Thursday, April 14, 2011

A-Z Blog Challenge: L

L is for Limits.  Do you know yours?

As a writer, I tend to push myself until I overload.  I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that creativity isn’t always convenient.  I set goals and then in my zeal to meet them, I hit a bump.  Then it’s like Ernest Hemingway put it...  It’s like drilling rock and you have to blast it out with charges.  So, I try.  Then try harder.  And that only seems to make things worse.  Things don’t work out as I planned.  The story doesn’t flow.  My head starts to throb and we won’t mention the blood pressure reading.  Stress hits.

I thought I’d pass along 8 Stress Management Tips for Writers just in case you’re like me and sometimes don’t live within their limits.

1. Set realistic expectations. Honestly, who can write 7,000 words a day, send 25 well-written, well-researched pitches to magazine editors, revise a 75,000 word manuscript in a weekend…well, you get the idea.  Stress less by setting writing goals that are lofty but attainable. 

2. Eat nutrients that increase energy. Stay away from those diet colas, iced Americanos, and energy drinks (quick highs, but you’ll crash soon). A healthier way to reduce stress is to eat foods that increase energy production, which will help your body cope with the deadlines and lofty goals. B Vitamins, magnesium and ribose are an important part of stress management for writers. For more info, read 10 Tips for Eating Healthy While Working From Home.

3. Move your body. To reduce stress as a writer, get oxygen bubbling through your veins and to your brain. Run, cycle, spin, belly dance, (had to see if you were paying attention. lol) walk… The more you exercise, the more freely ideas and words will flow.

4. Write in a different genre. An effective stress management tip for writers is to try writing poetry if you normally write textbooks or penning your memoirs if you normally write technical manuals. Ever try writing a comedy?

5. Visualize the finished manuscript, article, or book proposal. Imagine your accomplished goals. To reduce stress and stop the writer’s block that often comes with stress, sit back and visualize yourself as a successful writer. 

6. Free your mind. To get rid of writer’s block and create peace in your life, seek harmony.  To succeed as a writer, focus on health and wellness in all aspects of your life. 

7. Organize your desk, computer files, and house. Cleaning and organizing your environment can help foster feelings of control and efficiency – which can help you feel less stressed while you’re writing. As long as you don’t use cleaning as a procrastination tactic. *wink*

What do you do to keep from reaching your limit and overloading?



Christine Rains said...

Cleaning is one of my big stress relievers. My husband knows I've been stressed during the day when he comes home to me scrubbing the tiles with a toothbrush to get in the cracks! I'm guilty of using cookies to help me feel good, too.

J. D. Brown said...

I love this post! Setting goals and writing them down helps me a lot (if I don't write 'em down, I forget).

I should exercise more - I agree movement helps with brainstorming! I'll often pace around the house while I think about that next scene.

Cleaning is also a big stress reliever for sure! My brain always feels better after some mindless task like vacuuming or washing dishes!

Excuse me, I need to go read those tips for healthy eating...