Anxiety & Writing

designation-write-typewritersJust over a month ago I was working on 3 different short stories at the same time. I became overwhelmed and anxious, and stopped writing. I realized that for me, working on only one story at a time works best.

Also, I received feedback on Short Story 2 from my writing coach, which discouraged me. The comments themselves weren’t discouraging, it’s just that I thought that the draft I turned in was going to be it. The final version. Finished. Ready to submit to literary journals. But nope. Still needs work.

Even after discovering that I should work solely on one story, I was still too anxious to write, specifically revising Short Story 2. So I’ve been avoiding it, which I know isn’t healthy. A few writer friends suggested working for only 5 minutes a day, which I’m going to try, but haven’t yet. Too anxious.

Whenever I even think about working on my fiction, I begin thinking of how hard it is to revise (which I already know but can’t overcome in those moments), how hard writing is in general (again, something I’m already aware of), and that I should just give up. So I don’t even try. Why bother?

What’s even harder than writing/revising, is overcoming this pattern of thinking. I don’t know how to. What I usually do, and which has worked in the past, is hold my breath, jump right in, and start working. I guess I need to Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway, a book I’m currently reading by Susan Jeffers, PhD. It’s helped in other aspects of my life so far, like walking the dog, so it should help with my writing.


Photo via VisualHunt

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