Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dealing with Stress

Hi there! It's been a while. :) I have literally been writing for what feels like forever this year, which is both fun...and stressful. I have back-to-back deadlines through summer really, which means I finish one book and have to immediately begin the next in order to keep the pace. This sort of schedule is both thrilling and scary for me. I write best when on deadline. Somehow if there is nothing telling me to put the words down, I tend to procrastinate. Horrible to admit, but the truth all the same.

I thought I was dealing with the stress fairly well, until two weeks ago I started noticing a pain in my chest that radiated to my right arm. I shook it off, took a few deep breaths, but the damn pain wouldn't go away. I grew frustrated, until I realized that the pain was due to stress. I work (a pretty stressful job). I have two kids under five (pretty stressful stuff), and I have five-ish books releasing this year. AHHH!

So what did I do? What do I suggest you do? I took a few days off. I had been working/writing 7 days a week since early November without a break. I felt guilty if I went out with my family. I felt guilty if I watched TV. It was horrible. So I decided no more of that. I only write at night, and I tend to write 500-5,000 words a day, but if I feel the words aren't coming, the stress is rising, then I close down my Mac and either pull out my Kindle or turn on the TV. I suggest you do the same.

Take breaks.

Have fun.

Live your life outside of writing.

Because these things are going to HELP you write a better a story, not HURT you. Trust your body. Love yourself. :)

~ Melissa