Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.This quote spoke to me this week because I’m not at my best. I’ve been sick—it’s not a cold, not the flu. But I’m run down. I have a cough and not much of a voice. Consequently, I’ve been moving slower. That means I’m not getting to everything I’d like to get to (and I struggle to do that on good days), and that bugs me. That means (according to the quote) I’m sacrificing my gift.

Before you say an illness is an acceptable time to be at less than one hundred percent, I’ll preempt you and agree. That is a valid reason. Not that soldiers or brain surgeons or other heroes get the same luxury. If they’re needed, they go to work. Yes, I realize writing and editing are not crucial services to the world. But those are the gifts God gave me, so they’re what I’m working with. And I feel guilty when I don’t make the most of them.

When I looked for a suitable quote this week, I didn’t look up ‘best’ or ‘gift’. I looked up ‘sacrifice’. Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the forty days my faith requires me to sacrifice. I don’t mind doing it, which makes me wonder if it’s really a sacrifice at all. But the season isn’t really about sacrifice, although we equate the two. It’s about preparation. Ah, preparation.

Maybe it’s because I’m under the weather, but I don’t feel like I prepared for much of anything this week. All I did was react. And I much prefer being proactive. I have several weeks of Lent left—and of course, my entire professional life if we’re talking about work—to turn things around. So I will try to heal and recover, and I will try to always give my best. It’s all I can do.

What about you? Do you think there are times it’s okay to give less than your all? Or do you think it’s non-negotiable—without total commitment and devotion, you’re squandering your abilities? Let’s talk about it.

As always, wishing you productivity and balance.

And now, this week’s links:

Posts by me, about my work, or at sites I contribute to:

Posts by others in the industry:

28 thoughts on “Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

  1. Pingback: Writing Links 2/19/18 – Where Genres Collide

  2. Being ill is never fun. When I’m feeling less than (that’s how I term it, less than my normal) DH wraps me tight in a blanket or suggests a long, hot shower. His theory is to sweat the bad stuff out, lol.
    Oprah said something a long time ago that stuck with me: The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Less than” is the perfect way to describe it. I tried two showers on Wednesday (that was my worst day) and I just couldn’t get over the hump. I’m better now, though. I expect to be hale and hearty by Monday.

      Have a happy weekend, Jacquie!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks again for including a link to my post, Staci. And regarding your topic? I give less than 100% all the time! But I pick and choose. Writing is very important to me, so I put my best efforts there. House cleaning? That’s at the bottom of the list, and bare minimum is about as far as it goes. Prioritizing and letting things slide is a big part of self-care. And breaks are so important! We have to fill the well before we can draw any water. I hope you feel better soon. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m nowhere near as under the weather as you are, but I’ve been dragging for the last two weeks and lacking in ambition. I keep blaming the season (winter blahs) but a lot of it is lacking in energy. I need to apply myself better. I often think of the line from the LOTR when Bilbo Baggins says he feels “stretched thin, like butter scraped over bread” (or something like that). I think breaks are necessary now and then, and you’ve certainly earned one. Remember the 80K in 16 days? Don’t bet yourself up for wallowing in bed for a few days 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, 80K in 16 days was a personal best. And probably why I got so rundown to begin with. Things should even off now; I got some drafts out of my way. That “butter over bread” quote is certainly apt.

      Sorry you’ve been winter-blue. I often think I have SAD; winters are harder than summers for me. (And we don’t even have bad weather often!) Spring is around the corner, though. Maybe we’ll both be perking up soon!

      And, not that I’m nagging, but don’t you have a WIP to stop procrastinating on?

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! 6 hours of writing today on the WIP, but I feel like I didn’t accomplish much. Just shuffling scenes and fleshing out what I’d already written. Now that I’ve got some firm ground roots, I think things will go quicker moving ahead.

        And I can’t wait for spring. It’s going to be 70 here on Tuesday. Hopefully a sign of things to come–and stay!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links – From Staci Troilo’s blog | Author Don Massenzio

  6. I hope you are feeling better soon! I don’t like weeks like that either, but I’m learning maybe a break is necessary and might take us in a direction we hadn’t thought of. Sometimes the downtime that changes all our plans turns out to be a gift to us. Take care of yourself and have a good weekend:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think your body is telling you it’s time for a break. Even if you haven’t been proactive, at least you’ve been reactive – and that’s something. You have to take care of yourself first. Hope you get some rest, Staci!


  8. I’m with Nicholas. I put my effort in, but there are times to step back. Most of the time it involves stepping back to address issues in the real world, but a bit of personal time is required too. Even Pharoah gave the slaves a day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s a good point. If thousands of years ago they knew a break was necessary, I should be able to recognize that fact now.

      Lately, I haven’t even been work-free on Sundays. I hate that. I really have to do better about balancing things. Thanks, Craig.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. ‘You have to keep going if you’re a woman’ was one of my mother’s faourite sayings, applied to anything from period pain to colds… This method works well to an extent and you forget you had sniffles or swollen glands a few days ago… But if it’s real ‘flu, an abscess on your tooth or cystits etc. the best thing is to retreat to the sofa, curl up and rest, otherwise you will not get better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Keep going” seems to be my mantra. I’ve always been that way. But this was one of the few times I literally could not work. I couldn’t even sit up on Wednesday, so I spent the day in bed. I haven’t had a voice for much of the week. It’s finally coming back (much to my family’s chagrin, I’m sure 😉 ). I don’t like taking the time off, but it was a necessity.

      Today is a “keep going” kind of day. Hopefully by Monday I’ll be back to normal.

      Thanks for sharing your mom’s advice. (Like I tell my kids: Moms are always right.)

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Personally, I try to balance giving it my best with respecting my limits. I’ve tested them too often for my liking, and I have now recognized the occasional need to step back and catch my breath. After all, as the Chinese say, a bow that’s always strung will surely break.

    Many thanks for sharing my posts! I hope you’re back on peak performance in no time 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I really enjoy your posts, Nicholas, and I’m happy to share them.

      I had never heard that Chinese saying, but it’s so appropriate. I really do need to learn balance. I tend to have a problem with saying ‘no’ to people, and consequently, I take on more than I should. (And that’s in addition to the pressures I put on myself.) I’m going to have to try to find that sweet spot because after burning my candle at both ends, there’s not much light left.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

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