Stress is a matter of perception – how you look at your problems. When you are trying to improve your writing you stress about which class to take, what aspect of your writing needs the most work, will anyone read my story other than me? As you learn about this business you stress about the market, the trends, the formatting for submitting your manuscript, which agents are good, which are bad, and how to tell the difference.

You believe once you get a publishing contract the stress is gone – Ha! A whole new plethora of problems raise their scary heads. Can I do the edits they want? Will I like my cover? How much promotion is enough? What can I write for a second book? Will it be as good as the first book, or will I suffer the sophomore slump?

I attended an RWA chapter meeting this weekend and it was very enlightening. From a semi-new writer who worried about social networking and how to fit that into writing time to the other end of the spectrum with a writer who has 3 single titles, 3 novellas, and I think a holiday story due by June. Whoo! Tired just hearing about that schedule.

This isn’t a blog only about writing. Life and stress are a matter of perception too. You are short on cash so you work more hours, but that means that you need more childcare. You are trying to get pregnant and worry about how much do you spend before you realize you will be childless. You worry about your children’s school, their friends, the neighborhood you live in.

It all doesn’t have to be stressful, you can decide how to deal with it. How to change your perception of whatever is causing you stress.

What is a problem causing you stress? How could you see the problem in a new or different way to lower the stress in your life?


Jill James

6 thoughts on “Perception

  1. I do so agree, Jill and once your book is published, the stress doesn’t stop : there’s the promotion, the reviews to watch out for, the royalties to worry about. But I think the worst part really is the rejections at query time. There’s nothing that matches that.

    • Sue, I’m so finding that out – getting published is a new set of stress. Rejections are the worst and you still get them when you get published too – what a bummer!!!

  2. Stress is a writing killer. I know so personally, and trying to learn how to push it outside my writing life, so I can write. I really hate it, and have finally come to the conclusion, I’ve wasited a lot of time on stressing over things, I can’t change, and over people, who honestly don’t care what they’ve done to my emotional, phyiscal and writing life.
    I’ve got it, I’m leaving the stress outside the door, dumping it in the trash and moving ahead.

    • Lee, a great lesson we all need to learn. Just like cops need to leave the job at the job and not bring it home, we need to leave the stress outside our writing space and not let it in.

  3. I love your attitude! I agree that stress is perception. Now I’m not saying we don’t have stress and it’s not easy, but your attitude can change the way you see and handle things. I make sure that I do some type of exercise everyday to get me away from the computer. I find that walking my dogs help clear my mind. I don’t take my hand held, only poop bags:)

    • Tonya, it is all about your attitude. Like that book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it is all small stuff. I love that book. I have a calendar with a good tip to relax every day.

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