Writers Round Table

When you’ve had crisis in your life, how do you get your writing back on track?
Karen Michelle Nutt
Writing is an escape for me. So when a crisis hits, disappearing into my characters’ lives gives me a break from reality. And if that doesn’t work, sometimes just chatting on the yahoo groups or Facebook gives me a break from pressing matters. J It’s a step back, relax and recharge.
For more about Karen Michelle Nutt: http://www.kmnbooks.com/

Christine Fairchild
Daydreaming. Seriously, I need a couple days with no agenda when I can lie in bed and stare at the ceiling for hours, just letting my mind drift and think of characters. If I can't get that, then my walks with my dog are "drift" time.
Often when life is stressful--and with so many family ailments and injuries and hospitalizations this past year, life has been a doozy!-- I hold tight to the hands of many of my characters. When I'm in bed at night, they are the ones I visit for imagination time, playing out different scenes in my book to help me sleep. Jules and Sam in my Romantic Suspense, An Eye For Danger, really distracted me when I was dealing with negative elder care issues and the case of PTSD I got as a result.
Physically I have to go spend time in my art studio. That's my creative space. I don't typically do editing or marketing or teaching or any business there. Just writing. I share the space with 2 painters, so I also get lots of color and visual stimulation that takes me into a creative space. We all honor our studio as sacred, so that helps keep the energy in the right direction, but sometimes I just need to be there alone. Fortunately, painters tend to only work in 3-4 hour spells. Me, I'll go 8-12 hours if I don't have to deal with the dog!
So my advice to fellow authors is 1) find no agenda time for your brain and body and 2) find a clear space and/or others you can be around that encourage creative time.
For more about Christine M. Fairchild
 Mariposa Cruz:
 Unfortunately most high stress situations are a drain on both time and energy.  During times of crisis, I focus on smaller writing projects that are easier to manage and consciously refrain from getting worked up over what I think I should be accomplishing.  A huge personal storm hit my life on several fronts a couple of years ago.  I shelved my novel-in-process and focused on edits to Howl.  Shortly after the storm subsided, I landed a contract for Howl.  It is important to keep moving forward, even if you have to take smaller steps.


  1. Stress happens to everyone-always at the worst time. Knowing what coping methods work best for you can make all the difference! Thanks for a great post ladies!

  2. For me, it's a walk in the woods with my dog. Clears my head and puts everything into perspective.

  3. Jannine,

    Walking is a great stress release. And I bet your dog loves the attention. :)

  4. Great topic, ladies. If I'm under great stress, I draw my feelings in an artist's notebook. I'm not an artist like you, Karen, but drawing feelings seems to release the poison and tension for some reason. I also listen to this old CD I have titled Songs of Healing and that really helps so much.
    Like you, Mariposa, I sometimes feel that I'm not producing as much as I should with my writing and liked your suggestion about focusing on short stories instead of novels when that happens.
    Wonderful blog today.

  5. Hello. Great topic and sadly one that returns too often in life- ie stress of some sort. I sometimes resort to playing favourite music, too, at others a good old slash at the fiercest weeds in my garden will do the trick. Generally something physical, exercise of some sort, will work to get my writing back on track. Not tried the short stories but might take up that suggestion.

  6. I often think my life is far more stressful than anyone else I know, and then...a friend of mine suffers a personal tragedy and everything falls into perspective. You're right. Writing is an escape. I think of it as therapy for free. It's never a chore and the chance to slip away, if only in my mind, is worth its weight in gold. So saying, there's nothing like a little dose of 'count your blessings,' to give me a really good kick in the butt.

  7. I find it hard to write when I'm in a crisis. I normally have to wait until it passes.

  8. Janine,
    Sometimes being out with a four-legged friend can change your whole perspective.
    Sarah & Nancy,
    Actually my "detour" in working on Howl, led me to world of writing romance and it has been an amazing journey!
    I agree a little dose of 'count your blessings' makes a big difference.
    You're right--sometimes a time out is needed to regroup.
    Thanks all of you for your excellent comments!

  9. Great idea, Jannine! I love walking in the woods with our choco lab puppy, Tucker :) Mellows me out every time!

  10. LisaRyans--I think that's totally normal. You don't have bandwidth, mentally or physically sometimes. I might find ways to "space out" and have no agenda, just to let my mind heal. I can occassionally be found lying on the grass at the park, staring at the sky. I tend to get a big boost of creativity with 24 hours of that.


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