For the past few weeks I’ve been waking up each morning with an anxiety attack. It’s not a full-blown panic attack with sweating, tremors, nausea, heart palpitations, and a feeling of imminent doom. It’s more like butterflies in the stomach, a thudding pulse, and a vague feeling of tension and disquiet. It’s the feeling I used to get when called upon to give an oral book report to my fifth grade class or a presentation to my professional colleagues. Fortunately, I’m able to control the symptoms with some breathing exercises. The feeling dissipates once I get out of bed and start the day.
It’s the writing. Whenever I’m engaged in a project I live with the fear that the words will dry up before I can finish. Do other writers experience this? I don’t know. I know intellectually that it’s ridiculous. My current project is “Silent Waltz,” the fourth novel in the Salem Matthews series. The book is progressing nicely, knock on wood. I’m 21,000 words in and expect to be finished with the writing by the end of December. In the meantime I suppose I’ll have to live with the irrational fear that produces these attacks.
That’s all for now. If anyone has any thoughts on this topic I would love to hear from you.