We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns. Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong? Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best? Is there another novel inside me?
It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.
What makes you most anxious in your writing life?
Unfortunately, stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us.
Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths. When our body is stressed it tends to hyperventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply. If possible, take a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour. Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain.
If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you. Focus on each step instead of overwhelming yourself with the ‘whole’ project. Give yourself a reasonable time frame. If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.
Write in another genre or create a short story to refresh your mind. Find a writing prompt to try – it can be a picture or a set of words. Let your imagination go to a new subject.
Clear any clutter on your desk or writing space. A clean tidy space allows you to concentrate better and stops any distractions. I regularly clean house on my desk.