Room to Breathe

DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Guest Post by Linda Lyle

Do you ever find yourself going down the anxiety rabbit hole? Like many businesses, writing is a feast or famine. I am either waiting to hear back from editors, agents, and publishers, or I am overwhelmed by deadlines and details. Either way I feel anxious as I wonder how it will all come together. All that anxiety and stress affects my mind, body, and spirit. It’s not a good way to live, so I’ve been trying to find a better way. As a writer, I need to plan and set goals, but I also need to make room to breathe.

A couple of years ago a friend gave me the book The 12-Week Year for Writers by Trevor Thrall about setting goals in smaller chunks, but one of the greatest takeaways for me was when he says you need to write out a realistic schedule that takes into account all of your other responsibilities and leaves a place for free time. That’s when I began to schedule time for nothing. Nothing can mean watching television, reading, art, or even a nap. It’s whatever I want to do or feel like doing. You see if I create goals and a schedule that is doable, then I can have time to rest. I can have room to breathe.

The great thing is that it is guilt-free time. You heard right. When I stick to my writing schedule and make progress toward my goal, then I can enjoy my downtime as a reward. However, it is more than a reward; it is a necessity. If I don’t take time to rest, a crash will come. So, I schedule rest because if I wait until I have a minute, it will probably never happen. I also am more productive because I don’t waste time trying to figure out what to do next when I am writing. I already have a plan, which takes some of the stress off my nerves.

Regardless of whether it is feast or famine, I now make room to breathe. I schedule it, I do it, and I enjoy it. God the Father is a giver of good gifts and that includes taking time to enjoy the gifts He has given us so that we are rested and strengthened for the work times on our schedule. Temperance, one of the fruits of the Spirit, is about healthy balance. So, find something you enjoy and make room for it on the schedule. Let it renew your mind and spirit so that you can take on the next task with energy and joy.

I have found rest in drawing, coloring, and hand-lettering. What brings you joy? I’d love to hear your answers.

Be blessed,

Linda Lyle

Linda Lye is an author, knitter, and unintentional collector of cats who knits together novels with mystery, humor, and romance. Linda’s current releases are a novella collection A Christmas by Any Other Name and The 5-Minute Prayer Plan for When Life is Overwhelming, both available on Amazon. As a freelance writer, Linda has written for Open Windows, Salem Web Network, Refresh Bible Study Magazine and as a contributor for Lighthouse Bible Studies and SCWC books. You can check out all her work and her blog on where The End Of My Yarn is just the beginning.

Thank you, Linda!