Category Archives: Stress

4 Ways to Beat Holiday Writer’s Block


No time to write?
This holiday season, keep your skills sharp
with these quick and fun writing prompts.
Each takes no more than 15 minutes.

Christmas tree_wordtree


Make A List. Check It Twice.
Choose one word or phrase from this tree. Then write the first word that comes to your mind. Don’t think. Just write.

Now, try “chaining.” Pick one word, write the next word that comes to mind. Build on that word by writing the next that comes to mind and keep going until you run out of words.

scroogeThrow On A Disguise.
Imagine yourself as one of these familiar holiday icons: Ebenezer Scrooge, Santa Claus, a shepherd, The Grinch, an angel .Using that character’s voice and point of view write one paragraph describing Christmas.

The 12 Days of Christmas Gift List


Write a haiku poem about one of the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
This one is challenging. Can you do it?  Use exactly 17 syllables.  Arrange syllables in three lines of 5-7-5.  (Share your poems in the comments.)



Finish this sentence:
I can make this holiday season less stressful  for myself and my family by . . .


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Filed under Christmas, Creativity, Fun, Inspiration, motivation, Stress, Uncategorized, Writer's Block

5 Reasons To Let Your Writing Rest

3703031119_6ef46dc3de_zToo often, a writer rushes toward a deadline, and frustration builds to the bitter end, until finally the manuscript is finished and ready to send to the editor. Does that sound like you?

As a freelance writer I’ve learned to allow my writing to rest. I call this “incubation time,” and I always build it into my project schedules. Incubation time is a little like allowing bread dough to rise before you bake it. Without that rising time, the bread comes out flat.

There are several good reasons to schedule some incubation time:

1.  It settles the frustration. How many times have you written, rewritten, and edited, and the words still don’t sound right? Giving your writing a day or two of rest helps drive out irritation.

2. Incubation increases observation and interpretation. After setting your writing aside for a while, you are more likely to view it through the eyes of a reader instead of a writer or editor. It gives new perspective to your writing voice.

3.  Fresh ideas hatch when a project incubates. Resting your writing  makes room in your head for ideas to form. You might discover a new motivation for your main character or solve a puzzling plot problem.

4.  Errors become obvious after some incubation.  You’ve said it— I know you have— “Why didn’t I catch that?” When a writer rushes toward a deadline, errors happen. Building in some rest time makes errors seem to leap off the page.

5.  Incubation allows you to rebuild your strength. Writing without rest is like an athlete training too long and too hard. Sports medicine has a name for it, Overtraining Syndrome. Some of its symptoms are a washed-out feeling, tiredness, lack of energy, a sudden drop in performance, moodiness, irritability, depression, and loss of enthusiasm. Resting your writing for a scheduled amount of time is like a cold drink on a hot day and a long, refreshing nap.

Remember—schedule your incubation time. Without scheduling, you risk forgetting to allow your writing to rest, or worse setting aside your project forever.

Do you build incubation time into your writing schedule?


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Filed under Deadlines, Stress, Uncategorized, Writer's Block, Writing Tips

How Do You Face Resistance?

[Dear Readers, I apologize for my long absence from the blog. A series of writing projects with deadlines have kept me busy since early January.]

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Woman leaning on table looking on green peasThis morning, I listened to Michael Hyatt’s newest podcast “How to Overcome the Resistance.”  He talks about resistance as “that invisible, destructive force that opposes you any time you try to start a new project or make an improvement in any area of your life.” Does that sound familiar?

In the introduction to his podcast, Hyatt assigns four attributes to resistance. Resistance is: invisible, internal, insidious, and infallible. He says it comes in the forms of procrastination, distraction, and abandoning the work altogether, and these forms take root in fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The solution, of course, is to start, focus, and finish.

The question is How? Mr. Hyatt offers several suggestions in his podcast. I highly recommend that you take time to listen.

Maya Angelou said, “There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.” So, readers, how do you overcome the resistance? What methods do you use to start, focus, and finish? Please weigh in with your comments.



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Filed under Aspiring Writers, Stress, Uncategorized, Writer's Block