OK, So I Am Procrastinating Writing

I have many excuses…there is so much I am learning from researching about writing and publishing(true). Am learning about about new things scientists are learning about depression and the brain procrastinate-productively-work-hacks-02(true). I had to transfer information from a crashed computer and get it organized. I had to buy a new computer, and then turn it in for a replacement. I had writing assignments. I am learning new writing software I think will really help (true – Scrivener and EverNote). I’m even organizing things I learn on EverNote as I go through the day, which will save me lots of time later. I’m getting to know other bloggers.  Grandson and family are in a crisis. I am tired after my vacation…. all true.

 

But – I have not been writing.  That’s not good.

The truth is, since before vacation, I am putting off really writing any part of my actual book – or even really writing the e-books I plan for “en-route.”…I have to confess the culprit is FEAR…and Perfectionism…and my old friend,  Unworthiness.  (I’ll prove it to you, just watch me fail.) I sit down at the computer and there are lots of things happening EXCEPT the writing I genuinely want to be doing.  I notice that I am not even blogging regularly because of this huge iceberg floating around in my sea.  Except today.   Here I am spilling the beans to whoever comes around.

I started out so confident, so sure I will get this done.  And I still think I will, but first I’d better confront what’s pushing me back.  For me, the best way is writing.  And who knows?  Someone may even relate.

It’s not “writer’s block as I understand it.  When I get a freelance assignment, the words flow smoothly.  I have plenty of ideas of what to write about for the book, more every day.  Ideas and quotes and research and snippets everywhere.  It is giving in to anxiety

anxiety_CC_RickBelden.com and not disciplining myself to sit down and write x number of words today and x number more tomorrow and so on ANYWAY.

I find I am shaking a little as I am writing, and I have been feeling anxiety lately I couldn’t understand, “What’s this?” I’d ask myself as I was out watering the vegetables with my pulse racing, a knot in stomach, shaky, clumsy.  Nothing wrong.  Sunny day.  But now I think I understand why.  I’m not doing what I need to be doing and I’ve been covering it up to myself.

Part of the fear is in revisiting the worst days years of my life.  TRIGGERS.  I have defenses built up which serve me well to keep the depression at bay…despite occasional breakthrough moodiness.  But when I started writing about those years, I experienced some PTSD, and the old neuropeptides woke up all over the body and slathered another meal.  I have to get this under control now so they go back to sleep.

 

I must tell you, it’s my BODY which carries these feelings and it’s a recycling,  self-feeding loop.  I get anxious, and the chemicals start flowing, the neuropeptides start carrying the “look out” message ti all my body processes and organs.  Then I get afraid of feeling anxious, want it to go away.  I look for reasons outside me.  Then I react to someone and cause them to react back. (If only they acted differently, I would’t be anxious.) Then I feel more anxious and I’ve actually created drama to reinforce the cycle.  Come to think of it, didn’t I have a few marriages like that?  Story for another day.

Image

Chewing my knuckles? Old, old habit!

YIKES.  Red Flag.  Blogger (ME) sits, looking out the window – notices she is biting her knuckles – hard.

Old coping mechanism – physical pain to distract from emotional pain.  Funny, image wasn’t hard to find either .  Others must do this too.  It was automatic.

I didn’t realize how much I needed to share what’s happening in me until I felt those teeth on my knuckles.

So, I need to put some gentle protection around my present self and craft a routine where I can stay securely anchored in my present reality while writing about “that”one.  I need that routine for protection from  old triggers.

Now that i know what’s going on with me, I have a few things I need to do to create a lovely, clear, safe writing space.  I have some calming exercises I need to do, and some deep breathing;  I have some affirmations to write and post around me, some music to select.

And, believe it or not, I feel much better now and motivated.  Thanks for “listening.”   Have you ever noticed that when you share on a blog no one interrupts you?? lolol

Hope your Wednesday (or whatever day it is when you read this) is going well.

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7 thoughts on “OK, So I Am Procrastinating Writing

  1. One of my favorite sayings that helps with writing (I’m a grant writer by day and getting started on any new project is TORTURE)–anyway, that quote: The only way out is through.

    Or as Nike says: Just do it.

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    • Thanks, Meg, I know you are right. feeling much better after identifying the problem. Anxiety is a tricky companion because by definition you don’t know what is causing it.

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  2. Firstly, so wonderful to see a post from you!!! You may {or may not} know, that your words resonate with many other’s. When we ‘follow’ other bloggers/writers it is because we feel a connection to them via words/ life experiences, knowledge etc. So when you post something like this~ the facts of not posting as much, the triggers that set in motion all you described, it confirms to us {me} that when we have those days/weeks, we are not alone!! We all search for peace and serenity, but the hard cold truth is, we live in an to often ugly world, and so we dig deep within ourselves to find that peace and serenity. …sorry for the ramble.! Anyway, glad to see you back and hope you are feeling better soon. ~hugs~

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  3. Tela, your support is unfailing, thank you!
    Indeed, it is an adventure to understand that I can still be triggered into a way-longer-than-I-would-ever-expect reaction to revisiting some of my past, but it is a lesson for us all, isn’t it? There are moments and decisions in my past I sincerely regret, but I have come to a deeper understanding recently of all that my depression stole from me. It is helping me to name it as a character in my life, not part of my essence. I guess it is all process. Anyway, thanks as always for your kind words.

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  4. Sounds like you might be prone to planning your writing to death. I’ve offered some tips on this myself on my blog, which I give to my students. But we all experience this and habits like it at some stage!

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    • Thanks. You may be right, I want to do it right, don’t want to forget anything important, so I put off starting until I am sure…
      Someone suggested the other day I write my nonfiction book (on overcoming deep depression) like a screen play, one scene at a time. What do you think?

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      • I think that is a really good idea. That’s how theses and academic books are written. It’s known as “chunking” it. You know what has to be in there, so you write what you come across, or in sections. That way you write what’s fresh or coming out well, and not restricted by an order.

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