Anxiety and the Writer


It is no secret that I have anxiety, a tricky little beast inside my head that is the captain of the Fraud Police squad that lives in my head.  Captain A has been incredibly successful recently at getting me to stop what I love and live in fear.

I feel confident in saying that there are a lot of writers and creative people out there with anxiety, a lot of them.  They live with it from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed and all through out the night. It is the reality of many creative types. Creating the thing we live for is often times the thing that creates the most them.   I don’t often have writer’s block, I have writer’s anxiety .

A million things flood into my mind. Every nasty thing that I have ever told myself. Every piece of self doubt. Every ounce of criticism level at me from parents, teachers, siblings and well meaning friends. Every whispered insult.   So I avoid being creating. I avoid sitting down to write and work through the demons that tell me that I am useless and I will be a failure.  I think that is the reason that I often have wine while I am writing.  It is an attempt to get the bastards drunk.

It doesn’t always work.

Sometimes it does and the story takes hold.

Sometimes I am the one who gets drunk as Captain A laughs at me.  For the record, his laugh is similar to a hyena both evil and juvenile.

So let me tell you a story.  Don’t worry it has pictures.

A picture of the main stage courtesy of Gretchen H.

A picture of the main stage courtesy of Gretchen H.

Once a upon a Wednesday afternoon a plan was hatched. A conspiracy among myself and one other teacher.  It was simple, attend the Eddie Izzard concert and then stay home the next day.  Teachers are dedicated individuals.  We give 110% every day. Some days that effort is easy to achieve. Others it is a struggle, but that struggle on only a couple of hours of sleep one thing that this time around neither myself or my co-worker were prepared to take on.

Much of Thursday was spent like this in p.j.'s and with a puppy dog on my lap.

Much of Thursday was spent like this in p.j.’s and with a puppy dog on my lap.

So when the alarm went off, I got up and took the dogs for their walk then promptly went back to sleep.   There had been a plan to call the doctor and see about moving up my ankle appointment. I wasn’t awake long enough to implement any part of it.  I sleep all day and when I woke up it was only for a couple of hours before heading back to bed. The next day another day of hooky for me. My coworker went back to school or at least that is I what I assume happened.  Friday morning, I took off  for Sanibel Island to meet some friends who were vacationing there.  It was heaven.  The whole adventure. Even when I was pulled over for speeding. It wasn’t the brightest part but it wasn’t awful.

Normally, being pulled over would have reduced to me tears. The budget is already tight.  The concert and the trip to the coast were special treats.  A three hundred dollar ticket would have crushed my little ragtag budget .

Yes, that is right. I was pulled over.

And I wasn’t nervous.

And I was in the wrong. I was speeding.  I was guilty.

I didn’t fuss at the officer or cuss. I just apologized. And you know what I was happy that he pulled me over. I was on unfamiliar roads. Speeding really and truly wasn’t a wise idea. I didn’t know what was coming up. It was an easy way to get in an accident.

The officer left me with a warning and a ticket for my registration being out of date.  I didn’t even panic when I called my boyfriend to tell him about the ticket.  It was weird that all of these things that aren’t normally in my routine didn’t set my anxiety off into over drive.  In fact, the only part of the trip that tickled it was the drive back to Orlando in the dark and rain.  I got nervous a couple of times could feel myself on the edge and then nothing. I teetered but never went off and had a melt down or panic attack.

I picked sea shells by the sea shore

I picked sea shells by the sea shore

Instead, I went on to have a wonderful afternoon and evening with two of my dearest friends from college.  There was lunch at the Island Cow and shell collecting as well as a tour of Crow Wildlife rescue.  It was a quiet day with no fussing or mussing. And no fraud police.

Now, I am sure that the Fraud Police and Captain A will be back. I am sure that the next time I go to sit down I will be struck by what a failure I am, but for nearly three days they weren’t with me and it was heaven or close to it.

And if I can get there once, I can get there again.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

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