"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What's Your Biggest Writing Related Stress?

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
  • Divorce
  • Major illness
  • Marriage
  • Retirement
Regardless as to the source of it, we all need to govern how much negative stress we're exposed to on an ongoing basis.

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.
    Got stress?
Here's what a few other scribes reveal about the source of their writing-related headaches.
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

"Getting paid."

AUTHOR DONNA CLARK GOODRICH shares, "That's easy---time!"


"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?
Do tell.

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Huge fear for me: The support system. Yeah, I'm a firstborn perfectionist. Perfect is never. It's never perfect. I've been reading some "writing" books and they're helping me chill out on this. I am much calmer about this stresser than I used to be, thankfully.

    Great, great thoughts here.


  2. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 17, 2013 at 6:07 AM


    I think many writers can relate to this. Glad you've gotten calmer. And don't forget to unwind to a good cup of hot herbal tea; I find it can be very relaxing without the guilt of chocolate and calories. :-)

    Thanks for starting us off here. Have a great week ahead.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 17, 2013 at 7:37 AM


      In the spirit of "sharing" I should probably mention that my biggest writing-related stress would be technology (and pay issues). :-)

  3. Thanks for the encouragement! I jump a lot of hurdles in this department, and often it's the self discipline one that is the biggest. It gets a little taller when certain things come up - stuff that must be done and takes temporary priority - and I find it challenging to get back in the race. Working on it though. :) Thanks again!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM


      Don't let it get you down. :-) Here's hoping you have greater success in 2013. Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Well I don't think that the way I choose to write
    isn't alway's that stress related,

    Since - as I learned from writer Ray Bradbury's 'Zen in the Art of Writing' - Relaxation can be an important Element in the Writing Process itself (see Short Stories page),

    And based on a Vision, (btw. also wrote a tiny little ebook about it) I work on a - Relaxation Friendly Business Model - using a Blog as a - Platform - for doing things like Affiliate Marketing, writing Product Reviews and - Column Style - Blogposts.

  5. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Thanks, H.P. for your thoughts here.

  6. Every single one of your point is spot on! But point three is nearest and dearest to my heart. I've been stressed lately that my output has been so pitiful and maybe I'm losing my touch. Then I read my favorite blogs and realize I'm the only slowpoke out there. So, I can laugh or cry. I choose to laugh. Things pick up in the spring. Yes they do.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 19, 2013 at 3:59 PM


      Don't despair; every creative career has peaks and valleys. Laugh or cry--there's probably some good "material" there somewhere. :-)
      Thanks for adding to the discussion.

    2. For what nr. 4 about having a good Support System is concerned, in a recent post I wrote about how as a writer I also like to see Fans :)

      Since that can also help inspire me to write new blogposts.

    3. H.P.,

      Fans are definitely a plus for most bloggers. Good luck with that.

    4. There is a pretty big increase in traffic on several of my blogs, I am also seeing more Commenting.

      Only while I do believe there are genuine Comments, some comments sound so Positive that it makes me wonder if they are genuine, and aren't just only placed by some 'Autobot' that did find my blog based on a few keywords or something, and automatically posted a standard message.

      At least I already do seem to begin to develope a bigger Fan Base, hopefully all Genuine Commenters & Repliers, and not just only 'Autobots' :)

  7. Don't we all hope? lol Good luck and much continued success!