anxiety, The Writing Process, Writing

Does Writing Make You Anxious?

I’m writing a novel that requires me to dig deep into the hearts and souls of the people I love. Yes, it’s fictional – but it’s based on true events and emotions that aren’t always pleasant. Getting that close to something uncomfortable makes my chest burn with anxiety.  I mean it freaking hurts. Call me weak, but I had to take 1/2 Ativan.  I need to write this book.  I have committed to writing this book and I will finish it.

It made me wonder whether other writers are plagued by anxiety caused by writing. It’s one thing to write about depression and anxiety as its own subject.  But what about feeling perfectly okay UNTIL you start writing.  Once I’ve finished this post I’m going to go back to it.  Bravely.  In order to create a book that has substance, grit, and truly developed characters, I’m going to have to dig deep and really face this head on. In order to write about someone else’s emotions (fictional or not), I have to feel those things too.

Think about it this way, if you had to write about the taste and feel of the salty ocean, you would first need to have that experience. Gotta tell ya….it really sucks. It’s going to be worth it when the book is done. Maybe I’ll learn to get used to this feeling, or at least learn how to handle this so that I don’t spend the next couple of years in a constant state of pain. That would be stupid.

I need to learn how to disassociate to some degree.  I’ve felt pain in my life so I know it’s in my toolbox to write about.  If I could just turn off the receptors that bring me back there….

I don’t have the answers today. I just know that I have the day off from work to write and I should probably get back to it.

If you’re a writer or someone who deals with anxiety on the reg, let me know about your experiences!  I’m open to hearing how other people manage it without medication, and without avoiding writing.

Thanks!img_0301

 

The Writing Process, Writing

3 Ways to Boost the Creative Process


  1. RUN WITH DOGS

    As you can see from the photos, they LOVED IT.  Now, they’re totally flaked out on the couch wrapped in blankets.  Snoring away.  Without them constantly at me for food, treats, playtime, etc., I can finally sit down and get some serious writing done.

2. WRITE STANDING UP

It works! Since I’m sitting all day at work (bad girl I know!), it doesn’t make sense to come home and sit some more.  Hunching over the keyboard is awful for my back and shoulders.  You can’t be creative when you’re in pain.  Standing lets the creativity out, as opposed to getting all jammed up in your heart chakra.  Nobody wants a jammed up heart chakra.  Am I right?

3.  READ IT OUT LOUD

I prefer to do this when I’m alone, but reading what I’ve just written helps to give me an idea how the sentences are flowing. If I’m getting tongue-tied, or the tone just isn’t write, it’s easier to hone in on those trouble spots and fix them.

And now that I’ve ran in the rain, written a blog, and had a cup of tea and a cookie….I’m going to work on my novel.  But first, where is my sweater.  It’s chilly in here….

Writing

How I Broke Through A Writing Wall

I finally found my way through a fee weeks of “writer’s block”.  Want to know how?
Whether you’re writing a note to your friend, a poem, or a novel, you just know when something isn’t right.  I knew if I just kept typing words (reasonable words and phrases that made some kind of sense), I’d find my way.   I worried about it.  I’d write eight pages and then delete them all because it was garbage.  Trust the process I reminded myself.  Trust the process.  Finally, I decided to try something else.

FREESTYLE:  That’s just a formal way of giving yourself permission to fire your internal editor for a while.  I realized I was trying to write about characters I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting.  With an open mind I let the thoughts flow. Who is this person? Where is she from? What are her hopes? Dreams? Fears?  It was one long rambling unedited mess.  But it helped get my head around the characters holding me back.

RUN:  Long, slow runs give me a chance to visual the book unfolding like a movie in my mind. It takes me away from the computer screen and gets the blood pumping.  The result? Fresh, creative ideas to try and sore calves.  It’s amazing what a little exercise does to keep those neurons firing.

PERSISTENCE: Even when I don’t feel I have anything to write, I write. Every day.  I go to the computer and pluck away at words and phrases until – at last – something clicks.  It might take days.  It might take months.  You might not notice when it happens because your mind takes something good and runs with it.  For a while, it’s practically effortless.  At least I knew when I was on the right track. Something changed in the way I felt about the characters and what they were experiencing.

That’s it!  Nothing earth-shattering.  It really helps to remind yourself to trust the process.  You know what you’re doing, you might just have to wait for the characters to introduce themselves.  And for that you need an open mind.  These are just some things that work for me.

Happy Writing!

Thank you to Unsplash.com for the copyright free image.

FOOD, Writing

Homemade Irish Stew Recipe

Irish StewI totally played this by ear and I’m happy to say it was delicious. Mike had two huge bowls and he rarely has seconds!

Ingredients:

Two large potatoes

Two large carrots

Stewing beef – 1 pound (ish)

Two stalks of celery

1 onion

two large cloves of garlic

Beef broth

2 tbsps tomato paste

I can of beer

two cups of water

2 tbsps of vegetable oil

1/4 cup of red wine

Pinch of tyme

Salt and pepper

Dumplings ingredients:

Ummmmm I don’t remember. BUT it’s easy to find recipes for dumplings online.

I added a pinch of rosemary and some cheddar cheese to the batter for extra flavour.

To Prepare:

Heat the oil in a frying pan.  Add the beef and brown.

Remove the beef and put in the crockpot (did I mention this is a crockpot recipe?)

Saute the chopped onion, celery, and chopped garlic cloves. Add to crockpot.

Add everything else to the crockpot, cover, and cook on low for 4 hrs.

I transfered the cooked stew to a large pot and let it simmer over the stove.  I added the dumplings to cook about 20 minutes before serving.