Ask any creative and they’ll tell you about the anxiety that goes with projects. Imposter syndrome can wreck havoc on the creative process and make you feel blocked.
With writing anxiety you have two choices. One: work through it. Or two: walk away. Yesterday I walked away.
I would usually say that you should write through it. Just persevere, but in this case I needed an out.
I was antsy. Panicky. My cat wouldn’t leave me alone and I needed to get words down. Sometimes you have to give in, and that’s ok. The book will be there when you get back.
Today, I found my words. The well was full. Other days I struggle, but what I don’t do is give up.
Writing is a bunch of ups and downs. It’s a struggle. You can’t wait for your muse to get off their ass but you shouldn’t push yourself until you’re burnt out. It’s a balancing act.
Write what you can and the words add up. Pretty soon you’ll have a book then a series. Ultimately you’ll be sipping cocktails in Hawaii in your vacation home… Or at least coffee at a Starbucks. It’s the little things.
I never thought I’d get to this point the same way I thought I couldn’t do graduate school. Yet, here I am with an agent and a three book publishing contract.
My publishing journey started with a back injury and a hopeless search to find something to read. I decided to write what I wanted to read. From there, the poisonous passions series was born.
All I could do was sit. The pain was excruciating. I couldn’t stand for more than a couple minutes. I’d given up the archives job search from after graduate school and I had to flee into my own world. I almost lost my ability to walk.
I had back surgery which gave me immediate relief. No more pain killers and no more sitting for long periods of time. It takes me 3 months to write a book now instead of 6 weeks but the pain is manageable.
I started to query my first book and when I hit my fourth book I started to query it too. My fourth book got me my agent. My first book got me my publishing contract.
I injured my back in 2017, but I signed with my agent in 2020. Yesterday, I signed my publishing contract. Next year, I will have 3 published books.
As much heart ache and pain I experienced in those 4 years (back injury, divorce, more hearing loss, and the death of my mother), I’m amazed I’m still standing.
Roll with the punches and fight your way to your goals. It’s tough out there.
For the first time in years, I don’t have any book ideas. I’m not worried about it. In fact, I’m using my break to write short stories to submit to anthologies.
I don’t like the feeling of being stuck, but I’m taking this as a sign I need to get out and experience life.
There are two things you can do that I’ve found help get your creativity going. One is read. Switch up what you are reading. Try something new.
Two is to go out and live. I had a book idea one day when I was walking my dog. I saw writing in the pavement that said Dorothy. I knew I had to write something based on the Wizard of Oz. I’m proud of t.hat book. It’s out on submission. It’s all thanks to that one aha! moment.
I’m searching for that aha! moment now. I have direction. I just need that one little spark. It will come when I least suspect it, and I’ll be having fun while it happens.