Burnout? with L.A. Sartor

L.A. Sartor, Christmas, Best-Selling Author, job, goal, burnout, Prince of Granola, The Chunky Method Handbook, Thyme for Writers
Burnout? by L.A. Sartor

Welcome L.A. Sartor as our guest today on Thyme for Writers! L.A. Sartor is a bestselling, award-winning author. She began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at L.A.’s insistence, wrote them down and L.A. illustrated them. As an adult, she writes suspense and action-adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she’s had a contracted adaptation! She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date. L.A. loves to travel and thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey. She has a blog and a mailing list.

Burnout?

Karen, thank you so much for having me as your guest. You’ve had a great line up of writers so far, I hope I keep the trend going. 😊

I thought burnout was for everyone else but me. I was on a tidal wave of producing books. Then something hit me while I was writing my seventh manuscript, Prince of Granola.

Nothing about writing intrigued me. Nothing. Not my blog, not my book. Nada.

Why? I still loved the story and my characters. I was super proud of what I’d accomplished with my writing so far.

My reaction: panic. I didn’t want to sit near my laptop, didn’t even open it for days. And when I did, I forced the writing. We all know that’s not a solution.

So, I basically ignored the dread of writing and fear of not writing, pretty sure other stress factors in my life were the cause. I couldn’t have burnout, writing was my ideal job.

Hmmm, job. More on that later.

Nevertheless, I avidly read articles on burnout or writer’s block as they appeared on my horizon; how to cope, how to push it aside, what it was. And I came to the conclusion that nope, I didn’t have burnout. I had something else. I think the word for that reasoning is denial.

L.A. Sartor, Christmas, Best-Selling Author, job, goal, burnout, Prince of Granola, The Chunky Method Handbook, Thyme for Writers, writers block
Burnout? by L.A. Sartor

Months later, I faced it head on. I was experiencing burnout. And oddly acknowledging, even saying the word out loud to myself, then close friends and outward from there, made it seem fixable.

Fast forward a couple more months. Still not writing much and whining yet again to my buddy, Audra Harders, about how long it was taking me to get this blasted first draft done, she gently interrupted me and mentioned a concept. A very cool concept.

Writing in chunks.

The concept immediately hit me as right. You all know the feeling. It’s almost euphoric. Moments later my email dinged and I was gifted by her The Chunky Method Handbook by Allie Pleiter.

Immediately after opening the book—well, after I emailed a thank you to her—my anxiety began to dissipate.

And then I realized a few things. I had been writing as though it were a job. I’d retired a few years earlier and hadn’t fit in well with the retirement scheme of no schedules. So, I wrote as if it were a job instead of a gift and a joy.

I pushed through hours of computer time, knowing I had a goal and had to make it. Doing that served me well until it didn’t. I sold a lot of books, made it to #1 on Amazon, both on free and paid books and felt on top of the world…until I didn’t.

L.A. Sartor, Christmas, Best-Selling Author, job, goal, burnout, Prince of Granola, The Chunky Method Handbook, Thyme for Writers, Burnout, writers block
Reach Your Goals!

I knew instinctively that setting limits to my goals wasn’t me. I’m a goal oriented person. But changing my perception of goals, in this case allowing myself to write 400 words in a chunk (you learn what your chunks are), and meeting that chunk (goal) really changed me. It set me free. I was successful again when I hit my chunks and I could write as many chunks a day as I wanted. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t beat myself up, because I knew I would another day, or even the next hour.

I started being productive, and again loving what I was doing. The concept allowed me to be … me.

Back to the job issue. I also realized is that writing isn’t a job for me. And no, I’m not a full-time writer. I don’t want to be, nor frankly, do I have to be. I am a writer who believes in her story and her characters one chunk at a time.

And believe me, the chunks add up quickly, far faster than I could have dreamed. I don’t force it, I let it flow good or bad from my fingers.
Because we all know, if it’s not written down, you can’t fix it and make it better.

Prince of Granola will be out in the spring.

L.A. Sartor, Christmas, Best-Selling Author, job, goal, burnout, Prince of Granola, The Chunky Method Handbook, Thyme for Writers
Believe In Me This Christmas Morn by L.A. Sartor

LA Sartor
Love the Romance ~ Live the Adventure
Bestselling Author and Winner of the International Digital Award

Believe In Me This Christmas Morn

Amazon
http://amzn.to/1Ui8Y6t (shortened)
iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/believe-in-me-this-christmas/id1147295728?ls=1&mt=11 (full)

Titles published:
Dare to Believe (2012)
Stone of Heaven ( 2013) Carswell Adventure Series Book One
Be Mine This Christmas Night (Holiday 2013) Star light ~ Star Bright Series Book One
Forever Yours This New Year’s Night (Holiday 2014) Star light ~ Star Bright Series Book Two
Viking Gold (July 2015) Carswell Adventure Series Book Two
Believe in Me This Christmas Morn (Holiday 2015) Star Light ~ Star Bright Series Book Three
The Prince of Granola (Coming 2018)

Social Links
Website
Facebook
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

If Writing Is Your Passion – Never Give Up!

If writing is your passion, never give up! So many things may get in the way — time or the lack of it, discouragement, the need to earn a living, life …. The list goes on and on, especially if your goal is to be published by a traditional publisher.

Resources
The Author Toolbox

Candee Fick talked about the time issue in her article, So Little Time to Conquer this Mountain where she shares her tips and strategies in her busy life and offers a very helpful tool, The Author Toolbox. This article is about perseverance —  keeping that goal in sight so that we never give up.

 

 

The Journey

As writers, we all deal with discouragement whether we are trying to get published, or are already successfully published. Our journeys may be different, but the difficulties are similar if not the same. In today’s publishing industry, the age of the ebook and ease at which someone can get published independently has changed the course of the industry.

Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

Why do we write? For me, it’s a passion for story. There is a story I can’t get out of my mind until I put it on paper. That’s how Hidden Bloodlines started — it was a story that perpetuated itself for two years before I attended my first writers conference in Estes Park, Colorado.

As an attorney and dietitian with multiple articles and one published nonfiction book, writing was my life, but my passion was fiction — a story to share. However, I quickly learned that writing fiction is a totally different “animal” than nonfiction. It is a different art and it was important that I learn the craft. Future articles will talk about this craft and how to achieve the necessary skills for success.

writing, perseverance, journey, publishing, author, mistakes, writers conferences, fiction, nonfiction, craft of writing, traditional publisher, indy publishing
Thyme for Writers
The Journey

For those interested in becoming published by a traditional publishing house, the road may be long and bumpy with uncertain forks. If you are not interested in the years usually involved with a traditional publisher, you may want to go the Indy way. Regardless of which avenue you choose, when you reach that publication goal , it doesn’t end. There are millions of books out there and you may ask:

  • “How will anyone find me?”
  • “Can I make a living writing?”
  • “How successful can I be?”
  • “Is it even worth it?”

Thyme for Writers will help you discern the path that’s right for you. It will hopefully answer your many questions and help you avoid time consuming mistakes. I for one made mistakes that cost me years. Keep your eyes open for future posts that will steer you clear of these mistakes and make your road smoother.

Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet By Kathryn Ross

Kathryn Ross, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, When Cinnamon Bark, clove, peppermint, Christmas, Thanksgiving, spice, words, peppermint oil, The Gatekeeper's Key
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth by Kathryn Ross

Welcome Kathryn Ross to Thyme for Writers. Peppermint Bits — Words Spun, Broken and Sweet is Kathryn’s third in the The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words series! What better way to bring in the Christmas season than with Kathryn’s words of wisdom…

Like a good book, the sense of smell possesses the power to whisk a person into another time and place.

 

Memories

Memory connects a life experience stored in the brain to our senses, ready to unleash it upon our being should we come in contact with that particular sense trigger again. We flood with remembrance as nostalgia works a spa-like treatment upon our hearts—if the memories are sweet.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

Christmas may come but once a year, yet when I smell pine and peppermint in July, I have a momentary urge to string lights and plug A Charlie Brown Christmas into the DVD player while consuming sweetness in a cup of hot chocolate stirred with the red and white swirl of a fragrant peppermint candy cane.

But, what if the scents that stir us connect to less than sweet memories? Brokenness. Heart sick moments in our lives we’d rather not return to even in the fleeting imagery of the mind. Sometimes, we don’t want our memories stirred. We don’t want to return to painful moments.

As writers, our words act like the power of scent whisking us to another time and place—both broken and sweet. We stir within our readers either a curse or a blessing. How we balance the ingredients of the words we write and the messages we convey by knowing and targeting a specific audience, determines the value our work is to those we hope to influence.

Powerful vehicles, our senses. Much like trigger words in a story. Swirled together like the red and white of a candy cane, they become effective communication tools for the writer and speaker, spun wisely.

The Blessing Comes through the Broken
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

In the late 1800s, America was growing with European immigrants from many diverse Western cultures. Christmas was a holiday marked by all, though celebrations differed. One thing many did hold in common from the Old World was to see the pig as a symbol of good health and prosperity—something all families hoped for as the new year approached. A candy maker in Saratoga Springs, New York created a unique trinket, to bolster his sales, built on this commonality. He mixed sugar and peppermint into a bright pink concoction and poured it into small molds of a pig. Then, cleverly, he packaged it with a cloth bag, a little metal hammer, and directions for instituting a new family Christmas tradition. After the meal on Christmas day, the pig was placed into the cloth bag and hammered to broken bits. Emptying the bag onto the table, chucks of fragrant peppermint candy poured out—enough for everyone to eat and enjoy,making memories bathed in the scent of peppermint and a wish for good health and prosperity in the new year. Only in brokenness came the blessing.

The Sweetness Comes through Consumption
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness, candy canes
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

The scent of peppermint has long been connected to Christmas celebrations. As far back as the 1670s in Germany, folkore tells us about the choirmaster petitioning a candy maker to come up with a sugar stick to keep noisy children silent in the solemn part of their worship service. The clever candy maker designed the peppermint flavored candy cane we still use today in the shape of a shepherd’s crook. He swirled the sugar mixture with red and white colors in remembrance of the blood of Jesus shed to make us all whiter than snow. Story spun with tangible stimulants for the senses spoke directly to the youthful audience it was meant to still, as they consumed the sweet. Sticky and forever connected to Christmas, we consume tons of peppermint candy cane confections each year. Only in consumption comes the sweet.

As a writer, I compose my most effective words from a place of brokenness because of the bitter, and the consumption of a sweet remedy discovered. Memories I prefer to tuck away must be stirred to the surface to remember well the sour moments in time, so I might write the way to find the sweet blessing there. For me. For my readers.

Scent, like words, heal. Medicinally, peppermint oil is used to invigorate the mind and senses. It tingles the skin with coolness, aids digestion, comforts stomach upset, and washes over one with an inspiring a sense of peace.

Do the words you write and speak do the same? Are they flavored to draw to the surface bitter things and so heal with the sweet? How can you add a dose of peppermint to your work and minister peace to your readers?

clove, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite
By Kathryn Ross

Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. She blogs and podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and PageantWagonPublishing.com. Connect with Miss Kathy on Facebook.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, thesaurus
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bit
Kathryn Ross

Writer, speaker, teacher, and enrichment artist, Kathryn Ross, sweeps readers into the story-worlds of Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Hannah Hurnard, Marguerite de Angeli, John Bunyan, and others, exploring powerful truths to fulfilling God’s plan for your life in her latest publication, The Gatekeeper’s Key. Discern your place and season, with encouragement to see purpose in boundaries, find comfort in trials, and gain fortitude in going forth. Short story, personal testimony, excerpts from classic literature, visual imagery, challenge questions for discussion, and journal prompts for writing assignments draw you before the Gatekeeper. It’s quite a journey—but you’re never alone. Always in His Presence, with an Invitation, a Gatekeeper, and a Key. Perhaps more than one. Purchase on Amazon or direct from Pageant Wagon Publishing.