Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Writing with a Clear mind.

It is a fact-Stress kills productivity.

I know a bunch of you are going to email me and share how you work so much better under pressure and under deadline.

Okay, I conceded some of you are born procrastinators, but that doesn't disprove my point. You may not find procrastination stressful like I do. You experience stress in other ways.

No matter where you find it, or it finds you, stress will kill your ability to focus on your writing projects.

Why is stress so damaging? It pulls your attention away from the project your on and causes you to focus on other areas. If your writing doesn't have your full attention, you are not reaching your full potential. Your characters are as deep, your plot lines aren't as rich and your stories aren't as engaging as they could be.

What if you aren't writing fiction? You still aren't able to concentrate on your writing fully. How can you explain clearly to your reader and engage their interest when you have no interest in what you're writing? You need to give your writing at least as much attention as you want your reader to give it.

There are as many solutions to stress as there are stressful things. Recognizing the habits you have that increase your stress level will go a long way to reducing your stress.

Here are a couple of things I do to keep my stress level down and my creativity up.

1. Tackle big projects first. Once I get those done then everything else on my to-do list seems to go faster.
2. Don't leave lots of stuff 1/2 done. I am a person who loves to bounce from one project to another but then I end the day feeling as if I haven't accomplished anything. Instead, focus on one or two projects until they are completed. This allows you to change back and forth between projects to keep you from getting bored, but also allows you to complete projects and feel a sense of accomplishment.
3. Learn the power of no. We all do it. We overcommit. Learn to do things that are in line with your business goals. The rest is extra and should only be done as you have time.

These are only a few suggestions. I'd love for some of you to share in the comments some of the things that stress you out, and ways you've overcome it. For those of you who get the full blog delivered to your email address every day click this link to the blog and post your comment too.

Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at www.WritingCareerCoach.com
Learn more about Tiffany's Marketing techniques on her main blog.
Common-sense money management is free at The Balanced Life website.
Read Tiffany's award winning manuscript "A Face in the Shadow" on her fiction blog.
She writes a blog for the Christian writer Tuesdays at Writer's Rest.


Linore Rose Burkard said...

Hey Tiff,
I know when I have a lot of story to write, it helps me to focus on just my next scene. As if that is all I have to do. If I get it done and want to go on to another, even better. But when overwhelm hits, the best thing for me is to jump in and get moving. Procrastination makes the feeling of overwhelm grow. Action kisses it goodbye.
Nice topic.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Tiff -

I agree with Linore. Procrastination makes me feel worse.

My methods are a bit different than yours. I get some small projects out of the way first. It primes the pump for the bigger task.

Susan :)

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