Anxiety, stress, self-doubt, lack of confidence - these are emotions I suspect most writers experience from time to time. There seems to be a connection between being creative and feelings of tension. Whether it is an inherent part of the creative mind to doubt, or a reflection of the nature of the work, it is a fact of life for many writers.
Deadlines create tension, reviews are exciting but also scary.
No matter what, putting yourself out there for others to critique is challenging.
But, it is oh so worth it.
I have found that focussing on my own journey as a writer, on what I get out of the experience - my joy, my sense of achievement - really helps me keep perspective.
There will always be others who do not enjoy our work, that is part of the creative process. It's normal, and often times, a good thing. If everyone 'likes' your work, are you really challenging anything?
Think of your favourite novel or author and take a look at their reviews, I guarantee you there are some terrible ones. Because creativity isn't about pleasing everyone, it's about reflecting the world, your experiences, your inner world, or one that you have created. It is intensely personal, and also completely new. And that will and should galvanise opinion.
My point? Don't give up!
Take the nerves about releasing your work and balance them against the achievement of having written a novel, short story, poem etc... Reflect on criticism gently, hold yourself aloof from it and look at it objectively. Take the advice that helps and discard the rest. Remember, you are the artist, ultimately it is your vision. Back yourself!
These are just a few thought frameworks I use to remind myself that I have a right to be in this space, creating and sharing my work. You do too!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on writing and anxiety and any tips you find help you.
Email me and let's share our support and keep us all writing, freely and without fear!
All voices have a place, all stories should be told.
So, keep at it.