Usually on Fridays I post a fill in the blank or some other type of whimsical nonsense so as not to weigh down already full and exhausted brains on such a crucial day of the week. However, I admit that today I'm not feeling so...creative. Therefore, rather than force a lame Mad Lib-we'll wait. Deal?
Today I want to address that feeling of pressure that we all go through at some point. Pressure from jobs, families, friends, bills, self-expectations...you name it. This week, all that pressure seemed to squeeze me too tight and I froze. I stared at my computer screen for a week. I tried to act like a cool cucumber. Instead, I made mistakes like a green squash. Here's an example:
1) I twittered with a lovely woman about my YA-which I was not good at describing or rather comparing to anything-and so the tweety conversation ended soon. I looked up this lovely woman's profile and found she was what? A literary agent. *headsmack*
2) Completely forgot that my daughter's science fair project *YUK* is due in two weeks. Crap.
So, when pressure starts to harm, rather than help you, what are the ways to get it off your back? I would tell you, but then how fun would that be? Of course, I don't know either. :0)
But here's my game plan:
Outline the new plot into my existing manuscript. I had an AHA moment where I realized that I really needed to narrow down the plot, raise the stakes and add a character. I think then, Tunnel Vision will be perfect.
Talk with the people that know my misery, the fellow writers that can give you one more oomph when you think there are none left.
Step away. Step away from it all. Despite the fact that I have to boil water in order to make my bathwater hot enough (long story), I took a long bath last night and just let it go. I said to hell with all of ya. Bills, manuscripts, agents, writers, kids, husbands, grocery stores, phones, email and everything else. I didn't even try to think of fixing anything. Other than my head. Which is always only temporary anyway.
Remove that which is not necessary. This is so much easier said than done. But the hardest thing for me to do is to let go of things I can not change. Why? Don't know, it's a freakin curse. However, I have to. I have to remember that my manuscript will only be ready when I have it ready. Not before. I remind myself that worrying about money/children's futures/end of the world really has no effect on how things will end up. That's really, really hard. It's a control issue.
What are your coping mechanisms?