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Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

[Wyrd Words Weekly] The cure for what ailed me during a busy week...

Published 19 days ago • 3 min read

Hello Reader,

I don't know about you, but the first day of spring brought on a big case of the busy for me! I am in the midst of drafting a novel I'm really excited about, launching a kiddo to college (our youngest...hello, empty nest!), rebranding my business (reveal coming soon!), and, you know, no big deal, planning a cross-country move.

It's easy to get overwhelmed, and let me tell you, I got there last week. I lost my cool more than once, which was a big indicator to me that I needed to take a break. So I spent a lot of time knitting, reading, recharging, and just trying to sort myself out. During that quick reset, I listened to a podcast featuring adrienne maree brown (see below for her amazing book, Emergent Strategy) in which she talked about satisfaction and her calling to be a writer.

She said she's heard the advice that if you know your true calling, you should prioritize it by getting to it first in your day. But she also pointed out that if she started her day with writing, she might neglect some other really important pieces of her life like the pilates that she has to do to keep chronic pain at bay, the nutrition and rest she needs to fuel her work, and all those other life things that support her purpose as a writer. So she doesn't write first thing any more.

That really struck me, because one of the reasons the stress crept in on me is that I spent several consecutive days glued to this computer and didn't get outside, get any exercise, remember to drink my water, or do any of my stretches. Danger, Will Robinson! Before I knew it, my chest was fluttery (hello, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, not nice to see you at all), my back was sore, I couldn't sleep, and my beloved novel was completely neglected.

If you're lagging a bit in the satisfaction department, as I was, get outside for a walk and give her podcast a listen while you do so. It was the cure for what was ailing me and hopefully it will be for you too.

Come Learn About Character

If you missed last month's workshop on character, join me Wednesday evening at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern where I'll be teaching "Using Character to Drive Story" for Passionate Ink.

Whether you’re writing fast-paced romantic suspense, magical spice, or something a bit more cozy, your main characters’ motivations—and how they collide—are the key to upping the tension and keeping readers turning pages. We’ll cover how to find the link between character motivation and character arc, how backstory contributes to vivid characters, how character drives the cause and effect trajectory of your story, and using motivation to up the stakes in this informative 45-minute lecture on using character motivation to drive your story with seasoned book coach Julie Artz.

Register here: https://passionateink.org/workshops/

Bid on Great Items for Worthy Cause

People are suffering across the globe right now. I've been feeling overwhelmed by the news while at the same time struggling to identify ways to help. That's why I'm proud to be participating in the #Kidlit4Ceasefire fundraiser happening March 25 - April 10.

The funds raised will support humanitarian efforts in Gaza, Sudan, Congo, and Flint, Michigan. There are many wonderful prizes for readers and writers, so if you, too, are looking for ways to help, please consider bidding and spreading the word. This is one small thing we can do to care for others, to speak out, to agitate for peace and justice.

What I'm Reading

Whenever I'm in the midst of a bit change in my life or business, I turn to thought leaders I respect to keep everything I'm doing values-aligned. And since major life and business changes are underway, I've been on the lookout for some new voices.

I was so thrilled to discover adrienne maree brown on, you guessed it, the We Can Do Hard Things podcast!

This book has been a joy to dive into, in part because she ties her own social justice work and life philosophy on the leaders and thinkers and worlds described in SFF Queen Octavia Butler's work.

If you ever needed proof that Octavia Butler was working ahead of her time, you'll get it and more in this beautiful book about shaping change in our modern, broken, beautiful world.

Hope to see you on social media or one of my upcoming events!

Warmly,

Julie

PS - My friend and colleague Sam Cameron has created a quiz to help you assess your LGBTQ+ rep on the page. How you represent characters both within and outside your lived experience is an important part of your research process, so take a look at this great quiz if you're writing LGBTQ+ characters or hope to in the future.

Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Julie Artz helps writers who dream of a life spent telling stories that matter slay their doubt demons so they can send their work out into the world with confidence. An active member of the writing community, she has volunteered for SCBWI, TeenPit, and Pitch Wars and is a member of EFA, the Authors Guild, and AWP. A social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Seattle, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers, and a couple of naughty furry familiars. Check out her weekly newsletter, Wyrd Words Weekly, and subscribe today.

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