17 July 2012

Writing and Stress - How Do You Handle It?

Stress Reduction


I started out very strong this year. By the end of February, I finished a novel that I had poured my heart into for years. It was a big moment. HUGE.

Around the same time I had been laid off from my job, yet in the beginning I thought, "I doubt I'll be out more than a couple of months. I have nothing to worry about."

Well now I'm worried.





It's now July and it's the five month mark. I've had very few job prospects and despite my good resume and stellar academic record - few opportunities are coming my way.

It's also getting to my writing and general creative energy. It may not look like it because I've been blogging up a storm (thank goodness for scheduling posts in advance). But this week I've had barely the energy to blog. If it wasn't for obligations I've promised people, I doubt I would be blogging as faithfully as I am now.

I'm not where I thought I would be. By this point, I thought I would have my second draft typed. Now I'd be surprised if I made it to my end of the year goal.

I'm frustrated. I'm worried about my job situation. I'm just stressed OUT.

What do you do when you're extremely stressed? Right now it's a struggle to write everyday. I'm so worried about not having a job that to do anything else feels like it's taking me away from my job search. I know some writer's will say to not let the stress get to me. That this is a great learning period and to find a way to muster up the energy to write anyways.

And I do try.

But really I'm just stressed. I want a job. I want a stable schedule to rely upon. A regular paycheck.

How do you handle stress and writing goals?


17 comments:

  1. I wish I could give you some really good advice on this. I've never been jobless. Ever. But I know I'd be horrified if I didn't have one. I could tell you to try writing for magazines or try content writing but its terribly competitive. I don't know what to tell you. Follow your heart? Don't worry? Walk? Meditate? Eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's?

    All I can do is pray and hope the best for you.

    Hugs,
    Shelly
    http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shelly! And it's all good advice you gave me. And I'm pursuin all the opportunities I can..I just hope this ends very soon!

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  2. How I handle that type of situation is to schedule. I love my schedules. If I have a plan on what to do, it gives me that purpose and drive I need. Included in that schedule will be time to exercise and it will be (somewhat) structured. If I can't get to a class, I use a DVD (I cannot run, unfortunately, due to knee injuries in my track years, but that would be #1 on my list if I could).

    Also, now would be a great time to volunteer. Find someplace you would love to help out. And you never know, a job opportunity could present itself. Not to mention, it's another star to add to your resume.

    Good luck, Nicole. You will get through this. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have managed to schedule in writing in the morning. I write two hours in the morning and that helps a lot. The rest of the day is spent job hunting. I am definitely looking into possible volunteer work, especially online stuff. That way I'm not too far away from my computer!

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  3. Being jobless is really scary, I can relate. I lost my job early in 2008 and was unemployed for about 6 months during the time the economy was basically at its worst. I fell behind on rent, I wracked up a lot of credit card debt trying to just feed myself and pay for things I needed.
    It did get better, though. The best advice I have to give to you is to take one day at a time, and don't beat yourself up if your daily goals go out the window sometimes. It's ok to be worried or stressed. Just remember to breathe and try to let it go. Hopefully you'll be able to let the fear/uncertainty fuel you and your creativity and motivate you to keep moving forward.
    Best of luck to you!!! :D

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's good to know I'm not alone! I am hoping the stress and anxiety will give me energy instead of take away energy. I do find though the more I put into the job search the better I feel. So that is always good.

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  4. I have noticed you've been blogging up a storm! I'm sorry for the situation your in and totally understand how the stress would affect your writing. You're a smart person and most likely capable, so I have no doubt you'll land on your feet. It just sucks in the interim! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I just hope that landing comes with a well paying job and benefits! :)

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  5. Ahh, I wish I had something to say other than hang in there. I know someone who was laid off close to a year but she took a class and volunteered before finally getting settled into another job.

    Can you take your writing somewhere new? I like sitting under the apple tree in the yard on cooler days. I think the idea of a schedule is even more important when you're job hunting because it will give structure to your day.

    Oh yeah and hang in there!

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    Replies
    1. I have found I write best when I'm not at home and I am out in a cafe or something. This week writing in the morning has worked best for me and that is a nice feeling. Thanks for your support! :)

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  6. Nicole, you will get through this. I agree with Carrie: make a schedule for things to achieve, but keep it simple and unambitious. Don't set yourself goals you can't achieve. Do a little, every day. Keep chipping away at it. Spin your wheels. Reach out. Keep sending applications. Just keep going, and have faith. I'm a great believer that things happen for a reason, even if you can't see it at the time. It sounds trite, I know, but it's what I hold on to myself. I'm sending you hugs and best wishes. And remember: it's ok to take time out, even off blogging. ESPECIALLY off blogging! We'll always be here, waiting for you to come back. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! :) I am also a believer in things happening for a reason too! I hope I see the big picture soon though. I have decided to not take on anything new and catch up on what I have blog wise. From there I will consider taking a break for certain!

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  7. Oh, Nicole. I'm very sorry to hear of this. I get up at 3 am to be at work by 4 am. I work as a Supervisor on the Packaging Floor for Sun Maid Raisin Growers of California. I work about 11 hours, five days a week. I usually whine about how much more I'd rather be at home, writing full time. However, I know that I can't do that. I try and remind myself that I should be thankful that I have a job, but don't give thanks often enough. I pray that things will improve quickly for you. Wishing you the very best as you deal with this situation.

    -Jimmy

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  8. This one is a tough one for me. Stress, especially about money tends to zap the energy right out of me. I experience lots of writers block and all I can come up with are a bunch of three lettered words. I think I understand the pressure you are feeling. You shouldn't feel guilty about writing while your searching for a new job. Set time aside everyday to dedicate to your job search and once it's done - it's done. Then go back to your writing knowing that you've dedicated time to your search every day. That ought to relieve some of your burden... Good luck to you!

    ~Dee
    about.me/deyanira

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  9. I'm never comfortable until I have a plan and a back-up plan - and a back-up for the back-up. It makes me feel a little more in control. (And yet we never really have control.) Or maybe try a vitamin. B-complex is supposed to give more energy and help with stress.

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  10. As someone who is at a certain well-aged POV, I've technically been unemployed by others for three years. I write. I self publish and go on.After a year and a half with careful attention and penny pinching to the extreme, I was able to pay off my mortgage. This was a biggy. The royalty payments that I'm now getting monthly help pay the other incidental of life.

    Stress is a self-imposed emotion. Does worrying solve anything? Nope it makes problems bigger than they are.

    As far as writing goals...I have some,but they often get sidelined or derailed by life getting in the way. For example; I had calculated publishing a children's book series every three month, 1 southern fiction & 1 zombie fiction every six month, 1 espionage thriller every year and a nonfiction every 2 years...not so difficult when you have twenty+ detailed outlines & character sketches sitting in a folder, right? WRONG! I had a stroke. Time that should have used writing and publishing is now spent in hospitals and rehab. Not to mention a terminally ill husband to boot. Writing has been derailed by real life.

    Take a breath sweetie! Writing is a creative process. While some can write fiction in a couple months others can take 10 years. Don't be so hard on yourself. Goals are just guidelines and are self imposed. Not having a job is bad, yes but is not from your lack of trying to find one. Unemployment is in percentages of double digits. That's not your doing. You aren't homeless, you have internet, you have food for your table...you are blessed and so much better than others. Don't sweat the small stuff. You have every thing you need so keep writing for as long as it takes.

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  11. I play games. Perhaps its not your cup of tea but it works for me. Some Black Ops and after I've spread some digital blood across the background I feel better. Or (as is more often the case) if I'm getting my blood spread about then I'll quit in disgust and realize that writing is a far better option. It's a win/win!

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