Stress

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Writers Plan Around Life Events

Do you plan your writing year? Do you plan a month or a season ahead? How do you deal with stressful periods of life?

I view my writing as my work, something I am privileged to do every day. I do try to plan ahead and make sure I’m accomplishing something. I set goals: this year, I’ll write a new MG novel. In the next month, I plan to block out the plot of that novel and the month after, I’ll write the first three chapter of the novel. Things like that.

But I also find that life has a way of interfering. Novels are emotional stories and I need some modicum of stability in order to do this.

Beyond the issue of deadlines, what I’m passionate about at the time, etc. it seems there are two types of writing times.

Stable and Quiet. This is when I work like mad on a novel, trying to get as much written as I can. Novels seem to need longer stretches of time and they need emotional involvement.

Busy with Events, Stress, Upheaval. This is when I work on speeches, websites, writing lessons, publicity materials, magazine articles — things that don’t take my undivided attention and full emotional strength. Sometimes, picture books can work in here, especially when there’s a day or a couple of calm days in the midst of a busy month.

Do you plan out your whole year? How do you deal with the stressful periods?

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