Friday Speak Out!: How To Keep Stress From Killing You (And Write)

Friday, June 28, 2019
by Iona Caldwell

If there is one thing I’ve learned from writing my first novel while balancing a full-time job as a stay at home mom, a wife, a gardener, a druid, etc, it’s how to keep stress from killing you.

I kid you not. There were times I thought I wanted to give it up until the kids were out of the house and life slowed down.

I know I’m not the only who suffers this. So, to help all of you parents trying to balance life and pursuing your dreams, let me share a few tips.

1. The TV (and game systems) Are Our Friends

Yes, you read that right. There is nothing wrong with letting the munchkins enjoy cartoons while you write For those of you hissing at me right now and who happen to have young kids, try it out. It really works. They’re happy, you can write, everyone wins.

2. Have A She-Shed or Man-Cave Where You Can Write in Peace

For me, my she-shed happens to be my sofa with a cup of coffee once the kids have gone to bed. Having a space you can take a few minutes to sit in the dark and unwind can mean the difference between writing stressfully and enjoying it. Give yourself ten minutes to let the day fall off of you.

3. Start a Pre-Writing Ritual

It may sound silly to some but since I’ve implemented this one thing, it’s meant all the difference between procrastinating and getting a good hour of writing in. I take 20-minutes to meditate before writing anything, including an infuser filled with sandalwood and some inspirational music. This happens every time I plan a writing session. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes. If you don’t meditate, take a hot bath, workout on your Peloton. Whatever works for you to mentally prepare to write, do it. It matters, believe me.

4. Tell Yourself It’s Okay NOT to Write Every Day

I hear those hisses again through the screen. It’s true though. I don’t write every day and I’ve it actually helps my creative well from running dry. For me, my stories flowed better, I suffered less eye strain and less stress to ride the “struggle bus.”

5. Tell Yourself You Matter

I don’t really have much else to say on this one other than taking days for self-care have made managing stress so much easier. I told myself it’s okay on the weekends to ignore deadlines and run around Borderlands 2 and shoot bandits with my husband. On Fridays, I enjoy family night with my kids. Whatever hobby you have, it’s okay to take care of yourself.

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My name is Iona Caldwell. I'm the author of the British Occult Fiction, Beneath London's Fog set to be published by FyreSyde Publishing October 2019. When I'm not busy weaving worlds of the arcane and dark, I'm spending time out in nature. I love books. My biggest inspirations are H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Edgar Allen Poe. I blog about many things but mostly everything bookish. All of my novels are stand-alone novellas, each with a cast of people I hope my readers will come to love as much as I have.

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Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Iona--I agree with all your suggestions. It's important to take time for ourselves, and to find a routine and place that works for us.

Good luck with your future writing projects. And if you like Stephen King, have you read anything by Joe Hill (his son)? NOS4A2 is my favorite of his. "Fireman" and "Heart-Shaped Box" are also good.

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