Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stress, who needs it?

I've come to the realization that I'm a bit strange. I've got more than my fair load of stress, but to be honest, I just don't think about it too much, and so therefore, don't feel stressed.

I've realized that there are things I can control, and some things I can't. Before I go all twelve step on you, I think the real trick is actively asking yourself if the thing you are thinking about is something you can control, or something you can't.

There's a lot of pressure in this industry. Here are some of the things I know I can control. I can give everything I write my very best effort. I can work my hardest to meet each of my deadlines and keep up with emails.

I can't control what people think of the book. I can't make people read it or love it. And I can't control what happens in the future. I can try to influence these things, but I'm not magic, so I have to acknowledge I've given them my best effort and move on.

I can control how much time and effort I put into promotion for the book. I can't control how people respond to my efforts.

I can control my attitude toward my writing. I can remind myself that this is fun. I can remind myself that I love my books, and nothing is perfect, even in the galleys. I can accept that I'm not perfect and I can guarantee that I will stumble and fall at some point.

But here's the other thing I can control.

I can get back up.

So I'm going to hold these thoughts close to my heart as I work through all the stress. I'm going to remind myself that I wished for this for so long, and I wished for it for a reason. I'm going to accept that with writing or without writing, my life is good and loving. With that in mind I'll embrace my writing as something that makes me happier in my life...

Not stressed out.

Life's too short for that.

Now back to my deadlines. (Can we call them freedom days?)



Blodeuedd said...

I sure stressed on my master's thesis, but I also thrived on that stress. Got things done :)
Which I can't say the same about a year later

Casey said...

Words of wisdom, Jess! Thanks for reminding us that there's more to this business (and to life) than just worrying about things we have no control over. Over the years, I've seen that this sort of do-it/do-more/write-more/publish-more mentality is especially true in the romance industry. I do not see it at all in mystery. In romance, if you haven't published four or more books in one year, people look at you like something's wrong. In mystery, if you tell them you've done four books in a year, they look at you like you're insane. Why? I can't say, but I have the uneasy feeling that it has something to do with women trying to prove too much, to the world and to themselves.

Jess Granger said...

There's probably a lot of truth to that. And we don't forgive each other easily either.

If another woman doesn't do something a group seems to be expecting, then there's a bunch of perceived nastiness. The one that is struggling feels like the others see her as a failure, and feels like the others are deeming her as not a good enough woman because she can't handle *everything*.

We are so sensitive to being judged harshly by a group, we run ourselves into the ground.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

"Freedom days" sounds pretty good me! {REALLY BIG GRIN, wink}

Good luck at controlling the stress. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin