It's All About the Hugs

My new daily mantra!


Previously on Burggraf’s Blog...

…feeling overwhelmed with my novel rewrites… where do I start?... how do I start?... why am I finding this so difficult… where’s my motivation?

It’s so easy to get bogged down with negative thinking, especially when a task seems too huge to tackle. Negative thinking hinders progress and creativity, and increases anxiety.

When I first got my novel back from my editor, I was so excited and loved reading all the comments, track changes, reports and analysis. She’d done a fab job. But once I realized the huge amount of work left to do, before I could showcase my work, the fear set in – I shrunk away from the task, making every excuse not to sit, focus and get the job done. I needed a nudge and so I reached out – in walks in my fabulous daughter with her incredible mind, excellent motivational skills and big loving hugs.

It didn’t take long to get my mojo back and be reminded of some of my own writerly rules:
 
1.      Don’t forget the fun factor and laugh (a lot).


2.      Set yourself achievable targets – you can always keep going beyond set target.


3.      Read – a lot (anything and everything).


4.      Listen to advice from the experts – editors, fellow authors, critique partners.


5.      Remember, writing is a long-term learning process – don’t expect to know everything, and allow yourself to make mistakes.


6.      Don’t be afraid to seek help/advice when needed – reach out to the writing community (they’re a lovely bunch!).


7.      Talk through ideas with someone you trust to be honest and helpful.

8.    Support other writers – offer to host blog posts, write reviews, visit and comment on other blogs/social media, join Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

9.     Stay sane! Don’t isolate yourself too often – get out and meet people and stay in touch with the world.

10.    Remind yourself regularly of your accomplishments and be proud of them.
 

Do you have your own writerly rules? Who do you turn to when you need a boost?


Happy writing!

Comments

  1. Hi Nicola - so glad you're back on track ... it's always one step at a time (one small task or writerly bit) .. just sets the tone and keeps one on track and moving forward. I've had some things to deal with and so am doing just that .. one step at a time ... Happy Writing to you too - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. Hope your steps are not too difficult. Take good care.

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  2. It must be lovely to have a daughter to walk (and laugh) with. I have a son living in Australia. I don’t see him often, but I always feel so much better after spending time with him. In answer to your question, I guess I turn to my son when I need a boost. If I can’t be with him, there is always Skype, Facebook and as a last (expensive) resort the telephone.

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    1. Thank goodness for the internet!! That's probably the best thing about it - it allows us to stay in touch with people who are far away. We live in Germany and my daughter in the UK (not as far as Australia) but we video chat at least 3 times a week. Thanks for popping by Barbara.

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  3. Yes, excellent! Never isolate. That's how the enemy wins.

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    1. Exactly :) Thanks for popping over Alex.

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  4. Stay in touch with the world? Do cats count? lol I just stay a rhyming fool, works for me.

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    1. Rhyme away to your heart's content, Pat. It's great!! And yes, of course cats count :) Thanks for coming over.

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  5. Good mantra. And the rules ain't half bad either. Especially #9. Staying sane is good.

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    1. Staying sane might be good but my... it's difficult :)

      HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY MAC!!!!

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  6. I like number 5. It does take time for ideas to "bake" in your brain. Sometimes you can't rush it, and the next time you're out walking--Bam!--inspiration hits. So yeah, I like thinking about plot points and problems while away from my desk whether that means running, mowing the lawn, or doing dishes.

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    1. My best thinking is done away from the desk - like you, whilst doing the chores. So that's a positive about 'chores' :)

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  7. Awesome rules and guidelines. We definitely all hit that place at some point along the way.

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    1. And drag ourselves out of it, we must :) Thanks for popping over Crystal. Congratulations on your blog tour!!

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    2. Thank you, Nicola! Dragging strengthens your fingers, you know. And those are kind of essential to creating epic stories... ;)

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    3. That means, my stories should be mega epic :):)

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  8. Great and greatly needed words of wisdom. Thank you Nicola.
    Take care.

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    1. Lovely to see you, Robyn. Hope all is well.

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  9. Achievable goals you can always surpass if you want - I like the way you think!
    My walks are primarily solo, but I do have a lovely daughter who never fails to remind me how much faith she has in me ;-)
    Typically the time between the editor's response and the rewrite is best spent engaging in inspirational activities while your mind absorbs the task at hand, then it doesn't seem so daunting.

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    1. Thank you for that tip, Diedre - next time I will engage in inspirational activities instead of spending a couple of months just panicking :) Live and learn :) Thanks for popping by.

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  10. We all need an internal compass to go by when the darkness within and without comes. My Mantra: The book won't write itself! :-)

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    1. Excellent Mantra, Roland. Thank you for coming by.

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  11. Loved your post today. The Everything Is Going To Be Okay is a great reminder for other areas of our life as well.

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    1. It certainly is and quite poignant for my family at the moment.

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  12. Oh boy! Did I need this today! I'm double bogged down. Thanks.

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    1. Uh-oh! Hope you feel less bogged down real soon, Lee.

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    2. I hit the 30K+ mark, but I still haven't brought this WIP in the way I'd hoped. And no title yet. I usually have that right up front. My brain must be taking a vacation from writing.

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    3. Congrats - 30K is super!! You'll get it the way you want it, Lee, I'm sure of it and who needs a title? LOL! Seriously, the perfect title will pounce on you at the most unexpected time (don't push it). Keep going!

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  13. Great list. Usually my frustration stems from overextending myself, promising I'll do stuff for other people that I don't have time to dedicate to editing, which leads to anger and other bad mojo. But I have often talked ideas out with my sis-in-law, which has gotten me out of many a tough jam.

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    1. Yes, I know that feeling too. We forget sometimes that we are just one person and human. Glad the family is feeling better, Loni. Take care and thank you for popping by. Lovely to see you.

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  14. These are awesome tips, Thanks. The SFWA is worth having a look at. It interesting but apparently active members present and vote on the Nebulas every year.

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    1. I'll check it out! Thanks for beaming on over here.

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  15. Those are pretty good rules. The only thing I could add is try not to worry about anything! Not that I ever follow that rule...

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    1. Not worrying is a tough one! Thanks for commenting.

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  16. This post is so encouraging. Great advice! And it's amazing how much a hug can help too.

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    1. I'm a hugger :) Thank you for visiting Lynda. I hope Cling to God is reaching many readers. Take care.

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  17. My boost is online and they are mighty. Glad you have encouragement close to home Nicola. That is extremely special.

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    1. Thank you Sheena. She's not that close geographically but we don't allow the distance to stop us - Cheap flights and video chats (that you internet)and we make sure the hugs are in abundance when we're together :) Keeps us going until the next time.

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  18. Great tips! I think many of them can be used for an outlook to Life as well! :)

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    1. Certainly can, Archana. Thank you for stopping by. I hope all is well with you.

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  19. Sometimes you just need to break that project down into manageable bites. Been there.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Liz.

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  20. Fabulous advice as always, Nicola. My favourite way of coping is to curl up with a good book to remind myself what it's all about. And I often talk to my husband about the specifics holding me back and he always manages to say something that brings me a breakthrough. I find it so helpful to let someone else see the problem when panic or loss of confidence has blinded me to the solution. Happy writing and editing, Nicola, and thank you for such an inspiring post! xxx

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Joanna. I appreciate your continued support. I too love to escape into the pages of a good book. I hope all is well with you and that your stories are reaching far and wide. Take care.

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  21. Oh yes, I recognise that feeling of excitement when you go through the edits - the thrill that someone is taking your story as seriously as you... and then the fall, when you think of the work. My writing rules tend to revolve around chocolate.

    There's a novel about chocolate on my horizon, I can feel it!

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    1. I agree. I was stoked that my editor is as excited as I am. Makes it worth while. Thanks for popping by Annalisa. I hope the Cornish weather isn't too blustery.

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  22. Those are great writerly rules! I think your mantra is perfect. I try to tell myself that every day. ;)

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  23. Rewrites certainly are challenging. Glad your muse is sparking.
    You've got great rules! Keep us posted on the process.
    Hugs

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. I'll keep you posted. Probably open a bottle of Champagne with you all when I send it back to my editor :)

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  24. The first pro edit I got, I swear, I almost cried. I called the publisher and asked her why she signed it- it obviously sucked. Now, I know saying "I'm done" just means I'm done with that phase.

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    1. I learned an invaluable lesson :) Lovely to see you, Elizabeth. Thank you for visiting.

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  25. And what a cute little owl to go with that mantra! Those are fantastic writer rules. #5 is the one I have to remember the most. I want everything written and edited now, and yeah, it doesn't work like that. At all.

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    1. Patience has never been a strong trait of mine either, Cherie but I'm getting better at it (I think - or maybe not :)). Thanks for popping by. Glad you are feeling better. Take good care.

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  26. "Writing is a long-term learning process." Boy is that ever true! I really enjoyed this post. I found the only way I could tackle my memoir was by blogging in small posts. Now I'm rolling and it is going much better. Have a good one!

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    1. So pleased your memoir is going so well. Keep up the great work and thank you for coming by, reading and commenting. Greatly appreciate it. Have a lovely weekend.

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  27. Great list! Sometimes I forget about #7. I want to work it all out myself. But it really does help to talk the story through with another person!

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    1. Having a really good banter about ideas and exploring the possibilities is so much fun. Have a lovely weekend, Deniz and thank you for visiting.

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  28. Yes, ditto on the 'great list' comment! Loved it. What I do when I get stuck is read. Reading a great book is always inspiring to me. And I've done the discussion thing too, (I talk he pretends to listen. Does that count?) I doubt hubby is really listening, he does grunt once in a while, so there's hope. :)

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    1. I talk a lot sometimes too :) I must be listened to (even though I don't recognise it) because if I'm quiet for too long, I'm asked, "What's up?" :) Thanks for popping by, Yolanda.

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  29. I apologize that it has taken me so long to visit you. Real life has gotten a bit crazy here. I'm so glad you found me from Sandra's blog. She's such a sweetie. Although I'm not a writer, I have certainly enjoyed the list you have created. Since I started as a scientist and researcher, learning art in any form was quite foreign to me. However, your rules have put a lot into perspective, and I can replace the word "write" with "creating art."

    I do read a lot, and I read a lot of blogs that have nothing to do with art, although I tend to stay with science and art blogs most of the time. When I create new art, I always share my failures as well as my accomplishments, so others can learn from my mistakes and not make the ones I made.

    Again, thanks for visiting. I look forward to returning often.

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    1. I love sharing my mistakes too. Mistakes are good and as Einstein said, "A failure (mistake) is one step closer to success!" Love that thought. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Really is lovely to 'meet' you and I hope to 'see' you again soon. Take care. And keep creating :)

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  30. I don't have a list of rules as such but yours looks good. I think I'll make a note.

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    1. I only started making lists after watching years of NCIS (laughing my socks off right now). Gibbs has an ever evolving list of rules that he makes as he learns lessons throughout his life/career. It's a great way to reflect on what one has learned. Lovely to see you Keith. I hope the family are keeping well.

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  31. When I need a boost I turn to my lovely writing chum, Tracy.

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    1. Really glad you have such a great friend in Tracy, Wendy. Thank you for poppping by to visit.

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  32. All good recommendations. Personally, I've found that when I don't have the will to write, I simply have to return to my inspirations. For Xenophobia, I rarely run out since it's so fueled but human political conflict (xenophobic misunderstandings), but never discount the wonder of just letting yourself relax, read, and reflect. :)

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    1. Relax, read and reflect - the 3 'R's of bliss :) Thanks for stopping by, Robert.

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  33. You have fantastic rules. I think you are amazing and I hope you aren't feeling down anymore. I get anxious very quickly as well. But taking things slow and one word at a time helps me. You can do it, Nicola. Don't give up.

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    1. THANK YOU, Murees. Your words of encouragement mean such a lot. I hope you are keeping well and have more good days than sad days. You are amazing and so accomplished at inspiring and motivating others. Thanks for being you!! Take care.

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  34. Excellent rules and good luck with the edits.

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    1. Thank you, Marcy!! And congratulations on your feature last week. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

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  35. Awesome rules! It's important to reach out for help or just encouragement. Sometimes a kind word is all it takes to rejuvenate you! :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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    1. Thank you, Christine! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  36. How are the rewrites going today, Nicola?

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    1. Hi Sandra! Hmmm... I've only just parked my bottom on the chair. I did get up before the birds this morning and printed out the chapters I am supposed to be working on BUT too much distraction, proscrastination and avoidance. Thank you so much for checking in on me. I'll get to it straight away and feedback :) Bless you! A bit of pressure is what I need :)

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  37. Great reminders. I learn something new all the time in this business.

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    1. Me too. That's all part of the fun :)Lovely to see you Susan. Hope all is well.

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  38. Super advice. Yes, I've recently decided I try to do too much at a time, so I'm making a schedule each day and only writing down only a few things, 4 or 5 to do each day rather than a dozen, which was impossible. It's helping me not be so grouchy, and I'm accomplishing enough each day.

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    1. Sounds like a plan, Beverly. I think we do set our aims to high sometimes - setting ourselves up for disappointment.

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  39. Great tips. Laugh a lot and read a lot are my top rules.

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    1. Laughing is good for the soul. A big daily dose of that would be good for us all :)

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  40. Nearly missed this post! All excellent advice, Nicola, especially read a lot and be in the company of other writers. All the best with your next steps!

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  41. This is an excellent list of rules. Things can definitely seem daunting before you break them down into smaller tasks that you can do. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Nick. It's working much better, thanks to some of the great advice :)

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  42. My rules are simple, keep going is the biggest one. That because i'd rather wear out than rust.

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    1. I like that :) Thanks for popping by.

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  43. So glad to hear your rewrite is going smoothly.
    Thanks for letting me know:)

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    1. Thanks to you for checking in on me :) Great motivator when someone cares :)

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  44. These are great rules! Glad that your rewrite is going well! I am lucky because I have a coauthor and I have her to help me through the tough times. We can talk and analyze the edits and what is going on. It helps me that we can tackle everything together. :)
    ~Jess

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