Let’s face it, writers are a crazy bunch. We listen to the voices in our heads, research crazy things on Google (waves to the CIA), and would rather spend hours with people who don’t really exist in places that only come from our deepest imaginations. But when the rest of the world sometimes looks at you like you’re a complete psychopath, and you don’t think you can continue on, how do you stay sane?
Embrace your fellow writers
No one gets you and sympathizes like another writer. They are in the query trenches with you, dealing with rejection, embracing the crazy, and nodding right along with you when the rest of the world thinks you need a straitjacket. Writers are a special breed of human and finding your kin is like nothing else. It means you aren’t the only nut job out there who jumps out of bed at 2am to chase a plot bunny. Meaning you aren’t crazy, and you’ve found the place where you belong.
Actually listen to the voices
Yeah I know that’s exactly what they say not to do, but for us writers, listening to the voices is the only thing that makes them go away. Once you write it down, the crazy calms, and the world, the real world, appears again. (Un)Fortunately it’s only temporary because the voices do come back for more. But on the plus side it means we get to create fantastic places and characters that we can one day share with world.
Find a Critique Partner
Finding the right critique partner is like going on a dream date that never ends. Not only do they help you polish your work, but they will be there to hold your hand when the world seems to crumble in front of you. Even at rock bottom, they make you feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stand in the way of your dreams. Nothing.
Laugh at yourself
No, seriously: laugh. Sometimes you just have to. Because if you don’t you’ll be in tears. But if you take a step back and look at what writers do to accomplish their dreams, it’s downright insane. And yet, we do it anyways because we love it. So when things get so crazy that the world is upside down, the only thing left to do is laugh. So you might as well enjoy yourself.
Forget about it
Once you’ve had a good laugh (or cry) let the winds carry off the stress. It’s out of your hands and there’s nothing you can do about it. So give yourself a break. And the good news is, when you let whatever it is that’s driving you insane go, you get to start all over and work on the next great thing!
And then the crazy starts all over again!
So, what helps you stay sane as a writer?
This post on sanity (or lack thereof) was written by Jamie Krakover, who was kind enough to share a few words on my site. If you enjoyed this post, Jamie would love it if you would follow her on Twitter and check out her blog.
If you’re interested in being a contributor to THE Z-AXIS please follow me on Twitter @akmakansi and send me a direct message. I’ll be more than happy to arrange a spot for you on my blogroll!