Monday, March 2, 2015

Stress Release

Once again I am sitting down to the computer, contemplating the blank screen. Yes . . . it's my turn to compose yet another blog post. ;) Usually the ideas just pop inside my empty head and I do my best to translate them into written word. Today I'm staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration to strike.

That's the way it seems to be for most writers. Some days it seems like you can't type fast enough to keep up with the silent muse that eggs us on. Other days you sit staring at the blank screen and scratch your head. Or read through what you've already written and cut it to shreds, certain it is the worst thing that anyone has ever written. ;)

For me, writing has always been a release . . . a way to work through things that are bothering me. It's how I started, actually. After my father's death, on the nights I couldn't sleep, I wrote out everything I was feeling. Then I shredded every page. I didn't know it, but this was a healthy way to work through a very traumatic loss. Not long after that experience, I began writing a story about a young woman who was trying to come to terms with her father's death. I changed a lot of the details, but it was still my story. When it was finished, I remember feeling tremendous peace inside, and a sense of accomplishment. Then my husband read through it and he challenged me to send it off to a publishing company.

That proved to be a scary time. I'll never forget how I felt after I left my "baby" (the manuscript) at the post office. I wanted to dive back into the mail bin to retrieve it and take it home where it could be safe. Instead, I nervously waited 6 months for my first rejection letter. But by then, I had already started the second manuscript, and after pouting for a week or two, I continued to finish my second tome. I shelved the first one, certain there was something terribly wrong with it, since it had received a rejection letter. It would take me a while to learn that getting published is often a combination of meeting up with the right publishing company with the right idea, at the right time. No big deal. ;D

It would take me 8 years to get my first book published. I have an entire scrapbook filled with rejection letters. I titled it: "Opinions of Silly People." ;) Actually, they were my incentive to work on improving my writing skills.

For me, writing is still something I do from time to time (when I can find the time) and I'm currently working on a new manuscript that is pretty fun to write. We'll see what happens. For now, it's a great way to escape from the daily worries and responsibilities that fall to me. I have discovered that I feel better on the days that I write, so I've learned that this is one of my ways to release stress. That fact, alone, makes writing worthwhile.

I have several stress releases: photography, playing guitar, working in my gardens, going for a walk with a good friend, reading a good book . . . so on and so forth. I think these items are important to do on a regular basis. They help me stay balanced, and improve my mood if I'm having a less than stellar day.

So on those days when you're feeling bogged down, cling to the comfort of a good stress release. Since we're all unique, different things will appeal. For some it will be crafts, dancing, art . . . etc. and so forth. Find what makes you happy, and spend some time as often as you can, doing those things. I can promise that it will not only make you feel better about life, but it will also prove to be very enjoyable.

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