Monday, March 17, 2014

Anxiety and Excitement by Mona Risk

When I decided to quit my job seven years ago to fulfill my dream of writing romance novels, I was determined to make it an early retirement, a fun time to relax. RELAX.


I had more than my share of angst and excitement with exams and waiting for results, dating and waiting for a proposal and a wedding, raising children and waiting for them to grow up and turn into a man and woman of values, happy and successful… Work has been a hectic roller coaster of ups and downs with contracts and fun trips, with deadlines and late hours in the lab— that often extended to the wee hours of the day to deliver sample results on time to the customers.

I’ve spent my life worrying about one thing after another, torturing myself with anxiety and then celebrating with excitement. Overworked and burned out, I needed my early retirement to read, write, walk, exercise, and start living without pressure or stress.

Celebrating the publication of my first book in 2008
Little did I expect that writing romance novels would soon turn into an obsession, an addiction consuming my life and a new career bringing again a whole new set of anxiety and excitement. Participating in contests and waiting for the phone call announcing the finalists; submitting to editors and waiting for the letter or the email with so much hope and so much anxiety, only to be crushed by a form rejection. With time the rejection turned into a two-page letter with suggestions and request for revisions, and then finally the “call” came, bringing such a delirious happiness.

So why the stress? The anxiety that burns my stomach and dries my throat? 

After twelve books published and republished—all became bestsellers at Amazon— the ups and downs continue, waiting for reviews and fan letters, promoting, blogging, participating in book signings…

Is it part of my nature to take everything to heart, to grind my teeth or bite my nails while waiting for others’ approval?
Do you suffer a hundred deaths when you wait for the results of an important project? Does it cause you physical distress to wait for and receive what you want so badly?

Holiday Babies Series: 3 bestsellers novels, about holidays, twin babies and humor.
About the Author: Mona traveled to more than fifty countries on business or vacation. Eventually she left a scientific career to share with readers the many stories brewing in her head. She writes contemporary romances, sweet or not so sweet, with suspense elements or medical themes. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited, from exotic Belarus, and historical France, to the beaches of Greece, the monuments of Egypt and the mysterious Islands of Seychelles--or more simply in Ohio, Florida, Boston and Washington, DC. Her titles garnered many awards. A winner of Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors, Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite, Epic Award Finalist, first-place wins in Enchanted Quill, Launching a Star, and Wallflower. Find Mona on Facebook, or Twitter, or visit her website.


  1. I can So relate to this post, Mona! While I've loved every minute since quitting my day job to write full time two years ago, there are tons of inherent stressors involved. You detailed them all well. Still, I wouldn't change a thing, and I'm sure you wouldn't either. There's nothing like the joy of being able to write day in and day out. And that's the joy that keeps me going. Getting to tell my stories! Cheers and best wishes, with many congrats on your success, Ginny

  2. Like Ginny, I can relate to this. I work 100% from home - running a full time consulting business and writing full time (for Harlequin and as an indie). It means long days, 7 days a week. I have worked very heard to reduce my stress levels. Book launch weeks are the most stressful, but I've started to find balance. Doing what I want and being my own boss (even if it means turning down a consulting job or a writing project) is worth it!

  3. I can relate to this. I still have the stress of another job as I run my own business, but at least I'm the one in control. I have embraced indie publishing whole heartedly as I love being in control. I hated waiting for publisher to buy my books, then waiting for the painfully slow process of publishing, where traditional publisher take months and months to do what I can do myself in a few weeks. Thank goodness for self publishing. I hope never to have to deal with a dinosaur publisher again!

  4. I agree with Mel, release weeks are the worst! Overall I think this job has fallen into a routine, which doesn't mean it can't be a rollercoaster at times!

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  6. I enjoyed hearing about your writing journey..and that cake looks delicious!! :) Congratulations on your awards, and how well your books have done. Bravo!!

  7. Thank for sharing your story. It helps me to see how everyone felt similar starting out!

  8. Thank you, Mona, for that inspiring word.

    I just retired from the Department of Homeland Security and I can totally relate to the on-going stress that consumes your life from trying to keep all your plates spinning at the same time. I told everyone I knew that I was retiring to write full-time, but inside, I knew I wasn't ready to let go of getting a paycheck. I retired last fall and LOVED staying home and getting reacquainted with a house that I'd owned for 35 years, but had barely spent any time there. After Christmas, I got a part-time job and planned to work for some time, but it was a disaster. Almost overnight, it became full-time with double shifts, the whole bit. All of the pressure of working came right back to me and days would go by without writing a single word because I didn't have time. After about a month of struggling at the job, struggling with brutal winter weather and struggling to get everything done at home, I finally gave up and quit--just called one day and said "I'm done!" I could not believe how relieved I felt and how excited I was to get back to work doing what I loved. I'm still working, but now I'm working at home doing what I was meant to do--writing/self-publishing--and really, it's not work at all. Sure, it's challenging and takes effort, but it's not like working in an atmosphere that you hate and at a job that sucks the life out of you.

    I'm sure there will be disappointments and frustrations in my future, but I'm taking life one day at a time now and learning to enjoy life, no matter what comes along.

  9. Oh wow, I can see I'm not the only one who doesn't know how to relax! I'm not the only one who will overwork and overstress because of my writing and a new career that has become an integral part of my life and my happiness. Wishing you all success in your publishing career.