Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guest Blogger Miranda Baker - Good Stress

I went to see my chiropractor a few months ago. When it was my turn, Dr. Lori grabbed me by the big toe and said, “Hey Miranda, what’s up with the books?”

So I told her. I said “Bottoms Up comes out next week. My editor thinks we should release SoloPlay in April. I have a print publishing offer and they want the sequel by July. And the community college asked me to teach two classes in the spring.” I was sure she could feel tension vibrating through my toes.

“All good stress! That’s fabulous!” she said.

Whoa. I went limp, and she proceeded to rearrange my bones and muscles while I rearranged my head. Good stress. What a concept.

By the time she made it up to my neck, I had decided she was a genius. Good stress is chosen. It means you are in control. It’s not the sick kids, death in the family, money trouble, fighting with the partner, inexplicable creeping rash kind of stress. Good stress is the promotion at work, scary opportunity, raise your game kind of stress. The end result of the good stuff is something positive – for me, it means launching my writing career while buying groceries with my teaching money.

However, good stress is still stressful. Even though I love my jobs, I see a huge, looming, rocky, tree-lined mountain of work between me and July (when my struggles will be over… Shh, humor me). I realized I needed a plan, the equivalent of mountain climbing gear – hiking boots, a backpack, trail mix and lots of water. Or in my case – vitamins, a thousand words a day, regular exercise to keep me from curling over my keyboard like a cooked shrimp and lots of water.

What about you? How do you cope with good stress? I’d say I’m about halfway up my mountain now, but if you have extra gear I’d love to share the journey.

About Miranda Baker

It makes me chuckle to think about all the romantic short stories I wrote in my rather too literary creative writing classes in college. If only one of my professors had steered me toward popular fiction! On the other hand, if I had discovered my calling back then, I wouldn’t have gone to culinary school, I wouldn’t have met my husband, we wouldn’t have had three children and I wouldn’t have turned to erotic romance to get my mojo back during all this hair-raising kid raising.


Lynne Roberts said...

Hi Miranda!

I think I'd like a date with your chiropractor! I think the key is how you use the stress. If it's a motivator to get busy... that's good, but sometimes, there's so much I just want to play computer solotaire. LOL Not a good use of my time.

Thank you for a wonderful post and good luck with your many upcoming releases! Love the cover to BOTTOMS UP!

Miranda Baker said...

Thanks, Lynne! Solitaire isn't my thing - but I could spend hours on Twitter. So many things to read!

Meg Benjamin said...

Hi Miranda, welcome to the Naughty Nine. I guess for me good stress=excitement while bad stress=dread. And yeah, I'd much rather be excited than anxious!:)

Mo said...

Just make sure you make time for yourself. And celebrate the success that brought the good stress with it.

Juniper Bell said...

Hi Miranda! Thanks for introducing this concept to us ... good stress... I'm going to take that to heart! I don't like the feeling of stress--the adrenaline, the tension-- but it can be useful. Especially at deadline time. So you're right, stress isn't all bad. I'll keep reminding myself of that!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Hi Miranda, welcome to the Naughty Nine! I will remind myself that the stress is good...deep breath...when my writing is stressing me. Because, yeah, I chose this! Great post!

Miranda Baker said...

Hi Meg, Juniper and Kelly - thanks for letting me share my good stress with you and your readers. I'm hoping if I put the right spin on it, I'll turn into Wonder Woman.
And hi Mo! I can always count on you to help me celebrate.