Collectively, we as writers need to let go of that little daemon inside of each and every one of us. That little sniveling, panic-stricken daemon named Worry. If we do not subdue its raging anxiety, we become overwrought, broken, and useless. As humans, we tend to worry about situations before evidence of the situation actually occurs. We conjure in our minds all the inexplicable possibilities of how a situation can play out and dwell upon every scenario.
My house will never sell. My car is will go kaput at 100,000 miles. I am going to run out of money. The Apocalypse is going to happen any day!!!
These examples are good thoughts to momentarily ponder about so that a person is not caught unawares. Preparedness is a key to the future. But, these are not thoughts to stress over because they are potential events that may or may not happen in the future. They are not happening right now – right this very second – so there is no need for them to be on the forefront of our minds. Our lives are filled with daily worries and in order to have a peaceful, lucid life, we need to let these worries die.
The need to kill that inner daemon, Worry, is especially true for writers – Professional and Creative. With deadlines and persnickety audiences, writers try so hard to be perfect. We create in our minds situations and scenarios that could ruin our credibility, dreams, and careers. We agonize over each and every aspect of what can deteriorate that vision of perfection and desire.
What if my kid gets sick and I cannot finish this article by deadline? What if the Internet goes down and I run out of time to make my submission? What if my characters are bland and the plot is fractured? What if everyone in the world hates what I have to say?
We latch onto these distressing thoughts and they creep into our psyche, creating panic where there really is no tangible situation for the panic.
A writer’s imagination is their foil. It enables them, as the protagonist in their life’s story, to birth miraculous dreams or conjure the most hellish nightmares.
As our imaginations inspire us to write, it can also create disrupting situations that affect our lives. While it is good to acknowledge potential situations that could affect deadlines and reader reactions, it is not good to dwell on those situations. Agonizing over a situation that has not yet given evidence of being apart of reality is a waste of brain cells and imagination. It creates stress and gray hair.
I have found it helpful to write a potential worry situation on a piece of paper. I allow myself 5 minutes to acknowledge the “worry” over in my head. Then, I light the piece of paper on fire (physically or figuratively) and I don’t lend another moment thinking about it. I force the stress and anxiety over the potential situation to die in the flames. And then I get back to work with my brain focused on the writing task at hand. The existence of that lingering worry is dead. It no longer interrupts my imagination process.
To achieve a stress-free life, we need to drop these worrisome situations hard and not lend another ounce of energy to those thoughts. As a writer, only spend your energy on writing. Worry is a worthless daemon who will bleed you dry as he eats away at your consciousness.