The Butterfly's churning! Anxious words...and ME!!
Hi there everyone!
Hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday!
So…yesterday was DAY 4 of my 9 days-off-work-writing-holiday. It was 9am when I parked my posterior and faced the keyboard and screen for the day. Having written an astounding (for me) 5888 words during Day 3, I started the day full of intent to beat the pace I had set myself, and planned to achieve 6000+ words, thereby reducing the deficit left after Day 2’s measly 665 words.
Typing furiously for at least an hour or so, I became aware of the good old butterflies in my tummy, alternating with a terrible churning sensation. This was persistent throughout the day and at times I felt positively nauseous. This didn’t make for a happy and enjoyable writing experience in the slightest. I quit for the day shortly after 7pm, totally disgusted and disillusioned with the 4221 day’s word count.
Taking the rest of the night off to chill, and having had a light and simple ‘gourmet’ cheesey beans on toast for my evening meal, I felt the nausea and churning gradually leave me. I haven’t done any writing this Day 5 morning and (up to now) I feel fine.
But this morning it suddenly dawned on me (a true ‘lightbulb’ moment) what the problem was – ME!!!!
My anxiety was causing the symptoms!
Having written next to nothing (since finishing my first two books) for the last 5 years, I was feeling such an urgency to get back into my writing cave and give my readers what they want without further delay – Book 3 “Going For It”. I needed to give my book a BIG boost by having a writing holiday from the day job. Nine days off! I set myself a target of 5000 words per day – which would mean a 45000 words total for the nine days. With the few thousand words I had completed before my erm….extended break, that target would take me to more than half way through book 3. Big mistake! BIG!!
I had set myself a target that sure, wasn’t impossible, and certainly achievable…BUT it was a ‘pile the pressure on, why don’t you? sort of target. That is what it was, foolish! Typing furiously, attempting to beat the target set the previous day, constantly checking the word count (like every 15 minutes or so), constantly berating myself at the writing I was knocking out, considering it to be ‘not up to standard’ and ‘rough around the edges’!
For fuck’s sake Eva! Your first two books were rough around the edges after the first draft! First drafts are never perfect! It is the 3 rounds of edits you do that polish up the first draft! You know this to be true!
SOLUTION: I have taken the pressure of myself. I will carry on doing some writing every day, and when I get the urge. I will take some time out each day to chillax. I will continue with the daily word count but…NO targets…just words, whatever number of words is acceptable. I vow to remind myself frequently that whatever the total word count at the end of my nine days, it will be an achievement and my story will be ----- words further along than it was last Friday night when I left work for my break. That’s okay, isn’t it?
It’s a habit many people need to break with! Whatever your goals…don’t pressure yourself too much! It makes the task far from enjoyable! Just enjoy what you can achieve realistically and be SATISFIED and PROUD!
Love and hugs