Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Thing That's Ruining My Life

To say that the next few weeks are going to be crazy is the biggest understatement I could make right now. I’m going to the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC this weekend, which is going to be packed with all kinds of classes like ‘Creating Suspense: 13 Techniques for Making Your Readers Sweat’ and ‘Getting into the Act: Turn Your Readers into Your Marketers’. There’s even a class on advanced metadata! Whatever that is.

At the conference, I registered for a pitch slam — which is basically like speed dating for writers and agents. I’ll have 90 seconds to pitch my book, and the agent has 90 seconds to respond/give feedback. I was excited when I first signed up for the pitch slam, but now I’m just terrified because my novel is NOT where I thought it would be at this point.

The following weekend we’ll be going to the wedding of one of my best friends, Danielle. I’m the matron of honor (which makes me sound so old, doesn’t it?!) which is exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

The weekend after Danielle’s wedding, we are moving into our new apartment.

Then, we go to Lake Tahoe for another wedding.

Oh, and did I mention that we have a new puppy and I haven’t slept through the night for almost a week now?

Needless to say, I’m a little worried. And by ‘a little’, I mean, ‘A LOT’. I’m worried about the pitch slam, I’m worried about flying by myself, I’m worried about meeting new people, I’m worried about Danielle’s wedding and the bachelorette party and the MOH speech which has been written in my head while I lay in bed in an insomnia-driven stupor and I’m worried about the moving and the furniture and how it will fit in the house and the puppy and the…

You get the point.

But the worry is just ruining my life. And my sleep. So I’m determined to not be so worried, but that’s a lot easier than it sounds. Here’s what I’m doing to help with the worry and you guys will have to tell me what you do when you’re worried.

1. Pray. And then pray some more. And then, when that doesn’t work, I keep praying. I really believe prayer is a supernatural thing — every time I pray about something, I do feel better about it. For about five minutes. Then, I have to pray again.

2. Go for walks/exercise. Blowing off some steam outside or in the gym seems to make a big difference. It releases endorphins, serotonin and can even normalize sleep ( And, apparently exercise can help curb depression.

3. Talk with people I trust. I don’t think it’s a great idea to just dump all of my problems on my friends ALL of the time, but there’s definitely a time and a place for it. Like now. This week, as I’ve been sharing my worries with people, it’s genuinely helpful to: 
  1. Be listened to, and
  2. Hear people’s advice and anecdotes

I told my hairdresser about my wedding-planning woes and she told me a horrific story about a wedding she was in that made me feel a lot better about my situation. Sometimes, when we share with others what’s going on in our lives, it makes it seem more manageable than it is in our heads.

4. Try to relax. Emphasis on the try. For me, this means watching America’s Next Top Model (I’m not sure why this show has become my guilty pleasure, but I love it) and take a bath. I probably need to spend a little more time doing this.

What about you? What have you been worrying about lately and what are you doing to worry less?