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.

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