Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When Writing Feels Stressful

After all the talk about the health benefits of writing, you  think of it as something much like taking your vitamins or blood pressure meds, but more time-consuming. “I guess I’d better sit down and write now,” you may think, although you have ninety other thing you’d rather be doing and nothing in mind to write about. “But it’s good for me,” you mentally sigh. “It will make me healthier.”

You pick up your pen or sit at the computer. Your stomach knots; your muscles clench. You stare at the blank page or monitor. This is not writer’s block. Perhaps you really are pulled in ninety directions at the moment, or maybe you are experiencing burnout.  You may have built up a huge pile of expectations and allowed writing to become a burden rather than a joy. It’s easy to begin to perceive anything as a burden when you “have” to do it. Burdens can become crushingly heavy and fill our lives with stress.