Writer’s Stress: How do you spell relief?

Since my last critique meeting with my crit partners I have been spending a lot of time looking just like this woman. Head in hands, ideas being tossed out the realm of possibility. I do not mean to say that my crit partners sent me into a tailspin, not at all. I mean to say that my book has done this to me.

Writing a book, first draft anyway, is very freeing. It’s almost carthartic. You are getting things written, you are feeling creative, you have a spring in your step, and a whistle on your lips.

But when it comes time to edit, or revise, and oftentimes both, those whistles become moans and that springy step becomes a leap under the covers where you can hide and beg to never look at the manuscript ever again.

Sooner or later you will have to come out from under that quilt.

So, if this is a form of writer’s stress, then how do you spell relief?

Here are a few things I found that might help:

Journaling

I have spent a LOT of time working on my blog and posting up things for you guys the last few weeks. Did you notice? It’s far easier to work out my issues if I am telling you how to work out yours (grin)

Yoga

I really believe in this. If you take the time to do about thirty minutes of yoga, you will find that you feel better, your head hurts less, your smile returns. It’s great for your mind and body.

Breathe deeply

We do not do this nearly enough and I mean even when we are NOT stressed out. Sit back in your chair. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth five times.

Play games

Yes, I cannot believe I am suggesting this either, but truly playing mindless games on Facebook or other sites can be a way to relax. Your eyes and hands are focused on the game and not on the book and whatever ails it.

Listen to music

In my opinion, with all of the free online radio spots out there (Iheartradio, Spotify,Pandora) people really do not have a good excuse for why they don’t do this one more often. Music can lighten any load if the tune is right. If you like nature sounds, there are channels made just for you.

I know there must be a ton more things one can do to relieve stress.

What do you recommend?

About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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