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How To Deal With Overwhelm

How to Beat Overwhelm & Start Crushing Your Goals

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.

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

7 Ways To Connect with Writers (& Avoid Losing Your Mind in Solitude)

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 to find writer friends, thanks to the internet. Here are some of my favorite ways to find ’em.

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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.

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Drinking Coffee with Writers - Katarina Hybenova - 2

Drinking Coffee with Writers: Editor & Powerhouse 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).

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How To Stay Productive While Working & Traveling

On Beaches & Tequila: How To Actually Get Work Done While Traveling

Getting work done while traveling can be a serious challenge. Turquoise waters, swaying palm trees, the beach beckoning you…

I know, #FirstWorldProblems, right?

But really—if you’ve ever daydreamed about whipping out your laptop and working at the beach, you’re in for a surprise. I mean, the first surprise is, laptops + beach = destroyed laptop.

The second surprise is, work-life balance is hard to find when you’re surrounded by fun experiences and beautiful landscape to explore.

And then there’s tequila! Ugh, tequila…

Anyway, we’ve both developed some pro techniques for handling this careful balance between enjoying life (which is the point of this lifestyle, right?) and getting our sh*t done.

We were psyched when That Marketing Dude asked us to share our expertise as part of his “30 Days of Fist Bump Worthy Knowledge Bombs” in September.

We cover scheduling downtime, staying inspired, picking your travel partners and so much more. Don’t miss these essential tips for any writer who calls the world her office!

Read the full post here: How To Stay Productive When You’re Working In Paradise

 

PHONE BACKGROUND - How To Write Every Day: Desktops & Phone Backgrounds For Writers - TOP

Free Download! Desktops that Remind You to Write Everyday

True or false: It’s really hard to develop a daily writing habit when we’re all so freakin’ distracted.

Fellow writers, we have officially reached the age of information and inspiration overload, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Now more than ever, we need a gentle (or not-so-gentle) reminder to stay focused on our writing.

So what’s the magic trick to writing every day?

I was pondering this while setting up my new phone screen this week. I suddenly thought, “why not put something in the background that’ll help me reach my goals this fall?”

After all, my phone is the thing I look at the most during the day, second only to the bottom of my coffee cup, so I might as well utilize it.

Thus, these desktop wallpapers and phone backgrounds were born, with a pop of tropical color and a reminder to get the pen (or cursor) moving.

Click below to grab them for free.

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Write Better Business Emails: A Freelance Writer's Guide

Write Better Business Emails: A Freelance Writer’s Guide

Fact: You need to write better business emails.

An engineer named Ray Tomlinson sent the first-ever email in 1971. He opened the floodgates for limitless communication in the modern era.

No doubt, email is intended to make our lives easier. Over time, however, it’s transformed into a tool with boundless potential for annoyance and sloppy correspondence.

Bad emails are rampant, my friends.

What is a “bad email”, you ask? Apart from chain emails and blatant spam, the worst kind of email is one that fails to achieve its goal.

Usually, that means they’re simply indirect and lacking pertinent information. Occasionally, this also includes abysmal fonts and massive attachments. (Please don’t.)

Corporate emails come to mind, actually. Perhaps you’ve worked in an office where team members are trying to organize some kind of meeting or outing, but leaving the plans completely open-ended, inspiring endless back-and-forth?

Or maybe you received a crappy PR email that’s missing contact info or a website address?

I can’t count how many times I sat in my swivel chair, clutching my hair in both fists, willing myself not to pull a panda.

Bad emails happen to good people all the time, but you don’t want to be the one writing them. You’re a writer, after all, and you make a living on the internet! If anyone is writing excellent emails, it should be you.

I’d go as far as to say that writing effective emails is the first step to being taken seriously as an online professional.

A good email can increase your odds of growing your network, initiating great business relationships, and so much more.

Whether you’re cold-emailing a potential client, pitching a story to a news site, or tapping out everyday communication, these tips will help you write better business emails.

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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.

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