Coping with Stress

Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holidays are now in the proverbial sights. Shopping, decorations, rushing! 

Anxiety is high as I try to find time between work, life and writing. I love the fast pace, but writing is mostly, at least for me, something that needs a slower speed. 

The industry can seem fast, and unless you're one of those writers who can put out a book every few years like you didn’t miss a beat, it can seem even faster. Writers are expected to have a new book out every 6 months or so. Throw in working full time and you may feel as though you have no time at all. 

Things should slow a bit once my writing pays the bills and I can quit the day job, but that could open another can of worms.  Working at home can make you lazy. You may have more time because you’re not working the grind, but if you don’t have a routine, you can keep putting things off in favor of the comfort of your pajamas and bed. 

Remember, the day job can be beneficial, as well, with the wealth of material you see every day. Characters and scenes and new ways of seeing things can give you the content you need for that next story. 

There are times when I have so many ideas, but sit down to write and produce nothing, because of stress from work, or just having no time. Creativity happens when it happens, you can't squeeze it out. And stress from having to complete a story is very overwhelming at times. If you think it’s going fast now with your day job, wait until you are doing it full time and need to put out stories to remain relevant. Of course you love it so it won’t feel like work, but it will still be work and you still have to treat it that way. 

As I've said in other posts, music and daydreaming can bring out creativity, but you still have to get into that state, and that isn’t easy--it's almost like meditating. Music can hurry things along, or reading, But you still need time to relax and get into that state and the fact that you have limited time makes the anxious feeling worse. In times like these just wait it out, the moment will go away. 

You can always edit in these frustrating times, and I mean basic stuff, because editing uses imagination just as much as creating the story. But I still feel irrational feelings creep in when I can’t produce anything. A defeated feeling. Like I can't do anything. And it weighs me down further--on top of not being able to create and having no time. 

I'm sure these are feelings happening in just about everybody at some point. We all go through many emotions and thoughts when we write, or can't write. We will never be able to create again--that the first time was a fluke and we really aren’t talented and can't repeat it. Oh and then there’s the many-thoughts-and-ideas-crashing-in-at-once feeling which is very overwhelming—you don’t know if you should be writing everything down, or just trusting your subconscious. It’s too much all at once and the new thoughts drown out the old ones leaving you going, oh there’s a good one, damn it slipped, but there’s another, oh wait... 

It's not true. If you did it once you can do it again. Sometimes I loose a piece I’ve edited which I really liked and I curse and start over and I later find the edits I liked and realize it was almost the same exact edits—mostly better this time. It’s very important to keep in mind that you can do it. Your mind is yours and it knows where you want to go. You have to believe that it will happen. 

It's sort of how I feel about the notion of someone stealing my work. Even if they put it out, they can't replicate it again. Only you can write the way you write. Even if they know the synapsis, they can't write it the way you would. You might want to protect that info, of course. But they can't do much with your ideas, at least for the most part. And even if they did, they’d have to keep going. And that’s not easy when you don’t know that writers voice. 

Keep in mind I'm not saying to just give out your info or anything like that—like those commercials where the guy advertises his social security number on the side of a truck. But sometimes writers can get carried away and think everyone is out to steal their ideas and I want to tell you it's not an easy process. 

And another thought before I wrap this up. Don’t get put off by angry writers. They will bark and bark and make you feel like you don't know anything when they are just upset they can't get anywhere themselves, or don’t have the positive energy. Where I work I see people who climb the ranks fast and are the nicest people you could know. You can almost feel they will go far. Then you have the others who are completely the opposite and are clawing and pulling their way to the top. They are bitter, because they probably posses the things needed to lead, but their attitude and behavior is disgusting. 

Anyway, I think...heck, I know, that if you persevere you will get to your goal. The thing is people give up. And I'm not giving up. Sorry for the rant, and I guess something to get out of this is don’t stress the small things. Try to keep calm. You can do it. 

WCM


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