Feeling overwhelmed? If projects are overdue, and your clients are screaming, it’s hard to find the peace you need to be able to write. So what do you do if you’re overwhelmed?
I love this article, 106 Thoughts on Overcoming Overwhelm in a Freaked-Out World – Productive & Organized, but I was disappointed too:
“When we’re overwhelmed it can be hard to get started. Break it down, identify the first action needed (and then the subsequent action steps needed) and then take the first step. From there, put one foot in front of the other on the subsequent steps and you’ll be well on your way to ‘mission accomplished’.”
Great advice. ALL of the 106 tips to release your feeling of being overwhelmed are excellent.
I was disappointed however. My favorite tip wasn’t mentioned. 🙂
So, what’s my favorite tip for conquering stress and feelings of being overwhelmed? One word: journal.
Trust yourself: you always know what to do — your journal will tell you
I start and end each writing day by writing in my journal.
My current journal’s a huge LEUCHTTURM 1917 Master Notebook. It’s my best journal ever — plenty of space, it has a Table of Contents, the paper is smooth and lovely to write on … Perfection. (I have no connection to the company, BTW.)
There’s one simple reason I journal: journaling helps me to figure out what I should be doing next.
The results are often surprising. Last night I journaled about a long list of projects. I was hoping that this morning’s journaling would provide some clarity on them.
It didn’t. I woke up with a scene in my head. This scene wasn’t related to any of my current novel projects. A woman is looking out a window, and a man she’s close to makes a comment which changes her perspective on her life in an instant.
Since I never look a gift horse in the mouth, I wrote out the scene. I’ll transcribe into it into a Scrivener file later. Heh. Just what I need, ANOTHER idea for a novel… 🙂
So, this morning’s journaling didn’t give me what I expected. No matter, I’m sure it gave me what I needed. Sooner or later, this month or next, I’ll discover why I wrote the outline of that particular scene.
Here’s the reason a journal prevents overwhelm: your journal is the space where you communicate with YOU. Once you get the journaling habit, you’ll come to trust yourself.
Stress is a constant. At times you’ll feel overwhelmed. Those feelings vanish when you journal. Indeed, if you’re in the habit of journaling, chances are you’ll never feel overwhelmed at all, because your journal structures your writing, and your life.
Projects come and go. Life is full of hassles. If you’re not crazy, you’re doing well. 🙂 In the midst of all the chaos, you need the peace and concentration to write. Your journal gives you that.
You’re a writer. You’ll always be a writer. Your journal is your connection to that. It can be a lifeline: an oasis in a mad, mad world. Journal, and you’ll come to trust yourself to handle anything life can throw at you.
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