Monday, February 25, 2013

Finding my quiet place

Post-Zombie Apocalpyse DC? Nope - just DC on President's Day at 8:00 in the morning.

At this point, I should just start skipping the caffeine. I could run on nerves alone.

It's a combination things, really, the first and the most obvious being sub jitters like whoa. I was in denial for the majority of January and parts of February, if just because after years of waiting, everything happened so fast. And at some point, the whole thing sank in, and it has dawned on me that this thing might actually happen for real.


Thankfully, my family and friends are awesome, and no one has had to talk me off the ledge yet, because my amazing agent has made sure I don't get anywhere near the ledge. I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

When you combine that with day job, though, it makes for some... interesting results. There are moments here at work where my head is decidedly elsewhere - in my head I'm reading my PM announcement and planning a launch party and holding my book for the first time, and then, complete with a sitcom-esque record scratch, someone interrupts my fantasy to ask me to fix the printer. And then on the other hand, the day job stress ends up displaced to some other inopportune moment. Like when I'm trying to sleep.

Contrary to popular belief, the writing life is not for the faint of heart. As much as I wouldn't trade it for anything, it's terrifying.Writing does make for excellent stress relief much of the time, but generally, it helps my writing when I'm not a distracted mess.

And for me, the best thing I can do for myself is find a quiet place and set aside a few moments to just exist in the universe and take in what's going on around me. I had to work on President's Day, for example, and rather than going straight to work, I took a different bus than usual, and I wandered down one of the busier streets almost completely alone. Sometimes I don't have the time or energy to go out of my way, but finding a quiet place for myself can be as simple as turning off all the lights and watching the city from a distance.

Some days it works better than others. But much of the time, it helps me catch my breath, put everything in the appropriate boxes, and start over with a clearer head.

And now I'm going to unpack one of those boxes, because I have some receipts to process. So tell me, readers - how do you manage your stress?

Because I could really use some pointers. ;)


  1. I call it Submission Purgatory. It's a pretty stressful place to be. At least while I was querying, I could keep tweaking the manuscript, you know?

    And I can totally relate to it interfering with your concentration on the day job.

    Wait until you actually get some fantastic news! THEN try to do your job.

    Back in October I had a day where I stood grinning like an idiot in front of my last class of the day, totally unable to string a sentence together.

    Wishing that state for YOU soonest!!!

    1. Awww, thank you Dianne! I can only imagine - I have a hard enough time keeping my mind on my job when I'm PICTURING that sort of situation. If I had that sort of news to celebrate, I'd probably run screaming down the street in the middle of the workday...

  2. Aw, hugs for Becky! The potential is so exciting!

    I daydream like this in the shower and at night before I fall asleep, but I'm not close enough to this kind of success to daydream during mom hours. Heaven help my kids when I am. :)

    Aren't you writing something else right now? Or is the potential too distracting to do that? Maybe do something that gets you excited about a new project, like googling hot guys to model your male romantic lead after. Or going on youtube to learn about a culture you want to write about. I can get lost for hours in that kind of pursuit, and it is pretty relaxing as long as your other to-do list isn't too long.

    In the case of an epic to-do list, the ONLY thing that relaxes me is whittling away the to-do list, starting with the thing that's due first, and then doing the thing that requires the most work.

    So that's what I do. Best good wishes, Becky!!!