BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WESTERN HISTORICAL ROMANCE!
Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary genre fiction. Historical romances, contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries, and paranormals are among her current works. Learn more about her at www.carolineclemmons.com
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Monday will be my 700th post on this blog. Be sure to return then to help with my celebration and sign up for giveaways!
Each of us has work-related stresses. Although I love
writing, occasionally I need to refill my well. What do I do? I meet with my
three amazing critique partners: Geri Foster, Carra Copelin, and Brenda Daniels.
We do more than critique each other’s work. We make
suggestions, talk about marketing, discuss the new changes in social media, and
laugh a lot. Yes, meeting with these women is group therapy.
Other writers understand that hearing voices in one’s head
is not necessarily a sign of madness. Okay, maybe a little madness, but we are
allowed in public. And we only harm people in our books. So far.
Maybe you don’t write, but you do something that requires
your concentration and sometimes causes you stress. So what do you do? I have a
suggestion—meet with friends.
Psychologists say that the camaraderie and laughter of
meeting with other like-minded individuals creates the same endorphins that
runners experience in a “runner’s high.” What’s better, those endorphins from
getting together with others hang around for up to three days. Yep. Goofing off
with friends is beneficial to your mental health!
And there’s no major plan required. Call a friend and go to
lunch or dinner. Join a book club, Bible study, bridge or bunco group—whatever appeals
to you. Even if you enjoy the solitary pursuits of knitting, crochet, quilting,
scrapbooking, gardening and so forth, join a group centered around those
Even if—as I do—you enjoy time alone, occasionally meeting
with others to exchange ideas boosts your morale and broadens your outlook. Not
all of us are extroverts, but we must force ourselves to get up and get out of
our routine. For me, this means venturing out of the comfort of my pink writing
cave. But—my psyche protests—I love it here. So, I have to get tough with
myself and make myself leave the security of the place where I’m most
Today is critique day. I submitted my pages earlier in the week and have read and commented on my
critique partners’ submissions. They’re good writers, by the way. Even the one
who’s not yet published has great story ideas. I’ve printed out their pages and
have them in my handy tote bag ready to walk out the door.
We meet at a local restaurant. The staff there know we like
to sit in the front corner and that we’ll be there a while, but we tip well to
make up for tying up the table. When I leave the restaurant, I’ll be recharged and ready to
jump back into my writing.