Everyone has this romanticized idea of writers leading carefree, chaotic lives, limited by very few rules, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, writers are a misunderstood breed, because nobody understands how difficult it is for them, not just because they are expected to be creative all the time, but because they too have deadlines to adhere to. But when the delivery is highly dependent on the level of your inspiration, it creates an unparalleled amount of stress for the writers.
On top of all that, they get very little sympathy from the people around them, because they rarely understand all the ins and outs of writing. They think it’s easy because it takes talent. Of course, it does, but it also takes hard work, many sleepless nights staring at a blank page, and nerves of steel to face furious clients and/or publishers.
Stress Mitigating Techniques for Creative Writers:
If you are a writer reading these lines, we know how it is for you, and we are prepared to share with you some advice and techniques that will help you mitigate stress and clear your mind so that it’s firing on all cylinders. Keep on reading.
1. Find a Hobby :
You will find many tips online and elsewhere advising people to write in order to let go of some of the stress. But what if writing is your profession and the very source of your stress? Well, you need to go out and do something else, preferably something completely different that will help you relax and redirect your thoughts for a few hours. Even if you feel like you’re swamped, don’t push yourself, because you will end up spreading yourself thin and actually stifling your progress. Sometimes, it’s better to do something else and then return to your work. Once you are well-rested and relaxed, the pages will practically write themselves.
2. Use Writing to Vent :
Talking to someone about your problems can help you reduce your stress levels significantly, but you may not always have the benefit of having a friend or family member around for you to vent. Also, people have their own problems, and they will also try to vent about their own issues, which is why you should try and write about what’s bothering you. It doesn’t have to be anything that has any real literary value. Just let those words pour right out of you, and relieve some of the pressure that you feel. Do that for about 10-15 minutes every day. In the end, you will feel a lot better, and you will be able return to your work with a clear mind.
3. Focus on the Prize :
It can become extremely monotonous and disheartening to toil away at your desk with seemingly no progress whatsoever. In such cases, one thing that can help you is to keep is to focus on the big picture, which is the finished book, novel, or an article. Just recall the last time you’ve felt that feeling of accomplishment after completing your work. Think about it every so often in order to find strength and the will to keep on writing. Once you are done, you will forget all about how hard it was, and you will be proud of what you have achieved.
4. Tidy up Your Desk :
Sometimes it’s not enough just to clear your mind, but your work space, as well. If your desk is a mess, it becomes another source of distraction and frustration, and that’s the last thing you need when you are struggling to come up with a brilliant new idea, or facing a tight deadline of project that will help you pay your bills. For starters, remove everything for your desk that doesn’t belong there, and what is not essential to your writing process. Ideally, your computer and/or a notebook and a pen should find themselves on your desk. Those are the only tools you will need as a writer.
5. Take Better Care of Yourself :
One of the first things we turn to when we are feeling stressed is comfort food, or drinks. A glass of wine to help you take the edge off, or a greasy burger that will make you feel full and satisfied. While there is nothing wrong with that every once in a while, if it becomes a regular occurrence, it can impact your health severely. While junk food and drinks can make you feel good for a few hours, they are actually harmful for you in the long run. Instead, try and take care of your body too, not just your mind, because one cannot exist without the other.
We hope that these tips will help you cope with the stress that is inevitable if you are writer. Start working them into your daily routine today, and feel the benefits almost immediately.