The ABCs of the Writing Life Pt 1 by Tracy Krauss

A is for Authenticity

Authenticity is a trendy word that has lost some of its meaning in recent years because of overuse. What does it really mean to write authentically?

Authenticity means writing from a place of passion, not necessarily following the latest trend. While we need to be mindful of our audience, readers can tell when we are writing from a place of passion. Our stories are more than the sum of their parts. It also means knowing our purpose. What motivates you to write? Follow that call.

Authenticity also implies creating characters and situations that are true to life. In other words, they may have flaws and behave in unexpected ways. Authenticity should also come through in their dialogue. Real people don’t speak the way they do in books or movies. Keeping the dialogue authentic is very important. 

B is for Balance

Balance is the key to maintaining productivity, sanity, and joy—in the writing life or otherwise! 

We’ve all heard catchphrases like “self-care” and keeping a “work-life balance”. We all need downtime. Of course, there are seasons when one has to burn the midnight oil, like when a deadline is looming or a book launch is approaching. But if we let crisis mode become habitual, we’ll pay – creatively and even physically. 

I can tell when my life is tipping too much in one direction. I get easily agitated – spinning, as my husband would say. During these times I am less productive (even though I am spending more time on projects) because my mental capacity is diminished. On the other hand, I’ve found that too much inactivity can have a similar effect. One can’t stay in “holiday” mode forever without becoming lethargic.

We must maintain a balance between writing and all the other things an author is supposed to do. Emails, newsletters, social media, blog posts, podcasts, website maintenance, cross-promotion… The list is almost endless. Today’s author must be aware of the many moving parts and not get sucked into spending too much time on one thing to the detriment of others.

All of these writing-related activities must then fit into the greater balance of life. There is work, family, church, household chores, devotional life… You get it. It’s why balance is so important. 

C is for Calling not Comparison

We’ve all fallen into the trap of comparing ourselves to other writers.

So-and-so has more reviews… So-and-so has a larger email list… So-and-so has written more books..…has more followers, is more outgoing, knows more about marketing, writes faster, writes better, (Insert whatever comparison makes you feel bad about yourself and your writing.)

Conversely, we must also be careful not to become puffed up. The comparison game is also very good at doing that. Just reverse the above comments and add a self-satisfied smirk… I have more reviews, more books in print, more followers… etc. Does that sound like a person God is going to bless?

I firmly believe that God has called me to write. I’m sure many of you feel the same. However, God has also impressed upon me that comparing myself to other writers is a dangerous pastime. Of course, we must learn from one another. That’s not what I’m talking about. 

Write authentically, maintain balance, stop comparing yourself to others, and start leaning into your calling!

Tracy Krauss is a multi-published author and playwright with more than 30 novels, plays, and devotional books in print. Visit her website: fiction on the edge without crossing the line <>

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