Writing

4 Weirdly Positive Blog Posts For Anxiety-prone Writers

“You probably know to ask yourself, ‘What do I want?’ Here’s a way better question”

This blog post by Mark Manson takes a well-worn life question and turns it on its head. Instead of asking ‘What will make me happy?’ he suggests asking yourself ‘What am I willing to struggle for?’ The more I read the more I thought about my own struggles, the sacrifices I have made and the invitable struggles to come to devote myself to writing. I thought about it, and realised that although I’ve been struggling, I’ve not done enough hard graft, put in enough sweat, blood and tears, to justify my sulking.

“15 Things You Need To Know About People Who Have Concealed Anxiety”

I’m not one for writing about what I like to call my ‘black cloud’ – in fact, this might be the first time. I’m also not an advocate of self-diagnosis on the internet; it can lead to trouble. But when I stumbled on this post about concealed anxiety via that lecherous uncle that is Facebook, I got excited. In a way not dissimilar to having someone else see solutions to your problems more clearly than you can, this easy to digest blog post had me ticking off all the things I recognised in myself. It doesn’t necessarily cure the thing, but seeing it laid out logically made me think logically about it. And it really helped.

“To Be Happier, Start Thinking More About Your Death”

I love this New York Times article from Arthur C. Brooks. My sisters, my mother and I talk about death all the time: our top five funeral songs, what the most environmentally friendly burials are, coffin preference: wicker or mahogany? We even discuss who’ll go first, as casually as other families might discuss who’ll have the first baby, or their own mortgage by the time they’re thirty. Morbid? In some circles. Practical? Absolutely. We’re pretty proud of it.

“25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing”

Or any of the blog posts on Chuck Wendig’s website really. He doesn’t mince his words. And he’s funny, which helps immensely.

READING & RUM

This blog post started life suffering from depression.

It opened with the sentence “Let me begin by saying that 2015 was, for me at least, like a silent fart in an elevator.”

There was a completely asinine title: “New Year, New Me (Or Something to That Effect)”

There were cliches: “picking up the broken pieces” and “dotting the i’s”.

There was evidence of failures taken to heart: “I made big plans at the start of the year…”

There was passive voice.

It wasn’t working. It read too much like someone else, some cookie-cutter type who Googled the phrase ‘a deep and never ending sadness’ and regurgitated the results verbatim into a text box.

I became twitchy, easily offended, a touch insane. I asked a friend to read a story of mine. He said “Sure – but I’m busy right now.” I stomped around the house for a bit. Drank two glasses of milk and ate three Drifter bars in quick succession. I belly crawled to the Playstation for help, diving into GTA V and unleashing an artistic rage bomb on the artificially intelligent people of Los Santos. I drove around aimlessly, got a terrible haircut, smashed up a bus stop with my (Michael’s) bare fists. I lit an oil tanker on fire at a petrol station with a jerry can. I met up with two members of the Epsilon Program in the mountains, was abducted, drugged, robbed of my clothes and left in a field in the hot sun, stumbling around like a sick antelope. I got a text from Marnie of the Epsilon Program asking me to donate $500.

I donated the $500.

Then I switched it off. Nothing seemed to appease me.

Then I picked up a book and started reading. I’m a writer. I should be reading, a LOT. Or at least a lot more than I’ve been doing.

But, Netflix. You know how it is.

FUCK IT, I said. Off went the TV. And I felt sort of, kind of, a bit better. Also, I held a games night and got people I liked round and drank rum and shouted and let off steam.

So let it be known:

READING (& RUM) SAVES LIVES.

 

Leslye Headland’s Writing Process

I may have to try this technique…

theOffice

tumblr_mkktuoFy7u1r6kz6uo1_500“I feel so much that writing is like chopping wood. I’ll always say to aspiring writers, it’s time logged. Just sit down, ink out however many hours you can in the day. Turn the phone off. Just write. I usually have the script open in one window, and then in another window I have a Word document where I free write. So, as soon as those voices start to come up, like, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re an idiot. This is going to be terrible,’ I switch over to that and I start free writing. I write out all of the fears that I have and all of the negative talk that’s in my brain, and then I’ll go back to the script.”

Leslye Headland

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