1. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    writing anxiety

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by jim79, Jul 13, 2014.

    Hi there,

    I've been suffering from this for a while(stress, anxiety, insomnia, anger issues etc) and have been looking online for advice but the only ones I can find are mainly for college students. does anybody know of any links for fiction writers?

    Thanks

    Jim
     
  2. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Where is the anxiety coming from? I think many people feel the opposite about writing. It's a hobby and they can't wait to get home to do it *more*.
    Are you writing professionally and not enjoying your work? Deadlines? What?
     
  3. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    I've been writing for a few years on and off as a hobby and have written two books and a few short storys.

    I really enjoy it when I'm in the zone and writing but when I stop and think about it I start to feel anxious about how it looks and reads and how many words I've done etc,etc... Then it rolls on down hill from there.

    Do other people feel the same?
     
  4. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i do get that on occasions, but i use it to my advantage, when it comes to word count, take a look at national novel writing month, thats a month of solid writing set to a target of word count, which makes it easier to do. however, i cant unfortunately help you with the way it looks/reads as i dont get this issue, but there may be people here who do and will be able to help you with it.
     
  5. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    That is a natural human reaction. Writing is quite a solitary thing and many writers can become almost withdrawn into their own little world so suddenly having your work 'out there' to be scrutinised by complete strangers (including people who don't have a clue how hard writing actually is) can put a writer under a lot of undue stress.

    I guess the trick is to not let those things bother you, they are out of your control. You can't make people like what you do, what you write. If it really gets that bad, you have two choices:

    1) learn to deal with it or turn it to your advantage.
    2) stop writing.

    My advice would always be option 1. Never option 2 unless it gets so bad that you can't function in your everyday life.

    Good luck (((hugs)))
     
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  6. DLeo
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    DLeo Member

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    Yes. You are not alone in your anxiety concerning how you think the world might perceive your work. Like cutecat22 said, it is a natural thing. I also agree, very much, with her advice of learn to deal with it and use it. Heck, write about it. There might be some gold hiding in your anxiety. If anything, hunting down your inner critics by writing about them might help you to discover where they come from, why they are what they are and how to trap/end them if they're getting out of hand.
     
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  7. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Wait till you get to the point of accepting the offer to publish. You have to say "Yes." That thirty seconds to a minute before you commit is the most emotional part of your decade.

    The first time.

    :)
     
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  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I think a lot of writers feel anxious. I battle anxiety especially towards the finish - a kindof fear of failure thing. If it's not finished then I can still pretend I'm working on it. That way it can't be judged. I spent years, decades doing this and a lot of my writing suffered. I finally decided hey, eventually I'm going to have to share this with someone. Good thing about a writing site is we're all in the same boat and we're only hard on each other to make each other better.
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Previously, I wrote for fun, and even on the internet so everything I wrote was read and commented on, and paradoxically, it was exciting and fun. Now that I'm trying to get it right and do it properly, I get anxious about not being good enough, not working hard enough etc. I think it's because I've never written anything full-novel length before, so this time I can't rely on just one character's story. Also, I can't always do as much work on it as I'd like, so my progress is slower then I'd expected.
     
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  10. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    Thanks,

    It's good to know that i'm not the only one. I realy enjoy writing so i'm going to keep at it but see if i can use the stress to my advantage to write a good story.
     
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  11. Chad Lutzke
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    Chad Lutzke Member

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    Recently I've taken writing more seriously and I've found myself with insomnia. I can't tell exactly what it's from, just a coincidence or I'm getting too excited at night about opportunities. Right now I'm in the final stages of a two-part contest and have a deadline. The contest is very important to me and could mean very big things so it's caused some anxiety. I've been not letting it get to me too bad though. Hope you figure it out, @jim79


    ~Chad Lutzke
     
  12. jim79
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    jim79 Member

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    I know the feeling, as the deadline get closer and closer, things seem to speed and get magnified. if you didnt manage to write enough words or don't think that the words you wrote arnt any good then you become more and more stressed.

    I think the way forward is not to be so hard on yourself and try to remember why you started wrting in the first place

    FOR FUN! :)
     
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  13. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    There are times when my anxieties feel like an albatross hanging round my neck but, when I really think about it, it's my absolute refusal to give in to them that keeps me pounding at the keys. All the second guessing helps me establish why I choose to do things the way that I do, and is instrumental in helping me find my voice and style.

    Basically, I've learned to ride out the anxiety attacks. They always seem to pass and when they do, I feel an extra boost to try harder and do better. I just need to remember these feelings are as transient as passing rain clouds. Given enough time, they do blow over.

    How I get round the mental stress is by simply allowing myself short breaks where I indulge the various other hobbies that get put on hold when I'm on a writing binge, and within a very short time I ache to get back to it.

    My characters' stories are not going to write themselves. If I don't write them they will remain untold, and that thought is worse to me than any amount of anxiety.
     
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  14. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    No links but I feel your pain - I get writing anxiety. I think WritingExcuses.com did a podcast on this sort of thing and it was great. Said some good things about first telling yourself that writing (including time spent thinking about writing) counts as work in this business and is not "inactivity". They did another one on separating your "Internal Editor" from your "Internal Heckler" (one is good, the other not useful). Also just keep cranking out and take some comfort in that most people are horrible judges of their own work - some of what I thought were my worst scenes were the ones my critique groups just loved, and vice versa.
     
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