There’s something to be said for being present, in the moment, mindful. Whatever you like to call it, it is a powerful tool for dealing with stress and anxiety. For my own self, I try to make it a rule not to beat myself up for the events or disappointments from the day before. I allow myself to make new goals and start over everyday if need be.
I have found that being stuck in the past, worrying about things that I cannot change or have no control over, robs me of the energy I need to bring about the things that I want. I hope you will allow yourself that freedom and that it helps you to be less anxious so that you can focus on the things that make you happy. 🙂
Okay, this is how all consuming it is to be a writer. I write romantic thrillers, which I also love to read. Developing characters that readers fall in love with is part of my job. But, do you know what happens when the writer falls for the leading guy? You get jealous of your heroine. You start mourning the end of the book because you’re going to have to say goodbye to him. You’re really cranky and a little bit miffed that he doesn’t exist.
Then, you have to let him go and move on to the hunky guy that will live in your next book. What does that make me? A die hard romantic? Serial swooner? Hopefully both. 🙂
If you’ve never read H.P. Lovecraft and you’re a fan of genre fiction, you should definitely give it a try. Lovecraft is the founding father of modern horror like Stephen King and Dean Koontz and is a master at turning otherworldy specters and nightmares into reality. The complete works include supernatural horror, mystery, and suspense making it a nice addition to your hoard. In my opinion, the man was much more important than he is sometimes give credit for.
If you come to my house at two in the afternoon, I will probably still be in my pajamas. I won’t have combed my hair and I probably haven’t been out of the bed very long.
I am not lazy. I do have a job. I am a writer.
Sometimes, I write all night and can still get up and do all the things that normal people do, but that won’t be the day that you come to visit. The day you come visit me, I will have stayed up till dawn, slept two hours, and then managed to make it to the coffee pot before hitting the sofa to do it again.
I know not all writers have this crazy existence, but a lot of us do.
When I was in the sixth grade, we had a substitute teacher for about three days. My regular teacher failed to leave any kind of lesson plan for the substitute, so she was left trying to do something to keep twenty-five eleven and twelve-year-olds busy. This smart lady brought Stephen King’s “It” to class and read it aloud.
It was both the beginning and the end. It was the beginning of a lifelong love of reading and writing and all things Stephen King. It was the end of my doing any reading assignments that involved anything less than what I considered to be the equivalent of that book.
I outright refused to waste my time reading articles or books in which I was not interested, to the dismay of my parents and teachers. I would spend my time reading the books that were considered fringe for my age and my grades could just suffer.
Until I was in the tenth grade and met Mr. Edward Rochester. Oh, how a few years can change things!
I am in no way a doctor or nutritionist or therapist of any kind. Just FYI up front. This information is from personal experience and I feel that I should share what I’ve learned for those of you who may be struggling with this issue.
I see that many of my fellow writers struggle with anxiety and depression. I wanted to share something and if it helps even one person to feel better, then I will have done the right thing in doing so.
A very close friend of mine has struggled with anxiety and depression for years. She has experienced severe panic attacks, stress induced hives, and severe acne. These symptoms were attributed to her anxiety, but there was never any underlying condition given as to what was causing the anxiety.
About two years ago, she developed facial swelling, digestive disturbances, and hives all over her body. Then one morning, she had a severe allergic reaction to cereal. She began to wonder if this was somehow connected to her anxiety because some people who are gluten intolerant also have similar symptoms.
My friend eliminated gluten and later, grain from her diet. She noticed that she had numbing of her mouth when eating nuts and sometimes with shrimp. She visited a specialist and turns out, she did have food allergies. She was also told that the sense of impending doom she always struggled with could be a symptom of an anaphylactic reaction. Scary stuff.
After going on a clean diet, and by that I mean no processed foods or allergens, she is feeling much better. Almost all of her digestive and skin issues subsided. After about a year of clean eating, she has much less anxiety. Changing her diet has been a very helpful way to manage her symptoms.
I’m not saying that this is an answer for everyone, but if you’ve tried other things and they haven’t worked, it could help to try changing your diet as a means to feeling better.
Everything that has ever happened to you is a story. Everyone you’ve ever known is a character in that story. Every word you’ve ever heard is dialogue. Observe and use at your discretion!
Exaggerate, embellish, and tweak to perfection. You’d be surprised just how much material can be derived from simply jogging your memory. I know a lot of authors fear the retribution of friends and family who may recognize themselves in your characters and stories, but if you change things up enough, you can still draw rich detail that gives all important depth to your fiction.