Inspiration for Writers

Is Anxiety Ambushing Your Writing?

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

One coaching client emailed me, saying, “Every time I sit down to write, I’m flooded with anxious thoughts. The voices in my head shout that I can’t write and nobody wants to read what I have to say. How do I deal with all this anxiety?”

In highly motivated people like this woman, I’ve found it is often anxiety that interferes with our creativity and ability to focus. Obviously not all anxiety is detrimental to writing. These feelings can motivate us to take action. But constant anxiety can lead to moodiness, writer’s block, headaches and even insomnia when our brains don’t shut down at night.

You can help yourself resolve some of the anxiety by first asking yourself multiple questions. Could I be trying to do too much? Is this just a difficult challenging time? Do I need to put this writing project on the back burner? Do I need more sleep? Or am I only anxious when I write?

I knew this particular client had been gradually trying to write later and later into the night. Her most productive hours, however, were in the morning. Working longer at night allowed her little time to relax. Since she went to bed, still tense, she had problems falling asleep. The next morning she felt sluggish and had difficulty concentrating.