Overworked? Write Yourself An ‘Encouragement’ List

I won’t go into the boring details, but a few nights ago I hit a wall–a wall that said, ‘You have overworked yourself!’

So, I gave myself yesterday off and relaxed my brain (it was wonderful, I highly suggest this!) and then I wrote myself a list for encouragement (which I also highly suggest doing!). Having this list has been a great help in finishing my MS and helped me to doubly realize that it’s okay to feel discouraged so long as you take a break and then keep working.

And without further ado, here’s my list!

1. This is a first draft, it’s allowed to be bad.
2. This is a first draft, you have time to fix the holes.
3. You are in no rush.
4. This is your book, your writing. Be happy with it.
5. There is, and always will be, room to grow as a writer. This will always be the case no matter how far you go. This will always also be a source of enjoyment and struggle.
6. The Doubt-Monster will always follow you but this is not a reason to panic.
7. In the end, you are the one who’s in control.

What do you do when you’re overworked? What else would you add to my list?


I have two exciting posts coming up, including a guest post by my website designer Letitia Englund and My Next Best Thing post that I was tagged in by Lauren Spieller that will highlight my MS. Be sure to stop back!

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8 thoughts about "Overworked? Write Yourself An ‘Encouragement’ List"

  • 5. “…This will also always be a source of enjoyment and struggle.” Amen! The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. It’s both intimidating and wonderful. You can always improve!

  • Jess Byam says:

    I love this idea! We writers (at least the ones who are serious about it) tend to be so critical of ourselves. It’s so easy to see our difficulties in writing as the product of personal flaws or failures, but the truth is that good writing is hard. Period.

    Janice Hardy has a great post about “growing pains novels” and how they make us better as we struggle through them. It’s definitely worth a read.

  • I do love No 3 on your list very much. I think it’s the only thing on my encouragement list PLUS this-
    8. You have a good idea, don’t be scared. Take your time. (still same as 3 I think);)

  • I like your encouragement list, juliana. It’s a great reminder. I feel very overworked lately… I think I need a better system! 🙂

  • Katie says:

    Yep, I love this.

  • ChemistKen says:

    Fortunately, every time I become discouraged and think this whole writing thing is hopeless, I wake up the next morning anxious to tackle the story again. Don’t know what would happen if I ever woke up and still felt discouraged. Maybe that’s what it will be like when I reach the query stage stage.

  • Jamie Ayres says:

    Oh, I do LOVE lists!! Thanks for this reminder:-)

  • Janice says:

    Love this list! Self doubt cripples me, often!

    When I’m overworked, I walk away for a day or two. A few days of peace seems to put the doubt-monster to sleep, for a while anyway.

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