I know that writing can be stressful. More than stressful: sometimes it even turns into a chore. Characters are temperamental, the plot just isn’t working and despite the five cups of coffee you’ve had, the caffeine just isn’t kicking in.
Miraculously, though, you don’t have to write every day. Well, most of the time. Some times you can have a day off, even two days, or maybe just a morning if that’s all it takes.
When you do relax, distract yourself, completely, from your writing. If, for example, you find baking relaxing but you know it so well that your mind wanders, then try a new recipe that you really have to concentrate on. Not only will you be pleasantly pleased with the brand-new end result, but you’re distracted!
Why distract yourself? Because if you’re thinking about your writing, chances are you’ll still be stressing about it, and wasn’t the point of this whole thing to take a break?
If you want/need to take a break, though, and you can’t get away from your laptop (for example, if you go down stairs you’ll be trapped by a well-meaning but incredibly annoying relative) then why not try writing something else instead?
This article was originally going to be about fanfiction, but I did a series of articles on that not long ago. However, fanfiction can be a fantastic way to wind down, or, indeed, wind up if you’re trying to get your mojo working. The characters are already 3D and completely mapped out for you, you don’t particularly have to think about it, and you can write as much or as little as you want. I’m actually writing a fanfiction at the moment, because it makes me happy and helps me to destress. Simples!
Another thing you could do is simply write something else: an article, a blog post, a couple of fillers for magazines (which can then be used in the real world!), even a short story about something random on your desk or outside your window. And then these things can kind of just disappear into the void of writings if you want them to, so they can be as terribly hilarious as you want.
One of the worst things you can do when you’re stressing about your work is procrastinate: go on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and just sit and scroll. It’s incredibly difficult to break the loop, because you think to yourself, “Oh, I’ll just read the next post…or the next one…or the one after that,” and before you know it you’ve wasted an hour looking at cat videos! Even baking would at least give you a decent finished product. Procrastination is my writing fatal flaw, and it’s something I am trying to work on!
Remember that writing is meant to be something that you love, not something that you detest. Start each session with a smile and make sure it ends that way, too. Most of all, enjoy it!
Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀