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Follow the Cheerios – by Kitty Bucholtz

June 9, 2018 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as ,

young woman in coat with green fenceI’ve really been struggling the last few months to understand where I am in my career and in my life. We have moved so much over the last twelve years, in and out of other countries, back into the United States and then away again, that I feel like a child who’s been spinning around – laughing at first and loving the dizziness, and then eventually falling down, nauseous and in tears.

Even though I’ve been a full-time writer since the beginning of 2006 – meaning, I didn’t have an additional/outside job – I’ve only published eight titles. Of that, only three are full-length (75,000, 85,000, and 100,000 words). Three are 10,000-15,000 word “short stories,” one is a 45,000-word short novel, and one is a boxed set. I tend to be quite good at not comparing myself to others – except when I find myself sitting on the floor, nauseous and in tears.

I was super excited to move to Sweden eight weeks ago, so I’m not feeling sad because I didn’t want to move here. But I haven’t had the energy or emotional stamina to do anything. The last couple weeks I’ve decided to apply all my energies to figuring out the problem and fixing it. Eventually it occurred to me to Google “burnout” and see if that was at all close to how I was feeling. It wasn’t close.

It was spot on. (See this article from Psychology Today.)

So now my energies are directed toward healing and recovery. It’s interesting to me how emotional burnout is. I thought it was just something that made you feel drained in the area of your work, and that made you physically tired and needing a rest. I hadn’t realized it could make you feel emotionally empty.

Now that I’ve been able to narrow down the problem, I’ve read all kinds of things that I think might help. Some articles are directed toward rest and light exercise, some are about nutrition, some focus more on the depression aspect and how to get past that, some are on healing the spiritual and so finding the other areas healed as you move forward. (Here’s a followup article from Psychology Today on overcoming burnout.)

But what do I do as I’m pursuing healing, before I’ve actually found it? I got an idea a few days ago from one of my all-time favorite films.

Monsters, Inc.

Near the beginning, when Sully and Mike are hiding Boo and trying to figure out how to get her back to her own world without getting caught, they are all in Sully’s apartment with Boo coloring on the floor. She starts doing that toddler thing, rubbing her eyes, trying to stay awake, eyes drooping. And Sully gets her to follow him to his room by laying down a trail of Cheerios.

This always makes me laugh! He treats her like a puppy, making a food trail for her to follow and then making a pile of newspapers in the corner for her to sleep on.

And Boo follows him, eating one Cheerio at a time on the path. All goes well until she sees Sully’s big, comfortable bed. Then she leaves the Cheerios trail and climbs up under the covers.

Apparently, Cheerios are the modern-day bread crumbs. 😉

Watching this scene again – I found it and embedded the video here – made me feel like that was something I could do right now. Follow the Cheerios path. One Cheerio at a time. At least until the trail gets to a place where I finally feel like I see something I want.

Right now, I honestly feel like I have no idea what I want or what I like, let alone what I love and want to do for the next ten or twenty years. Am I still a writer? Do I still love it? Or even like it? I don’t know. Apparently, this is how burnout feels.

I don’t have any answers to my problems and challenges yet, but at least I can laugh about the one thing I can do right now: look for Cheerios.

I found a Cheerio when one of my readers told me not to give up on my writing. I got another one when a friend repeated the sentiment. Another Cheerio came in the form of a new friend who loves my new chick lit series idea. Interesting how all the Cheerios I’ve found so far are leading me along the writing path. 😉

What about you? What do you need direction in? Where can you look for Cheerios, for someone cheering you on in one direction or another? Or have you had a negative reaction to something – “Oh, I don’t like that” or “I definitely don’t want to do that”? Those could be Cheerios leading you away from the path that is not going to work for you right now. Only you can know, and it might take you some time and some contemplation. Take the time. It’s worth it.

Follow the Cheerios! 😀

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Kitty Bucholtz May Featured Author

May 28, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , ,

Kitty Bucholtz | Featured Author | A Slice of Orange

The Featured Author of the Month is Kitty Bucholtz.

 

Kitty grew up in Northern Michigan, so naturally she uses that area as the setting for most of her stories.  She went to college in Traverse City, met and married the love of her life, and waved goodbye to everything she knew when she and her husband John struck out for parts unknown.

Their adventures included going back to school, changing careers, and traveling Down Under. They spent three years in Sydney, Australia, where Kitty earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree from University of Technology, Sydney, while John made a penguin named Mumble dance. Only God knows where they’ll wind up next – but they’re pretty sure it will be another cool chapter in their adventure!

Kitty decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. She loves to teach and offer advice to writers through her WRITE NOW! Workshop courses and the new WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast.

For more information on Kitty, please visit her website http://kittybucholtz.com/


 

ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
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Kitty Bucholtz Featured Author for May

May 21, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , ,

Kitty Bucholtz | Featured Author | A Slice of Orange

The Featured Author of the Month is Kitty Bucholtz.

 

Kitty grew up in Northern Michigan, so naturally she uses that area as the setting for most of her stories.  She went to college in Traverse City, met and married the love of her life, and waved goodbye to everything she knew when she and her husband John struck out for parts unknown.

Their adventures included going back to school, changing careers, and traveling Down Under. They spent three years in Sydney, Australia, where Kitty earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree from University of Technology, Sydney, while John made a penguin named Mumble dance. Only God knows where they’ll wind up next – but they’re pretty sure it will be another cool chapter in their adventure!

Kitty decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. She loves to teach and offer advice to writers through her WRITE NOW! Workshop courses and the new WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast.

For more information on Kitty, please visit her website http://kittybucholtz.com/


ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
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Kitty Bucholtz Featured Author of the Month

May 14, 2018 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , ,

Kitty Bucholtz | Featured Author for May | A Slice of Orange

 

The Featured Author of the Month is Kitty Bucholtz.

 

Kitty grew up in Northern Michigan, so naturally she uses that area as the setting for most of her stories.  She went to college in Traverse City, met and married the love of her life, and waved goodbye to everything she knew when she and her husband John struck out for parts unknown.

Their adventures included going back to school, changing careers, and traveling Down Under. They spent three years in Sydney, Australia, where Kitty earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree from University of Technology, Sydney, while John made a penguin named Mumble dance. Only God knows where they’ll wind up next – but they’re pretty sure it will be another cool chapter in their adventure!

Kitty decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. She loves to teach and offer advice to writers through her WRITE NOW! Workshop courses and the new WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast.

For more information on Kitty, please visit her website http://kittybucholtz.com/


ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
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Encouragement, Tips, and Interesting Interviews

May 9, 2018 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast logoI’ve always loved encouraging others, especially writers. I love to teach what I know in order to help people get a little further along a path I’ve walked. And I love asking other people about what they do and how they do it – especially writers!

So when I decided to finally make time to create a podcast, something I’ve wanted to do for a few years, I didn’t want to focus on only one of the areas above. In December, 2017, WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast (named after my classes of the same name) launched with three episodes a week.

On Sundays, I produce a short Encouraging Words episode whose aim is to help writers feel like they’re not alone, and give them some of my trademark sunny encouragement. 😀

Every Tuesday, I teach some writing tip or trick or talk about a writing device that the listener can put into practice right away in their writing.

And each Thursday, I interview someone in the writing industry (or tangentially related) about what they’re doing. I try to make sure there is always some take-away value for the listeners, but I also try to be sure the interview is interesting and fun!

If you want to start listening from the beginning, or jump in at any episode you choose, you can search for WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast on your favorite podcast app. (There’s probably one on your smart phone.) Either listen to just an episode or two, or hit the Subscribe button so that new episodes automatically download. You can also listen on my website, and most of the episodes are also on video that you can watch on YouTube here.

Episode 000 is a short introduction that tells you what to expect, then all the rest of the episodes have either a “T” or an “I” or an “E” after the number. T means it’s a teaching episode, I is for the Interviews, and E designates the Encouraging Words episodes. See how it forms T-I-E, TIE? I want to help you tie all the parts of your writing life together. Learn what you can do to improve your writing, learn from what others are doing, and get lifted up with some encouragement to keep going! 😀

This month’s interview guests include Bonnie DePue, an occupational therapist suggesting some good stretches and exercises for writers (and others who sit and type all day); Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler, screenwriters sharing tips on screenwriting, story, and collaboration (airs tomorrow, May 10, 2018); Laura Drake, a women’s fiction author who will share her tips on how to make The First Five Pages sing (airs May 17); and Chris Fox, author of the new book, Plot Gardening (airs May 24).

Past guests include Jacqueline Diamond, Lauraine Snelling, James Scott Bell, Debra Holland, Lisa Cron, and so many more! I hope you find some interesting, helpful, and encouraging tips that help you take your writing life to the next level! 😀

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