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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The Joys of Asking for Help

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By Katie Corbett

 

Sometimes, it is important to ask for help. I am in a stage of my life where I am paring down and making my life less complicated. As a result, there are certain things I am no longer taking on, or certain projects I am passing along to other people.

 

I have found it helpful to think of who is in my corner, and ask those people for support when I need it. Whether I’m looking for some objective advice, seeking out someone to hire for a project I no longer have the time or energy to complete, or searching out a friend to have new experiences with, finding people for each of these things has been both fun and rewarding.

 

Have you outsourced anything in your life? If so, how did it work out? I’d love to hear about your experiences, so feel free to leave me a comment.

 

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The Power in Slowing Down

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By Katie Corbett

 

I received some sage advice from a good friend this week. She said that when you are facing difficult or unusual circumstances, it is a good idea to slow down. The advice comes from military pilots. Often, new pilots want to speed up when there is turbulence to get the experience over with as soon as possible. Experienced pilots know that they need to take it slow Through that situation.

 

This past week, I have been slowing down a bit. I am taking a break from reading through a novel I am writing, and also taking ample time to think about and prioritize relationships in my life.

 

As a result, I am gaining more clarity. I also think I will be more prepared for the work ahead.

 

Have you taken periods of time to slow down in your life? What have been the results? Feel free to leave me a comment with any thoughts.

 

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Getting Back to The Basics

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By Katie Corbett

 

During this time of transition between jobs for me, I have been getting back to the basics of what I enjoy. It has been very freeing, giving myself permission to let go of the things that no longer serve me, or that I no longer want to do.

 

I have found it helpful to think about what I have enjoyed doing during times of happiness and fulfillment. This has assisted me in figuring out what I want to keep, and what has to go. I have also thought a lot about what I turned to when things are stressful. Often times, it is the same as the thing I enjoy when I am most happy.

 

For me, that hobby is reading. I enjoy reading fiction books, as well as looking for new books to read. I also really like to talk about books with friends. As a result, I have continued to read throughout this time, and I have joined a book club.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you are at your happiest? What things keep you afloat when tough times arise? I would love to know, so feel free to leave a comment.

 

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Friday Ain’t Over Yet

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By Katie Corbett

As I continue to recover from being sick, I am rediscovering the idea of doing what I can, and not worrying about the rest. For example, this blog post is publishing six hours later than I would like. Will any of you notice? Probably not. So I’m just going to take this space to give you a friendly reminder to just do what you can, and not worry about the rest. I would like to say thanks to anyone who is reading this, because you have come along way on this journey with me. I have been publishing for a long time, and even though I didn’t get this post out as early in the day as I hoped I would, I am publishing anyway. I don’t want to break my Friday publishing streak just because I was sick. Have a great day and take care of yourselves, readers!

Times of Rest

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By Katie Corbett

 

This week, I got sick. As a result, I was forced to rest my body and mind. A few great lessons came out of this experience and I will share them here.

 

The first thing I realized is that the things that need to get done will get done in the right time. There were a few small tasks I had been putting off. As it turned out, those things were really easy to do when I was laying in bed sick. Having the ability to get those small tasks done helped me feel productive at a time when I would have otherwise been able to do nothing else.

 

Another thing I realized is that time spent away from every day work can make space for planning and brainstorming. I was able to more easily firm up plans for next week, since my brain was free to strategize and think about the tasks I needed to complete.


The final thing I realized is that it is totally OK to rest when the body needs it. It is not necessary to be productive all the time. (I’m sure this is obvious to most of you, but as a recovering perfectionist, it is something I have needed to remind myself about time and again.)

 

What have you learned during your extended times of rest? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment.


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A Thought Experiment

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By Katie Corbett


Someone I know recently brought an interesting thought experiment to my attention. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, ask yourself: “If no one else existed in the world, what would I be doing right now?” I have tried this over the past week, because I have been feeling overwhelmed, and I’m also a recovering people-pleaser.

 

While there are times when it is necessary to do something you don’t want to do simply because it needs to get done, it can often be hard to relax if you can’t let go of what you think you “should” be doing. I found that this experiment helped me think about what I truly wanted to do in the moment, and enjoy some peace and serenity.

 

What questions help you combat stress and overwhelm? If you have found one that is helpful, let me know.

 

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All About Journaling

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By Katie Corbett

 

when I am struggling to work through challenging emotions or flush out broad ideas, I find it helpful to do some journaling. I turn to many places for prompts and questions to get the thoughts flowing.

 

Books exist that have questions and journal prompts. A quick Google search will turn up many of these.

 

I like to reflect on and write about questions people have asked me. One time, I wrote a poem comprised of questions people have asked me about being blind. It was interesting to compile my thoughts and to see this list written out on paper.

 

another area I explore for journaling purposes is my own mind. Many of us have questions that float around in the back of our minds and we don’t always take time to answer them. Thinking about these questions, and writing my answers and thoughts down, has helped me process these bigger questions.

 

What is your outlet for challenging emotions and thought-provoking questions? Do you journal? Do you do anything else that helps you get the thoughts out of your head? I would love to know, so feel free to leave a comment.

 

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Where I Find Inspiration

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By Katie Corbett

These days, finding inspiration, particularly for my blog, has been a bit challenging. I normally write about career books, and this trend is not going away, but these days I needed to find another way to update my blog in a more stress-free manner. This caused me to look for inspiration in other places.

 

One place is through my experiences. There have been some weeks that I have used my experiences in order to generate ideas for blog posts. It has been particularly interesting to reflect on my experiences and think about how they shape my writing, my life, and my overall attitude toward things.

 

Another place I look for inspiration is through other people. I have reflected on the relationships in my life, and even used snippets of dialogue I have heard to get inspired. It has been really cool to think about how the people in my life impact me, and how I affect them.

A third place I go for inspiration is apps and prompts. I have an app on my phone called Brainsparker that generates a prompt or idea at scheduled times each day. I also like to look at books, inspirational quotes, and song lyrics to find inspiration for my writing.

 

What inspires you? Where do you go for inspiration when you feel like the well is running dry? I would love to know. Feel free to leave me a comment.

 

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The Role of Music

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By Katie Corbett

Music has always played an important role in my life. I remember beginning piano lessons when I was eight years old and guitar lessons when I was 14. Not only has playing music been a source of solace for me, but it has also inspired my art and other creative activities.

 

 

I am currently writing an urban fantasy novel. I use music to help me get into the mood when I am writing, or even when I am just brainstorming about the activities of my characters.

My characters also reference music a lot throughout the book. They have their favorite artists, their favorite songs, and the music that puts them in a good mood. They also use music to communicate with each other. One of my characters creates a playlist to connect with her love interest. Naturally, I created that playlist myself because I wanted to listen to the music that they would be listening to and have all the feels.

 

 

What role does music play in your life? How does it help you create, explore, and give back to the world? I would love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment!

 

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