Overkill

Posted by Rita Lorraine

That old saying, “Too much of a good thing can be bad for you” applies to writing, too. Sometimes a well-meaning writer (like myself) sets out to improve her craft, but ends up shorting out her circuits instead.

I’m pretty sure that’s what was beginning to happen to me. See, I’m your typical well-meaning writer. I believe there’s always room for improvement, so I went on a quest to hone my writing skills to their finest. I joined two critique groups and four writing listservs; I reviewed books for a YA website (after all, a well-read writer writes well…right?). Then, as if reviewing for one site wasn’t enough, I started my own site (Picture Book Depot) to concentrate on the genre I love best – picture books.

I joined Authonony, a community that helps writers get published, signed up for WriteOnCon.com’s FREE online writer’s conference (this year’s conference is August 16-18!!!), and joined KidLitArt on Twitter because I’ve written a picture book and thought I’d try my hand at illustrating it. I registered for AgentyQuery in order to build a list of potential agents, FundsForWriter’s Small Market, Regular and “Paid” newsletters to keep my pulse on the money, and even subscribed to the free version of Publisher’s Lunch to see what deals were being made in the publishing world.

Whew…makes me tired just typing all that.

I felt these moves were good moves; still do, and I suggest you surf over to the various sites I’ve listed and check them out. But what I’m saying is, don’t “overkill.” Overkill means “excessive use, treatment, or action; too much of something.” I was being sucked into the vortex that is overkill, and it was beginning to take a toll on my creativity.

My advice is, pace yourself. Join a thing or two, but don’t weigh yourself down so much that you might as well be under water for the few times you actually get the chance to breathe.

Don’t overkill. Write.

Best wishes and happy writing,

Rita Lorraine

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