The Writer Journey: Elude Burnout by Nourishing the Soul to Fuel Creativity

For a writer, when creative lightning strikes, the phenomenon is euphoric and all-encompassing.

We’re drawn into a wondrous journey, transported to another dimension.

Fingers fly over the keyboard.

Scenes unfold in vivid detail into clear receptive minds.

And as an obedient watcher, we document, transcribe, and hope to capture every sense and emotion as the adventure unfolds.

Ahhh…

That’s what we’ve been up to at the Bastion writing desks: tapping into that addictive drug of writing again.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Going into 2019 feels like the beginning of a blissful crisp glide through powdery snow: hearts beating a little faster, skin tingling from the chill, pure anticipation in our hearts for the undiscovered tracks that lie ahead.

We’ve done much soul-searching this last year…or two…

Eluding Burnout

“Know thyself” became a common phrase we’ve adopted. It’s helped us sidestep landmines of overachievement.

When real-life commitments pull us in too many directions, it’s normal feel overwhelmed. Saying “no” is something we’ve slowly learned how to do, even if it’s difficult for us to accept that we can’t take on everything.

And what has our “know thyself” taught us?

We have to slow down and take time to be in the real world: make social connections, breathe the air, notice the little things, actively listen more—be in the moment.

Not everything has to be done in one day, or that week, maybe not in that month, or even that year.

We need to make time for good food, from the “hunting and gathering” at farmer’s markets and grocer to the joy of preparing and savoring while we eat.

And if we want our bodies and minds to operate at their peak, we need to become attune to and attend to them throughout our day, exercising when and how feels best, resting physically and mentally, and learning what brings us joy.

A new rediscovery? We find the quietest place in nature we can find, lie back on a blanket in the grass, and stare at undulating misty clouds as they float by. We used to do that as a kid. Guess what? We’re still kids.

But in that real-life slowdown, we’ve come full circle to something Stone says frequently:

“The magic of writing is writing.”

The mantra means: Put aside all expectation, forget deadlines, step away from social media, ignore time itself—just write from the heart, with joy.

The magic of writing is writing.

Do you hear a distant drumbeat in a faraway jungle? Feel the cool spray of the water on your face as our low-slung canoe glides along the shore? Swallow hard, inching toward the edge of your seat, as we approach the waterfall and hope we’re all going to come through to the other side okay in the end?

That’s where you’ll find us. 🙂

We’ll also be here on TalkToTheShoe from time to time, sharing some of our behind-the-scenes adventures, possibly penning a fresh “Transparency in Self-publishing” post. Once in a while, when we stumble out of the writing cave, we’ll visit Twitter and Facebook, so drop us a line…we hope to be able to answer correspondence from our remote location, but appreciate your patience with our slow response times.

Feeding our Soul

A few years back, a great article in the Romance Writers of America’s monthly RWR publication shared the importance for writers to take breaks between one book and another for a “discovery” period.

The duration suggested was two weeks.

And during that intentional break, the goal was to immerse ourselves back into our world again: watch the latest movies, attend concerts or shows, read books for pleasure.

We’ve gone a few steps further…

We don’t take two weeks off between books. We take a good long breather. How long? As long as it takes. When the brain juices flow, we get jonesing to write again with our energy for the story all wound up and ready to burst out onto the pages.

We do our discovery daily. We’ve learned to make time for ourselves out in our world first, then we write. Mmm-hmmm… “Know thyself” kicked in big time there. Only when we’re at our best in every respect does the story shine through.

Self-improvement is an essential element for us. This last year in particular, we’ve made huge strides in finding that zenful life we’ve strived for. (Although we’d initially thought to share our journey on a separate blog, we found our path needed to be private, and so, ZenfulLife, the blog, has been retired.) Suffice it to say, we’re now awake, as opposed to being asleep. Or comatose. We’re working on embracing the present moment as often as possible, versus the past or the future. And (epiphany moment) to be creative is to be fully present. The magic of writing is writing…

We now filter our news. Nothing gets us sucked down some rabbit-hole tangent like a cleverly designed news headline; it’s by design.

Besides, as it turns out, we don’t need to know most of those shocking headlines.

You know, ’cause after we moved to Hawaii, the missile-scare happened. But we didn’t hear about it, because our low-tech flip-phones didn’t have the capability of alerting us. (Assuming they’d been turned on at the time.) After we got panicked calls and texts from mainland family and friends, and realized we’d been in bed sleeping in at the time, we decided we were exactly were we’d want to be if the last moments of our life were upon us: blissfully unaware.

We have plugged in to the best news source available for writers: The Passive Voice. Not only do we read his blog on an almost-daily basis, we’ve hit that “Donate” button on the righthand side and have subscribed to supporting our favorite blog monthly. Comprised of a unique and balanced collection of mostly writing-industry related posts, we’ve found his blog to be inspiring, enlightening, and amusing (especially when Passive Guy, PG, adds his commentary.) This morning, he excerpted one of the most riveting online stories we’ve ever read, so much so, that we’ve never been more tantalized to click through to read the full story from The New Yorker: The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist. We encourage you to give The Passive Voice blog a try. We’ll be there reading with you.

And then… you’ll find us where distant drumbeats in a faraway jungle can be heard.

The magic of writing is writing…

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

@2019 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

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