Truth One: To say writers often feel anxiety is to say water is wet. Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes for writers. Small things, like figuring out a title for your WIP proving to be elusive, to major issues, like imposter syndrome, can crop up on any writer at any time. Imposter syndrome is, loosely defined, the idea that you as a writer aren’t good enough. I won’t go into names, but a major, awarded author I’ve met always suffers from anxiety and specifically imposter syndrome. What can we do about it? Stay grounded, do your best to work through it, and find good coping skills to deal with your anxiety. The last bit is your best bet.
Truth Two: Anxiety affects a large segment of the populace. This anxiety can range from being uncomfortable around people you don’t know to getting full-blown panic attacks that feel like heart attacks. Without involving medication talk, it’s fair to say that deep breathing exercises often helps, as can meditation. Grounding techniques are excellent coping skills, too, that help distract us from anxiety. Mental grounding can be as simple as listing favorite shows or can have you think about different sensory inputs. Physical grounding, like running warm or cold water over your hands, helps other people. Soothing grounding, engaging yourself in self-talk, may sound corny to some people, but it is essential for some folks to encourage themselves in this fashion. As grounding works to combat anxiety in mental health, so it works for writers experiencing anxiety, too.
Ten Things (about the past week):
1–I’ve gotten into a fantastic Australian show on Netflix called Rake. I think it started in 2010? Anyway, some great Australian actors make appearances in…odd roles.
2–I’ve been reading Station Eleven, which just about everyone has recommended. It’s good, although it is also highly purple. Having a hard time chunk reading with it for that reason.
3–Chugging along at a decent pace in my WIP. Got through a major scene, and the next chapter’s major emotional scene that followed.
4–Believe it or not, I researched Emily Post for a flash fiction story last week.
5–Big (non-writing) news may be in the pipeline. Sorry for the vaguebooking!
6–Sometimes not getting to do what you thought you were going to do on a given day or evening can turn out even better.
7–For something less vague, having a clean apartment is a relief and good for the soul.
8–Having an audiobook going as well as a hard copy of a book gives great “reading” options for when you can’t normally read–I just started The Rage of Dragons on audio, and so far, so fun.
9–My NFL team put in a “Same old Cardinals” type of performance in an atrocious loss yesterday.
10–But my English Premier League soccer team Newcastle United snatched a very undeserved point from a very undeserved tie with Tottenham Hotspur, so yay!