If You’re Feeling Discouraged, Read This: A Writer’s Approach to Dealing With Stress

“Sometimes, the words don’t come out the same way in which they used to. Sometimes, you feel as though you aren’t creating as efficiently as you once did. Sometimes, the writing just doesn’t happen – and that is okay. You’ve settled down to get some writing done, and you continue, but something doesn’t sit quite right. So, you delete and start again. You’ve spent a good chunk of your day trying to continue your piece but nothing seems to fit. I had quite a bit of this happen last week, as I was writing a bit of poetry. I’d write an entire poem, scan it over once, and fall out of love with it completely. It just didn’t feel genuine, it felt too forced because I was trying to get it done in a certain amount of time, instead of truly enjoying the process and letting it flow naturally. There will be times in which we have off days and our productivity levels are a bit lower than usual. There will be a few days when we’re feeling a bit under the weather, where we just cannot think straight – much less write something exciting. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, that is art you’re creating, and that art takes time.”

“Give Yourself a Break, a Real Break.”

You may be thinking, “I give myself a break all the time. I take time during the evenings to relax, I absolutely take enough time to work through all of the impending stress that life exudes.” – No. For a while, I had been wondering just why I was letting all of these little things stress me out so much, and have so much hold over how I perform on a day-to-day basis. I was telling myself that I was taking the time to relax, and I surely wasn’t doing anything productive, so why have I been so exhausted and stressed still? The answer is, I wasn’t giving my mind a break. I may have allotted time to give my body the rest it needed, but I wasn’t allowing my thoughts to settle, or my worries to lessen. Instead, they’d just linger in the back of my mind, creating stress anytime something small would go wrong. 

This is a counterproductive approach to getting things done in a timely manner, because no one can survive on remaining in a constant state of stress and exhaustion. It simply isn’t going to work. Yes, there may be things that overwhelm you, and yes this may affect your creative work, but that is why you need to allow your mind to have a break. One thing I haven’t been doing as much as I should is spending time just collecting my thoughts into my writing journal, I haven’t been giving myself the necessary outlet to really making note of my frustrations and working past them. Thus, I spend too much time suppressing the stress instead of actually aiding it.

“Now, Let’s Talk About Balance.”

I’ve been at a stage where I funnel a lot of my creative energy into both my poetry and the novel I am currently working on, but what I’ve noticed is that neither is getting my full attention and that is where I’ve begun to fall short. Now, to change this I’ve split up my days whether that’d be a day to work on my poetry collection, or to work on my novel, but I don’t let them clash because I know that one or the other isn’t going to be where I want it to be. There will be days in which I’ve worked quite a bit on my poetry collection, I’ve had a bit of a break, and I made it into novel territory – that I surely look forward to (aka Sundays), but on a weekly basis I know that I can only allot enough time to give my best effort to one or the other. So, I do just that. Today has been a poetry writing day, so I took my time, really explored a variety of different perspectives, and created the way I loved to create. – This is what fulfills me.

Tomorrow, I can work on my novel, I can give it the attention it needs to progress and move further into becoming a finished rough draft. You have to ask yourself, when you’re feeling discouraged, when the words aren’t coming out the way you want them to, if this is because you’re stuck or if it’s because you’re letting the rest of your life cloud your creativity instead of inspiring it. You can turn just about anything into a written work, and that is something I’ve noticed as I settle down to write poetry that matters to me, and a novel that makes me happy. Do it because it makes you happy. 

“And Now, For a Life Update.”

I’ve been pretty under the weather over the last few days, and so I’ve been trying to rest up as much as possible and not trying to get a word out when I know my mind isn’t capable of exploring the creative process (for I couldn’t really even look at a screen with that much of a headache). There is a lot to come with new poetry pieces and written content for this blog that I am really excited about, as well as just taking the time to delve into some good summer reads and review them right here. Talking about why I love a book I’ve read, really puts things into perspective when I am trying to write my own. Inspiration never seems to run dry when I’m wrapped up in something engaging. For now, I need to focus on getting better, get all of my work done that has piled up over the last few days, and get back to writing.

I hope you all have a lovely rest of the week, and happy writing!

(I do not own the photograph above).

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