Conquer Your Creative Beast: How To Make Writing a Stress Reliever

Want to know the secret to how writing can be stress-free? Discover how to make writing an antidote to stress and bring that creative beast to light!

Book Culture On Writing Opinions
A tranquil girl sitting criss-cross, feeling zen. Stars, shapes, and less stress symbols around her.

Writing is the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas on paper. It’s ourselves in a readable form. A lot of writing stress then stems from the image of self. Some writers, myself included, feel our work isn’t good enough because another person could write this story better. We look at our first draft, article, and poem and think that we have crafted utter garbage. But here’s the thing: No one else can write this story.

Only you can write this story. The idea came to you. It’s yours, so make it yours. Own the first draft. Even when it makes you want to set your fingers on fire for ever disrespecting the human tongue, it is supposed to be horrible. But you will make it better. And it doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth. You can enjoy every step of this process.

Writing, crafting, and forming a story with sentences that you twist together is a magical process. Yet, if you’re still in your head, insecure about your writing (been there, done that), then I have some tips that help me realize how writing is more than just words and how it actually helps me manage stress.

Make It Play Time

Do you remember a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, when you were a child? Everything in that world had a certain lens. There was little insecurity, you were the center of the universe, and no foe could best you. There were stuffed animals who could talk and clouds made of cotton candy, which birds ate for breakfast. Maybe I was just a strange kid, but I believe we all had this imagination that held no bounds.

An adventurous kid playing and jumping in mid-flight with a toy plane.

Now, you may have the very natural question of how being a child has anything to do with writing. The short answer: Because not everything has to be perfect.

When we were five, we would think of insane situations, create, and not care about how others thought about our creativity. Writing should be the same. We fill the page with our soul, heart, and every part of that lunatic five-year-old we buried deep into the dark corners of our minds. But that kid is still in there. They are probably the reason you write in the first place.

A child coloring and crafting rockets.

When I practiced listing out all these stupidly insane ideas, I noticed that I genuinely love writing. I love writing the work I put on the page. I love the art I create without restrictions. Even as I wrote this article (I know, breaking the fourth wall), it was incredibly messy. But I tugged out that little child inside and poured my ideas and heart onto the page. It was dripping in my chaotic mind. Yet, I realized how much it matters to me and how I ended up grinning, choking up in the cafe with excitement, fully aware that my friend beside me was now calling 911 to ask if I needed medical attention.

I’m still laughing at myself because the stress of perfection is gone. I’m simply in the writing world, the dream world, the world I built in my mind. And that itself is something special. Your mind is something very unique because it’s only yours.

Take It Slow

Rome was not built in a day… and okay, sure, it did fall in one… but that is beside the point!

When I started, I would gain momentum. I’d gain an epiphany, if you will, about the premise. I would get so antsy with a need to finish it. I had to write it. I had to make it a reality. I needed it in my hands, on paper, right here, right now! Stat! Unfortunately, my fingers are only so fast, and my mind is that of a mere mortal. Meaning the book was not going to be in my hands anytime soon.

slow down carved in the sand of a beach.

There was a process to this. But, there was a huge mess in my head. I would become overwhelmed with the need to write it but also overwhelmed while writing it. This was mainly because it was filled to the brim with all the messy bits I hadn’t yet sorted through. If I wrote now, it would be a waste of words, and I’d waste my precious time. I’d end up writing something that would not fit with the story I needed to write. So, I slow it down. When you rush the process, plot holes deepen, overwhelming issues dig inside the roots, you forget vital storylines, and so on.

There is a difference between writing with the flow (also known as being a pantser) and rushing into the book. You need to take it slow and enjoy the process. Learn from your mistakes and fix them one by one. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the anxious feeling of needing to finish. But if you want to reach the finish line with a book that doesn’t fall flat, you need to take it slow. Enjoy the adventure… all of it.

The First Draft Will Be Trash

From my personal experience, I go through a little bit of a wild ride with my writing. It starts with me vibing to Benson Boone, feeling my hot-girl-summer vibe, writing a story and feeling like a genius, panicking because the plot isn’t plotting, hurling my computer out the window, hating it, taking it too seriously, screaming internally, and ultimately flopping on my couch like a whale (AKA: giving up).

It’s a true vision for any passerby (plus, you’ll see me dancing like a mad woman to the song god himself, Benson Boone), but it doesn’t feel too great internally. I’d think to myself that writing should not be this stressful! It should not be this annoying! Just make sense, dammit!

A frustrated man, pinching the bridge of his nose as he tries writing. Papers crumbled haphazardly around the desk.

In actuality, it’s not writing that brings the stress, it’s the expectations we put on ourselves for perfection. The first draft is going to be the stinkiest piece of choppy writing that has ever been written since the dawn of mankind. However, there’s a little fun fact I learned from this process: Your first draft IS NOT THE STORY.

Your first draft is the bones of the story, the SparkNotes chapter-by-chapter version, but it is not the same as a fully written story. You are only halfway there. YAY! But want to hear another fun fact? No one has to read it. It’s your little secret. This is the dark skeleton in your closet. It’s the hidden room in the house where you lock all the creepy porcelain dolls with one glass eyeball. You can throw a blanket over it. Put a little fence around it. Shield it from the human eye. Toss it with the laundry under the bed. Protect it until you go back and fix it.

Practice Tuning Out the Noise

Your beautiful mind is the one who was given this story. No one else. So take this gift of yours and make it your story, because it is. A story that you create will be messy, but it will be your mess, a mess only you are capable of transforming into something quite divine. It may be hard to see all these famous authors sending out their books, writing legendary stories that you think you can never amount to. But you must know, they started here.

A woman placing earbuds into her ears, ready to start on her run.

Everyone has a story to write. They hold it close to their heart and fear it won’t be good enough. But… maybe it’s not enough. So what? Nothing is perfect. But, you love it. You love the world you built, and therefore, someone else will too. Flaws and all. So, fix it up, make it yours, and write anyway.

You can fix a messy story, but you cannot fix a blank page.

Want to read more about writing with confidence? Click here!

Check out our Writing Inspiration Shelf on Bookshop for inspiration for your next novel!