A-Z Blogging Challenge: A is for Anxiety

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a-to-z-letters-aYes, I’m doing the A-Z blogging challenge! A good way to get me to start blogging again. The A-Z is actually what it sounds like (although for me it sounds like ‘Zed’ whereas for Americans it sounds like ‘Zee’). Either way, it’s about putting up a blog post over the next 26 days (minus Sundays), with each letter of the alphabet. So today, I’m talking about anxiety.

Why? Because it’s definitely my usual state when it comes to writing fiction (not fact – which is what I do as a journalist). And even the A-Z blogging challenge comes with anxiety – not because I’m worried about what to blog about. I trust THAT creative muscle. But because, in my inimitable style I signed up TODAY – with the the A-Z blogging site screaming at me “You have 9 hours and 53 minutes to sign up!”

So, unlike other challenge bloggers, I have NOT read the posts leading up the challenge. I have not prepped what I will write in advance (my boyfriend asked this morning – what do you write about when you get to the letter X?) Sheesh! Can we start with “A”. So all of this has  has already sent my anxiety into overdrive. Not to mention finding time to do this AND my day job AND keep working on revisions on my novel.

And speaking of my novel – whose title now must change (to what I have no idea – maybe I’ll hold a competition for that. Who knows?), I have EXTREME anxiety over the rewrites. As you can probably tell by my taking up the A-Z blogging challenge, I’m a pantser not a plotter and while I “pantsed” my way through the first draft, I now realise I need to do more plotting to flesh out the story. I have had to create entirely new chapters (plotted, not pantsed!). That alone causes anxiety.

Oh, and then yesterday I read THIS article in Salon called Is Journalism Killing My Creativity? about journalists (my day job) and fiction writing and my anxiety was ratcheted up a notch. How did this writer get inside my head? Eek! Of course this can apply to anyone, really. It is, after all about dealing with your fears. But given the example used (journalism and fiction) it naturally hit close to home. Seriously, who am I kidding? It hit HOME!

I’d ramble more about anxiety but I’m so anxious now I’m going to go work on my revision for my novel. Face my fears and all that jazz. Oy! I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about “B” Do I know what “B” will Be? Nope. Because that’s the pantser in me!

14 comments

  1. I can so relate to your anxiety about writing, or sometimes just life in general. We all have those moment where we are so anxious about something. As a matter of fact, I had a friend today IM through Facebook asking me to read something for her to see how it sounded to submit to an agent. Now that it is submitted she is still anxious because she isn’t sure how everything will pan out. Anxiety seems to be apart of our daily lives. It’s how we handle those anxious moments. I think for many of us it helps to drive us forward to produce even better results in the end as we want to put our best foot forward. Great post today. I really enjoyed it. (And I am the exact opposite as I am a total plotter. I love how we can all be so different.)

  2. H S says:

    I was reading your tale of building anxiety as the anxiety level built when, all of a sudden, my cat jumped on the keyboard and my anxiety level rose tremendously – everything went white and I thought “I’ve lost Kelly’s blog and the machine’s broken!” – perhaps it’s cat-ching ….

    • Kelly says:

      Helen! You always manage to make me laugh. I think that’s how I survived reading “King Richard’s Land” (a story for boys), in Miss Gardner’s English lit. class. That and rain dances to avoid hockey.

  3. Faye North says:

    Kudos for jumping right in. In real life I’m a plotter, but strangely with my writing I’m more of a pantser. Hopefully in the end I’ll come out with a nice balance between the two.

    • Kelly says:

      I’m exactly the same, Faye! My real life is full of organized lists and organized work. Maybe it’s the creative in us that needs to be pantsers when it comes to fiction.

  4. I like to have organized chaos. That is, some structure with the flexibility to bend into the wind–and possibly scream into it, as well. 🙂

    I find that life is a juggling act. Take my ever-increasing writing goals for April, for instance. Now that I’m blog hopping, I see links to other challenges and I go, “Oooh, let’s have a lookiloo.” I’m learning to take things in stride and enjoy the process as much as the final result (you know, the journey v. destination debate).

    Do I have anxiety? Sure. Doubts? Of course. Who doesn’t? I think it makes us human. What makes us stronger, as writers, as people, is our willingness to forge ahead despite all that threatens to hold us back from our goals.

    See you at the next letter on the hop!

    Tonette dela Luna
    ~~~
    Blog: Textploits of the Writerly Persuasion – http://tonettedelaluna.wordpress.com/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/TonettedelaLuna
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/TonettedelaLuna

  5. curryegg says:

    For the same reason, I join and take up the A-Z challenge. I have actively blogged for 2 years and it’s good to come back again with a reason. I like the way you write on anxiety and i believe your creative muscles will work out fine for the following letters. Keep calm. Will come back for more 😉

  6. I’m not doing the challenge. I just returned to my blog today after having arm and hand nerve surgery. I’m still a left hand typist only and it’s a bit constricting. You are off to a great start.

    • Kelly says:

      Good luck on the recovery. I had foot surgery a year and a half ago – didn’t stop me writing but I know how tough surgery recuperation can be.

  7. Becca says:

    Thanks Kelly! I really appreciate your frank comments about this! You have so much already working for your novel – just a reminder! Once you sit down & get to work, I think you can ease into it. My big anxiety right now is whether i am juggling too many projects. I feel like I can handle it but I’m stretching myself and I’m not used to it. Still, i don’t want to say no. I’m hoping I’ll expand my capacity and relax. I know you’re capable of juggling so much, so if you have any words of wisdom pls let me know!

    • Kelly says:

      Becca! My beacon. My touchstone. My official beta reader. You always have the words of wisdom. Not me! You may not even recognize my book now. I can gripe all I want but I’m also not raising the most eloquent, precocious, exhausting, erudite six year old (Is Sophia 6 now or 5? Did I age her?). I don’t know how you do it. I have nothing to complain about, really.

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