writers are a glutton for punishment sometimes.

Whether it’s a blog post, short story, or current WIP, it seems there is always another self-imposed deadline. Throw in this hectic time of year, other family crisis, the news, and the result is escalating anxiety.

Some things are beyond our control and those we must learn to accept as part of life, but we are not without resources and choices. Deciding what or who takes priority in our lives and how to manage it is up to us. Which brings me to one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time, Winning the Anxiety War by Piper Bayard, guest blogger for Writers in the Storm.

If increasing anxiety has invaded your world, especially this time of year, check out this article, Piper’s  take on the role of social media plays in our increasing anxiety, as well as her suggestions on how we can manage –  Three Elements of  Compartmentalization.

“Media Is A Battleground. Messages Are The Weapons. Our Anxiety Is The Prize. He Who Holds Our Anxieties, Holds Us.” Piper Bayard                                                         Click to Tweet

What about you? How do you manage all the demands on your time during these winter months? How do you glean the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, from social media, or have you, as I pushed it to the back burner?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.