Writer’s Anxiety

Today, I’ve had three thoughts about my writing: (1) it’s great; (2) it’s okay; and (3) WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING TRYING TO BECOME A WRITER.

These vacillating thoughts have meandered throughout the day. One minute, I’ll be convinced that I’ve written a legendary novel that will one day be remembered fondly like it’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The next, I’ll be convinced that I’ve written something akin to a dumpster fire. Then, when I’m lucky, I’ll be convinced that I’ve written something average that’ll be appreciated by a select group of readers with a preference for realistic fiction.

So what are these vacillating thoughts? Are they just the side effect of being a writer? Of feeling anxious about my writing?

In other words, do I have something called writer’s anxiety?

Writer’s anxiety is a byproduct of the glacial pace of publishing, and I think it’s best described by the following example:

Let’s say you’re reading a book for a nice, relaxing distraction from your writing. So you’re telling yourself, “I’ll just read this book and not think about my own writing. Okay? I’ll just sit here and enjoy someone’s else creation, appreciate the hard work this author put into this book. Okay?” But then, about ten pages into that book, let’s say you find yourself involuntarily skimming over the words on the page—not really reading.

Instead, your mind is elsewhere. Your mind is engaged in a psychological tug of war. A tug of war where you meticulously comb through your own writing with both a hypercritical eye and a friendly eye. One minute, you’re legitimately convincing yourself that you’ve written a legendary novel that will one day be remembered fondly like it’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The next, you’re legitimately convincing yourself that you’ve written something akin to a dumpster fire. Then, whenever you’re lucky enough, you’re legitimately convincing yourself that you’ve written something average that’ll be appreciated by a select group of readers with a preference for realistic fiction.

And that’s when your attention will finally return to the page you’ve been trying to read for five minutes and you’ll realize, I have the disease.

So you’ll say it out loud to yourself, “I have writer’s anxiety,” and you’ll freeze.

Because, suddenly, you will have come to realize the worst possible truth: even if I end up publishing the heir apparent to To Kill a Mockingbird, I could never accept it.

The reason? You know, in your heart of hearts, that no matter what anyone says about your writing, you’ll always have three vacillating thoughts: (1) it’s great; (2) it’s okay; and (3) WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING TRYING TO BECOME A WRITER.

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Writer’s Anxiety”

    1. It’s a YA novel about a girl named Sinclair (nickname: Sin) and her attempt to write an enthralling article for her high school’s newspaper. Sin, at first, simply wants to win over journalism club’s good-looking leader (a dude named Claire). But after Sin discovers that the subject of her article (Jamie) lost his father to a mysterious, deadly car crash eighteen years earlier, she finds herself immersed in a cold case that could not only win over Claire but could also change Jamie’s life forever.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. Lol the process definitely tests your resolve. There have been so many times where I’ve gotten close to giving up. But I never actually do. (Thankfully! 🧐) I’m just hoping that, one day, all of this hard work will pay off.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Me too! I wish I could write! “If” I had a book in me… it would be a middle grade book about a 12 yr old girl on a road trip, with her annoying family that’s ruining her preteen image!
                      But I doubt I’ll ever try…
                      I never took even one creative writing class in school. I wish I had…

                      Like

                    2. I strongly believe that anyone can be a writer, especially when you already have the idea! I think the key is just finding the time to sit down and write it out. There will be growing pains when you first start writing. (I had lots!) But eventually, you’ll begin to learn the craft as you go. (I never took a creative writing course while in school either!) So don’t rule it out completely, people like MG and your idea sounds great!!

                      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s