Devil Monkeys, Bloody Mary and Urban Legends that Make You Go, Huh?

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Devil Monkeys, Bloody Mary and Urban Legends that Make You Go, Huh?
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Welcome to Loving the Strange, an occasionally drunk dive into the weird things and people that we love.

And this is episode ten: Urban Legends Negative Entities or Devil Monkeys, Bloody Mary and Urban Legends that Make You Go, Huh? And there should probably be a content warning because some urban legends are scary things.

But first we wanted to give a shout-out to our patrons who help support the podcast via supporting Carrie over there. And that’s Autumn, Claire, Jenn, Pam, Joan, Nancy, Toni, Shay, Rachael and Sam. You all rock.

Carrie: I feel like we should start with the Devil Monkeys of Danville, New Hampshire. Shout out to my birth state of weirdness.

In this podcast we talk about a whole slew of urban legends and also why we pass along these stories.

if you liked what you heard today, please share us with your friends. That’s the absolute best way to help us keep on growing.

Thank you so much for listening. Till next time.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

RESOURCES:


https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.26613/esic.1.1.20?seq=1

https://theconversation.com/this-is-why-some-urban-legends-go-viral-28527

https://www.chowdaheadz.com/blogs/news/new-england-myths-legends-the-devil-monkey-of-danville-new-hampshire

https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20010914/NEWS/309149932

https://urbanlegend.fandom.com/wiki/Aren%27t_You_Glad_You_Didn%27t_Turn_on_the_Light%3F

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_legends

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creepypasta

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hook

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Benders

https://www.spirithalloween.com/blog/scary-urban-legends/

Be Brave Friday

It’s Be Brave Friday!

As you know if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, I get super anxious about sharing art because my family wasn’t very supportive about art.

It was all I longed to do (other than go outside and look for Big Foot), but it wasn’t what I was supposed to do.

I will always remember me giving paintings to my two adorable parents as an adult and them exchanging looks that absolutely meant, “What the hell is this?” Lol.

But Faulkner said, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”

I hope you find new horizons and thank you so much for being so supportive as I find mine be it art or podcasting or showing my face in a photo. I appreciate you all so very much.



LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Love Is Cool

A flawed human is not an excuse and sometimes forgiveness is like a rope that will never reach the bottom of certain chasms so one must be careful of falling into those unforgivable crevasses.

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s.

best writing coaches

Yesterday, Carrie and I had the opportunity to enjoy some of that rare COVID socialization time with a friend of ours. You know, very safe, on the deck, six feet apart and all three of us wearing masks. Not bad as it was very nice out, but it sure puts a damper on the drinking aspect of visiting.

Our friend, younger than us by a decade, was telling us about his new relationship while politely lamenting the issues of his first marriage from which he is recently detached.

It was very interesting listening to someone talk about the possibility of telling another person that they love them for the first time and wondering when is a good time to do so and not seem pushy, needy, or in a rush to move any further than the very comfortable zone that they are currently in.

As I sat talking with Carrie and our friend, I realized that over the course of our fairly long and complex relationship of undulating emotions and varied experiences, we had reached a point in our lives where we are truly loving partners. We are friends, confidantes, lovers and partners and we have managed to navigate both the smooth, fair weather times and the trying hurricanes of life.

I attribute much of this to an exorbitant amount of patience on both of our parts, but also forgiveness, love and the realization that not one single soul on the face of this Earth is perfect and without flaws. I also realize that being a flawed human is not an excuse and sometimes forgiveness is like a rope that will never reach the bottom of certain chasms so one must be careful of falling into those unforgivable crevasses.

My point is that not only am I extremely lucky but that love, while not a miracle cure, is a very powerful healing ointment and you would be surprised what happens when you apply a little to an emotional wound! Please try it, for me, for yourself and for all of humanity, Love Your Way Through It!

Happy loving,

Shaun


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

Our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Tips on Making Devilled Eggs

1. Here’s a hint: They are called devilled eggs for a reason.

2. And, no, it is not because of the little hint of jalepeno that gives them a kick.

3. It’s because you have to HARD BOIL the little suckers first, and there are all these rules about boiling them.


Yes, rules about boiling an egg.

4. Boiling an egg should be simple.

5. It isn’t.

6. It really isn’t simple if you get distracted by the fact that the 90-second rice pouch you put in the microwave just exploded.

7. But this is about eggs, not exploding rice pouches.

8. So, if you manage to boil the egg, then plunge the poor thing in cold, cold water, you must then PEEL THE EGG!

9. Eggs are not meant to be peeled. This is why they are eggs. Not bananas.

10. If you have happy, young fresh eggs they are harder to peel. The old buggers are better.

11. Be prepared to sacrifice many, many eggs in your egg peeling quest for the perfect egg to devil.

11. Once, eggs are peeled, halved, and stuffed do not be offended when people in house say, “Holy crud. It’s like the egg has acne pits or something.”

12. Do not be offended when people in the house say, “Um? Are you sure this is a devilled egg? Should it be all wobbly like this? And gooey? It’s kind of gooey.”

13. Do not be offended when people in the house say, “Next time, can we just buy the premade kind in the grocery store.”

14. And do not have hurt feelings when they do not celebrate with you because you keep saying, “But look at the yolk. It isn’t green. That’s a big achievement, not to have green yolks.

15. Do not throw eggs at them.

16. Or men in banana suits.

17 Just accept that you are not a gifted devilled egg maker. We can not be gifted in all things eggy. You are a good scrambler. Be happy with this.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Goat Voyeurs UFOs are Everywhere and Why You Should Write B Stories

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Goat Voyeurs UFOs are Everywhere and Why You Should Write B Stories
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Screenwriter Blake Snyder and his Save the Cat method really made the term/lingo “B” story and “A” story super popular. And I think sometimes that damn “B” story gets us all confused a bit, right?

So, basically let’s just go over the terms first.

What the heck is an A story and a B story?

The A story is the book or movie’s big essence. People call it the “dramatic” core. It is the big plotline that the hero of the story follows on her journey.

The B story is the subplot basically. It supports the “A” story. It sometimes feels absolutely unrelated.

The FlyingWrestler blog defines it.

“It’s a secondary story that has its own beginning, middle and end, and is focused on its own problem, separate from but intertwined with the A Story.”

The scriptmag writes ,

“The B Story is your character’s secondary motivation or mission – the OTHER thing they have to accomplish. Your B Story may be a second problem or issue that your main character has to fix. And while your A-Story presents itself at the inciting incident and is solidified at the end of the first act with the acceptance of the adventure, your B-Story often can’t be identified UNTIL the second act begins, because it’s what is illuminated by the adventure beginning.

The FlyingWrestler blog again says,

“Just like the main A Story, the B Story’s main character should have a problem involving something external, which has its own significant life stakes. That means the problem isn’t only an internal issue, involving their need to grow and change in some way.”

So, the question becomes: Does my story have a B story? Or is it all A?

You don’t have to have a B story, but it can be helpful.

“The classic use of B Story in a movie is a romantic relationship that is secondary to a non-romantic A Story. The potential romantic partner often pressures the main character, intentionally or not, to deal with their “stuff,” and consider changing. But as with most such internal growth, the character doesn’t engage in it willingly, with “growth” as the goal. No, characters (like real people) tend to avoid change, until really significant external problems force them into it. Typically the pressures of both the A and B Story problems combine to do that. But even then, the hero usually doesn’t really change until some key moment in the final act where they (usually) snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

“But first, both A and B Story usually reach a rock bottom “All is Lost” moment. So if the B Story is about a relationship, it’s usually broken and over at that point, as are the main character’s hopes for their A Story goal. They will have one last chance to try to solve both in the final act.

Flying Wrestler

If the B Story is a romantic relationship, something has to be in the way of it. It has to be focused on a conflict, and not going well. If two people fall for each other and get together and have a lot of sex, etc., without some looming threat to the relationship, that’s not a story. That’s a positive development for the main character. And we audiences get bored by positive developments. We thrive on problems and conflicts.

Scriptmag gives a great example:

The Wizard of Oz – Dorothy’s A-Story is to find the Wizard and get home, but the B-Story becomes helping Oz and her new friends. She had no idea she was going to have to do that until the adventure began.

Usually when a crisis happens the B story acts like John Wayne in a movie and comes in and saves the A story. They merge and the reader goes, “Ah! They were connected the whole damn time. Doh!”

This is true about life, too, right? We all want to become writers, but then we have this B story of another career or self-sabotage and we might resist it, and then it’s like? Will our B story come save our A story?

But that’s about us as writers, not our actual books. So let’s get back to that.

The B story or subplot changes how your reader sees the main plot, right?

What does the B story actually do for you? Because it’s all about you, right? Of course it is!

It allows you to bulk out your story, but it can sometimes add too much bulk to your story.

It can help with pacing and structure. It’s especially helpful if you make things really dangerous for those minor characters early on while things are kind of still in the set-up for the main characters. This is a bit of a variant from Snyder’s plot form, which tends to insert that B Story at the end of act one.

It allows you to skip boring scenes in the A story sometimes. How does it do that? By creating a jump to another character or another moment/interest.

If you do use other characters to carry that B story, then you have to make sure the reader is interested enough in those other characters. Like in Lord of the Rings. Tolkein puts everyone into smaller units. They each get their own goals. Each group gets their own plotlines. And in the finale every one of those groups matter.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Don’t be afraid to be complicated. A good novel isn’t a picture book and you want there to be a subplot.


DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Don’t be a one-trick wonder. Have multiple goals and live life to the fullest. Don’t just be an A story.

THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT IN RANDOM THOUGHTS

For more about Lego theft, check out here on NPR.

More about UFOs? Check out this NYT article.

RESOURCES

Script.mag has a great article here.

Here’s the Flying Wrestler’s take that we’ve quoted.

And the peeping-tom goat is all here.

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about strange habits.

Book Updates and What I’m Up To.

So, um, I read on a marketing blog that you’re supposed to post monthly book updates to help your readers feel engaged while they are waiting for books.

So, um, here is my monthly book update? Can I call it monthly if I am probably forget to do this again next month?

The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
  1. THE SEQUEL TO THE PLACES WE HIDE is going to be released super soon. Fingers crossed. It needs one final copyedit and a cover. I have no marketing plan. I know! I know! Poor little book. You can buy the adorable first book here. It’s an adult mystery/thriller hybrid. Here’s an excerpt.
In the Woods
In the Woods

2. THE SEQUEL TO IN THE WOODS will hopefully be coming out after that. It also needs a cover. And, um, a marketing plan. You can buy that here.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

3. My patreon is rocking and I’m having the best time over there writing an adult paranormal about a campground full of super natural creatures. You can read a chapter for free here. It costs either $12 or $36 a year to support my patreon and read/hear stories and get occasional art from me in the mail. And stuff.

How I am currently imagining the book covers. But MAGIC is totally not right.

4. I’m drafting a couple of books right now. One is called MAGIC and it’s an adult paranormal and I am SO into it. So into it. Like all I was to do is write it. And the other is called THE HISTORY OF HATE and it is literary and not the most linear of narratives. I’ve been pulling some lines from both (and my Patreon) and posting them on my Instagram if you want to check them out.

Getting Naked When You Poop and Other Strange Habits

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Getting Naked When You Poop and Other Strange Habits
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Yep. We went there.

This week’s LIVE episode of LOVING THE STRANGE, we talked about pooping naked, having to take your shoes off when you pee, checking doors incessantly, and needing only even numbers in your life.

We hope you’ll check it out.

All our information about habits that we cite in the podcast come from the links below.

RESOURCES

https://www.boredpanda.com/people-share-weird-habits-confessions/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/309123

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Bro, don’t act like a chimpanzee

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s.

Note: Shaun and I may have differing views on chimpanzees, but we definitely don’t have differing views about beating people with sticks.

An adorable Florida man who moved to Maine

You know what?

The world is an amazing and beautiful place! I realize that every day is not rainbows and unicorns but basically, overall, we are a very lucky people. I mean, sometimes you just feel like you want to quit or you want to take a stick and just beat it on a tree because beating it on a person would not only be mean, but it would likely land you in jail or prison. Right?

Right! But, that is what makes us different as human beings from other animals. We can rationalize and make those tough decisions that keep us from being locked up. You know that humans and chimpanzees share 98 percent DNA, right? I am sure that you do because you watch the Discovery Channel or National Geographic or read the online articles of interest. If you didn’t know, don’t feel badly because you do now.  

You know what makes chimpanzees different from humans?

Chimpanzees do not teach their young nor do they carry on learned skills from one generation to the next. What I mean by this is that they don’t teach their young skills, their young learn by observation. Also, skills are not passed on from one generation to the next but each generation learns the same skills over and over again by observation and nothing new and innovative is learned or introduced into their “society.”

Chimpanzees also do not have an intricate verbal language to communicate, which is one of the skill sets that humans are able to use to create a true society with norms and acceptable behaviors, etc. In the world of chimpanzees, it may be perfectly acceptable to beat on a rival with that stick to set them straight and the beater might not suffer any consequences at all and may in fact actually rise in the ranks of the group.

Also, chimpanzees most likely do not have the empathy or compassion to realize that the things that bother us most about others are often times a direct reflection of our own personality traits, the ones that bother us the most about ourselves. This compassion and empathy and ability to reason is what allows us as humans to continue to love others even when they are driving us crazy. These traits give us the ability to Love Your Way Through it.

So, the next time someone that you care for or love or maybe don’t even know is driving you to the brink of sanity, just remember that often times you may be the person doing the driving.

Don’t recruit your fellow chimpanzee to help you give them a beat down (chimps also do this) but take a breath and make the conscience decision to retaliate with love, compassion, understanding and good verbal communication. Help make the world continue to be an amazing and beautiful place!

Peace,

Shaun

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Signs of Writers Burnout

Do you think, “There is not a single damn good thing in the entire writing community? Or is it single good damn thing? Ugh! Whatever.”

Earlier this week, I talked about writing burnout and we did a monster podcast about it yesterday and we quickly spoke about the symptoms.

I just wanted to devote a bit more time to that here because if I look at the #writingcommunity on Twitter, it seems like either:

  1. Every writer is burnout
  2. Every writer hates writing.

That’s not a cool way to live.

And I know! I know! Sometimes it seems more cool to whine or hate on things, but you know what’s really cool?

  1. Enjoying your damn life.
  2. Enjoying writing if it’s your hobby, outlet, or job.

Herbert Freudenberger wrote Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. Back then he defined it as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

So here are some questions to ask yourself if you are burnt out.

  • Are you super cynical about writing?
  • Are you super critical of your own writing?
  • Of everyone else’s?
  • Are you spending more time hating than even being apathetic? God forbid, loving?
  • Are you so totally apathetic about writing?
  • Is it really hard to start writing? Not in a writing block way, but in a consistent and longterm way?
  • Are you cranky with everyone?
  • Are you so worn out that you can’t even imagine lifting up your fingers, curling them over the keyboard and typing?
  • When you look at the blank page do you look away?
  • Can you not concentrate?
  • When good things happen in your writing world are you like, “Yeah. Whatever. Cool. Fine. Sure. NYT bestseller list. Okay. Whatevs.”
  • Do you think, “There is not a single damn good thing in the entire writing community? Or is it single good damn thing? Ugh! Whatever.”
  • Are you sleeping a lot all of a sudden?
  • Are you sleeping never all of a sudden?
  • Instead of writing are you drinking or eating or getting high? Um, in a way that’s different than before?

A key risk of job burnout is when you really identify with your work, when you get your identity from it and that? Well, that’s pretty hard for writers not to do.

We’re writing because we want to communicate. We’re writing because we want to change the world. We’re writing because we want to tell our stories.

It’s hard not to identify with your work when you are exposing your soul on the page, right?

Yesterday on the podcast we talked a bit about what you can do to deal with burnout. The thing is that burnout? It doesn’t have to last forever.

There’s an old article in Psychology Today that has great ideas about overcoming burnout. I hope you’ll check it out! And take care of yourself. You’ve got to love yourself through it and you’re worthy of love, okay?

What if it’s more than burnout?

Then you need to really take care of yourself. This world needs you and your stories in it.

Untreated burnout can lead to serious depression. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 is a place you can call (in the U.S.) for help from a trained counselor.

If the danger is immediate you can call 911. 

The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones

Florida river monsters and it’s not writer’s block. It’s writer’s burnout.

So how do you take care of yourself without burning out on taking care of yourself?

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Florida river monsters and it's not writer's block. It's writer's burnout.
/

It’s 2021 and people are burnt out. There’s COVID-19. There’s political strife. Systemic bigotries and biases. There’s meanies at the grocery store and there’s that never-ending effort for some of us to pay for food, shelter, and health care, right?

On Carrie’s blog, http://www.carriejonesbooks.blog, she talked about how you can burnout on self care even, but also how writers seem super susceptible to burnout and why she was a bit burnt out for awhile.

First, let’s put some definitions out there.

Writer’s block is when you can’t figure out what to write.

Writer’s burnout is when you are super stressed and completely mentally and physically exhausted. You have zero motivation.

And surprise surprise this pandemic has burnt out a lot of people–not just writers.

What else causes burnout?

  • That damn stress
  • Nobody supporting you
  • Not being valued
  • Working too hard
  • Multitasking like a wild one
  • Chaos


What are the symptoms?

Back in 2016, the Harvard Business Review had an article by Monique Valcour about beating burnout.

Her main three symptoms are

  • Exhaustion
  • Cynicism
  • Inefficacy

Add to that:

  • Zero motivation
  • Not being interested in things
  • Feeling like a big fail
  • Not feeling attached to anything, especially your work

In Valcour’s article, she pulls out four things you can do to combat burnout.

Prioritize self-care.

Shift your perspective.

Reduce exposure to job stressors.

Seek out connections.

Valcour

Easier said than done, right?

Over on the blog, TOO MUCH ON HER PLATE, Dr. Melissa writes

Taking care of YOU is not a luxury.

Which makes sense because if you don’t take care of yourself and your basic needs, you die.

But I think she’s talking a bit beyond those basic needs and writes what happens when you don’t take care of yourself! Yes, we’re talking to you!

You have less energy and motivation to follow through on your goals

You are more easily distracted and less focused

Many people tend to turn to “vices” to fill in the gaps that aren’t being filled with in quality ways. Stress eating and other kinds of emotional eating, smoking, drinking too much, wasting time surfing the internet—these are a few things that tend to show up, waste more of your time and energy, distract you, and contribute to a vicious cycle of decreased happiness and less effectiveness.

Stress levels are higher

Sleep is often impaired (or sacrificed)

It’s common to feel deprived, irritable, more easily frustrated, or impatient

Creativity suffers and life usually includes less play and fun

Health is negatively affected

Dr. Melissa

So how do you take care of yourself without burning out on taking care of yourself?

Spoiler: Carrie is burnt out on daily five-minute arm exercise videos.

Spoiler: Shaun is burnt out listening to Carrie do those five-minute arm exercise videos.

Anyway, how do you take care of you? Again, Dr. Melissa has some lovely advice:

Start claiming 10-15 minutes a day for yourself. Use this time to connect with yourself and to pay attention to how you feel and what you need. Journal, walk, meditate, soak in the tub. Try not to save this for the end of the day when you are too tired to move and your brain has stopped working. Pay yourself first or, if necessary, take a break during your day.

Adopt the following mantras: “I’m doing my best,” and “I can’t do it all.” They are true. Put them where you can see them and remind yourself of them frequently.

Create effectiveness in do-able steps. Each evening, identify your top three personal action items for the next day and decide when you will accomplish them. Think do-able. If these daily goals seem overwhelming, make them smaller. A fifteen minute walk that you take is better than the 45 minute one you couldn’t fit in. If possible, knock out your personal priorities early in the day.

Plan for food that fuels you—especially when time is tight. Don’t skip breakfast, have a plan for lunch, and don’t starve yourself before dinner. Make sure you have the groceries that you need. Choose foods that are appealing. No starvation diets.

Cut the multitasking. It stresses us out and makes us less effective. Practice focusing on doing one thing at a time. You won’t get it perfect, but that’s okay, remember step number two.

Take emotional eating seriously. It’s often a signal that life is out of balance and your personal priorities need more attention. Emotional eating happens when our spirit or our life isn’t getting fed the non-food things we need or crave. If you wonder about how to stop emotional eating, it starts with paying attention and developing ways of caring for ourselves instead of turning to food.

Dr. Melissa

All pretty cool stuff, right?

A few years ago, Kellie McGann on The Write Practice blog talked about how to overcome writing burnout specifically. She said she had writer’s burnout because “I started thinking that my words didn’t matter and no one needed to hear what I had to say.”

That feeling is so common especially for pre-published writers or writers who are from oppressed groups and identities.

So how do you deal with it?

How to deal with Writing Burnout according to McGann

Recognize the Problem

Don’t Stop Writing

Find Yourself (again)

Don’t Try to Explain Yourself

Write Consistently

McGann

What does that mean?

It means that you have to keep being persistent and putting words down even when you never want to write again if it’s your job and your dream to be a writer/author/novelist.

It means you’re allowed to be open about being burnt out, but you don’t owe other people explanations about the why of your burnout. But you don’t have to tell anyone why you aren’t putting your words out there. You get to do you.

It means you have to take the time to remember or re-remember, why you’re a writer, who you are, what your message is, what you want to say. You get to go back to the core of who you are, the real you, and your message to the world.

And it does matter. You matter. Your words matter. We need them out there.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Burnout is real. Take care of yourself.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Make your own mantra. Find your joy, don’t worry about that outside validation. Know your purpose and go after it. Sparty’s purpose is food. He goes after it. Even if it’s a bacon crumb under a coffee table, that dog is all in.

You’ve got this. Be like Sparty. Find people that support you and your voice.

Articles we mention in our random thoughts are

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-arapaima-new-invasive-species/

https://shepherdexpress.com/puzzles/news-of-the-weird/news-of-the-weird-april-16-2020/

The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones
The Places We Hide by Carrie Jones

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

And we have a new podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook.

Here’s the link. This week’s podcast is all about strange habits.