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August 23rd, 2007

Stress and Creativity

Creativity is a weird animal. Not only is it a muscle that must be used in order to hone it and get it to give you more, but it can also be very capricious. It can drive you to distraction, prove stubborn, or send you down avenues you don't want to go on because you were supposed to be going up. At times, it can feel like a living thing, which stares over your shoulder - sometimes laughing with you, sometimes at you.:P

Stress is another strange animal. Per the Farlex Free Dictionary, stress is a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

Stress can build in a person over time, or punch you in the gut all at once, depending on the circumstances. Symptoms, as might be inferred from the definition, can be far and wide. Almost as many as can be found for PMS! (Yes, there are hundreds if not thousands - believe it!)

And as different and varied as creativity may seem when compared to stress, you'd think one would have nothing to do with the other. Au contraire! Despite popular belief, they are not mutually exclusive! And though you might be able to have stress because you have no creativity - it is very possible to have a ton of creativity while drowning in stress! (Having the time to do something about the creativity spurt is something else altogether though! Ooo, more stress!)

Oh, I can feel your disbelief! Indeed I can. But it doesn't make it wrong. And to be honest, if you give it a shot, you might find that trying to be creative while stressed will not only yield results but will help you relax!

I can't count the number of times when after a long stressful day, I might be on my way home or about to go to sleep, when either some wild haired workable idea or a solution to some sticky plot point will just pop into my head seemingly out of nowhere and demand attention. These past few weeks, which have had me so stressed my whole body aches, have also been great for my writing (when I've been able to sneak some in that is - thank goodness for sticky notes!). It's also been something I could use to escape and forget about things I can do nothing about and actually CALM DOWN! Even better, I've been able to use the stress and its effects on me as an informational source! (Gotta use what you're given, you know?)

So the next time you're feeling the weight of responsibility, of things you can't control, or life in general is making you tense, exercise that creative muscle and reap in the benefits while you can! Even stress now has a silver lining. Spin it for all it's worth! Booyah!

Disclaimer - no drugs or stimulants were taken during the creation of this post. Results may vary. Create responsibly.

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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