Thursday, July 23, 2015

Writing Through Stress

 This seems like the perfect time for this post, as my life is very stressful and I’m trying to write through it.

Stress can be a career killer.

I had this happen in the past. Due to some incredibly stressful situations in my worklife, I didn’t write original fiction for almost seven years. Oh, I tried. At first, daily, and then, when it got to be too hard, I didn’t open up the manuscript for weeks. It was this black cloud hanging over me and I didn’t seem to be able to get beyond that to write anything. The stories were in my head, but my anxiety didn’t allow me to move forward.

Last August, my job situation changed. I was laid off with zero notice, and as I was a contractor, there were no benefits, no unemployment to claim. To make matters worse, several months of pay were in limbo for months.

Stress Number One, achieved.

Since then, I’ve been dealing with a major medical crisis—two actually, I’m an overachiever, have lost three of my cats, have set up a new business, and a couple of weeks ago, my husband lost his job with two days notice, no severance package, nada, not even payment of expenses owed :/
So…stress upon stress central here at Casa Alexa. You’d think that if one situation (above) had blocked my writing, this would have paralyzed my muse and had her rocking in a corner somewhere, right?

You’d be wrong. For some reason—some blessing in my psyche I don’t even dare to understand—I’m writing more than ever. I’m writing so much that I’m astounding myself, my word count spreadsheets are showing wear and tear, and my poor hands are begging for someone to save them.
This time, my muse is far from rocking in a corner, she’s dancing a jig and throwing me plot ideas faster than I can jot them down. And I couldn’t be happier. Writing is a huge stress relief, a way for me to get out of my present worries and into someone else’s issues.

I wrote my Naughty Escapes story—Get Away—in two days. Yes, two days! The story is 13,000 words and even my beta reader couldn’t keep up with my productivity. She finally threw her hands up and said she’d read it at the end rather than a s a work in progress. I chewed my nails down to bloody nubs wondering if Kell and Bry would strike a chord with her. She’s a tough beta, so I expected the worst. What I got back was anything but. She loved the story. And furthermore, she…er…“encouraged” me, with help from my evil little muse, to write a follow up story for them, and maybe even another story featuring Kell’s sexy guitar player, Ace. I’ll be revisiting Kell and Bry in the Naughty Literati fall anthology, coming in September.

It is funny how my workplace stress caused my writing to grind to a halt, while my homelife stress, which is so much larger in scope and impact, is giving me more inspiration to write.

The brain is a funny funny thing!

To check out the story of Kell, a former boyband singer, and Bry, an A-List Hollywood actor, check out Get Away in Naughty Escapes, out now!

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