Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Don't Sacrifice Your Own Writing

I believe that many people struggle saying a single word - "NO." I know I have a lot of friends who are always over booked and stressed out because of their lack of ability to tell people no when asked for favors. They do this because they are being kind. They do this because they feel the other people need the help. But there are times when it is fine to say no.

Writers. I have found, really struggle with this. For too long, they wrote as a hobby. This was something they did in their free time. But, once they reach that stage in their life when they want to turn this into a profession, learning to say no is more than important. This is your job now and, like any other paying job, you have to make writing your priority. 

Let me say, in no way am I telling writers to become hermits and disappear from the world. I do think it is important for authors to give back to their writing chapters and continue to volunteer. Just because you are published (or close to it) does not make you a diva where volunteering and helping out is "below you." Keep this work up, however, IF that activity is going to get in the way of your quality writing time, then it is important to say no.

I know it is hard to say. I understand you might be thinking, "It's just a couple of hours." But when you think that "couple of hours" is now going to put you one more day behind in your writing, then you start running into problems. Do that too many times and you now miss your deadline. Maybe, in an effort to not miss that deadline, you start into cramming sessions of writing, but you know (and your editor will see) that the end product might not be up to the standard everyone is used to.

So, before you start telling everyone you are going to help, think about your writing. This is about you and that writing has to be an important part of your life. 

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