Seeking Advice: Overcoming Stress

Lately, things in my day-to-day non-writing personal life have gotten a bit hectic. Things completely out of my control happened and caught me by surprise, plus I had a great big list of Things That Must Get Done.

Shockingly, this change actually left me with more free time, but a great deal more stress, too. I managed to blog during my vacation (thank you, delayed posting!) but after I got back, and facing a scary look at the future, the spinning plates I’d been maintaining for awhile (including updating the blog regularly) started to slip.

I had time to write, so I can’t beg off with that excuse, but I had absolutely no inclination. It was like I had been zapped by a writer’s block ray gun. But more than that–I didn’t even want to write. I started to resent my laptop, even, skirting the room and glaring at it hatefully, because a tiny easy-to-ignore part of me was insisting that I needed to be there, writing away, keeping to “the schedule,” when I wanted nothing more but to go be a gypsy or something. (“Something” often meaning “lying pathetically on the couch in a hot sweaty puddle”–this is Texas, after all, and it’s bloody hot.)

Eventually, the stress abated, which is why I’m here again, writing, and similarly why I yet again have clean dishes to eat off of, freshly painted fingernails, and some well-organized personal files.

Every time I turn to the internet or Twitter for support, it seems I just find more “soldier on,” “write every day or else!” type posts, which just leaves me feeling sort of bad about myself. But I keep thinking: I can’t be the only one this has happened to. I can’t be alone in being paralyzed, rather than invigorated by, stress.

Or can I? Tell me, and tell me true.

Have you ever faced a time of stress that affected your writing? How did you handle it? Do you really believe in those “write every day” aphorisms?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Seeking Advice: Overcoming Stress

  1. Yeah… pretty much most of February and May of this year. A solid month went by without writing a word. Honestly, all I could do was endure it and keep telling myself that it wouldn’t last forever. And it didn’t, but it sure felt like it. I wish I had a magic pill for both us, but all I can say is relax, try not to panic, and in its own time the desire to write will come back to you. Sometimes it’s all we can do to get through the moment and the creative has to wait until we recharge.

  2. My guess is even the most well known writers face this from time to time. I definitely have these moments WAY more than I’d like to admit. 🙂 Glad you’re back at it now.

  3. Stress utterly wrecks your writing, from my experience. Until a few months ago I spent much of my time as a nervous wreck; I rarely wrote, and anything I did write (bar one thing…possibly) was horrendously bad. It was only after I became less anxious that I started being able to write again with any regularity.

    That said, I do think that it is important to try to write at least something on most days. A few days without writing can easily turn into several weeks and months (I know; I’ve been there) if you’re not careful.

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