5 Tips to Reduce Your Writing Stress
It's the holidays season. My kid's model trains choo-choo around the Christmas tree and lights are all over the neighbor's houses. What does that mean? If you answered a season of exhausting social rounds, endless concerts to attend because the kids are performing, and a ton of holiday spending to get gifts for people who you would like to still be friends with next year, you have won! Now I've gotten that out of the way, 5 things I do to keep my writing fresh and my stress down during the holiday season.
- Make a calendar: I try to write about 2000 words a day five days a week and take the weekends off to spend with the kids, do the grocery shopping, and all around just hang out. But during the holidays, I know I can't do that. I don't write on days where my kids have performances or sporting events. I'm there being mom. That said, I do have to pencil that in on my calendar so I know. I make sure to write on days where it's more like a normal week day, than a holiday day.
- I lower my expectations: 2000 words a day works out to be about 10,000 words a week. I just cut that in half. But all of my words in December are "bonus" words anyway. When I make my yearly plan, I only plan to write ten months of the year. I just plan to take it off. That way I don't feel stressed out because it's the end of the year and I haven't written/edited enough.
- I'm more careful about alcohol/caffeine consumption: I don't drink a lot, but I do make sure I'm not using it as a coping mechanism. I just don't want to go down that path. I drink only one at the parties. Which I find enough to be sociable, but not so much to make the rest of my life harder. The flip side of that is caffeine, which I make sure I stick to exactly my one (overly large) cup of coffee every day, and then I'm off the stuff. I just sleep better if I don't consume after lunch.
- I play holiday music: I mean 'Tis the Season! I love the music. Turn it on, turn it up, sing along! No worries about hitting the notes. Let it go.
- I say thanks. It's simple, it's easy, and it changes a stress filled outlook to one of gratitude. We each have only one life, be grateful the things we have. Be grateful for your imagination, because even if you have failed to finish your WIP, you have new words in it. Be grateful for your ideas, because they inspire you. Be grateful that you write, because when you've done a story well, you've given it to the world for someone else to enjoy, to be inspired, or to reflect their own truth.
That's the list! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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