I need to do a bit of a thought dump on writing and stress. I get stressed out pretty easy and almost constantly have high levels of anxiety. Lately, writing has been making that worse. It’s not actually writing that’s stressing me out, it’s everything that’s keeping me from writing. I find myself with so much on my plate keeping me from actually writing.
Writing is my passion, I love it. Over the summer I was working on the blog and trying to finish up my book. I was also writing some other stuff, like poetry. I had the time and freedom to do that, to pursue anything I wanted to at any time. I had a lot of creative freedom, but I was also disciplined and was writing every day. It’s not like that anymore.
True I am now in university. This means classes and so many papers that take up my writing time. I feel like I both have more and less time now that I’m in university. In the past work and high school took up more hours of the day then university does now, but I find never leaving campus leads to me constantly feeling like I have to do class work. I spend my free time working on my papers for my classes. I have to do them, I’m just always working on them with no breaks.
Another unpleasant effect always being on campus has for me is that because I’m always thinking about and stressing about school I find I spend a lot of time doing absolutely nothing. I get so stressed that I’m exhausted and then I spend hours not doing anything, scrolling through Instagram or napping.
But this isn’t just me ranting about my problems, I have a solution. Once a week or so I try to get off campus and get a coffee. I go to a coffee shop alone and write. That’s how I’m getting stuff done right now. I need to balance my writing more in general. I want to start taking time out of every day to actually write. (I should also note that I’m writing this in October but by the time it’s published NaNoWriMo will be happening so I might actually be writing every day). If you want to know more about my de-stressing methods check out this post.
But it’s not just a lack of time and laziness that’s keeping me from writing, it’s all the not actually writing, writing stuff. The plotting and the editing. I’m currently doing something really stupid, I’m plotting my next novel and editing my last novel at the same time. I really shouldn’t be doing that, I know it’s a bad idea, but it’s still happening.
They say the hardest thing about a project is starting. I don’t know who “they” is, probably someone smarter than me, but I think “they” are right. Starting an editing session is the hardest part of the process for me. I get this idea in my head that my writing sucks, and so I don’t want to read it. I don’t want to know just how much I suck. Two things:
- It’s the first draft, it’s going to suck
- It doesn’t suck that bad.
Even the stuff I wrote last year when I was worse at writing is passable. It doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out all the time (just a few times).
I also heavily procrastinate plotting out my next book. I didn’t do it last time so it’s new, and so far I’m not really sure how to do it. All I see is the mountain that I have to plot and feeling like I’m never going to accomplish it.
I feel stressed about writing because I’m not writing. I’m letting my life and my fears get in the way of writing. I’m stress because I’m not moving forward in my life. I feel stuck and all I want to do is get moving. But I’m not moving.
So here’s the plan, I’m going to start working on this every day. Between classes or before classes. Whenever I have nothing to do. On weekends. While waiting for appointments. Anywhere and everywhere I can. I need to start writing more or I’m going to drive myself crazy.
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