For the last several weeks, the idea of writing a blog post has caused me a lot of stress. In fact, the idea of writing anything at all has made my stomach churn and my head spin ever since I’ve been out of school. For someone who dreams of making a living through her writing, that is not a good sign. Naturally, this only compounded my stress, since I couldn’t figure out what was going on in my head that made it so hard for me to do something that I’ve always loved doing.
I wouldn’t call it “Writer’s Block,” since I’ve had plenty of interesting ideas flit through my mind. The problem occurs when I try to get those ideas out from my brain. I get so overwhelmed with the idea of having a “finished product” that I can’t even get to part of a rough draft. That kind of brain-clutter creates a ton of pressure to just to everything perfectly the first time, and that pressure makes it impossible to even want to start. To me, the term “Writing Anxiety,” which I only learned last semester during my time as a writing tutor, more closely sums up my difficulty. While most people consider writing anxiety and writer’s block as the same thing, I think that writing anxiety has more to do with the execution than the creation of ideas.
I think that separating the two and learning to recognize when I influenced by my own worries and perfectionism instead of simply having a hard time finding ideas really helped me to come up with some strategies to combat this problem. My experience with other’s writing anxiety while working as a tutor also became really helpful when I recognized those same behaviors in myself. That experience led me to come up with four tips for conquering writing anxiety.