by Judy Christie
When I turned fifty, I gave myself a book for my birthday: I committed to write my first novel.
I’m astonished that In the past six years, I’ve had seven novels published, with number eight set to release next fall.
In addition, I work a “day job” as a consultant.
I am so thankful–and pooped.
Like many writers, I must focus to stay organized and optimistic. And to avoid the enemy of frenzy.
As someone who loves to hurry less and worry less (I even wrote a nonfiction series on that topic), I take a step back each fall (and again at the start of the year) to look for new ways to slow down and enjoy my writing life more.
I make a plan and put it on my calendar.
This helps me avoid frenzy, which seems to wait to jump when I’m not looking.
Sometimes the stress of frenzy is the result of poor planning or careless use of the day’s moments. Sometimes it arrives because of important distractions. An illness strikes. A tragedy occurs. The family tangles. Friends struggle. Some seasons of time are tough.
A plan helps me stay calmer and more effective as a writer, whatever arises.
If you, along with me, want to take a fresh look at your writing life and say goodbye to frenzy, try these tips:
• Remind yourself why you write.
• Write regularly, even if time is short; a few words strung together here and there may add up to your best story ever.
• Say “no” to something less important to say “yes” to writing.
• Put your writing aside when you’re exhausted. Take a nap. Get a good night’s sleep. Frenzy loves fatigue.
• Take a fresh look at the Big Picture of your life. Are times of frenzy rare or regular? Do you need to make minor tweaks or major course corrections?
• Identify your next best step. You need not make the entire journey today.
• Just do your best. You don’t have to be perfect.
Judy Christie writes fiction with a Louisiana flavor, including her seventh novel, “Sweet Olive” (Zondervan), which released in September. She is also the author of the five-part Green series, including “Gone to Green.” She’s a fan of porch swings, biscuits and flea markets. She loves to visit with readers and writers and blogs from her green couch at www.judychristie.com. You can also visit with her at www.Facebook.com/judychristie and www.Twitter.com/judypchristie.