Banish Stress with
Three Easy Solutions
Copyright Cheryl Malandrinos - All Rights
Your editor is screaming for
the changes to the article that you promised her two days
ago; the kids are yanking on your arm so that they’re not
late to soccer practice again, and you still haven’t
figured out what’s for supper tonight.
Is it any wonder you have a
According to a National
Health Interview Study, abut 75% of the population feels
stress every two weeks. Stress can affect your eating
habits, sleeping patterns, blood pressure, skin appearance,
and weight. And in some cases it leads to death.
So, what can you do about
stress? More than you think.
#1: I can never
accomplish everything on time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed
then you’re probably spending too much time thinking about
what needs to be done instead of doing it.
Create a to-do list. Write down
everything you have to do over the next week and view it
with a critical eye. Does everything on this list
really need to be accomplished next week? Is there
something that could wait another week? What tasks
have deadlines that can’t be changed?
Focus on the tasks that must
be completed and prioritize them. (See my article on
setting priorities - http://www.writer2writer.com/to-do-lists.htm)
Then work on them one at a time. Don’t think about the
next thing on your list. Concentrate only on the task
And if you’re going to miss a
deadline, don’t pile on additional stress by waiting until
the last minute to let the editor know. This will keep
you from wasting time worrying over what she’ll
#2: My family feels I
dedicate too much time to my writing
Finding the perfect balance
between your home life and career is never easy. But
there are many things you can do to gain the support of your
Have a family meeting. Explain to your
family why pursuing a writing career is important to
you. Share your dreams with them and what you hope to
Ask for their help. You
can’t do this entirely on your own. Once you’ve shared
your reasons for choosing a writing career let them know
what they can do to support you.
But this only works if you
respect your family time. Create a writing schedule
that works best for you and stick to it. At the end of
your writing time shut off the light and close the
door. Your family will be more willing to help out if
they know that once you’re done for the day, they are your
#3: I keep putting
things off and then I get stressed trying to finish by the
Procrastination is an issue
for many writers. Reasons for putting things off
vary: the absence of a writing schedule, over
commitment, lack of confidence in your abilities, and
allowing distractions and interruptions to steal your
writing time, to name a few.
Solutions: Create a
writing schedule and stick to it. It is too easy to
push aside a project if you don’t have a deadline.
If you want to be a successful writer, that means sending
out submissions on a regular basis—not waiting for the
mood to strike you.
Learn to say “no”. If
you over commit, then you’ll feel stressed constantly and
begin putting things off. Frequently turning in
projects late can damage your reputation and cost you repeat
business. Saying “no” does not make you a bad
person. You’re only saying “no” to this one
thing. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to help out
the next time someone asks.
Self-doubt, fear of failure,
and fear of success are very real issues for writers because
they are regularly forced to deal with rejection.
Positive self-talk and focusing on your strengths instead of
your weaknesses can help. Write a list of all your
strengths as a writer and pin it above your desk. When
you begin to wander away from a project read the list and
then get back to work.
Two excellent resources that
discuss ways to handle self-doubt and fear are You Are
More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose,
Passion & Power by Judi Moreo and Page After
Page by Heather Sellers.
Don’t let distractions and
interruptions steal your writing time. Schedule a time
each day to return phone messages and check email.
Your writing time is for writing. Don’t use it to wash
the dishes or run errands. Let your family know they
are more than welcome to interrupt you for a real
emergency, but other than that, they have to respect your
Reducing stress is not only
good for your career, it’s good for your health. Take
the time to identify what triggers stress in your life and
never shy away from asking for professional help if you need
it. You owe it to your family and your career to stay
About the Author:
Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelancer who
specializes in helping writers increase productivity through
time management and organization. She has also written
articles on everyday life in the 1800’s, gardening, parenting,
and women’s health issues. Cheryl is also a virtual book tour
coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. You can find out
more about Cheryl by visiting her website at