Hi, all. I hope you had a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!
Since my last post on Thursday, May 24, I have treated myself to an entire week off of writing work to take a breather and assess my goals, both in writing and in life.
Now the past few days have been hectic for me with all of this catching up. I have dedicated the entire month of June to revise my WIP’s plot outline in time for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. With these plot revisions came total revamps of my (far too many) subplots, loads of research, renaming characters, and rewiring character relations and dynamics—along with a totally new villain. It’s been intense.
And in the middle of all of it, my cat Maxwell was diagnosed with anxiety. I’ll be giving him anti-anxiety meds daily starting this afternoon.
This got me thinking about how anxious I have been recently, so of course I turned to my tribe, my brothers in arms, dare I say… my Tweeple. Yes indeedy, I hosted a Twitter pole over the weekend and 12 participants confided they experience anxiety, depression, and 67%!! said they are sometimes hit with both at once.
I’ve got to tell you, the writing community has its bitter side (the grammar Nazis, the literature snobs, the You’re Not a Real Writer-ers,) but most of us are just a bunch of mud puppies (see below.) We’ve got struggles, and sadness, and happiness, and day jobs, and children, and pets. We wanna be scary and badass but… Just look at these softies.
Here’s What the Writers Had to Say:
Don’t beat yourself up for not writing, but try to set small goals if you need. Every word counts and should be celebrated! Even if you think the words are awful, keep writing, coz you can edit later and there’s always the next story. Do it for you.
It sounds cliche and dismissive, but look for the bright side.
If you think your life has sucked, look at how far you’ve come. If you don’t think you’ve come very far, consider the fact that you were tough enough to survive. Stuff like that.
Find your positive.
The fact that in life nothing is perfect, so therefore… why should I be? Anxiety and Depression are horrific; they’re an overwhelming force that can break you, but can also make you stronger. Personally, I use my writing and listening to music as a way of escaping from them.
I deal with both anxiety and depression. Having coping strategies can really help! Having the tools to manage my symptoms makes the low points (or the bizarre paranoia, thanks anxiety) easier to deal with.
As writers, and creatives in general, we are particularly prone to being perfectionistic. We see our work as an extension of ourselves and we want it to be the absolute best that it can be. Which is great! Polishing your work and striving for greatness is both admirable and encouraged.
But how can we draw a line between being self-critical and self-destructive?