Feeling anxious is no picnic, but it’s pretty common among writers.
When I’ve been struggling with my writing and finally feel that the fog may be starting to lift, here’s what comes up for me:
1. I feel relief.
2. And I feel anxious.
I feel relief because once again I’ve made it through. And getting to that point is never a certainty. So I start to breathe more easily, and I feel my shoulders relax.
And on the heels of that relief, I sense that feeling which almost always accompanies relief—a fluttering of anxiety.
The anxiety has to do with following through. What do I do next? How will it play out? This is bound to be hard. It would be so nice to stop now.
Following through is a problem for many of us. Once we start to make sense of an idea, there’s an urge to knock off.
For some, it may be complacency. For me, I think it’s more about escape.
A client told me today that he feels in his comfort zone when he’s between the fear of success and the fear of failure. When he starts to make progress, he’s ready to back off.
By resisting whatever comes next and avoiding anxiety at all costs, we sabotage ourselves. Instead of saying “Hurrah! I think it’s coming together,” and then digging in to see what’s ahead, we give in to the urge to seek the nearest exit.
By darting away, we’re losing the advantage we’ve created for ourselves.
And recapturing that moment takes effort. Heck, even returning to the writing takes effort. All that to avoid a bit of anxiety.
Feel the anxiety, and write past it.
Here’s to more writing for all of us!
NancyNancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach nancy @ nancywhichard.com http://www.nancywhichard.com