I want to say that there was a point in my life where my brain didn’t run wide open and nonstop. Maybe there was, I honestly can’t remember. Everything I can vaguely recall points to anxiety taking hold somewhere in my late teens or early twenties. Since then, I’ve been engaged in daily bloodbaths with my mind.
There are times that I don’t even register the battle until it reaches its peak. The slowly building pulse of war simply percolates in my subconscious. Those of you who are also engaged in this fight can probably relate; our anxiety, while unique to our own situations, shares several common denominators.
My greatest roadblocks appear when I’m writing. Completing the manuscript for a novel is, on its face, a relatively straightforward endeavor: you want to tell a compelling and complete story with a solid plot and well-developed characters. Yes, that’s a little bit of an oversimplification, but that’s the gist.
This task becomes much more diabolical when you begin to question every word of every sentence on every page. It is exhausting, and the only solution is to write. Literally, that’s it. Yes, it can feel like you’re dragging yourself uphill, your severed legs filling the belly of some grizzly bear. You’re fighting, doing your damnedest to reach the apex before the predator elects for seconds.
When you rely on your mind to create and it declines to cooperate it can be frustrating. Infuriating, even. Imperfect as we humans are, we have willpower. Sometimes it grows fat and slow from lack of use, but it’s still there, dreaming of its former glory. It falls to us to make it work, even when it takes coercion or outright extortion.
The idea is simple. The means of execution usually are not. Then again, we have the promise of being able to pursue our dreams, not the guarantee of achieving them.
Hey, look at that! I got through this post without second-guessing myself. There really is hope.