Ok wordsmiths I am having a rough night/morning, and I feel like I need to write about something that is important to me.
I have anxiety. I know some of you out there do to, so you might understand what I’m going to talk about.
Anxiety is different for everyone, and for me, it’s a lot of what ifs and worrying about all these small things that don’t truly matter. My brain is swirling with all of it, and it makes it tough to really be able to focus on things sometimes.
For this post I want to focus on being a writer with anxiety. Keep in mind this is my experience, and it won’t be the same for everyone. There will be things that you all can identify with, and I would love to hear about them if you are willing to share in the comments.
For me, writing shuts down the what ifs. It makes it so that I can recenter myself and find some sort of peace. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, that sounds great, but it’s when I’m not writing that everything is difficult.
I’m always writing, even if i’m not actually writing something down. I’m constantly thinking of new parts for books and figuring out what I would do. Well, along with this goes the constant string of “what if I did this” and “oh wait, what if I did that instead”. It makes it difficult to write a few sentences let alone a whole book. When all that starts happening I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I focus on any one thing and picture it in my mind. Having one thing to really pull my focus helps me usually.
There’s also the anxiety surrounding publishing. I get terrified about how big it all feels and it sends me back into the what ifs. I try to pull my focus like I told you about before, but usually it doesn’t work in this situation. When that fails, I try a couple of different things. I talk to friends, I read, I listen to music, or I take deep breaths. If those things don’t work, then I do the one thing that doesn’t scare me, I write. I will sit there and write for hours until I realize I’m not afraid anymore and there are no more what ifs, because what I do is what I love. It’s worth all the fear and anxiety.
I also have a lot of anxiety surrounding the idea of outlining. In a previous post I know I told you guys that I don’t outline, and this is why. Trying to outline with all the what ifs is impossible. The only way to get books done is to just let it all flow naturally. Once I see it all typed out, I usually stick with what I’ve got unless there are some things I just can’t stand.
All that said, my fixes work on the good days. Some days are worse than others. On those days I am afraid to even open up my laptop because I’m afraid of what I’ll write. The bad days belong to the what ifs, and they control what happens. On those days I give myself a break from writing to try to meditate or just drown out the what ifs with music and reading.
That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Thanks for bearing with me guys. As always, write on wordsmiths!