Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

How Do You Cope With Being Overwhemed..?

March 17, 2014


As writers we frequently become overwhelmed with expections, some are self imposed, while others are derived from external sources. We are told we need to have a social media presence, ensure our manuscripts are edited, revised and polished, submit to magazines, publishers, clients, promote our books…the list goes on and on! However, these are only the tip of the iceberg, as many of us also have full time jobs and a family life to squeeze into our daily 24 hours.

How can we cope when we are being fragmented in so many directions? We are advised to maintain a work/life balance but as this article shows it is sometimes more a ‘blending’ than balancing.

My question is should we not ‘switch off’ at some point? Have ‘down’ time? Refresh the creative juices as well as restore our emotional needs?

What is your coping mechanism?

Here is a link detailing how some writers cope.

Presently, my ‘work load’ looks something like this:  I am helping organize a writers conference, volunteering for my writers foundation as secretary at events, deciding on illustrations for my children’s chapter book, revising my cowgirl romance, working full time, spending time with family, household chores, being taxi for kid, promoting my books, advertising for a writing retreat, maintaining my social media presence, and transcribing my Mother’s journal. I’m sure I have forgotten some things but you get the picture.

How do I cope? Admittedly, I do ‘drop the ball’ sometimes but I try not to beat myself up about it. I realized a while ago that whatever ‘moment’ you are involved in is the one you should be experiencing. It may not be on your schedule but rules are made to be broken after all. I have a weekly schedule but it is flexible. Why not accept an invitation for dinner or a movie? After all there may be inspiration in those experiences, you would miss otherwise. My mantra is New Opportunities – grab them when they present themselves with both hands.

For instance, we are dog sitting at the moment so I did not have time for my morning ritual of reading through my emails. Instead, I enjoyed an early morning walk under the bright glow of a full moon. It was spectacular and if I had kept to my schedule I would have missed it entirely. So let the unexpected intrusions come and enjoy them.

My week is full time work during the day, with writing related meetings every Tuesday evening, aquasize every Wednesday, assisting at my publishers every Thursday, but these are open to change. Such as an author reading to a Brownie troop last Wednesday evening. The evening was extremely enjoyable and the questions raised were insightful and fun. I gained new perspectives on my narratives and the Brownies learnt how books are published and writers come up with their ideas. As always there will always be someone busier than you!

None of us can ‘do it all’ – enjoy what you can do – that is more than enough.


These tips may, or may not, help you decide on your own balancing act:  Full descriptions on link.

1. Build downtime into your schedule.

2. Drop activities that sap your time or energy.

3. Rethink your errands.

4. Get moving.

5. Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way.


  1. This is timely advice. Earlier today I was thinking about how cluttered my thoughts have been, like an overstuffed attic.Of course I’m holding on to some things that sap my energy–I forgot to let go.
    So what this comes down to (for me) is honoring my writing and saying no to the stuff that gets in the way.

    Your post helped me to articulate that.
    Thank you.

    And there is an award for you on my blog. I don’t know if you participate in these things or not, but even if you don’t, I want to point others your way, and I want you to know I have appreciated your posts whenever I have come to your blog.


  2. Get something done; doesn’t shrink my list much, but makes me feel better. 🙂


  3. Pingback: Writing and planning and all that goes with it… | Wildhorse33's Blog

  4. Great post that outlines the real life we live when we truly want to claim living the “writing life.” The two are, however, inextricably intertwined! As the author of this blog knows, I have had my share of “overwhelming” and this still does not keep me from grasping new opportunities, despite my apparent overdose of to-dos. I want to add: having wonderfully awesome support people is key to my ability to handle, recharge, and deal with overwhelming. Having “me time” is important, too.


  5. A great post on our busy lives. I completely agree that we need downtime. Burnout will not get us anywhere.


  6. Great post that outlines how busy our real life can be even though we want to just call it our “writing life.” I know there are many ways of coping, and as the author of this blog post knows, I have had my share and continue to grab on to opportunities – always! I want to add: the support of special people is key to my ability to apparently grasp a bigger than necessary share (lol)… Also, being able to spend time alone is necessary as it fuels my creative spirit and allows me to dissipate the overwhelming.


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