Colleen M. Story has worked in the creative writing industry for over twenty years. Her novels include “Loreena’s Gift,” an Idaho Author Awards first place winner, New Apple Solo Medalist winner, Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, Reader Views award finalist, and Best Book Awards finalist; and “Rise of the Sidenah,” a North American Book Awards winner and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection.
As a health writer, she’s authored thousands of articles for publications like “Healthline” and “Women’s Health;” worked with high-profile clients like Gerber Baby Products and Kellogg’s; and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer recovery. She finds most rewarding her work as a motivational speaker and workshop leader, where she helps writers remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers.
Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com), a motivational site helping writers and other creative artists maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being throughout their careers. Sign up for your free weekly email containing tips for living your best creative life at: www.writingandwellness/newsletter.
To find more information on Colleen and her work, please see her website or follow her on Twitter. She loves to hear from readers—feel free to use the “contact” form on either her website or Writing and Wellness to get in touch with her.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter
In your book you make reference to time perspective, and how it’s a personality characteristic, just like being an extrovert or introvert. How did you come up with this idea?
I was doing some research and came across a study by a Stanford University professor named Philip Zimbardo. He found that attitude toward time is a personality trait, and defined three basic types:
We all have some characteristics of each, but tend to favor one more than the others. Past people prefer to focus on the past rather than the present or future, and base their decisions on past experiences, as it’s difficult to imagine things being different.
Present people live in the moment, and do everything they can to make that moment enjoyable. Future people are all about creating a better future for themselves and their loved ones.
That’s a very brief overview, and I go into it much more deeply in Overwhelmed Writer Rescue, but the point is that once we determine our unique time perspective, we can use it to become more productive and to more successfully fit our creative work into our busy lives.
In your book you state that dreaming of the perfect writing life can actually stop you from getting it. Why is that?
Most creative people would love to ditch the day job and create to their hearts’ content. They have a picture of the ideal writing (or painting or other) situation, and odds are it is a lot different from the lives they’re currently living.
Dreaming is fine… unless it stops you from progressing, and unfortunately, it often does. When we compare the dream we have to reality, we can get discouraged to the point that we don’t work with the life we have.
The truth is that there will never be a time when everything in our lives is done, set, and perfectly in order, and we can just sit back, relax, and do what we want to do. That means we must make the lives we have now work for us, creatively.
Time management skills, especially in today’s fast-paced world, are critically important in accomplishing this. The good news is that these skills are easy to learn, and they can be applied again and again, even as your life evolves, so you can always make room for what matters to you.
What is one thing that you think is making it more difficult today for creative people to get time on their projects?
I’d say distraction is the main thing messing us up right now. We have so many things vying for our attention that we have to be more disciplined and self-directed than ever before to be sure that our time isn’t soaked up on a Facebook feed or YouTube page.
We are exposed to more data and information today than we have ever been in the entire history of the human race. By some estimates, we spend more hours consuming media than we do sleeping!
A Pew Research Center report stated: “There is more information flowing into people’s lives now than ever—much of it distressing and challenging. There are more possibilities for interruptions and distractions….These technologies are said to take over people’s lives, creating time and social pressures that put people at risk for the negative physical and psychological health effects that can result from stress.”
Unfortunately, there are no instructions as to how to manage all this. We have to seek out solutions ourselves. I give readers several options for how to manage these things in Overwhelmed Writer Rescue, so that they can feel less stressed out and more in charge of how they’re spending their time.
Do you have another profession besides writing?
I’m a full-time freelance health writer by day, and a novelist by night, but I’m not always at the computer (just most of the time!). I’m also a musician, and play French horn in several area symphonies and pit orchestras. I also teach private lessons to students of all ages.
Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?
Some writers say there’s no such thing as writer’s block, but I have definitely experienced it, at least when working on a fictional story.
I talk about one experience I had in Overwhelmed Writer Rescue, where I was blocked on a novel. I tried a lot of things to fix it, but only when I took some time away did I figure out what the real issue was.
I use this experience to help other writers find solutions that are more unique and individual to them. Sometimes the standard advice to work on plot or characterization just doesn’t work, and you have to figure out your own creative mind. I’ve got tips to help readers do that.
Boost productivity, improve time management, and restore your sanity while gaining insight into your unique creative nature and what it needs to thrive. Find practical, personalized solutions to help you escape the tyranny of the to-do list to nurture the genius within in Overwhelmed Writer Rescue, available today at Amazon and all major book retailers. Enjoy your FREE chapter here!