Wednesday, August 1, 2012


A Chemical or biological agent, environmental condition, external stimulus or an event that causes stress to an organism.

Lately I've been watching Criminal Minds too much (and when I say too much what I mean is too many episodes to be considered normal, but not enough to satisfy my curiosity. There just aren't enough hours in a day.) and I see how certain stressors can cause people to go over the edge, but I believe stressors are a good thing. I think they're necessary.


Given that you aren't a raving lunatic or psychologically damaged sexual sadist and given that the stressor isn't so bad as to cause injury or depression I think they make us stronger.

I hate my job. Let me put that in bold for ya, I HATE my job. Not so much the job actually it'sthe emotional, mental and physical drain it is on my life that I hate. It taxes me. I feel like it's a giant straw sucking the creativity right out of my brain until I get home and I don't even want to look at my notes, don't even want to touch the keyboard except to do some mindless surfing or downloading to take my mind off of the stress.

And I know I might sound like some whiny kid and I'm trying not to, (so settle down with your stories of how you had to walk 20 miles in the snow to and from work and how you labored for 23 hours a day in a heavy stone lifting facility) I know what I feel is pretty much a universal feeling. Everyone that has worked for someone else has felt this at least once before in their life. You know you can relate to me even if you won't admit it.

A job can be a major stressor. Which is ironic because you work hard to be able to provide a good life for yourself and your family but some people work too hard, let stress get to them and die of heart disease later on due induced by stress. It's not funny, but it's ironic and unfortunate. Tragic really, but it's the American Dream. 

Uh-oh I'm getting political now...

But I can't ignore the fact that as much as I might not like it it's a necessary evil. If you're anything like me, a creative person trying to make their own way in the world, then you might not like what I'm saying but in your heart you can understand it. It's necessary to have these stressors (for me it's work for your it may be something else, an environmental stressor putting a damper on your creative spirit) because they make us great.

I had a long string of days off recently. It wasn't a vacation and the circumstances were rather tragic but nonetheless I had a large lump of time that I could have made use of. I'm talking long blocks of time, with no real obligations. Guess how much I wrote during that time. Guess how many chapters I knocked out. Guess how many short stories I completed...

I reserve the right to not answer the above questions...

I had no stressor. Sure I have goals and ambitions, who doesn't? But I had too much free time and I underestimated it's importance. Now that it's back to work I'm kicking for wasting all that time. 

Usually for me a bad day at work is a good day of writing. All the stresses of my day job push me to work harder at my night job, my career. It reminds me of how much I really want it and it makes me stronger.

A stressor doesn't have to be a bad thing. If you let it, sure, one stressor can tear your life to shreds. But on the other hand you can use it. Turn it on it's head and make it work for you.

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