Forget The Coffee And Tea, Writers, These Are The 7 Best Ways To Cure Your Stress

Forget The Coffee And Tea, Writers, These Are The 7 Best Ways To Cure Your Stress

Disclaimer: you can still drink coffee and tea.


Deadlines, editors, readers you take to heart and claim don't know what they're saying about your work, it all weighs down on our pencil-pushing minds. Writing takes a lot of imagination but also a lot of effort in the real world.

Make no mistake, we writers love this limitless life of learning. But if we have to accept one more limit on our creativity, there might be more bloodshed than a Red Wedding. Luckily, writers have more than one way to kill their darlings, especially the one named Stress.

1. Small Assignments.

Sometimes you can't get away from behind the desk. Writing can feel demanding but it doesn't have to. Write small assignments, an idea penned by Anne Lamott, the author of the writing reference book "Bird by Bird."

Rather than write large amounts of pages in one, big sitting, she suggests creating achievable writing goals the size of an index card. Whether it's word count, page count, or character development, give yourself something to work with and to edit later.

2. Read what you write.

Do you like what you write but find yourself getting lost in genre? Reading the fiction or nonfiction you long to write and just as well can be a nice refresher and motivator. Maybe it's a complex character or a plot twist you're after and need to see how other books present them.

Or you just need a break from writing and want to read something new or familiar to help your routine. Reading is a great escape and research tool to resort to, during the best of times and the worst of times.

3. Inspired by a true story.

Films and television can bring stories to life too. Granted you can't see whole paragraphs on the screen spelling it out for you, there is subtext and emotions you can see. Just like books, the silver screen and the tube can show you what scenes are made of. Queue your favorites and enjoy the show.

4. Be Authentic.

Submission guidelines can be more vague than a T.S. Eliot poem (I'm looking at you "The Wasteland"). No matter what a publication is asking for, give them what they want. Once you've met their expectations, meet your own.

No one said you can't write what you want, you just have to know your way around the page: between the lines. Like Mark Twain said, establish the facts, then bend them as you please.

5. Multitasking is a myth.

Accept the fact that you can only do one thing at a time. No, typing and looking at your screen does not count. You still have to research to write a research paper. You have to read plenty to write well. The process hasn't changed, but the more you focus on a task, the more time you'll have and the more accomplished you'll feel and be in the end.

6. Take it and leave it.

Advice can be a good thing, but for others it might not be as helpful. Listen as much as you can to as much as you can. Then decide which advice works. The same applies for media; some people don't like to laugh but maybe they have a different sense of humor. You can't please everybody, but you can please yourself. You don't have to leave it, but you don't have to take it either.

7. Sleep on it and think later.

Ideas present themselves after a nap or a good night's sleep. Even when you're head has hit the pillow, ideas can present themselves, and that's because of two things: you weren't working and you weren't thinking.

Thinking too much can get in the way of the imagination. Being patient, even when nothing is happening, when it's just you and silence, is the best time to expect the unexpected. Relax and sleep with your third eye open.

Writers lead the way through remarkable worlds, including our own. Readers might not realize the cost of their tours and that's because it's priceless by the time they've finished the trip. But not before coffee or tea, of course.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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22 Things Parents Should Send Their Children At College, If They Love And Miss Them

We're getting to that point in the semester, y'all.


Even though college students are just a little over a month into the spring semester, we are already feeling high amounts of stress over tests and papers. Nobody said college was going to be easy, and this statement is ringing truer and truer each day. So, to the parents, grandparents, or anybody else who loves us and cares about our well being, here are 22 things you should send us if you love and miss our presence.

1. Gift cards to the local grocery store. 

Preferably Walmart or Food Lion, since that's all we have here in Farmville, VA.

2. Room decor from the Target dollar section. 

Or anything from Target, for that matter. Some college towns don't have one of these glorious establishments, and we are experiencing withdrawals.

3. School supplies. 

You can never have too many sticky notes or colored pens.

4. Mints. 

Because some people need it after lunch, and gum is disgusting.

5. A cozy blanket. 

For those cold nights spent in the library until 2 in the morning.

6. A handwritten letter. 

These are one of my favorite things to get in the mail, and there is always something so sentimental about snail mail.

7. A giant box of fruit snacks...

Definitely one of my favorite grab and go snacks.

8. ... Or candy, in general. 

Preferably, gummies. But, I won't refuse chocolate candy either.

9. Cash. 

For those late night Taco Bell runs, or just to make us feel a little bit better about ourselves.

10.  A funny movie/DVD. 

There's something so simple and serene about watching a funny movie on a DVD player that brings us back to the less stressful times of our childhood.

11.  Hot chocolate mix. 

I always get random cravings for hot chocolate, but it's never enough to make me want to go buy a box of mix.

12.  Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift cards. 

Because the majority of our lives revolve around coffee, and sometimes our Keurigs just don't cut it.

13.  Peanut butter crackers. 

These are so quick and easy to eat between classes (or if you're like me, IN class).

14.  Scent diffuser. 

This can be even better if you send a scent that reminds us of home.

15.  Hair ties. 

For some reason, I only own about five at a time because I am always losing these!

16.  Homemade cookies/brownies. 

These always make me so happy knowing my mom took time out of her busy day to think of me and bake yummy treats.

17.  Gift cards for our favorite online shopping stores. 

What better way to relieve stress than buy clothes you don't need?

18.  Nail polish. 

You can never have too many bottles of the same shade of pink.

19.  Mug warmer. 

These help keep your cup of coffee warm for long periods of time so you don't end up wasting such a sacred drink.

20.  Lysol wipes/hand sanitizer. 

I go both of these things at an alarming rate because some places are just plain disgusting.

21.  Band-aids. 

No one ever really thinks of buying these, but they work for so many more reasons than their typical use.

22.  iTunes gift card. 

For all those "educational apps" our professors tell us to buy. *wink wink*

Every college student loves getting a care package in the mail, so if you really love and miss us, please send one our way!

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