You’re Not As Far Behind as You Think You Are

Sometimes it feels like becoming a successful writer is a race to the finish line, but remember: you are the tortoise, not the hare.

Some days I feel like it takes all I can do to not fall behind on everything. It’s hard enough to go through the day to day — work, food, pets, bills, exercise, grocery shopping, errand running, sleeping, paying side hustle, non-paying side hustle (is it still a side-hustle, then?), editing, reading — you know, the usual list of a million things, give or take, that we all have rattling around in our brains.

I find when I have one of those days — days where I am working non-stop on x, y, or z and feel uber-productive before I turn to look at the clock and see how behind I am — I get caught up in feeling like I’m never going to get to where I want to be. I still have a,b,c,d, and the rest of the alphabet to get through. Why is getting to the end of the list taking so dang long?

Days like this make it particularly hard to not to get too far into my head. I can easily start to feel bad that I am so busy surviving that there is no room for creating. Sometimes I look at writers and creatives I admire and the astonishing number of things they have coming up — events, workshops, signings, releases, publications — and think to myself how on earth do they do it all? This goes for both agented full-time writers and unagented little writers like me who are trying to publish while stumbling now and then trying to build their list of writing credits.

Writing is hard. Life is hard. And we all have to deal with at least one of those things, even if you’re not a writer. So, there’s that.

Sometimes I have to remind myself of this. Writing is hard. That’s why so many people don’t do it. That’s why so many people give up and move on to something else. Yes, I have my day job which is one of the most un-writerly things I do day to day where I do math and create spreadsheets and update websites and maintain databases of complicated information and deal with state regulations. It’s hard, too, but in a different way. Yet a lot more people have jobs like mine than write, and I’m not giving up on the writing side of my life. At least not any time soon.

When you’re feeling as if you’ve fallen behind, remember that you’re actually ahead. You’re ahead of a lot of people who will never even try writing, and ahead of people who gave it a fair shot and still thought it was too hard. You’re right where you should be, not behind. Not for your personal writing journey and your ultimate destination.

So don’t get overwhelmed, tackle one thing at a time on that mile-long to-do list. And remember that writing is hard — if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Previously published on Medium

Last Week to Pre-Order and Giveaway Winners

Have you pre-ordered your print copy of issue 1.1, borrowed solace: Hinterlands? If not, there’s still time! Head on over to the store, or click this link to pre-order your own hard copy of our very first issue. Pre-ordering comes with a few perks, including a discount on the sale price of the journal, a free sticker, and a digital download of an exclusive submissions tracker that we made just for you!

In other news, as promised, we are giving away three copies of Hinterlands to those who liked and followed us on social media. The giveaway closed on July 1st, and the winners have been selected (see our executive editor Nicole’s sophisticated way of choosing winners at random in the picture below.)

The winners are Devin, Ken Wetherington, and Rachel Hetrick! Check your social media messages so we can contact you to get the books shipped.

Thanks to everyone who entered to giveaway and those who have pre-ordered so far. Don’t forget to snag a copy of Hinterlands yourself if you haven’t already!

Season 3 Update

Season three of borrowed solace: the podcast has officially come to a close! Thanks for sticking with us through three whole seasons of the podcast–we’ve loved building the borrowed solace community through audio. We are going to come back with season four of the podcast in the fall, and it’s going to be better than ever, so stay tuned!

Print Edition of Hinterlands Available for Pre-Order

Hello all of our wonderful borrowed solace friends! I have some exciting news–the print edition of borrowed solace 1.1, Hinterlands, is now available for pre-order in the store!

It’s a dream that has been a long time coming–publishing in print–and we are so excited to present you with the print edition of the journal that started it all, our very first publication–Hinterlands!

If you are interested in pre-ordering, please click on the image above to visit the store. As a thank you from us, you’ll also receive a sticker and an exclusive submissions tracker worksheet.

Thanks for all your support–we wouldn’t have reached this milestone without you!

S3 Episode 10: Resources

In season three, episode ten of the podcast, Addey and Nicole talked all about how they wrote their books–and learned that no two writers write the same.

Pretend we are discussing this week’s podcast episode while lounging at the pool to beat the heat. What did you take away from this episode? How do you write? Let us know in the comments below!

Thunder

It is Thunder’s Birthday! He is two and for a fun blog, I wrote a poem about him when he was a puppy, enjoy then and enjoy the photo of him now! Have a happy Friday!

Thunder

this beautiful nightmare

came covered in all black,

his tawny colored eyes with

a storm of understanding

in world i hadn’t known yet

but he is more patient than i

to teach my nerves

tightly wound in my body

to stay steady in front of the herd

to overcome the obstacle

of oneself in life

not too fast

not too slow

be formidable while awake

the shadow of an avalanche

facing a daunting challenge

set by his steady gaze

his steady heart

his never-ending loyalty to waiver

telling me when i sleep

don’t’ be discouraged by my

lack of forgiveness

one day soon

one step near

one breath closer

i will become the best friend

you need me to be

S3 Episode 9: Resources

In season three, episode nine of the podcast, Amber and Nicole took over to talk about video games (this is a part two episode, so be sure to check out episode eight before listening to this episode!)

What do you think about this episode? Imagine we are chatting about what video games have inspired your writing while walking in a spring shower (don’t worry–we’ve got umbrellas!) How have video games inspired your writing?

S3 Episode 9: Video Games & Writing (part II)

This episode, Amber and Nicole are taking over again to talk all about video games and writing. They had so much to say about the topic that we divided the episode into two parts, so go back to episode eight to catch part one!

What About the Theme?

If you’ve been following along with borrowed solace for a while, you know that we release two journals every year–the unthemed spring journal, and the themed fall journal.

We love our fall journals because they give us as editors, and you, as writers, something different to take into consideration as we put the journal together.

The theme for the fall 2021 journal is “tamed,” but what does that mean?

While I always think our themes are best left open to interpretation, that doesn’t mean you can submit a piece for the fall journal that doesn’t relate to the theme at all. What it does mean, though, is that you can be creative. Write about the opposite of the word, or juxtapose a tame character with a feral one. Think about the negatives and positives of being wild verus tamed, and write about how the two also can intertwine.

Think about the things we humans do to tame the wildness out of the world, and out of ourselves. Explore what it means to be untamable–at what point is breaking a wild horse a fruitless cause, and should it ever have been a cause worth putting time and effort towards in the first place? Explain the wildest place you’ve ever stepped foot into and how it made you long for your tamed suburban existence. Explain the opposite–how your humdrum and tamed life inspired you to take a few steps back and re-evaluate.

The possibilities when it comes to our fall 2021 theme, “tamed,” are endless… So get to writing!