7 Simple Ways to Ease Your Writing Stress

7 Simple Ways to Ease Your Writing Stress

After I finished reading over my first draft, I felt overwhelmed. My novel was still so far away from where I wanted it to be.

I began to formulate a complex plan of attack, but the sheer volume of the things that needed to be fixed in my first draft were almost crippling. It was just way too much for me to handle.

I couldn’t stand it anymore. The pressure and stress were getting to me, so, I did what I normally do in that type of situation: I went to the park to meditate.

Now at the park, I tried to force my mind to think up an answer to all the complicated problems I was facing. As I continued to search for this answer, I was interrupted by an old couple.

This old couple had been walking hand in hand throughout the park, so close together it looked as if they were high school sweethearts and not retirees. They were dressed in bright colors, and the woman was carrying a bright pink parasol to shade the both of them from the sun.

As this couple came closer to me, they stopped for a moment, and looked me right in the eye. At once, both their eyes, tucked behind thick spectacles, lit up. They smiled. Then, together, as if they were one entity, they said:

“HI!”

Their energy was so loving and so sincere, that I couldn’t help it–I broke away from inner turmoil. My face lit up, and I said “Hi” in return.

Then, the couple walked away and gave another bright and sunny: “Hi!” to a passing stranger.

As soon as the couple left, I felt at peace. I felt calm. All my writing stress had left me.

What just happened? I thought.

My mind started once again to search for the complicated answer to the complicated question. But the truth was, there was no complicated answer.

The answer was simple.

All this old couple did to help me snap out of my stressful moment was to say “Hi,” and that little, simple gesture not only relieved my stress–but it made my day.

Not only that, but this encounter made me realize that the answer to my writing problem was a lot more straightforward than I thought.

Question: Where should I begin revising my novel?

Answer: At the place I felt I should start.

This little revelation made me think of all the problems I had ever faced in my life. I remembered so much stress would often come from thinking that a complicated question HAD to have a complicated answer. But often, it was the most direct, easy way of approaching a problem that helped me find the perfect solution.

7 Simple Ways to Ease Your Writing Stress

1. AHHH!!! WHERE SHOULD I START REVISING MY NOVEL?

Start where you feel like you should start.

2. AHHH!!! HOW DO I WRITE WHEN I CAN’T WRITE AT MY “PEAK CREATIVE TIME”?

First, write when you have the time. Once you establish a consistent routine, your mind will adjust. It will know that this is the time when it has to be creative. Trust me. It works.

3. AHHH!!! HOW DO I WRITE IF I HAVE A DAY JOB THAT SUCKS ALL MY ENERGY, AND I’M TOO EXHAUSTED TO WRITE?

Don’t write during your work week then. Write on your day off, or, write on the weekends. Or if you feel that you can’t work with your current writing schedule, try making your writing schedule work for you.

4. AHHH!!! HOW DO I WRITE IF I NEVER HAVE A DAY OFF AND I’M BUSY–OR EXHAUSTED–ON THE WEEKENDS?

Don’t write at all then. Just listen. Think of it this way: you are still being creative–you are gathering material for the future when you do have the time to write your novel.

5. AHHH!!! HOW DO I WRITE MY NOVEL IF I HAVE A BLOG TO KEEP UP?

Reduce your word count for each blog post to 500 words. (Shorter posts are actually recommended by Probloggers.) Post once a week. Write a group of posts ahead of time, and then schedule them to come out when you want them to. Have a guest blogger over each week to increase your posting to two times a week, and, in the process, increase your readership.

6. AHHH!!! I DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO ANY OF THAT! CAN’T I JUST RANT ABOUT HOW I’M STRESSED OUT AND I DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO DO ANYTHING?

Sure. But try this next time instead: don’t write that post. Use that same stress and energy to write a scene for you novel. Make your job, your boss, or whatever is stressing you out, the antagonist of the story, and then allow the protagonist {who represents you} to find a way to beat that antagonist. More often than not, this process helps you find a solution to your problem–and it also makes for a great scene in your novel!

7. AHHH!!! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND: MY SITUATION IS SO COMPLICATED AND NONE OF THIS IS WORKING! DON’T YOU KNOW? GAS PRICES ARE RISING! THEY’RE MAKING HUGE BUDGET CUTS! THAT LYBIAN DICTATOR LOOKS LIKE MY TÍO LEO! AND WORST OF ALL, THEY’RE CANCELING “TWO AND A HALF MEN”! WHERE ELSE AM I GONNA GET MY “90’s THROWBACK” SITCOM FIX?

The answer is still simple: look at someone in the eye today, smile and give them a sincere “Hi!”

With this simple gesture, you have just fundamentally changed the world and made it a better place.

much “Hi!”

Ollin

Today, tell a stranger how grateful you are for the simple things they do on a day-to-day basis that help make this world a better place.

To follow the Courage 2 Create and find out what happens to Ollin and his novel, you can subscribe by inserting your e-mail into the subscription box in the top right corner of the sidebar! Subscription is completely free! Thank you for subscribing!

Like Courage 2 Create’s Fan Page.

Follow Ollin On Twitter.

Friend Ollin On Facebook.

Buy Ollin's eBook

Categories: Writer's Journal