Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This Writer's Journey (continued)

It's not quite Wed. yet (my regular day to post) but it's close enough. My Wed. will be filled with 8 hours of working (not ready to quit the day job!) on New Year's Eve day, followed by a dinner of black-eyed peas and hog jowls (Yuck. Well, maybe just roast pork) with my extended family.

So today I write. And a few other promo essentials.

I started at 5 am constructing queries to both online and print magazine editors about possible articles about my upcoming spring release, Mom Needs Chocolate. A long shot, maybe, but a recent query to the editor of a large city newspaper (Tampa Tribune)landed me a nice two-page spread in the 1/3/09 Saturday Faith Matters column. So a diligent writer keeps trying.

Worked on some editing for a friend's back cover copy (her book will be released in March) and finalized the Young Writer's program I'll be conducting at an Orlando high school next week.

I heard from my publisher's PR gal that she has several podcast and radio interviews in the works for me and an April signing at a Virginia B & N practically sewn up (I'll be up there on a family vacation and it seemed like a good idea to mix business with pleasure).

In the afternoon, I received two inquiries about speaking engagements (Yay God!)and several requests for signed copies of Billowing Sails (newly released). I was pleased to get another entry for the "Sail Away" contest detailed on my website, (people send in pictures of their favorite chill-out location and the most creative will win an awesome prize package). I've been blown away by the responses and have immensely enjoyed looking at photos of lots of amazing places that I'll likely never visit. What fun to live vicariously!

And now at 10:20 pm, it's bedtime. As I don my candy cane jammies, I wish you terrific success in your own writing journey during 2009. So scarf down those black eyed peas and have a safe and Happy New Year!

Point of View

I've been reading books where the point of view jumps around, even within a chapter, even without space between paragraphs to indicate there's another voice.

That kind of writing (poor editing, too) makes a writer want to bang her head repeatedly against the keyboard, wondering HOW did that book get published while her masterpiece, with a carefully crafted single POV, has not?

Take heart, dear writer.

From Self Editing for Fiction Writers: "It's almost always more effective to stick with a single viewpoint character and let the other characters' emotions come out through their dialogue and action."

Simpler is always better.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Edit, Edit, Edit

Different writers have different formulas for editing. Some writers edit as they go while others insist that the only way they can flow creatively is to just start writing, let the words flow and worry about the details later. It will take some time to figure out what works best for you. Most writers I have talked to fall somewhere in between.

But no matter what kind of editor you are, make sure of one thing:

NEVER allow a story to contain misspelled words or wrong grammar. Also, punctuation and format are crucial to getting your story published.

By considering yourself a professional, even if you haven‘t been published yet, you will become one.

The main thing about editing is getting rid of the fluff, the unnecessary words, characters, scenes, etc. Most writers have to create several drafts before the story is complete. Rarely will you hear of a writer, any writer, no matter how famous, who writes a story in one draft. In fact, most writers have to create at least three or four drafts of a story before they are satisfied that it is right.

Don’t be satisfied until it is...and you'll know when it is right.

Adapted from Creative Writing Tips for Beginners

Monday, December 22, 2008

think about this...

  • If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

  • Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

  • Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. ~Orson Scott Card

  • The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Will there be joy for me this Christmas?

A few weeks ago in church on Sunday morning our pastor, Dan, spoke about joy. He highlighted the joy individuals find when they nail God's purpose in life.

Even though I've found God's purpose for me and daily (for the most part) target it (Well, there are those days, when I'd rather sip cappuccinos, surf the Internet, or get a pedicure.), I thought, "I don't think there will be joy for me this Christmas. One of my kids is floundering to find his purpose. Watching him despair breaks my heart again and again. And again."

"Watching him has compelled me to fervent prayer, which has provided me with an unshakable sense of God's presence and an inkling of hope for the future," I wrote on Dan's blog. "But joy seems really distant...I don't think there will be joy for me this Christmas."

"Fervent prayer, combined with an unshakable sense of God's presence, mixed with an inkling of hope? That's joy," Dan posted.

Here I had been thinking that joy was like the gleeful rush I feel when I plummet down the first hill of a roller coaster. Only joy (in my mind) was that gleeful rush prolonged--for a long time.

Dan's comment compelled me to take another look at joy.

I'm redefining joy this month. As I do, I'm playing a little game reminiscent of Where's Waldo? Instead of standing with arms crossed, jealous of those joy-filled others and stoically accepting no-joy-for-me this season, I've asked God to point joy out.

"God, if You've tucked the gift of joy into this Christmas season for me--then please help me recognize it," I pray.

Guess how many of my check-out clerks have been named Joy.

Last week, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in awhile. She asked exuberantly, "How is your sister Joy?"

I don't have a sister named Joy.

But I told God I sure enjoyed the inside joke.

As writers, we enjoy the privilege of writing about the lessons God teaches us, the gifts He gives. I've discovered that's pure joy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Writers Journey Continued

Could you hear me whooping it up last Thursday afternoon? My shipment of Billowing Sails arrived not just on time but FOUR DAYS EARLY. Yea God! I somehow believe that God is in control of the universe but it surprises me when He proves He's in control of UPS.

Anyway, the past week has been a blur of filling pre-orders, visiting bookstores, and making contacts about more promotional events related to Billowing Sails. All the while in my "day job" (as a hand therapist three days/week), we're in upheaval packing for a move to a new clinic this week.

I've also been frantically working on first round edits for my spring release, Mom Needs Chocolate (different publisher than Billowing Sails) which arrived last week as well. Due date 12/29. Yikes. That would be Christmas week, wouldn't it?

And on top of it all, another mixed blessing. A while back I queried the Tampa Tribune about doing an article. Wouldn't you know, of all times, THIS week I received a call from a columnist wanting to do a piece about starting over in the new year (to run 1/3/09), featuring my Debbie Do-Over story. They're sending a photographer to my house Friday and my naked Christmas tree is still lying prone in the yard. Piles of boxed Christmas cards and unwrapped presents cover every available surface. What's a poor overwhelmed writer to do?

I know, I know. I can hear you through my keyboard. Quit grousing and get moving. I'm on my way. Until next Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where Do You Find Good Beats?


What is a beat, anyway?

Beats are the bits of action interspersed through a scene, such as a character walking to a window or removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes--the literary equivalent of what is known in the theatre as "stage business."

Like a piece of good music, good dialogue has an ebb and flow to it. But beats do more than control the rhythm of your dialogue. They are also a powerful way to convey your characters. Any good actor knows the importance of body language in projecting a character, and the same holds true in fiction.
You want to write beats that are as fresh, as unique as your characters. No two people cross a room in the same way, and there are as many ways of showing, say, uneasiness as there are situations to make a character uneasy.

So where do you find good beats? Well, as Yogi Berra once said, "You can see an awful lot just by watching."

Watch your friends. Notice what they do with their hands when they're bored, with their legs when they're relaxed, with their eyes when they're nervous. Watch old movies--Humphrey Bogart in particular used stage business very effectively.

You can also see an awful lot just by reading. Start paying attention to beats ars you read--the ones that make you wish you'd written them and all the ones that distract or irritate.

Watch yourself. Keep an eye open for those little movements that bring your personality to the surface, the gestures that reveal who you are or how you're feeling. If you collect enough of these little movements, your characters won't ever have to look at their hands again.

Source: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King (HarperCollins)

Friday, December 12, 2008


Thursday, December 11, 2008

A not to-do list

It's finals week at Penn State University where I teach writing. Students stop by my office every few minutes with their final papers. I pat the students on the back (figuratively speaking, of course. I'm probably not allowed to actually touch a student.)

I'm so good at setting deadlines for the students and smiling when they meet them and scowling when they don't. At my scowl they whine their procrastination woes.

I wag my head in disapproval.

But truth be told, their ability to procrastinate doesn't rival mine. Currently, I'm working on an article for Discipleship Journal. The editor has requested a rewrite. I told her, "Sure. ASAP!"

That was three weeks ago.

Every time, I sit to rewrite, I check email or surf the Internet. Yesterday, as I was surfing, I came across a writer's not-to-do list. Listed were the things a writer is not supposed to do when a writing project is in the works.

It made me smile. So, I've come up with my own not-to-do list. Maybe you can add your not-to-do items to it!

Do not check email.
Do not text message all your kids just to say Hi.
Do not call your sister.
Do not Google fun vacation packages.
Do not Google former high school friends.
Do not wash all the windows in your office.
Do not browse through all the pictures on your computer.
Do not listen to songs on your play list to find the perfect song to write to.
Do not go to Rachel Ray to look for new recipes to try.
Do not decide to drive up to Ann Taylor Loft to see if any sale items catch your eye.

My list could go on and on. But I have papers to grade before I can start my article revisions!

Happy Writing.

A Writers Journey Continued

Hi Writerly Friends,

A little more this week in my Wednesday (oops, is it Thursday already?) series on my author journey. As I mentioned last week in my blog on promotion, the big promo beast is what eats up most of a writer's time.

I've been trying to get back to my woman's humor book in the works (working title: Chocolate for the Soul; My Soul Has Had Enough Chicken Soup, Thank You) but instead I find my attention snagged by the pile of promotional correspondence on my desk.

I received the excellent news this week that my December release, Billowing Sails, has been shipped and should arrive on 12/15/08 as promised. Praise God! (And I really mean that from the bottom of my heart - timely delivery was definitely a grace notes miracle with all the obstacles God had to overcome to get it here in time for Christmas).

So I shot an e-mail to the 100 or so local recipients of my e-newsletter (to sign up, and I truly hope you do, please visit a Christmas special including hand delivery of a signed copy for $4 off the retail price. To my surprise, I was inundated with responses and am now organizing a delivery schedule (no small task for organizationally challenged me)for the week before Christmas.

On top of that, I received the first round of final edits from the publisher of Mom Needs Chocolate (slated for release 3/09 by Regal) with a due date of 12/29/09. ARRGGHH! Don't these people realize it's Christmas? Cookies to bake, gifts to wrap, carols to sing, book to deliver...

Christmas or not, I must now work through the entire e-manuscript and address the editor's notes and suggestions (e.g. "Flesh out this paragraph a bit more" or "Can you come up with another anecdote to make this point?". After making my alterations (you don't have to take ALL the editor's suggestions, but it's wise to pick your battles and follow their wise and more experienced judgment unless it's something you feel VERY strongly about)I return the manuscript (now in book form) and wait a few weeks for her to return it back to me for round two.

It's like an electronic ping pong game but instead of a ball we use a book.

There may be as many as four rounds of edits depending on the publisher. This is my first book with Regal, so I don't really know what to expect. My previous books have had 2-3 final editing rounds. At long last, you receive the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) or galley, which is a mock-up of the finalized product before it goes to the printer. This is the copy that is often sent to reviewers for the endorsements (also called blurbs) that you see on back covers or inside front covers.

Having been forewarned that my original 240-page manuscript would have to be shortened to 200 pages (it will be a hard cover book), I was pleased to see in the final book form that none of my chapters had been omitted, but the formatting was revised to combine some of the funny quotes and scripture to keep the entire manuscript intact.

Hooray for clever editors!

Must go now. Lots of editing to do and miles to go before I sleep! Stay tuned for more on my writer's journey next Wednesday.

God bless, Deb C.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kurt Vonnegut's 8 Basics of Creative Writing

Kurt Vonnegut created some of the most outrageously memorable novels of our time, such as Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast Of Champions, and Slaughterhouse Five. His work is a mesh of contradictions: both science fiction and literary, dark and funny, classic and counter-culture, warm-blooded and very cool. And it’s all completely unique.

With his customary wisdom and wit, Vonnegut put forth eight basics of what he calls Creative Writing 101:

Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
Start as close to the end as possible.

Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.

Source: Gotham Writer's Workshop.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I just finished reviewing the galley for my little devotional, God's Gifts for the Graduate. It's been a while since I read the manuscript. A couple of things stood out. One is that it is a little better than I remember it being. Two is I was surprised at how many minor things I wanted to change. (Some of them I could, some had to be left as is because it is going to press soon.)

When I finally finished writing that manuscript I was so sick of it I couldn't bear to read it one more time. I hated it. I was sure the editor would send it back and say "rewrite this immediately, it's awful." Stepping away for a while dramatically changed my perspective on it.

Suzanne's challenge from a few weeks ago keeps ringing in my ears, to work ahead of deadlines. I am terrible at this, but I want to get better. I doubt I'll ever turn anything in weeks early, but letting a manuscript sit for a while is one very practical thing a writer can do to improve a piece.

Now I'm going to get to work on my January deadline. Maybe I'll even finish it before the end of the year.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Everything in your Life Is Grit for the Oyster

This is an article I (Suzanne) wrote that was just published in Lookout magazine. It's an example of how everything in your life can be "grit for the oyster."

What If We Had Said No? by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Two years ago, my daughter called from college and said she was thinking about going on a summer mission trip. “That sounds great, Lindsey,” I said, thinking of someplace nice, comfortable, and safe—like Malibu, California. I pictured her witnessing to the happy families on the beach by day and attending church services at night.

“Uh, not quite, Mom.” She explained that the mission trip she had chosen was in East Asia at an undisclosed location. “And we can’t tell anyone where we’re going because we’re not supposed to be in that country to evangelize. Instead, we’ll be taking language courses in the morning and sharing our faith, carefully, in the afternoons and evenings.”

“Um, what exactly do you mean by ‘carefully’?” I asked, as my stomach started tensing up.

“Well, we can’t be overt about our faith. Since it is illegal to evangelize, it might jeopardize the safety of those locals who want to know more about Christianity. Plus it could create problems for those ministry staffers who are living there. You’ll have to be very careful when you write letters, too, and not mention anything about Christianity. You can’t even write that you’re praying for me.”

“You mean, no phone calls? No
e-mails?” I gasped. “For eight weeks?”

“Nope. Nothing. But I’ll try to write now and then.”

“How do we communicate?” I asked, fearing the answer.

“Well, uh, actually, we can’t.” She paused, as if anticipating my next question. “But if there’s an emergency, there is a contact number.”

Gulp. “What exactly constitutes an emergency?” I asked, wondering if my birthday might qualify.

Stretching My Comfort Zone

Lindsey saw right through me. “Mom, I really feel led by God to do this. I’m going to be graduating soon and getting a full-time job. This is the right time for going on a summer mission. I just know it. I really want to do this.”

I winced, knowing where this was headed. “But do you know anyone going on this trip?”

“No, but we’ll have a lot of meetings ahead of time to get acquainted with each other. This organization really prepares us well. So,” she paused, “what do you think?”

What did I think? I thought God was putting me out on a limb again. I thought he was stretching my comfort zone and wanting me to trust him in a bigger, broader way. Was he really expecting me to let my daughter go to a Third World country for eight long weeks? As a missionary? As an undercover missionary?

I wasn’t overreacting to what she would be facing. We had lived in Asia for four years. I knew the area of the world she wanted to go to was polluted, overwhelmingly crowded, had poor medical care, and, as she noted, very little ability to communicate with the outside world.

Like, for example, with her mom.

I sighed. “What I think is that Dad and I need to pray about it.”

Deep inside, I could already sense the Lord’s leading to give her our heartfelt blessing. My husband and I discussed it, prayed about it, and told her we were fully supportive. And we were.

Sending out support letters was the first step of faith. It was easy to ask others for prayers—but financial support? Even though we have always tried to support other kids gutsy enough to go on a mission trip, it was more than a little uncomfortable to be on the receiving end. Yet it was a great blessing to receive such generous responses. One of the most touching moments of all came from a family who had very little materially, yet sent Lindsey a generous check because they were convinced she was answering God’s call.

But that didn’t mean it was easy to see her pack up and go. About halfway through the summer, I still hadn’t received a letter from her. We had received word from the ministry that the team had made it to its destination. But that was it. That was all the information I knew.

It was a rather uncomfortable feeling not to have heard a word from your child, your little girl, living in a Third World Country, in over four weeks. I prayed for her frequently, morning and night, but I struggled with a growing burden of anxiety about her. I would give my anxious feelings up to God, ask for his protection over Lindsey and her team, for his presence to be felt in their lives, for his blessings on their efforts. And for my worry to be taken away. But then I would snatch my worry back from God and have to start the process of relinquishment all over again.

Just the Information I Needed

One hot summer afternoon my 12-year-old son Tad invited his friend Bryan over to shoot some baskets on the sport court. After a while, the boys came inside, hot and sweaty. “Tad was telling me about his sister’s trip,” said Bryan, in between gulps of lemonade. He wiped his mouth. “You know, Mrs. Fisher, I’m pretty sure that my cousin is on that same trip.”


Immediately I called Pattie, Bryan’s mom, and found out that her nephew Josh was indeed on that very mission trip. Even though they attended the same college, Lindsey and Josh hadn’t met prior to the trip. “Josh’s older sister had gone on the same trip a few years ago,” Pattie casually volunteered, as if she was talking about a trip to the beach.

Little did she realize that the Lord was, kindly and tenderly, giving me the information I needed to relax and trust in him.

What if we had said no to the trip? What would I have missed? An odd, well-timed, and wonderfully coincidental conversation that helped me to remember how sovereign our Lord is.

Finally one brief, cryptic letter arrived from Lindsey. She sounded happy. Excited. Fulfilled. Four weeks later, after she returned home and told us stories about the summer, I could see that Lindsey’s spiritual growth had made enormous strides as she learned to depend on God in new ways. She had many opportunities to share her faith that summer with locals who were eager to learn about Jesus Christ—people who might not otherwise have learned about him.

Ripples in a Pond

What if we had said no? What if we had let fear—even reasonable fear—drive away that opportunity? What if Lindsey had missed the experience of discovering for herself this eternal truth: “You have been my hope, O Sovereign lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5)?

That summer, seven individuals from that country began a relationship with the Lord, introduced to him through the team on Lindsey’s mission trip. Many others were exposed to Christianity and expressed interest in knowing more. What would those seven have missed, had we and other parents just like us said no to our children’s request to share their faith? And like a ripple in a pond, who knows how many other lives have since been touched by those seven?

Moments like those added up to create a trip that was more than Lindsey could ever have imagined. Actually, it ended up being more than we all could have imagined.

Lindsey and Josh did get to know each other on that trip. Quite well, it turned out. They started to spend more and more time together. By Christmas, what had begun as a friendship had evolved into a romance. Just last summer they were married in a beautiful, Christ-centered ceremony. They have a wonderful relationship, brought together on a Christian summer mission trip in a still-undisclosed location, by a desire to share their faith in a great God.

What would we have missed, had we said no?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The other day, one of my college students asked if she could coin a word for the article she was writing. "The words to say what I need to say don't exist," she said.

I told her that she didn't have the ethos to coin words and to get out her thesaurus.

Of course, she accused me of crimping her creativity.

You know I wouldn't do that without good reason. Aspiring writers need to learn to write within the rules before they can write outside the rules.

We need to learn how to put words together according to existing standards before we can creatively push past the standards.

Maybe someday, we'll be that wordsmith who invents a word.

Last week, I read a list of words that have recently been added to the dictionary. My favorite word new word? Frugalista: someone who is frugal but not frumpy. Thrifty but not threadbare.

I like that word.

If you had the chance to invent a word, what would it be?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pump up the Promo

Promotion. A sometimes overwhelming but absolutely necessary part of the publication process.

Writers often wish we could just, well, write. But sorry, toots, it just ain't so. Would you like to follow along on my publication journey to see how it works?

I've had three books previously published by a small press and was blessed to be able to climb the next rung of the ladder to an established "traditional" publishing house for my humorous women's book, Mom Needs Chocolate, set for release 3/09.

I have just spent six straight hours staring bleary-eyed at my computer monitor filling in interview questions, cranking out queries, sending press releases to newspapers, radio and TV stations, and following up on scads of dangling communications regarding book event scheduling for the spring.

I'm not at the point of being able to afford an assistant to help with all this grunt work, and the PR person assigned to me by my publishing house is sweet and helpful but only does so much. I never had a PR person with my previous books (smaller publisher, less frills) so it's refreshing to have someone to help with anything at all.

She is arranging TV/media interviews and B & N signings to coincide with several out of state trips I'll be taking. That's good. Plus she has brainstormed a marketing plan with me by phone and e-mail on more than one occasion. Also good.

I really don't know what else to expect, but I will let you know as I'm enlightened. I'm scheduled to speak with a publicist (not related to my publisher but recommended by them)later this week to decide if it would be worth my hard-earned bucks to have another hired gun out there firing literary bullets on my behalf.

I'll keep you posted.

The wide-eyed new girl on the block,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Coping with Rejection

Rejection is part of a writer’s life. Anyone who wants to make it as a writer needs to learn to face rejection bravely, gracefully, and frequently.

Three tips for coping with rejection:

Laugh at your rejections.

Learn from your rejections.

Always have a new project underway, something that will give you hope no matter how many rejections come your way for the previous project.

You may take some consolation in knowing the rejection history of these writers and works:

Dune by Frank Herbert – 13 rejections

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 14 rejections

Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis – 17 rejections

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – 18 rejections

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – 29 rejections

Carrie by Stephen King – over 30 rejections

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 38 rejections

A Time to Kill by John Grisham – 45 rejections

Louis L’Amour, author of over 100 western novels – over 300 rejections before publishing his first book

John Creasy, author of 564 mystery novels – 743 rejections before publishing his first book

Ray Bradbury, author of over 100 science fiction novels and stories – around 800 rejections before selling his first story

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – rejected so universally the author decided to self-publish the book

From rejection slip for George Orwell's Animal Farm:

“It is impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A.”

From rejection slip for Norman MacLean’s A River Runs Through It:

“These stories have trees in them.”

From rejection slip for article sent to the San Francisco Examiner to Rudyard Kipling:

“I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language."

From rejection slip for The Diary of Anne Frank:

“The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the curiosity level.”

Rejection slip for Dr. Seuss’s And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street:

“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

Source: Gotham Writer's Workshop

Monday, December 1, 2008

One thing

I'm a little overwhelmed these days. I'm a single mom. I've got a kid in college, one in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school. I'm in graduate school and it's getting perilously close to finals week. I work part time.

To top it all off I woke up this morning to 4 inches of snow that needed to be removed from my rather long driveway. (Said driveway doesn't seem so long in the summer, but winter offers a different perspective. The longest part is the last two feet because that's the where the snowplow piles 1,000 pounds of dirty slush every time it whizzes by. Sometimes it does this even when I am standing there, shovel in hand.)

But I digress. In the midst of all this regular stuff, today marks the beginning of Advent. In addition to holiday preparations, I'd like to take some time to actually reflect on the meaning of the season. To bask in the Light of the World.

Oh. And then there's writing. Something I'd like to do a lot more of.

It's enough to make me want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head until summer vacation. But instead, I follow the advice that a wise someone, I don't remember who, once gave me. Just do the next thing that needs to be done.

Trying to do it all at once is both overwhelming and paralyzing. But I can put one foot in front of the other and do one thing. Just the next thing that needs to be done. That's all.

So are you feeling overwhelmed? Like you want to get going on that writing career but don't know where to start?

Just do one thing.