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  • Lori Carol Maloy

Do You Worry More Than Write? You May Be An Anxious Writer

Feel like you’ll never measure up to all the great writers that came before you? That’s not uncommon. Follow me to explore some antidotes for this malaise.

Do you walk around the house looking for something to do rather than sitting down at your computer and writing? Do you look forward to getting the laundry started, washing the dishes, or scrubbing out that toilet instead of getting to it with your next article or the next chapter of your novel? Do you have questions as to whether or not you can really get your character to the next scene smoothly or be able to logically move your article forward because you feel that you are an imposter and might not be a writer at all?

Writing can sometimes make us feel inadequate and full of self-doubt. It isn’t uncommon for writers to want every word to be perfect as soon as it’s penned. This is impossible, but something we all secretly desire and worry about, but on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the worst, how badly do you dread or worry about your writing?

If you postpone and put off your writing, have writer’s block, or worry more than write, you might be an anxious writer.

Existing feelings of low self-worth can creep in and overtake the writing process. It’s best to attack these feelings head on because they come from someplace deep inside you and it’s not really about your writing.

Creativity, ideas, and the need to write does come from inside you but it’s a separate beast from the angry darkness of low self-worth. Perfection and the need to be good enough can darken the path to discovery and cause the creative process to dim and come to a halt.

Journaling can help you identify when you first noticed these symptoms and help you attack them head on. And sometimes a counselor might help with the journey to wholeness. The important thing is to separate the two because creativity is just that, whatever you want it to be.

Getting the words down is the most important step because revision comes later. Wordiness, misspelled words, clunky grammar, plots that don’t fit, and themes that are off; these can come later during the revision process. Catching those thoughts and trapping them onto the paper (or computer screen) is what’s needed first. No one can eat a fine meal unless the food has been caught, killed, cut, chopped, seasoned, and finally cooked.

So Just Write Something Already. Anything!

Allowing yourself to be who you are and accepting yourself without judgment is difficult, but a process you will need to work through if you want to let go of all that anxiety and need to be perfect.

Your writing doesn’t need to start out flawless; it just needs to be you …

The first draft you pen may not bring the readers flooding to your work but in allowing the words, flaws and all, onto the paper will give creativity a chance. Are you willing to let yourself be human? I say, go For It!

What are you doing to decrease your anxious writing? Any tips you are utilizing to get your thoughts onto the paper? I’d love to hear them.

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