Monday, May 24, 2010

Stress and the Life of an Author

**These are simply my observations, and should in no way be taken as established truths.**

As an author, I dream of deadlines. I long to have an editor pushing me to get my revisions, or my drafts, in by a certain day and time. Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. But we do this. We want this. And, if we have a contract and this isn't happening, we (or at least I) can really drive ourselves up the wall.

But, in our heart of hearts, I think we can admit a good deal of the stress we experience as writers is self-inflicted.

I'm not going to tell you that setting goals and deadlines for yourself is unhealthy, because it's not. If you don't, you could well be working on the same novel for 20 yrs. At the same time, we are not above heaping stress upon ourselves for a great number of things.

Let's say we miss that deadline by a week.

Or we make the deadline because we've put off our family to have time to write.

After about ten minutes at the computer, I have horrible upper back pain. It just starts aching, and pretty soon I'll have to get up. I don't do my stretches. I don't see my chiropractor regularly and, sadly, have only had one massage in my life. I'm beginning to think, at least for me, these things are critical in relieving stress and making me a more prolific writer.

The sad thing is I can't offer any real solution for resolving the stress. There may be none. But, perhaps, some of you have ideas on reducing it. Thoughts?


Steve said...

Usually when I feel stress, its because my life is out of balance in one way or another. Sometimes I need to have more fun, or exercise, or simply veg out with the family.

Thanks for the post.