Feeling Overwhelmed? Take a Break

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By Katie Corbett

 

When overwhelm starts to occur, it can be easy to try to push through. As a result, you could end up working until you are spent or shut down. I have found it helpful to take a break.

 

Overwhelm can easily happen to me when I need to make multiple choices. The most recent example is that I am tentatively searching for a new dog. There are so many different breeds out there, and it can be overwhelming. I have also taken quizzes and have never gotten the same result twice. And then when it comes to adoptable dogs… It gets even harder.

 

I’m trying my best to take it slow through the process, and take breaks in between research sessions. I’m also trying really hard to be honest about what I’m looking for, so that it will help me weed out the choices that might not be the best for me.

 

Are you in the middle of a project that is overwhelming? What things are you doing to pace yourself and make sure that you are getting all the information you need?

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If There Were No One Else in the World

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By Katie Corbett

 

I am a recovering people-pleaser. I am always looking for ways to figure out what I want, find out what is important to me, and accomplish those things.

 

I have pondered a question that has helped me do this effectively: “If there were no one else in the world, what would you do?” It is a very insightful question, and I have been surprised by the answers I have gotten.

At times, when I ask myself this question, the answer is something relaxing, like read a book, or take a nap. Other times it is something productive, like work on a specific project, or do chores.

 

At first, I was afraid that when I asked myself this question, I would only do activities that would give me the most pleasure. Asking myself this question has helped me trust myself, and recognize what is good for me in that moment without worrying about the opinions or expectations of others.

Have you encountered a question that has changed your life? Let me know; I would love to see it in the comments.

 

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Benefits of Review

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By Katie Corbett


There is value in going back and reviewing things you have made earlier in your life. I have had a novel in the works since 2009. Yesterday, I took some time between doing a load of dishes and preparing for Thanksgiving to read over that very first draft ever. Needless to say, my writing has improved a lot since then. But I did learn several valuable lessons from that experience.

 

I learned that reading my old writing could be enjoyable. I compared it to looking at baby pictures: sort of cute, slightly embarrassing, and I’m definitely grateful no one else will read that book.

 

It was fun to see how much my writing has improved since then. I have gotten much better at dialogue, more readily able to show instead of tell, and my plot points have gotten tighter.

 

Even though that first draft is basically garbage, I know that my novel wouldn’t be what it is today without that writing. I needed to write to figure out who my characters are, what kinds of things they would do, and how they would interact with each other. That first draft definitely helped me flesh out a lot of those points.

 

Have you taken the time to go back and look at previous work? What insights did you gain from the experience? Can you think of ways in which that previous work has impacted you now? I would love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment.

 

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Reflections on my Writing, Part 3

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By Katie Corbett

 

Here is the third and final part of my essay about writing. Enjoy!

 

I feel my writing has become varied and diverse, and I discover more new surprises about it the more I write. Writing every day has been a wonderful challenge for me, and I hope I can continue the practice. I may skip a day or two here and there, but when I do, I don’t feel complete again until I have written something new. Topics and ideas abound, and it is my hope that I’m able to explore as many as possible. Even if I never get published again, I know I will continue to write. Writing releases me, teaches me about who I am as a person, and helps me reflect on how those around me impact my life.

 

So, sit down, pull out your notebook or laptop, and reflect on your writing. Here are some questions to get you started.

 

  • Why do you write what you write?
  • How has your writing process changed over time?
  • Are there some aspects of your writing life you’d like to change or improve?
  • What do you struggle with as a writer?
  • What has been your biggest personal accomplishment in your writing so far?

 

These are just a few of the questions you could ask yourself. Take a few minutes to explore who you are as a writer. You never know what you’ll find out, and chances are, you’ll be glad you took the time to get to know yourself, and you’ll discover gifts and secrets within your writing you never knew existed.

 

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Reflections on my Writing, Part 2

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

 

Here’s the next part of the essay on writing. Enjoy!

 

Finding inspiration used to be one of the biggest road-blocks for me. I used to just write whenever the mood struck, but that wasn’t nearly enough to justify writing every day. Fortunately, I discovered “Naming the World,” by Bret Anthony Johnston. The book is packed with writing prompts and exercises on every topic pertaining to writing, from starting stories, to character development, to point-of-view and tone. Without the prompts to spark my muse, I’d still be sitting at my keyboard, waiting for her to show up.

 

As for word-count, I try to write at least 500 words per day. The guideline gives me something to push for, yet it is attained easily enough to not be an arduous rule. This is necessary as I am still adjusting to having the full-time job I started in January, which doesn’t leave me much time to write.

 

As with anything, maintaining balance is most challenging. I love to write, but I love to read as well—fiction and nonfiction alike. I have also decided I want to research getting an MFA in fiction, so research—not to mention applying to prospective programs—cuts into my available time. I try to write a short piece or poem each night, because I can usually spare an hour or two in the evenings for my personal pursuits, and sometimes I’ll have gained ideas or inspiration throughout the day. Then, I might read a bit of nonfiction—mostly pertaining to the craft of writing. While I’m lying in bed at night, I’ll break out a novel or collection of short stories and read a chapter or story—or two. I also read fiction while on the bus traveling to and from work, which, in addition to making my commute more interesting, buys me a little more time to write each day.

 

The one area which still lacks a time-slot in my schedule right now is seeking potential places to publish my work. I have the resources—I’ve gotten a few books that list literary magazines and publishing houses—but I haven’t put much effort into setting a time to do market research. Part of that might be a confidence issue. I keep wondering why anyone would want to read my writing. All writers have this problem, though, so once I get back into a critique group—and into a network of supportive fellow writers who know the struggles and set-backs writers face—I think it might be easier to have faith in my pieces as potentially-publishable works.

 

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Devotionals Can be For Business, Too

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By Katie Corbett

 

As you can probably tell if you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, I love plans. There are times, however, when I want some of the planning done for me. That’s why I’ve had a lot of success working with books that suggest an activity, thinking prompt, or mindset shift every day, week, month, or season.

 

Books like this are commonly associated with weight loss plans, religious practices, or building healthy money habits. It turns out, these books exist for business activities, too! Listen to this short audio about why I love books like this! Enjoy!

 

Kick Someday Syndrome, Once and For All

Katie Corbett holds the book "One Month to Live"

By Katie Corbett

 

Procrastination can be tempting. It can be easy to sit back and do nothing rather than do what the best version of yourself wants to be doing. Unfortunately, procrastination won’t get you any closer to achieving your dreams, and it can hold you back for years.

 

I read “One Month to Live,” by Chris Shook, at a time when I was leaving a relationship and had a lot of career options to consider. I was feeling nervous, disappointed and hopeful, all at once. It would have been easy to wallow in my emotions. In the book, I read about kicking Someday Syndrome and decided to embrace what I needed to do. Here are some of the benefits I noticed of doing things today; not someday.

 

  • I felt more accomplished.
  • I checked a lot off my to-do list.
  • I didn’t feel lazy or like I was wasting time.
  • I could focus on the future, rather than the past.
  • Taking action was refreshing.
  • I didn’t have time to wallow in unhelpful emotions.
  • I was accomplishing my dreams and improving my life in spite of negative and uncertain circumstances.
  • I could relax at the end of the day knowing I had gotten a lot done.
  • Although I was unemployed at the time, I felt productive.
  • I stopped relying on excuses and found it was faster to take action.

 

If you are looking to beat procrastination and kick Someday Syndrome into the past, I recommend doing the first thing you need to do to get started. That could be as easy as turning on the computer, cleaning off your dresser, or making a list and a plan to tackle one thing at a time.

 

What projects are you motivated to begin? Leave a comment and let me know. Cheers to you and your success!

 

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How My Tendency Supports Me in Business and Following my Dreams

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

As you might imagine, I find being an Upholder to be helpful in business. I would also argue that the knowledge that I’m an Upholder is more helpful than the tendency itself. I’ll explain what I mean by this below.

 

I read “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin, as I was beginning to build my business. These are some ways in which the knowledge about my tendency has helped me:

 

  • I try to prioritize the things I need to get done, since it can be easy to see all tasks as equally important.
  • I now have the confidence to know that things will get done eventually, even if it is not as soon as I might like.
  • I have learned to rely on metrics to decide what to continue doing, since it can be easy for me to continue doing something that doesn’t have the largest return on investment, simply because I have made it a habit.
  • I have learned to appreciate others who follow through, especially since I now realize how rare that is.
  • I have learned that having a more Type A personality means it is vital to take time away from work to relax and have fun.

 

If you would like to discover how your tendency can support you in business, and discover how it can help you achieve your dreams, I encourage you to read Gretchen Rubin’s book and take her test. It will only take a few minutes to realize the ways in which you make the world a better place.

 

What is your tendency? Are you an Upholder like me, or are you an Obligor, Questioner, or Rebel? Leave your answer in the comments.

 

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