Some days suck. Things break. People let you down. Traffic. It is high time we as writers (most with day/night jobs to pay the bills) need to let ourselves off the hook for things we cannot control. Now that isn’t the same thing as noticing the maintenance light on the dash of your car has been on for three weeks straight and it breaks down…that is your fault. Sorry.
What I’m talking about is the unexpected, the unexplained, the just down right crazy things that happen in life. Those things are out of our control, but they must be dealt with no matter what. Take a moment and remember you are only human. There are only 24 hours in a day (7-8 of which you should be sleeping. Can you say self-care?). You only have so much stress your body can process each day and not start to break down.
So what are we going to do? I’m going to tell you what I do.
- Stop moving, stop thinking, stop blaming/dwelling. Just stop everything.
- Take a few deep breaths. In through the nose. Out through the mouth. Do this until your begin to feel calmer. Concentrate on the sound of the air moving through your body. When I’m mad the sound is loud. When I’m sad the sound is reedier.
- Now name what is actually wrong with you, not the circumstances around you.
- Example: I am mad at my husband for forgetting X…not…These stupid people in traffic have made me late and they don’t know how to drive…how did they get a license anyway?—The point is to actually deal with what is going on inside you not what environmental problems are making you feel worse about the actual issue.
- How am I going to resolve what is going on inside me, so I can get on with my day and be the creative soul I was meant to be? Name the resolution.
- Sticking with the example above: I am going to forgive my husband. He didn’t forget on purpose. He is not my enemy. (I have probably done the same to him on more than one occasion.)
Now will traffic still suck after this? Yes, traffic always sucks, but it doesn’t have to suck the life out of you. Will there still be little fires you need put out each week, each day? Of course, life is full of surprises, some good, some not so much. But each bump in the road doesn’t have to make you careen off into a ditch. You, Dear Writer, are a creative soul. Start using that wondrous creative mind toward your own issues. You might even surprise yourself with just how creative you can be. Now, chill.