Writing can be a pretty stressful game at times. Only recently, I’ve found myself experiencing a little bit of writing stress with my relentless blogging, hours of editing, and even more hours of writing. On top of that, there’s the social media scheduling, the obligation to tweet, and a whole host of other things.
Basically, writing isn’t always a lot of fun. We have days where we get tired, and wonder whether this is really the path for us. I’m here to reassure you that these fears are natural, and that we all experience writing stress from time to time. It’s important that we just ride it out, take the necessary action, and bounce back fighting.
When the schedule gets tough…
The reason this post resonates with me at the moment is that I’ve felt a little burnt out with writing stress myself. I received my developmental edit of What We Saw back last Monday, and while the critique and feedback are completely fantastic, it’s just added more work to what was already a rather busy pile.
I did something yesterday that I’ve not done in a long while: I took a day out. I didn’t check my emails, and despite my body’s urges, I didn’t write a single word. I didn’t even think about opening up my content edit of What We Saw. I gave myself permission to be completely free of writing for one day. A battery recharge, if you will.
Did it work? Well, I feel much more refreshed and ready to write today. It’s only reassured me that if writing stress is getting on top of you, you should allow yourself just one or two days to let it all go.
Sure, we tweet and we Facebook, but writing can be a solitary experience when in the thick of it. I always try to hang out with friends or family every day for at least some of the day, as I feel the enjoyment fuels my creativity even more. Funny how things work, really.
Letting things go
What about the Twitter schedules? Well, contrary to belief, it’s not the end of the world. The Twitterverse will let you off if you take a break from sharing useful content for a day. In fact, they’ll probably appreciate you for it; better to leave it a day and come back with superior content than share for the sake of sharing, right?
If you fancy taking a day out of your blogging schedule too, do it. I know a lot of emphasis is placed on creating a schedule and sticking to it, but I think this can be counter-productive. Of course, you should have a schedule, but treat it loosely. Use it as a guide more than anything.
Listen to yourself. Do you not feel you can write anything appropriate today? Then don’t. Again, it’s better to give it a miss for a day than to write a crappy blog post. Your friends and followers will let you off.
And that fear you feel at skipping a day in your writing schedule? You know, that panic and feeling of everything crumbling apart? That’s a good thing. It’s your body’s natural response to a change in habit. It proves that you are disciplined, and care about your schedule and productivity. Take it as a compliment from your body, and ride it out. It’ll pass as the day goes on.
On a personal note, I start university again in ten days. This will of course be a severe upheaval to my schedule.
I started the site in June, at the beginning of the summer holidays, so maintaining it in a new environment where life moves at one-thousand mph will be difficult to adapt to. But, I will adapt. If it means dropping from three posts to two posts per week, I’ll do it. I wrote a book whilst at uni in my second year, so I’m well aware that I’m more than capable of juggling responsibilities.
Plus, as an English with Creative Writing student, I’m pretty sure my lecturers won’t hurry to object to what I’m doing, huh?
How do you deal with the pressures of writing life? Have you ever had to change your schedule or take some time out due to writing stress, and how did it work for you?
Image courtesy of DeathByBokeh via Flickr