Thursday, April 9, 2015

Don't Panic - Things Happen

Panic is one of the worst things that can happen to a writer. And yet, I do believe publishing offers more opportunities for authors to panic. Editors change, markets shift, bad reviews happen, and of course, there is the infamous "writer's block." The point is, it will happen. But you cannot panic.

I was just talking to an author yesterday and she was hitting that panic stage. She has a deadline fast approaching and she fears the time might not be there to get the writing done. In reality, she will make the deadline, I am not worried about it. For her, there was just a ton of things happening in her life right at that very moment so she didn't have the normally scheduled writing days.

So why is panic so dangerous for writers? In simple terms, it is a distraction. The time you are spending worrying about that deadline is draining the creative flow of your craft. You simply cannot have it.

I know it is easy to say, "don't worry about it." For someone not in that panic situation looking in, that fear is simply not seen. But worrying about it isn't going to help. I am reminded of the owner of USA Today who described in his biography why he felt he was so successful. He noted that when a problem came up, he didn't worry about it. If the problem could be fixed, he worked to make that change. If the problem couldn't be fixed, or at least at that exact moment, he didn't worry about it. He noted that the "worries" wasted time complaining about the problem. While they were doing that, he simply moved ahead.

Know it is going to happen.
Know there will be a hiccup in your writing.
Take a moment to scream if you need to..
And then breathe, move on and things will be fine.

I promise.

1 comment:

  1. True story. On the other hand, I can be motivated by the low hum of anxiety in the pit of my stomach as long as it doesn't morph into the full blown panic attack.