On the first of October 2021, I was excited about the upcoming launch of my book, Rewriting My Happily Ever After – a memoir of divorce and discovery. Although I had been writing personal essays, memoir pieces and op-eds for several years, the journey from ‘writer’ to ‘author’ was a new one. Yet, instead of feeling exhilarated, I woke up one morning feeling utterly exhausted.
Writing, it turned out, was the easy part.
The difficult part was the learning, decision making and effort involved in bringing the book to life and into the hands of readers.
If you are a writer who has written and published one-off pieces (as I once did) or are currently dabbling in writing or working on a magnum opus, you have probably figured out that the life of a writer requires much more than single-minded devotion to the muse, practiced in silence and solitude.
On a daily basis, you need to choose between attending to your art or the business or the craft of writing. Your goal is to slot the fun part – writing, into the many demands on your time and energy.
In my case, I tried to do everything simultaneously and ended up in bed with no energy or willpower to take a single step.
In the book “Designing Your Life”, authors Bill Burnett and Tom Evans define a coherent life as “one lived in such a way that you can clearly connect the dots between three things – who you are, what you believe, and what you are doing.”
As my book got close to publication, a time when everything should have come together harmoniously, my body just quit on me. I could not drag myself out of bed or do simple everyday things for weeks. If ever there was a phase in my life when I felt disjointed and incoherent, it was during those days when my body refused to cooperate with my wishes.
The cause? Burnout!
Handling writing, editing, publishing, and marketing responsibilities while managing a full time job had taken a mighty toll. In retrospect I can honestly say that I enjoyed every aspect of bringing my book to life and ensuring it reached intended readers, but I have to also confess to how tired and confused I felt as I navigated the road to becoming a published author.
When I revisited my tryst with burnout, it became clear that it wasn’t the stress of writing and publishing a book but the distress caused by not being able to connect the dots between three very important facets of myself (who I am, what I believe and what I am doing) as being responsible for my condition.
Whether you are an aspiring (or experienced) writer, traditionally published (or considering being an independent author), you need a companion, not just a guidebook, as you craft a path to creative success that is uniquely and perfectly suited to you.
Who is the Coherent Writer for?
As writers, we seek to express ourselves. We write because we can and because we want to. But we also want other things – money, fame, accolades, respect.
How do we combine our desires with our actions in a way that brings us satisfaction and makes sense for us personally while moving us along towards success?
The Coherent Writer is a newsletter for thoughtful writers eager to craft a purposeful path to creative success. It is a place for writers who:
- want to choose wisely from the cacophony of conflicting advice
- aim to consciously create a body of work that they are proud of
- seek to show up authentically – in writing and in life
A creative life is supposed to be full of light and joy. Yet, so many writers struggle to experience the joy embedded in the act of creation.
Why a newsletter specially for writers?
Before I answer this question, if you are a writer, take this little quiz:
- Do you often struggle to choose between
- your art – write more (because you love it),
- your craft – read more (to get better),
- your business – outreach, marketing etc (to ensure it gets to the intended reader)?
- Are you confused, conflicted and overwhelmed by all the ways in which you need to present yourself to the world as a writer (and as a person)?
- Do you feel stretched and exhausted while trying to fit writing into the myriad demands of daily life?
If you answered yes to any (or all) of the above questions, stop here for a minute. Do you really want to get to the point of publishing your life’s work only to feel sick and hollow? Or do you want to navigate the rocky road of creative life with purpose and joy?
What does the Coherent Writer newsletter do?
The Coherent Writer is my way of sharing lessons from my writing life and publication journey so that you can craft a personalised coherent plan that brings you success and satisfaction.
By delivering timely and relevant doses of clear, practical, and relevant encouragement directly to your inbox, The Coherent Writer inspires you to think and act in a manner that builds coherence, a prerequisite for a meaningful life.
Each week you will receive a thoughtful essay, article or resource about the Art, Business and Craft of writing as well as a monthly reflective prompt to craft a coherent and satisfying life as a creative writer.If you’re a writer who is interested in becoming a coherent, satisfied, successful creative life, – just click here.