Ten ways to combat stress for the starving writer


I’ve been a little quiet lately because I’ve been stressed about money. Money–having the funds to pay for groceries, for example, can be a powerful motivator, or it can be a leaden weight, dragging you down. For me lately, it’s been the latter. It’s hard to get the creative juices flowing when you’re trying to figure out what you can get for lunch for a buck. Nevertheless, I’m still plugging away at things. Estimated length to finish my first book of a new series: 9000 words. Time?  Man, I wish I knew.

Stress can be a creativity killer. A little stress is a good thing; it motivates you. A lot of stress, however, can stop a writer cold in his or her tracks.

Some ways to combat stress:

1. Take a walk, preferably outside somewhere where you can connect with nature, even if ‘nature’ is just a park or your neighborhood with little green lawns and a rose bush or two. Breathe in fresh air (not so deeply if you’re in a smog warning.)

2. Meditate. Put on some nice calming music, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and just concentrate on breathing.

3. Pet your cat or dog. Or hamster. Or whatever kind of creature you can find that will let you pet it. Not sure why, but they’ve done studies that this really works. Personally, I don’t recommend petting your iguana–I’ve tried it, and they have really rough skin. Plus, they bite.

4. Dance. Whether it’s oldies or Eighies Fun or country, put on some fun music and just get up and dance. You’d be amazed how much this can make you feel better when you’re in the doldrums.

5. Have a glass of wine and some chocolate. (Or have some chocolate wine. It’s a misnomer–it’s actually a chocolate liquor. Quite good, in fact. )

6. Daydream. You can combine relaxation and envisioning your next story at the same time!

7. Do your favorite hobby. It’s always relaxing to do something you love, whether it is knitting, golfing, race car driving (okay maybe not that last one.)

8. Watch some comedy. Humor heals! I personally recommend upbeat comedians like Ellen or Larry the Cable Guy.

9. Have a nice hot bath with some bath salts or oil. Yes, even if you’re a man. There are manly scents available as well–try juniper or eucalyptus.  Or chocolate. Remember that women like chocolate?

10. Write!  After you’ve done all these things, you should be more than ready to write, which will allow you to succeed in your goals and have less stress about writing.

2 responses to “Ten ways to combat stress for the starving writer

  1. Great list. I actually combine two of your points by daydreaming what I want with life and running. It is the perfect relaxation tool for me. And I think everyone here can relate that writing is an essential way to relieve stress.

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