Monday, November 30, 2015

A Writer's Sabbatical

This post is originally from my personal blog, but I thought it might be a great fit for this week.

If you checked out my post on the Writer's Alley a couple Mondays ago (click below), you'll understand a bit
more about my self-proclaimed writer sabbatical. It's been about a couple weeks now since I put my characters on hold. And I've had two rejections in that time, which funny enough, hardly affected my emotions like they used writer's brain has literally checked out for the time being.

There are three descriptives that might best illustrate my break so far:

Lately, I have gone to sleep around 10pm. That is CRAZY for me. I am usually striving into the wee 
hours, trying to get word count or build my social media presence. But since I've "checked out" I've heard my body more clearly, it's tired and ready for sleep. And I let it. This is the greatest word I will attribute to my writer's break: REST.
...Not that being a writer causes me to not live abundantly. Actually, I have found great joy in living and writing and enjoying the blessing of story. But, my own self-destruct of unbalanced effort between writing and living made the writing a drain. I have actually enjoyed investing my whole attention to my kids, my friends, my free time. There is no nagging of the story in the back of my mind telling me I really need to get to work. I can't believe what a slave driver I was. LOL. I really did chain myself to publication, and would not allow myself to enjoy the simple leisures of life like a board game, a T.V. series, a song. Can I even say... cleaning my house? Yeah, weird. But seriously, when I let something consume me so thoroughly, I turn my back on so much living. I didn't realize how much I neglected my desire to LIVE ABUNDANTLY. 

The other day, I considered my next step once this break is over. And, if I had considered it before, it would have driven my itch, my anxiousness to get it done, my hurry to press "send". But now, in this state of rest, it seems like a good goal for a time in the near future. Not something to waste mental energy on right now. Just something to ponder until my writer's heart is back in full beat, and my mental energy is restored. This break is most definitely feeding my need to RESTORE.

I have no idea what my segment will be on Fridays since NaNoWriMo is out the window. If you have any suggests, I'd love to hear. I might just do something different each time. For now, I am going to get ready to host a neighborhood girl's night. Have a great weekend!

Here's my Writer's Alley post: What if I Am The Faint of Heart?
Angie Dicken is a full-time mom and lives in the Midwest with her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, she has written six historical novels and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Angie also spends her time designing one-sheets and drinking good coffee with great friends. Check her personal blog at and connect at:
Twitter: @angiedicken

Friday, November 27, 2015

Why do you love to write? Seriously, you need to remember why.

I want you to do something for me.

Close your eyes (and I know you’re reading this on the screen, so why am I asking you to close your eyes?? Read the post, find a quiet moment and do this exercise. I think you’ll be better for it.)

Take a deep breath.


But keep your eyes closed. And just take a moment to be still.

In a world that rushes past at 90 miles per hour, we get caught up in the hurry/scurry mentality of our everyday lives. To-do’s that have to be met. Chores that need to be completed. Family that needs our attention. Errands that need to be run. And we won’t even mention those dirty dishes and laundry that are piling up in every corner of the house.

Oh yeah, did I mention? We’re also trying to write a book.

I know what you’re thinking. Your body language is speaking for itself. Your shoulders are tense and your fingers whitening with just the thought of the endless to-do’s filling your mind with multiple strategies on how to complete them all, hit your word count, and oh yeah, keep your sanity.

We all know the last option isn’t really an option anywhere close to being on the table, right? Yeah…

I want you to put all of those things out of your mind. Take that deep breath again and release. 
Slowly. Not in a rushed force to eliminate chaos. Because, let’s be honest, you’ll never get rid of chaos from your life.

I want you to, for the moment, forget all of those things that are begging for brain space. Imagine what that looks like. Now put yourself there. Clear your mind of the clutter and focus on one thing for me.

Why do you love to write?

Each of us have a different reason for why we love to put words on the screen. But we’ve gotten caught up in the to-do’s of writing. So much social media time. So many words that have be written. 
And we lose the reason for why we write.

What is that reason for you? Only you can answer this question. So here, in this moment, with your eyes closed, your mind free from everything that wants to pull you down I want you to remember that moment you fell in love with writing.

Before the contract chasing dream showed up. Before the Facebook page became a mutated Frankenstein.  Before 140 characters on Twitter drove your day. Before platform became a four letter word. Before we become concerned with where our next book needed to land at a certain house.

Before all of that , there was a love for writing. For storytelling. For ministering to hearts, even if it was just your own.

Open your eyes.

Do you remember why you love this crazy craft? Write that reason down. Underline it. Bold it. 
Italicize it. Stick it to your computer, your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car. Wherever you spend the most time.

Pray over it. Give that back to God.

Watch Him do amazing things with that “before”. And everything that follows after will simply be dressing. And everything else? I promise it’ll find it’s place.

Make sure you’re always anchored in yours. 


Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in colorful Colorado where she gets to live her dream stalking--er--visiting with her favorite CO authors. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015


We here at the alley are praying that you will have a FABULOUS Thanksgiving, with a day full of thankfulness and maybe some turkey on the side!

Enjoy your day, and we'll be back tomorrow, stuffed like a turkey but happy as a clam:-)


Your Alleycat Friends!