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.

Are You Burning Out?

For writers, that feeling of lack of achievement and incompetence is pretty easy to get. It’s a subjective business and other writers’ successes are often right in your face, right?

Ah. Burnout.

As a traditionally published novelist, I have always had a weird instability in my income and that got only worse during the COVID-19 pandemic when a bunch of factors happened:

  1. I didn’t have any traditionally published books coming out that year.
  2. Our main outside source of income (renting our houses) couldn’t happen because COVID.
  3. We became the only and primary residence of a super cool eleven-year-old with some deep anxiety, oppositional defiance disorder, and autism. And because of risk factors she was being remotely schooled for the pandemic and still is.

This meant I had to pivot and pivot hard. Suddenly, I was really the major and only wage owner. I created a couple of classes (You can check them out) on Patreon, self-published a book and a novella of my heart. And began editing and writing coaching a lot.

And when I say ‘a lot,’ I mean I work from 6 or 7 a.m. until 5 or 7 p.m. on other people’s amazing and beautiful and fun stories.

I love it.

But by dinner, I’m tired of being in front of my computer and I long to be outside. I’m an outside person.

And the schedule hasn’t given me as much time as I’m used to writing my own stories.

And I’m super lucky and I know myself pretty well and there’s a few things I have to do in order to not feel burnt out and those things are:

  1. Be outside and exercise.
  2. Write my own stories or paint something.
  3. Sing loudly.
  4. Dance around the kitchen like a total goofball.
  5. Help other people.
  6. Hug on dogs and cats and dream about manatees. I have a thing for manatees.

A long time ago, in the cold hills of Vermont, amazing author and human Rita Williams Garcia warned me about burnout. “It’s going to happen to you,” she said. “It happens to all of us.”

I gasped, horrified. “Not me!”

“Even you.” She smiled.

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

In the summary of her article, she wrote:

Three symptoms characterize burnout: exhaustion; cynicism, or distancing oneself from work; and inefficacy, or feelings of incompetence and lack of achievement. Research has linked burnout to many health problems, including hypertension, sleep disturbances, depression, and substance abuse. Moreover, it can ruin relationships and jeopardize career prospects.

For writers, that feeling of lack of achievement and incompetence is pretty easy to get. It’s a subjective business and other writers’ successes are often right in your face, right? There’s a whole thing called Imposter Syndrome that even super famous and accomplished authors get.

She also writes:

… you can also take steps toward recovery and prevention on your own: Prioritize your health, shift your perspective to determine which aspects of your situation are fixed and which can be changed, reduce exposure to the most stressful activities and relationships, and seek out helpful interpersonal connections.

Bethany Hegedus, my friend and writer and founder of the Writing Barn sent out a newsletter this week where she bravely talked about how she felt burnt out with her self-care, creating checklists almost (or maybe really) of how to take care of herself. Did she exercise? Did she meditate? Did she hydrate?

The self-care list can go on and on, can’t it? It sure can for those of us who are lucky enough to have the time, financial stability and privilege to even have those moments.

Basically, you can burn out trying not to burn out. I know! Totally unfair, right?

Bethany turns to tiny moments of deep rest where she’s hanging out with her husband, resting in his arms, or when she’s reading (sometimes).

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

Easier said than done, right? Tomorrow on the podcast, we’re going to talk about those three things

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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

If you like what you read, please heart it below or share it, it means the world to this writer. x0- Carrie

Three Quick Tips to Try to Show Instead of Tell

So all this week, I’ve been talking about how to show and not tell in your writing.

You can find those past post, by clicking on SHOW DON’T TELL in the tags.

We defined it.

Showing is what it sounds like. You are showing what’s happening in the scene or with the character.


Telling is also what it sounds like. You are blunt and direct and are just stating things. Sometimes you’re stating and summarizing.

WE GAVE A QUICK EXAMPLE:

Telling:

Shaun was cranky.

Showing:

Gabby the dog barked for hours at the dogs trotting by the house that morning and after a quick pause for a drink from her red water bowl in the kitchen, she’d pranced back to the living room sliding glass door and started again.

Shaun tensed. He slammed his fist against his desk and roared, “Will you just shut up already?”

And Now I’m Going To Give Three Quicks on How to Show Not Tell

  1. Use dialogue.

We learn a lot about people by how they talk to other people. Do they use big words? Little words? Dramatic words? Do they just grunt?

“I am terribly disappointed in your behavior.”

“You suck. I can’t believe you freaking did that.”

“Wow. Buttface.”

Those are all about the same thing, but three very different responses, right? Those responses tell us about the characters.

  • Describe the action rather than state the action.

Telling:

She loved Spring. It gave her joy.

Showing:

She spiraled around, arms out in the air as she waited for the light to change. The moment it did, she started across.

“You’re skipping,” the lady next to her said.

She smiled back at her, weaving around the school children crossing against them. A dog wagged his tail, sniffing some daffodils in the medium. “It’s Spring. Spring is the best.”

  • Use the setting and make your character actually interact with the setting.

Telling:

I stepped on the porch. It was hot.

Showing:

The rotting wooden boards of the porch popped under my weight as I sniffed my pits. Before I knocked on the red door with its peeling paint and bright orange STAY OUT sign, I pulled at my t-shirt fabric. The humidity made it cling.

HERE IS THE THING: SOMETIMES YOU CAN TELL.

You just want to not always tell. You can tell a little bit as a story begins. You just don’t want to only tell.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE TELLING TOO MUCH?

You’re using a lot of distancing words like “knew, look, saw, heard, supposed, watched, stared, told.”

      Shaun heard the bathroom door unlock and knew that someone was going to be entering the room.

You are using the word obviously, of course, clearly a lot.

      Shaun heard the bathroom door unlock, obviously someone had unlocked it and would be entering the room. Would they die from the smell, clearly it was horrifyingly bad, of course it was. It was the bathroom.

You are making a lot of fluffy language and filler language.

      A flurry of worry flooded his brain as Shaun heard the bathroom door unlock.

And there you go! I hope it helps! Have fun writing!

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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Bear in the Outhouse. Chapter Titles and You

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Bear in the Outhouse. Chapter Titles and You
/

This week on Carrie’s blog, carriejonesbooks.blog, she’s talking all about chapters and so we’re talking about them on the podcast, too, because Carrie’s controlling like that.

And what we’re talking about specifically is chapter titles.

You can divide your books into chapters and just label them numerically, 1, 2, 3… But you can also give them a title like:

Chapter One

Surviving the Podcast

Here’s the thing.

Chapter Titles Help Your Readers

How do they help your readers? In a lot of ways.

Grab attention.

You put these bad boys at the top of the chapter. And the reader thinks, “Ah! Look at that! I am paying attention.”

Tell readers who they are focusing on now.

If you have a story with multiple point of views, you can put who this chapter is focused on here.

Show location or time changes.

You can give the reader some help. If you have a time jumping, place jumping novel. You can use this space to say, “Hey, we are in sexy Scotland in 2021.” Or you can say, “Look, we’re in Zambia in August.”

Show theme or the future.

It’s like a happy little spoiler where the reader goes, “Oh, that’s what this chapter is about.” This can be about theme, too.

Show Echoes.

A chapter title can be a first sentence.

Summing it up: And there you go. A quick bit about chapter titles and what they can do for you.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Chapter titles are good tools. Use them.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Use whatever you can to communicate things to your human. Wag. Growl. Bark. Spin in circles. Hit them with your paw. They are stupid and need a lot of help understanding what you’re putting down.

In our Random Thoughts We Talked About

Bears in the outhouse

Snake in an Inhaler

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 spontaneous combustion and poop styles.

Fighting With Yourself – Making Internal Conflict

On this week’s podcast, we talked about the types of conflict in your story. You can check it out here.

But I wanted to delve into internal conflict a tiny bit more.

Internal conflict is when your character is waffling about something important in the story. Sometimes that’s hard to figure out.

Here are some hints about creating internal conflict.

Think about the character.

Yep, that’s it. You have to think and know about your main character to understand their internal struggle.

Think about:

  1. What are their morals? Are they all about peace? Justice? Freedom? Creativity?
  2. What are they afraid of happening more than anything else? What’s their biggest fear?
  3. Is that biggest fear related to their core values?
  4. What do they want more than anything in the world? What do they yearn for? Why?
  5. How can their biggest fear and their biggest values mess up them getting their goal in the story?

Boom. Done. Brilliant right?

If you’re still stuck, this author, John Vorhaus, uses the BUT method.

I love my husband, but sometimes he turns into a Big Foot and I’m allergic to fur.

I want to get promoted, but my boss never promotes gerbils and I’m super proud of being a gerbil and don’t want to be a hamster.

My twisted brain

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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

You can’t hiss if there isn’t an s-sound.

You are always trying to give your reader the best experience they can get out of your stories.

My fingers were poised above my keyboard, ready to spring into action as soon as my mind had a good thought on what I might write about today.

Mind you this was a rather long pause and poise and behind me, Carrie, who was diligently working as always, said this, “I really wish that authors would realize that you cannot hiss a sentence that has no s sounds in it.”

It’s truth.

She did not say it angrily, but the way that she stated it made me laugh incredibly hard! I laughed at the way that she said it, but once I had finished with my joyful endeavor I thought that this makes perfect sense, but yet I had never, ever had that thought.

As somebody who does not consider themselves an author, I don’t think of such things often. However, in hindsight, it seems like one of those jewels of wisdom that once heard from the mouth of another makes perfect sense. I mean what if snakes made buzz sounds. Would they still hiss? I think not, that is a bee’s job!

Carrie Talks to Gabby About How You Can’t Hiss a Sentence That Doesn’t Have S or Sh sounds.

Shaun thinks more.

Then I got to thinking about this a bit more. How important is our understanding of the languages that we speak and their interpretation to how we view our world? What if we woke up one morning and s sounds were now z sounds? Bees would hiss and snakes would buzz?

What if our native language is one that does not have the s sound, or perhaps more importantly, the z sound? How would we know if we were in close proximity to a bee and we couldn’t see it?

Of course, if our native tongue didn’t include those sounds it makes sense that naturally we would still hear the same sound and most likely experience the same warning signals due to our experience with the sounds, but my point is, know your language and how it relates to your craft.

This is your job, writers.

As a writer you are constantly setting a scene. You are always trying to give your reader the best experience they can get out of your stories. You want them to be immersed, involved, and able to imagine that they themselves are there in that scene, living every nuance of the adventure that awaits them!

It can be tough and take a lot of time, patience and learning, but most all crafts are only mastered through tedious and frequent practice.

Shaun Pretends Like he Isn’t a Writer

Again, I will say that I am not an aspiring author and most of my experience in all areas of the writing craft comes from the guru who sits behind me every day. I am not judging but merely trying to pass on what I have learned by assisting or listening to Carrie talk to herself while she works, so please don’t think that I believe myself to be any better than you.

I do however, encourage you to get back to mastering your craft and enjoying the process of writing, revising and always learning!

Shaun Does a Shameless Plug in A Way Carrie Cant.

If you need assistance in any phase of your writing you can always contact Carrie who offers a wide array of services and is an extremely knowledgeable and wonderfully kind person to work with and/or learn from.

carriejonesbooks@gmail.com  

As always, remember to Love Your Way Through It!

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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

The Problem With Zoom and Dogs

Why is it that the only time my dogs pant really hard is when I’m on the phone with people I don’t know or leading a class/session/workshop/anything on Zoom?

Like the moment I unmute and say, “Hi, Carrie Jones, and I’m so excited to be…”

The cute dog will nudge my hand by the computer and go PANT PANT PANT.

And then I’ll say something like, “That panting? That’s not me.”

it is me. It is how I say ‘hi.’ 

And then there will be this awkward Zoom moment where someone will say something like, “……”

Or “Sure!”

Or, “Mmhmm… right.”


And I’ll say, “No. Really. It’s not me. It’s my dogs.”

And they’ll say, “Okay. No worries.” 

But, I know what they are really thinking is: 

 I do not believe you! 

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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Trophy Husbands and Don’t Only Think About the Money, Think About the Creation

Don’t let other people’s assumptions about you hold you back.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Trophy Husbands and Don't Only Think About the Money, Think About the Creation
/

In our random thought (not transcribed here), we talk about

  • Being a trophy wife
  • A woman finding an abandoned apartment behind her bathroom mirror
  • Another couple finding a hidden basement in their rental home.

So a lot of Medium articles and blogs focused on writing are all about:

  • How to increase your audience
  • How to make 60-trillion-dollars a year off your writing.
  • How to be like James Patterson and make 90-trillion-dollars a year.

But all of them seem to forget that writers are creators. Writers are people who make story and art (not just to make money), but also because they are compelled to create, to move, to incite, to inspire.

Especially when so many of us are struggling to make ends meet, it’s easy to focus only on the money. But your life is worth more than that. Your brain is about more than that, too.

You aren’t just about money. You are about creating.

“The guardians of high culture will try to convince you that the arts belong only to a chosen few, but they are wrong…We are all the chosen few. We are all makers by design.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Every single one of us creates something.

My dad built bird houses and engines. My mom embroidered like a beast. Neither of them would think of themselves as creators. Shaun’s dad painted Bob Ross things. His mom probably does something, too.

We all have urges. Those urges aren’t just about food, sex, and survival. There are also urges to create. But so many of us are told, you aren’t artistic. You can’t draw. You’re a math person. We let those moments define us. And we think, “Ah, I’m the left-brained kid.” We think, “Ah, I don’t have an aritistic bone in my body.”

That’s what Carrie’s mom told her, God love her, even though all Carrie ever wanted to do was draw. That’s right. Not write. Draw.

It doesn’t matter that Carrie makes very little money painting. It’s what gives her joy. So she does it whenever she has time. Writing and creating should be about expression, not just about how to make as much money as possible in as quick amount of time as possible.

Don’t be fluff.

There’s a guy who writes a zillion Medium articles and has a massive following and makes tons of money. I’ve read a ton of his articles. I can’t remember any of them. That’s because he’s regurgitating to make money. It’s all fluff. Don’t be fluff.

The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never normal.

Richard Branson

Don’t let other people’s assumptions about you hold you back.

The most dangerous idea is silencing people.

Naval Ravikant

Shaun’s a big man. He’s six-six. He looks pretty much like an ex-football player. People are stunned that he’s not. But if he wanted to study ballet, the guy should be able to study ballet.

We are born to live. We have to make money to survive. But we have to be about more than money to live. Create things. Explore things. Remember to live, too, okay?

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Write for the sake of writing.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

People are more than their looks or being sexy and this goes for dogs, too.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. 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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Become an Explorer in Your Life. Just Say Yes!

When you say yes to a possibility you get to grow, you get to move beyond the labels that define you

There’s a great improv maxim, just say yes, which is really about when you’re on stage with another improv player, you don’t want to say no to all their ideas because then your scene sucks and nothing happens.

If you keep saying no, nothing happens.

It’s pretty basic, right?

Writing and life are like that, too.

I’ve done some absolutely weird things in my life–things that you would never imagine me doing because they aren’t very ‘me’ things. I’ve been a volunteer firefighter, done stats for a college football team, dressed up like a lobster and danced for a mile, spoken to hundreds of people, been a gymnastics coach, rock climbed, been a church secretary, poetry editor, regular newspaper editor, swam with sharks.

I can’t tell you how many times people laughed at me when I was a sports reporter and they said, “You? You’re a sports reporter?”

Apparently, I don’t present as a sports reporter.

Anyway, I did all those things because when you say yes to a possibility you get to grow, you get to move beyond the labels that define you. You get to say something other than no.

The best things that I’ve said yes to are the things that scare me just a little or the things that make other people laugh when I suggest that I might do it.

“Ha! You’re going to be an emergency dispatcher. Yeah. Right.”

“Ha! You’re going rock climber? Whatever. You’ll die.”

“What? You’re going to run? You always twist your ankles. Ten miles. Ha! No. You’ll die.”

And it’s the same thing with our stories, too. Not only am I a big advocate for living the biggest, weirdest life you can, but I’m a big advocate for writing all the different kinds of stories you want to write. Try new genres. Try short works. Try long works. Try it all.

A year or so ago, I went into a bookstore and the woman who has worked there said, “You used to be so scared, so timid. I like seeing you not so scared anymore. You’d hide behind the stacks.”

Here’s the secret: I still get scared, but I have too much living to do to let that fear hold me back.

Say yes.

Say yes to things that make you a tiny bit afraid.

Say yes to things people don’t expect you to do or be or care about.

Say yes to making new friends and exploring new places.

Say yes to pushing yourself a little or a lot beyond your expectations.

Don’t let anyone else define you. Only you get to define you, okay?

So define yourself as someone who explores, who lives, who says yes.

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

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

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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. 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

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Shaun Pretends Like He Knows What I’m Reading

You should never cease learning and refining your craft.

Every Thursday, my main squeeze, Shaun, takes over the blog so I can have a rest and so you can get to know him a little bit better. This is his offering. He’s a bit off about the recent books, but it’s all good. 🙂 He still gets to be my main squeeze.

An adorable Florida man who moved to Maine
An adorable Florida man who moved to Maine

Hey there! It is Thursday blogpost time again and this week I am not experiencing that groggy feeling of last week, so here goes. I believe it to be a fact that most authors also love to read, so today I thought that I would give you a glimpse into what Carrie is currently reading. She is a multi-book at a time kind of reader and mixes business and pleasure into her reading, although, as a writer, she is always learning whenever she reads. I chose the five most recent books that I have seen Carrie reading and here they are.

What Shaun Thinks Carrie Is Reading Right Now

  • SAVE THE CAT! The Last Book On Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need, by Blake Snyder.
  • SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need, by Jessica Brody.
  • PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION The Black Book of Scientific Ghost Hunting and How to Investigate Paranormal Phenomena, by Brian Sterling-Vete and Helen Renee Wuorio.
  • THE DAY SASQUATCH BECAME REAL FOR ME, by Steve Isdahl.
  • TOM BROWN’S Field Guide NATURE OBSERVATION and TRACKING, by Tom Brown Jr. and Brandt Morgan.

Quite the variety isn’t it?

I mean, really there are only two subject matters there, writing and the hunting of real and/or mythical beings, but both of them are very important to Carrie.

The first two books are strictly work related.

Carrie is of the mindset that you should never cease learning and refining your craft. There is always something new to learn, no matter how much of a veteran you are in your field and one of the easiest ways to gather new authoring intelligence is through reading other’s works!

The last three books are more leisurely reading content for Carrie, but believe it or not, they too are work related.

As a matter of point, everything that she reads can be considered to be work related due to the fact that she loves the intricacies of storytelling so very much that she can read for leisure and still look for new methods of writing and increasing reader interest.

Of course, the search for real or mythical beings is of interest to both of us and it also provides fodder for our new, live podcast, Loving the Strange, and as you can see, she has been delving into those topics quite heavily as of late.

I will say it again, reading is one of the most simple and fun ways to improve your knowledge of writing!

Other positive aspects of learning through reading, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, may be the generation of new book ideas or perhaps just an inkling that gets you out of a writing slump or provides you with that one little thing you were wracking your brain for to really make your book pop.

Lastly, reading is just plain great for your brain and has the added benefit of sometimes being wonderfully somniferous. 

I would also like to mention that the books that both Carrie and I have read in the last few years have been both traditionally and self-published with a high number of them being self-published.

As an author, Carrie believes that it is extremely important to support other authors.

This includes those authors who don’t have the benefit of being traditionally published and having all of the advertising attention that often comes with that.

Plus, the world of books gets vastly larger when you include the self-publishing realm and many of them are very good indeed! Carrie has ventured into the self-publishing world lately and has a number of awesome books that are available at her website, carriejonesbooks.blog.

So, make some time for yourself to read, have a great day and remember to always love your way through it.

Shaun

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/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 urban legends. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

best podcast ever
loving the strange the podcast about embracing the weird

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

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