Worry Seeds? Coping with Anxiety in Writing

Sometimes I’m afraid to write the next new chapter. It’s like a seed of doubt growing inside my head. As an avoidance, I switch to revising. Like that will somehow dodge this fear. Yet this slows down my writing as a whole. Coping with anxiety in writing can be daunting.

Why Worry?

What exactly is the function of worrying? What does it gain us as human beings? Either we can do this thing, or we can’t. Why fret about it so much? Worry just makes us twice as miserable.

Switch Up Your Reaction

Epictetus tells us, “What upsets people is not things themselves, but their judgements about these things.” So, it’s not the blank page that causes worry but my own self doubt about my abilities as a writer. It’s this fear that doesn’t seem to let go. Yet this is the duplicity of anxiety. It tricks us into thinking it must always be there. 

Throw Away Anxiety

Most of us think of escaping from anxiety, as if it were a place we were trapped in. Some external force that latches onto us. Yet a better way to think about worry is to discard it because it comes from inside our own minds. Our own perceptions shape the worry and stress of our lives.

Once you know that you are the perpetrator of this anxiety, you’ve taken the first step in conquering it. We can’t overcome writer’s block and self-doubt all the time. One of the best tools to combat this as a writer is to make writing a daily habit. One your body and mind become accustomed to. 

Working every day gives worry less time to sprout in your head. Over time, those self doubts become less intense. They never vanish, but the worry will be easier to overcome. 

Tim Kane

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