Anxiety and Your Creative Project

I’m struggling with my novel right now.

This is what I expected to happen, but I think somewhere inside me there existed hope that I’d sail through the entire thing without any bumps in the road.

After all, I started out so strong and clear.

My excitement is still there, my creativity still blossoming, but I’m getting stuck.

Basically, I see all the different ways the story could continue (I’m about 16,000 words in) and I can’t seem to organize them into something coherent. I’m second-guessing my outline. I don’t know what the ending is going to be and that scares me. I just did a split and reshuffle of some of the chapters, which I think helped the flow, but also confused me more. Essentially, I’m falling into that common trap of editing before I’m supposed to be editing.

I want to trust my characters. As is usual for me and my creative process, I can have whole conversations with them in my head. It’s just when I sit down to start writing, fear comes up and blocks me from hearing what they have to say and where they want to take the story. Then I get anxious, and a big old block settles in. I also have “not enough” messages going on, like if I don’t write every week, I’m not enough, or if I don’t finish the story within the next several months, I’m not enough.

It’s written from two character’s points of view as well, which is also tripping me up. I’m trying to perfect the back and forth, every other chapter, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. My literal desire to go 4000 words with one character, then 4000 words with the other character, and then back again is keeping me from flowing with the story.

Essentially, I’m blocked.

I guess I don’t know if there is a resolution that I can write about just yet in this blog post. I mostly wanted to keep sharing my journey with you. If you are on your own creative journey, you don’t have to feel alone if you’re stuck too. It’s pretty normal and expected.

And even if you thought you might be able to get away with smooth sailing, I’m sorry to say that creative waters are never calm.

They are turbulent oceans that will sweep you away.

Try not to struggle too much against the currents.

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7 thoughts on “Anxiety and Your Creative Project

  1. Ha. You did it again with your perfect timing, and perfect words. The fact that you can clearly see what you think is tripping you up is more than most. Thank you for taking us along on this awesome creative journey with you.

  2. Great blog.

    I think most of us that do something creative get too hard on ourselves before it is even completed. One thing to consider about writing, you started with the first sentence. Now all you have to do is complete this wonderful creation on your own time frame. 🙂

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