Saturday, February 16, 2013

Handling stress: A writer's guide to freaking out!

Oh boy, sometimes we writers have moments of freak outs. I used to think it was just a "me" thing. But my friend at one of the Networks recently told me they had a meeting with a psychologist on how to handle writers that are having nervous breakdowns. So it turns out, it's a writer thing! It must have to do with putting ourselves out there to be judged. It's not easy! We write something, create something, from our hearts and then once we do that, the world gets to tell us what they think. And it's not always pretty.  But we writers have to create, so putting ourselves out there is part of our job. So this past week, I've had a huge event in my career. Before it started I thought it was going to be the best thing ever. Once it started, I felt like I was in over my head and I haven't slept for four days. I can't really go into what it is yet, as I've been sworn to secrecy. But eventually I will write a blog on it. But for now, all you need to know, is that I'm pretty much in panic mode all week. I will say, that from the outside, you'd have no idea. There's another gal I'm working with and she's wearing her heart on her sleeve and you know she's in freak out mode. Me, I'm the one calming her down. But on the inside, I feel like what she looks like and like I'm ready to explode. It doesn't help that I don't drink or smoke, so I have nothing to calm my nerves. And I'm so busy I'm not getting to workout or do yoga, the only healthy things I do to help keep me calm. So I'm pretty much left hanging in the wind of panic. Luckily I have family and great friends that are my sounding boards and helping me through this, reminding me that it's all going to be okay. But, the fact is, I am pushing myself towards what could be a great successful moment for me and that's what I wanted to focus this post on. That we writers have to do that. We can't sit back on our laurels and not get to that yucky panic place. We have to constantly keep putting our work and ourselves out there so that we are always getting better. If we don't risk the freak out, then we're not pushing ourselves and then we're not growing. Believe me, it hasn't been fun feeling like I'm in panic mode all week. It's sucked beyond belief. But I will survive it. And already, I am feeling better as the week goes on. And at the end of all this, it could really turn into an amazing thing for my career. And if not? If it turns out to destroy my career, then I have to trust it's what's meant to be and then reinvent myself. And I'll survive that too. And, I really don't think that will be the case. In fact, the people I'm working with on this have had nothing but great things to say about my work and working with me. But, being a writer, I put a lot of pressure on myself. So I am just trying to remind myself that everyone is happy with me and my work and my panic is purely just an illusion. I'm not sure why I do that to myself. But, I also think it's what makes me a good writer. Because I'm always wanting to work so hard and please the people that invest their money and energy in me. So, if you are not putting yourself into panic modes once in awhile, then ask yourself, why not? Ask yourself if you're pushing yourself and your career. And if you're not, then can you really reach the goals of success you want as a writer? I'd have to argue you can't. It's those places of uncomfortableness where we reach greatness. And I am willing to risk the uncomfortableness to get to where I want to be in my career. I will survive this. And I promise, you will too. "Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new." Brian Tracy