Stress. It's a small word with major impact. And everybody deals with it at one time or another--whether you're a doctor, lawyer, teacher, baker, or candlestick maker.And writers? We have more than our share.
From freelance clients that don't pay as promised, to "lost" files, to writer's block, to editors who are sometimes in "poor form". :-)
But there's good news. Not all stress is bad.
For example, some individuals admit to actually performing better when they're under the stress of last minute deadlines and flying by the seat of their pants. While the stress of potentially losing their job has motivated others to peak performance.
The key here?
It all comes down to a matter of perception: in other words stress is all in your mind.
According to Dr. Serena Wadhwa, of Triqual Living: "We require a certain amount of stress that allows us to feel challenged, stimulated, and energized. When we are "understressed" or "overstressed' this reduces our ability to stretch ourselves and grow. Most people do well with an "optimal" level."
It's important to note that certain life events can be contributing factors to stress as well.
Here are some of the most common, (in no particular order).
- Death of a spouse, friend, or family member
- Losing a job
- Major illness
Why? Because according to WebMD, stress can compromise the immune system, create sleep problems, raise blood pressure levels, and have a negative impact on our overall mental and physical functioning.
See if you can relate.
MARCIE HILL---Journalist and Blogger
"My biggest writing-related stress is editing my own work. In my mind, good is not good enough even when the work is ideal and ready for submission."
A.D. MOORE---Poet and Author
AUTHOR DONNA CLARK GOODRICH shares, "That's easy---time!"
RED THE POET
"Having my work left up to interpretation."
Though stress can sometimes be inevitable, here are some ways to calm the madness and make your writing life more manageable:
1. Work ahead of deadlines.
Waiting until the last minute to tackle an important writing assignment is always risky. Anything could happen. You could get sick. Your computer could go down. Murphy's law is real. Be sure to devote quality time for quality results.
2. Seek balance.
Work hard, but play hard too. They both have an important role in your success as a writer. Think of it like the yin and yang of nature.
3. Remember to see the humor in things.
Studies show that laughter is therapeutic.
4. Have a good support system.
Whether it's your best friend, your critique group, or other writing buddies--having someone to bounce creative ideas off of, or merely to vent can make a difference.
5. Recognize that some things are beyond your control.
Do your best. Pray about the rest. :-)
"For fast-acting relief, slow down."---Lily Tomlin
Inquiring minds wanna know...what's your biggest writing related stress?