How To Deal With Overwhelm

How To Deal With Overwhelm & Make Things Happen

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

You’re creative. You’re driven. You’re passionate about writing. You have endless ideas, a blog, a novel in the works, a growing writing career.

With that kind of epic creative charge, you feel like you should have seen more projects through to fruition by now… right?

But instead, you keep finding yourself sighing at the end of each week, consumed by a sense of overwhelm rather than a sense of accomplishment.

You’re all over the place.

You feel frustrated—maybe even jealous when you see other writers who “have their shit together”.

Why can’t you seem to make things happen?

There are many reasons an idea doesn’t become a finished project, but I believe one of the most common is overwhelm.

To deal with overwhelm, you have to take a close look at the way you’re living.

Let’s examine this modern epidemic from all angles, so we can get off the inspiration hamster wheel and start making moves.


How To Connect With Other Writers - Day Job Optional - Writing Is Lonely

7 Cool Ways To Connect With Other Writers

A career in writing sounds like an introvert’s dream, doesn’t it?

Spending long hours on your laptop, racking up word counts for clients around the world, enjoying the optionally-anonymous role of a ghostwriter or copywriter…

To some extent, it’s true that you can build a career in solitude. Of course, you can also go big league and get your byline all over the biggest media outlets. It’s up to you. But even if you’ve blissfully traded in you 9-5 life for the sweet solitude of writing, it pays to connect with other writers.

The chance to talk shop, share ideas, exchange feedback, and make connections with those experiencing similar challenges can evoke feelings of motivation and validation.

By connecting with other writers, you can encounter new ideas, discover fresh approaches to problems, and get some much-needed accountability.

Also, I probably don’t have to tell you this, but being a writer isn’t easy! Sometimes it really sucks, and it helps to know you’re not the only one enduring the ups and downs of this career path.

Thankfully, it’s easier than it has ever t0 find writer buddies, thanks to the internet. I’ve put together some of my favorite ways to connect with other writers below.


How To Fall In Love With Writing Again - Day Job Optional - Michelle Christina Larsen

How To Fall In Love With Writing Again

Don’t judge me, but… my laptop is totally going to be my Valentine this year. *slow jam plays*

Yep, I’ll be spending February 14th writing about New York Fashion Week and sipping an endless supply of coffee while snow pummels the ground outside.

The countdown to the most romantic day of the year had me thinking about the ups and downs of love this week. I started to see some vivid parallels between a love for writing and love for human-folk.

That said, let me ask you something: Is being a writer really what you thought it would be?

Are your visions of scrawling cutting-edge articles, breathtaking travel stories, exciting fiction or the wittiest copy on the planet panning out?

If you’re knee-deep in writing career bliss right now, I am sending you a giant high-five through the screen.  That is awesome. But for those who’ve begun to feel a little lukewarm about our writing work, just know that you’re not alone.

Writers of all levels sometimes groan at the thought of hitting their word count. Even the pros sometimes feel tempted to reschedule a client call they just don’t feel like having.

So the question is, how can we get the magic back? How can we fall in love with writing again?

After almost a decade of falling in and out of love with my writing career, I’ve put together some tried-and-true tips on rekindling the flame.

Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on those sexy tunes, and read on.


Drinking Coffee with Writers - Katarina Hybenova - 2

Drinking Coffee with Writers: Katarina Hybenova

Photo by Maya Harsaniova

One day, while I was walking down the street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I witnessed a building go up in flames.

I was close to the fire, and my millennial brain propelled me to whip out my camera and snap away. I didn’t just want to post them on social media, though, so I emailed them to a local news website called Bushwick Daily.

Editor-in-chief Katarina Hybenova responded, publishing my photos within minutes.

No one was hurt in the fire, so I felt slightly less guilty about the process of witnessing and reporting on something. In the end, I thought, “why not give local journalism a try?”

I submitted myself as a contributor, and a week later I was sipping cocktails on a sun-soaked patio with 10 other writers and Katarina herself.

Immediately, I knew she’d be a blast to work with. She’s was a platinum blonde boss babe with an amazing sense of humor, and she called me Mishka, which I appreciated—it’s one of my nicknames, yanno.

I soon learned that she’s also a stellar content manager, thoughtful editor, and natural leader.

Her resume includes positions as digital editor at massive local news website QNS, as well as founder and editorial director of Bushwick Daily. She was also a 2014 fellow at Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

…oh, and she used to be a lawyer. How badass is this gal?

I thought she would be the perfect person to interview for the launch of our brand new series, Drinking Coffee with Writers.

Below, check out her top tips for writers and discover how she spends a typical day (hint: it involves getting up at 5:30AM to write).


Wading With Ghosts in Cambodia - Digital Nomad Diary - 001

Digital Nomad Diary: Wading With Ghosts in Cambodia

The following is a guest post from writer & graphic designer Maria Gotay. Maria quit her job and is backpacking across Southeast Asia, documenting the journey for DJO.

There’s a feeling that pervades the arid, uncluttered landscape of Cambodia.

It’s the same feeling that you see in the faces of young fruit vendors, broken-back farmers, English speaking tour guides, eager school children and nearly-blind beggars.

It’s a country slowly recovering from a devastatingly brutal history, nursing and re-attaching its warn-torn pieces.

It’s a people that are regretful but resilient, fears and hopes tied nowhere but to the future: the dreams of their children and the progression of their nation.

The seas of change are slowly rolling in—tourists and expats recognizing the spirit of this place, the next generation’s intentions gently floating to the surface.


Make Your Work Space More Inspiring 1

6 Ways to Make Your Workspace More Inspiring

One thing is true when you kiss the 9-5 goodbye and set out on your own as a freelancer: You find ways to work anywhere. 

Screaming kids? Noisy traffic? Crowded kitchen table? No problem.

That’s the beauty of mastering digital nomad life, and those who are dedicated enough to commit to it. If you have WiFi and a cup of coffee, you can set up shop and bust out a project on deadline.

Still, there’s something about a well-designed workspace that practically beckons you to sit down and make major progress on your next assignment.

Smooth surfaces, good lighting, and other things elements can make subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences in the way you work. Conversely, a workspace that isn’t aligned with your needs can have a negative impact!

Wouldn’t it be nice to make your workspace more inspiring? Today we’ll show you how to design a workspace that really cheers you on.


What It’s Really Like to Travel Alone in Nepal - 001

Digital Nomad Diary: What It’s Really Like to Travel Alone in Nepal

The following is a guest post from writer & graphic designer Maria Gotay. Maria quit her job and is backpacking across Southeast Asia, documenting the journey for DJO.

I was sitting upright, half asleep in a Xanax-induced slumber, when I felt the bus lurch.

I shook the sleep away and came to.

It was sometime between night and morning, darkness surrounding our vehicle on all sides, the only light pouring into my squinting eyes the flashing Bollywood music videos on the LED screen ahead.

Although the space beyond the bus was pure black, the bus rocked unevenly and I could feel our proximity to the edge of something.

The Darjeeling Express tumbled violently forward, tossing me into my seat neighbor, a wide-eyed boy who looked equally frightened.

The horn blared five times in a row as we swerved around a very steep corner and the terrifying reality that I might die on this bus hit me hard.


How to Make More Time for Writing (Even if you're Really Busy)

How to Make More Time for Writing (Even if you’re Really Busy)

In a perfect world, you’d wake up in the early hours of the morning in your clean, well-lit apartment, a mild breeze blowing through the windows as your butler served up breakfast and read your notes from yesterday’s three-hour writing workshop.

You’d slide into your robe and sip Irish breakfast tea as you contemplated the completion of your third novel, sighing a happy sigh of relief.

Oh, sorry—that’s just my perfect world.

Back to real life: you’re busy. Really busy. You’ve got freelance gigs or a full-time job, bills to pay, a body to keep in shape, pets, needy friends, a messy kitchen counter, etc.

Writing isn’t easy, and it gets harder when your schedule fills up with the chaos of daily life. Sometimes it feels impossible to sit down and get some work done—but you know you have to. Today we’re going to demystify a few ways super busy people get a ton of writing done, even when it feels impossible to stretch the clock any further.

I promise: you can do this! It just takes a fresh reality check, some planning, and perhaps a few apps.