Stressed out? Relax

Writing can be a daunting task. There isn’t one way to do it, and each writer has a personal way of carrying out the activity. For some, it’s a 9-to-5 rigorous schedule; for others, it’s a ‘write when you feel like it’ kind of thing. Other stressful things? Dealing with writer’s block, juggling other jobs (or not), figuring out what method works best for you…And on a more personal level, there’s also a lot of self-doubt.

I sometimes wonder, as I’m planning stories, if anyone will want to read them. Once I’m writing them, I wonder if readers will like the characters and will find the story believable and consistent. As I’m editing, I wonder if the jokes and dramatic moments will land. I also can’t help but wonder if, after readers finish one of my books, they’ll want to read another one or not.

Between the time I start plotting a story and it hits the shelves, at least a year (more likely two) has gone by. The market can change so much, it’s impossible to know if you’ll have an audience for your book or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fairly confident person and I love what I do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t stress out over things like that.

Other things that stress me out? Whether I’ll ever make it as a full-time writer, climate change, how long it’ll be until the next season of The Umbrella Academy, if I’ll ever be fluent at (or moderately acceptable at speaking) German, what I’ll name my characters, how I’ll make it to a good word count, why my nails keep breaking (two in particular), why Natasha didn’t get a funeral scene, whether my dog (Simona) is aware that she’s an actual dog and not a person (given how we treat her, she’s rightfully confused), which Peter Pauper Press journal to get next…

So, as you can see, I’ve got a lot on my mind. Serious or silly, some matters are more pressing than others. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. This, in turn, can lead to being more nervous, getting mentally blocked, and in turn being upset over it.

When this starts to happen, I remember what Katherine Ryan says: “Relax”. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out Katherine Ryan: In Trouble on Netflix.* You’ll thank me for it later.

Plus, if you’re stressed out, relax.

*Full disclosure: there’s no connection between me, Netflix, or Katherine Ryan. I just love her specials and can’t recommend them enough.

Moira Daly

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