Friday, September 13, 2013

Stress Relief by Sara Humphreys

I am on deadline. Again.

I'm not complaining. I love what I do and as a writer I feel blessed to be contracted for several more books which means I will be living on deadline for the next three years. At least.

That being said, my latest deadline is looming large and I have been stressed to the gills--as I always am the two weeks prior to turning a book in. Most writers will tell you that they have a process and for most of us that process includes stressing out--usually more than once.

In order to save my sanity, I have a few go-to tools for stress relief. I'll admit right off the bat that some are smarter than others.

1. Get up from my computer, step away from the manuscript and go for a walk--This is the best option but I don't always do it because I feel guilty for leaving the project. However, when I do force myself to take that break, it helps every single time. It's good for the mind and the body.

2. Call a friend--Chatting with one of my writer friends can be great because they know the torture of which I speak.  So talking to another author is really helpful...unless those bitches are done with their book....Just kidding. ;)

3. Watch a funny video on You Tube in the name of research--Ah yes, the internet research is an important tool for the author but it's also dangerous. It can become a time suck if I'm not careful but if I'm super stressed out, watching silly videos is a great stress reliever. Here's one of my faves.

4. Chocolate--See. I told you they weren't all good choices. I save this as an absolute last resort because the weight watchers points value of my favorite goody is hefty. Which is exactly what I will be if I eat it too often.

5. Keep Writing--Sometimes it's best to put my head down and plow through.

How about you? What do you do to relieve stress?


  1. Do all of the above, Sara!!! Good luck with your stress.

    I also take a moment and shoot pictures. Of amazing clouds, or sunsets or sunrises. Of flowers in bloom. Or a blue, blue dragonfly sitting on a crepe myrtle eating aphids that are eating my flowers. And then I share them.

    I pause to interact with fans, because believe me, when they're loving my books, it REALLY prompts me to write some more. :)

    Speaking of deadlines....

  2. I agree with Terry. If I'm pulling out my hair, a few fan words give me the inspiration I need to keep plugging through.

    As I sit here with a deadline looming over my head as well...Ugh.

  3. Those all sound good to me. However, I have less stress when meeting a deadline than I do waiting to hear from an editor about the edits. Now, THAT is stressful...

  4. I have a book due October 1 too. I'm not that stressed about it because I made a lot of progress this week--I know how it ends now! I just try not to wait until the last minute. I like to have time to read it over and play a bit before turning it in. Hoping to have the first draft done next week so I can do that.

    Oh, and I agree with Cheryl. Edits are way more stressful to me.

  5. I feel your pain, but know you will meet your deadline and wow your editor. See? I have faith in you :)

    The last book in my series comes out in December, and I'm all finished with page proofs. But that being said, I'm hoping to wow Deb with my next proposal...soooo I'm kindof at the beginning again...YIKES!

    OH...deadline cure? Tullemore Dew and Chocolate.

  6. Reading lol. It is the only thing that stops the voices in my head! I read at night before going to sleep - the perfect way to get rid of the stress of the day.

  7. And I thought I was the only author who was plagued with stress. Thank you for the post and all those who've commented that have let me know I'm not paddling this boat alone.

  8. Thanks for the laugh - I needed it! I like anything with babies. Finding your inner child can be a great stress relief!

  9. Reading, chocolate (particularly See's), listening to instrumental music (smooth jazz or classical). Good luck on the deadline!