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.