Thursday, March 12, 2015

Stress: A Six Letter Word

So, one thing I mentioned quite a few times at the beginning of the year when everyone was talking about goals and resolutions - it was kind of my main goal for the year - was not stressing myself out. I hadn't realized it much before, but I have a tendency to put a lot of unneeded stress and pressure on myself. Basically, it's self-inflicted.

Now, this topic has a little to do with blogging but mostly just real life stuff. Basically, I just wanted to talk about stress in general and once more assess the ways I'm trying to eliminate it. I was actually doing really good about it until recently, I'd cut down on blog posts, from 5 to 7 a week to 3 to 5, I was balancing my reading and my writing and my blogging and it was fabulous.

I'm not sure what's changed but I lost that balance and now everything is just mounting up and overly stressful again. I think part of it has to do with goals I set myself in my writing, I try to set reasonable goals that won't cause stress and I think I'm overdoing it this month. The thing is, I'm not in school and I don't have a job, writing is my job and I treat it like it is, I work on my books for 6 to 8 hours a day, sometimes more, and it can be exhausting. Beyond that I don't have a ton of responsibilities but I still have to find time to do everything else. And writing, in general, can be stressing because beyond writing and rewriting and editing and doing the absolute best you can, you don't have much control over things. You can do your absolute best but when it comes to querying to try and get an agent, you basically have no say over anything. This causes even more stress!

I love writing, of course, and I don't hate or regret how much time I have to spend on it, I set these goals for myself, but when I'm so overly focused and don't have time to do other things it makes me stressed.

When I get stressed, I get so wound up that I don't want to read. It's kind of a downhill slope that can lead to lots of self-doubt and then it's into depression territory. So then I fall behind in reading which stresses me out if only because reading is the thing that makes me relax and when I take that away I don't have that relaxing part of the day.

Now, blogging. When I get stressed I tend to get so focused on one thing, writing usually, and it's all I can think of and focus on, so even though I still love making posts and it's so much fun, I fall behind. And it's not just posts but what I hate even more is falling behind on comments and visiting other blogs because without that blogging's not as fun.

So, how am I going to de-stress my life again? No idea. Well, yes an idea but not a great one and one that won't really take effect until after the 18th. After the 18th, I'll have finished what I'm currently working on and have time to take a short break before Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Reading is harder, because it doesn't stress me I'm just having a hard time finding time for it recently. As for blogging, I've already cut out my Sunday Weekly wrap-up posts and I'm just trying to do posts when I can and not worry about it, I'm really counting on being able to chill out and focus again on other things after the 18th. With blogging, it's like when I fall behind on comments then I start stressing out and I don't want to do more posts and I don't want to visit other blogs until I've caught up, so I kind of have to get over that.

I'm also trying out a new sleeping schedule to capitalize on my most productive hours of the day( I kind of get obsessed sometimes...). I'm used to staying up til 2 or 3 in the morning and then sleeping til 10. I usually eat and then start working which always leads to me feeling like I need crash again around 4, I just work through the slump I get there, but I tend to do less for a few hours around there. Now, I'm sleeping 1 to 7(more often 2 to 8) in the morning and then 4 to 7 in the afternoon, eliminating my least productive parts of the day and ensuring that I am more awake during my most productive parts.

So, I know this wasn't exactly a normal discussion post but if you're stressed or have any other icky type feelings(whether about blogging or not) share them below(it's almost like free therapy!). =)


  1. I go through periods of stress, mostly because of deadlines I put on myself. I start reading other books when I get in a slump. There is always one book in my TBR pile that I am dying to read. Sometimes reading other blogs about their awesome reads will make me want to grab up that book and get the review done.

    1. I'm the same way with the deadlines, I just try to push myself too hard sometimes and it makes me stressed and edgy and it's not good.

      I hadn't really thought of reading other reviews to get me excited for a book, that's a really good idea! =)

  2. That's amazing that you're writing, Shay. Writing doesn't get done unless you treat it like a job, so it's really awesome that you're putting in the time & effort. Are you thinking of doing Pitch Wars this year? I think "applications" for mentors go up in August.

    Stress is the worst. I don't have any good advice on that other shower/bath or going to a bookstore/coffee shop and just walking around, browsing - aka relaxing. That's usually what I do when I want to "clear my mind".

    Let me know if you need to talk queries & writing! I'm here for you, girl :)

    1. Thanks so much, Axie! I haven't looked a ton into Pitch Wars, but I am considering it. It sounds like it's a good option.

      Yeah, for me I just have to let myself relax, that's the hard part! Going to the bookstores a good idea though, who isn't relaxed at a bookstore?

      I would love any advice you might have for querying? That's the part I'm really nervous about, I've done it once before with a manuscript that I realized like three months later was no where near ready to be queried, that's part of my problem now, that I'm worried I'm going to make the same mistake with this book. Anyway, if you had time and any tips that would be great. Thanks for the offer! =)

  3. The funny thing is, I almost wrote a post JUST LIKE THIS instead of doing the tag! But... I didn't even have THAT in me. I can relate, I am so stressed that I cannot even function right now. I am so glad I'd had my reviews for the week finished, because I am sure I wouldn't have been able to do them. My problem is that I take on wayyyy too much shit, and/or demand too much of myself, and then am basically running on no sleep and tons of anxiety and depression.

    Ugh, I wish I had answers. But alas, I do not. I just know that the struggle is real. I had a breakdown in my kitchen last night, so I feel your pain. I just want TIME. I just want five minutes to do nothing, to be alone, to not feel like I HAVE to be doing something. Ugh. I hope you start to feel less stressed soon, and I am sorry you're having trouble too <3

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. That is so weird and funny, that's the first thing I thought about when I saw your post last night, it's like 'oh, I totally relate to that!'.

      Yeah that's my problem, I just expect too much of myself sometimes, I'm so busy planning how to maximize my time and how I can get all my stuff done in one day that I don't leave myself time to relax and then it all builds up and I'm stressed and anxious and all kinds of icky feelings.

      Yeah, it's like I want to be able to de-stress and I convince myself that I can, but it's not that easy! For me, it's literally all self-inflicted and I know I'm the one doing this to myself but that doesn't really help me to stop. I totally relate though. I hope you feel better about it all soon too ;) <3

  4. Stress is a *huge* factor in my own book slumps but like you I am cutting back on stress - except mine is worry related and emotional baggage. I couldn't give up blogging everyday (at least not right now) because I see it as my link to the outside world but this year I am focusing on not stressing about things I can't control - like family drama.

  5. OH MY GOSH THIS POST IS EVERYTHING! I have stressed myself out SO many times doing this, and that has always put me into epic blogging and even reading slumps. My creative side and my blogging is the most affected, but commenting and visiting takes a huge hit also. I've especially felt this way the last few weeks, and so I'm slowly trying to get back into the groove of doing what I love doing: spreading the love and interacting with other bloggers. It's HARD!

    I think lessening the amount you post was a good thing! I did that myself, and since 2015 has started, I've definitely stopped posting on Sundays, and mostly Saturdays too. I like taking the weekends off, and I just don't want to pressure myself into writing a post if I'm not feeling it, ya know? I honestly think people can sense if you're just not INTO what you're doing on here. So, taking some time to de-stress and get back into the FUN of blogging is a MUST.

    I hope you become less stressed about everything!! :)


    I actually get more stress when I'm not blogging, which I kind of experienced. Also I get stressed out when I'm behind on reading books, because I always aim for 2 a week. Actually, I have 7 books to review now, and this has never happened to me before, and I don't know what to do about it :P


  7. I hope things have gotten less stressful for you and you've found a more relaxing pattern. I totally get like this too - things just keep building up and up until I feel completely overwhelmed!! Then I feel guilty for the things I haven't gotten done (for instance, getting to all of the discussion posts that have been put up for the discussion challenge - I'm way behind!).

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction