writer's panic

I experience this now and then. The feeling that I’m not writing enough, not writing productively, am hopelessly behind and will never, ever make various deadlines. Except this time, it’s true. Yes. I say that everytime. But this time it really feels true.

It’s partially the time of year. There’s a lot to be done in the garden, the dogs are restless, I’ve got a long list of family related chores that can’t really be put off, and there are really, really boring business matters that can’t be ignored without evoking the wrath of the IRS. And have I mentioned my feeling of dread when I think about the mess in the kitchen? I often feel I would get more writing done if I had a full time job. I know that sounds non-sensical, but that’s where I live these days, in the Land of Irrational Fears. Except, really, are they irriational? Are you SURE the sky isn’t falling? Do you dare look up?

What makes it all worse: in two weeks I’m going away for a week-long mixed-media workshop with the two textile artists I admire most in the world. I should be excited, right? Except the whole idea just makes me more panicky. The dogs! The dogs don’t understand when I’m not here, they get depressed and sad and I lay awake at night worrying about them. I can talk to the husband and the girlchild on the phone, but the puppies can’t manage the handset, and they just whimper at the sound of my disembodied voice. The puppy boys will go crazy; the girlchild will go into a crisis; I really won’t get any writing done. For a whole week.

Mostly, it helps writing down my fears, but this time I’ve only managed to make myself jumpier. Pardon me while I hop off and try to get some work done.

One Reply to “writer's panic”

  1. Hi Sara!

    I read your panicky message, and instantly recognised myself. I get stressed out by my job all the time (simultaneous interpreting for high-level politicians, mostly), and even though I try to ignore it, the stress simply wants out. It sounds very much like what you’re talking about, what with you being jumpy, et.c. My advise is to go for a long – and I mean hours – walk, or a slightly shorter jogging round, just to let your body let out some steam and get it out of your system. Then work in short bursts rather than sitting in front of the screen for long periods of time without being productive, and I’ll garantee you’ll get more things done.

    Oh, and try to enjoy the moment, too. But that really comes after the whole dealing-with-acute-stress part.

    Hugs,

    Chris

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