So, you want to be a writer?

So, you want to be a writer?

Here are six tips to help you on your way!

I make jewellery but I also write too. I have four books out as I’m writing this and, as you know from previous posts (see A Writing Experiment? and New Year, New Projects) I have more in the works. Here are my top six tips to get you writing:

  1. Read. A lot!! I love reading so this isn’t a major issue for me. Reading will make you a better writer. You need to learn somewhere, right? So why not learn from those who came before you? It’s amazing what you can get from other writers. You’ll pick up writing techniques, grammar tips and vocabulary as you go. Learning by osmosis – what’s not to love?
  2. Get yourself a notebook and a pen, go somewhere quiet and write! You don’t need any expensive gadgets to start. Just time, inspiration, and a notebook and pen.
  3. Practice. And Practice. And practice… Once you begin writing, keep going. The only way to get better at anything is practice. Maybe take a writing course to hone your skills. Writing courses come in many shapes and sizes. Some are free and some are run by fabulous, well-established writers (Neil Gaiman, I’m looking at you!).
  4. Get feedback. This gives you an outsider’s perspective of your writing. People can tell you where your weak points are and when you’re doing something right. You could join a local writing group for this. I did and it improved my writing considerably.
  5. Get a thick skin. You’re not always going to write fabulous prose. Sometimes your work will be utter crap. Don’t be afraid to face that fact. And even when your work is absolutely amazing and fabulous, people will tear it apart and make you feel like dirt. Unfortunately, this is something we, as writers, have to live with. Not everyone is going to love what you write and you need to learn to live with that. Write anyway!
  6. Write! Make sure you write, even if it’s just a few words every day. Don’t just talk about it. Write it! Write your first draft even if it’s utter rubbish. Don’t worry, everyone’s first draft is crap. But as they say, you can’t edit a blank page! You can edit your writing though. And edit. And edit. Rewrites will make your writing shine!

As Charles Buckowski said:

“There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death. You will die a fighter, you will be honored in hell. The luck of the word. Go with it.”

 

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Six Things You’re Probably Doing If You Have High-Functioning Anxiety.

According to the NHS website “Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.

.Anxiety is a part of life and is normal in terms of the flight-or-fight response we have in high stress or threatening situations. This fight-or-flight mode produces adrenaline and cortisol which means we either stand our ground or flee from a harmful situation. It’s a perfectly natural response to what’s happening and can save our lives.

However, sometimes anxiety becomes overbearing and oppressive and can take over our lives in a detrimental way. As the NHS website says, “some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.” But not everyone who has severe anxiety looks as if they have anxiety. Many people function on quite a high level but are still suffering inside.

This is a list of six things you’re probably doing if you have high functioning anxiety:

  1. Trying to please everyone. I have been so guilty of this one in the past! Trying to make everyone else happy even if it makes you unhappy. We are the ultimate people-pleasers and our anxiety makes us feel like we’re never good enough.
  2. We put off calling or texting people. I’m also guilty of this. Sometimes picking the phone up and making that call is the most stressful thing in the world. What if they don’t pick up? What do I say? What if I can’t do what that person wants me to do? What then? What if I don’t know what to do when I speak to them? I had a job as a Management Administrator. Sounds posh, doesn’t it? Ha ha. I was terrible at it. I hated picking up the phone. I was so super-stressed all the time because, like, what if I didn’t know the answer to what they were asking, or what if I messed up? I know, stupid, right?
  3. Shutting down and not telling people what we really feel. Because, what if you laugh at us? Because we’re not supposed to show you that we’re struggling, right? And we know we’re just being stupid. And, what if you don’t like us then?
  4. Or we talk and talk because we don’t know what else to do and we can’t stand those big uncomfortable silences. Sometimes this means we say completely inappropriate things! Inside we are so freaking out right now!
  5. We are good at making people think we’re totally snobby and off limits and completely rude. We’re not. We’re just really overwhelmed and very anxious!
  6. And we apologise for everything! Even, and especially when, it’s not our fault and it’s something out of our control. I still do this, even now! Someone bumps into me in public, I apologise! I even apologise before I ask someone a question. Like, really? I so need to stop that!

Is there anything you’d add to the list? I know I could. I could probably go on all day 🙂 And then I’d apologise!!!!

 

Further Reading:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/generalised-anxiety-disorder/

https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/high-functioning-anxiety/like-high-functioning-anxiety/

https://www.womenshealth.com.au/symptoms-signs-high-functioning-anxiety