These stress management tips for writers are key for success, since stress can impede creativity and trigger writer’s block. You’ll stay focused and creative with these tips for managing stress.
Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces by Roy Peter Clark (one of my favorite writers on writing) presents an “owner’s manual” for writers. He outlines the seven steps of the writing process and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. He offers ten short solutions to each problem.
These stress management tips for writers are for when you feeling like you’ve been drilling rock – and you have a headache to match. To avoid burnout and writer’s block, you need to relax and let the words and ideas flow.
How to Manage Stress for Writers
“There is no rule on how to write,” says Ernest Hemingway. “Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly: sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”
1. Set realistic expectations
To stress less as a freelance writer, throw out your unrealistic expectations (eg, writing 7,000 words a day, writing a bestselling novel, sending 25 well-written, well-researched pitches to magazine editors today). Stress less by setting writing goals that are lofty but attainable.
2. Eat nutrients that increase energy
Stay away from those diet colas, iced Americanos, and chocolate coffee beans (quick highs, but you’ll crash soon). A healthier way to reduce stress is to eat foods that increase energy production, which will help your body to cope with the deadlines and lofty goals. Focusing on B Vitamins, magnesium and ribose (ribose is the key building block for energy) is an important part of stress management for writers.
3. Move your body
To reduce stress as a writer, get oxygen bubbling through your veins and to your brain. Run, cycle, spin, belly dance, box – who is the famous writer who swears by walking? Julia Cameron, perhaps? The more you exercise, the more freely ideas and words will flow.
4. Write in a different genre
I just wrote an essay called “But Honey, All Real Writers Do It” for the writing contest attached to the Surrey International Writers Conference. It’s a fun, quirky creative piece – and it was totally de-stressing to write it! An effective stress management tip for writers is to try writing poetry if you normally write textbooks or penning your memoirs if you normally write technical manuals.
If you tend to procrastinate, read 5 Tips for Ending Your Writing Procrastination.
5. Visualize the finished manuscript, article, or book proposal
Put The Secret or the Law of Attraction to work for you, and imagine your accomplished goals. Picture how you’d promote your novel or show your family the magazine with your feature article on the front cover. To reduce stress and stop the writer’s block that often comes with stress, sit back and visualize yourself as a successful writer.
6. Free your mind
An effective stress management tip for writers is unclutter your head and heart. If you’re harboring anger, resentment, or bitterness, apologize if you need to and forgive those around you. To get rid of writer’s block and create peace in your life, seek harmony. To succeed as a writer, focus on health and wellness in all aspects of your life.
7. Organize your desk, computer files, and house
To reduce stress, respect the relationship between your emotional state and your physical environment. Cleaning and organizing your environment can help foster feelings of control and efficiency – which can help you feel less stressed while you’re writing. As long as you don’t use cleaning as a procrastination tactic, it can also bolster your sense of focus and ability to get things done.
If you’re not the most organized writer on the planet, read How to Make an Editorial Calendar for Writers.
8. Write for someone who loves you dearly
Stress management for writers involves writing for loving, kind, and compassionate readers. Maybe you can picture an audience like this all the time, or maybe it’s a special treat to write for someone who views you with love. To reduce stress, write for people who think nothing but the best of you.
What have I missed? If you have anything to add to these stress management tips for writers, please comment below…