Friday, February 11, 2011
Are You an Overcommitted Writer?
Who is the overcommitted writer? This will give you some idea of who this person is:
* This writer will have no less than 10 ideas racing around in his/her head begging to be written, but no time to write any of them down
* This writer spends no less than 8 hours a day on the computer
* This writer's family eats lots of fast food or TV dinners, especially when a deadline is involved
* The housework piles up until this writer can't take it anymore and spends an entire day cleaning out of sheer frustration
* When this writer is lucky, he/she gets more than 5 hours of sleep each night
* This writer is the person who volunteers for every project that comes across her desk or Inbox
Doesn't this writer sound hopeless? A lost cause, right? Well, not exactly.
The trick to not getting overcommitted is to learn how to say "no." It's not a dirty word, but a lot of people--especially women--find that tiny word so difficult to say.
Saying "no" does not mean you are a bad person, self-centered, or ungiving. It simply means you realize your body and mind can only do so much with the time you have. If you're constantly running around with little or no time to relax and enjoy life, then your physical and mental health will suffer.
But how do you say "no" and not feel like a bad person? Honestly, I'm still trying to figure that one out. I have read lots of articles about ways to say "no" and tips on how to get to the point where you can say "no" comfortably, but I'm not there yet. Writer Donna Birk has this great article I found at http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Birk.html, which talks about the stages of learning to say "no." I'm in Stage 2, but I still have a lot of work to do.
I plan to make my writing a priority in 2011. Now that my first book is out, I want to keep moving forward with my career. I have one project almost ready to submit to a publisher, a halfway completed WIP, and 30 new picture book ideas to work on thanks to Picture Book Idea Month. Learning to say "no" is going to be crucial to reaching my goals this year.
How about you? Do you have a hard time saying "no?" What goals have you set for your writing for 2011? Is learning to say "no" going to be important to reaching your goals? Do you have tips to share on how to make saying "no" easier?