Writing Through Anxiety

For those of you who enjoyed novelist Rebecca Rasmussen’s guest post here a few weeks ago, you will also enjoy her guest post on Doreen McGettigan’s blog, which begins as follows:

“Visualize yourself as a tree,” Dr. Gilman used to tell me. “Your grand old roots are reaching toward the center of the earth. They’re strong, and so are you.”

“But my branches are blowing in the wind,” I used to say back.

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In this piece Rebecca writes candidly and with her usual grace of the anxiety attacks that plagued her for years, and how she has learned to be “not so afraid of being afraid anymore.”

As I was reading her words, I admired how, through her struggles, Rebecca did not succumb to the belief that she had to put off her writing and creativity until she had “fixed” her anxiety. I was reminded of a post from Ami Mattison’s poetryNprogress blog, although I couldn’t remember the title. Then, yesterday morning, an email lands in my inbox with a new comment on that very post, The Anxious Artist: Transform Your Anxiety into Creativity (gotta love those kinds of coincidences!).

Do you suffer from anxiety? Do you feel you are somehow broken because of it and that you don’t deserve to write or create until you are “perfect”?

Ami reminds us that “in the simplest sense, anxiety is energy—excessive energy, but energy nonetheless.”

“It’s possible to transform your anxiety from a personal liability into a creative asset. It just requires a bit of diligence and a lot of faith—faith in yourself, your skills, your creativity and your experience as an artist. ~ Ami Mattison

2 thoughts on “Writing Through Anxiety

  1. Lisa, this is a beautiful post and I think an important one. Obviously, we know my story with anxiety by now and I shared it because I think people are still hesitant to talk about”real” problems out in the open for fear of being labeled and for fear of labeling one’s self. I love that quote about anxiety being excessive energy, but energy nonetheless. I struggle(d) with anxiety very much, but like I said in my blog post I try not to board myself up against fears, creativity. xoxo

    • Rebecca, your guest post for Doreen touched me deeply. Thank you so much for leading the way for others to talk about what is real in our lives. Hugs to you!

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