Insecure Writers Support Group, I've tried to mix discussion about worries and fears with encouragement. And I've tried to keep as much of the focus off of myself as possible. There's a very good reason for this. My insecurities could drown the world.
All right, that's sounds a bit melodramatic. But the truth is that I suffer from anxiety and depression. That probably sounds like nothing strange. Lots of people get anxious and depressed from time to time, right? Well, mine is serious enough that I have sought out medication in order to stay functional.
You see, anxiety is a strange beast and it affects everyone differently. For me, it starts with a vague, gnawing worry. Not about anything in particular. Sort of about everything in general. I can't think without worrying and seeing the negative side of everything. (I used to believe that I was a natural pessimist. Now I've realized that it was a symptom of my anxiety.) Then it starts escalating to the point where I get so overwhelmed by the worry and the pressure that I become paralyzed by fear. I'm afraid to do anything and I'm afraid to not do anything. This heightens the anxiety and often leads to a full blown panic attack. That's one of two ways it could go. Either panic attack or bout of serious depression.
This is something I've been struggling against for years. And this is the reason that I have yet to finish writing anything.
My mind churns with ideas, there are times when I can see the stories I want to write so clearly and I get so excited, I plot, I worldbuild, I work out the details, I sit down to write and for a scene or two or three the words pour forth.... and then the anxiety kicks in. What if it's not good enough? What if it will never be good enough? Is it really interesting enough? Is it only interesting to me? Why is my prose so... blah? What happens next? OH GOD WHY CAN'T I THINK OF WHAT TO WRITE NEXT???
Cue total lock up of the cognitive and creative functions.
But some time ago I finally came to the conclusion that it was not shameful to seek out help. In fact, it was necessary if I wanted to actually be able to function normally and achieve my goal of publishing.
That's my story. It's not an excuse. It's a message to anyone else out there that suffers anything similar that you don't have to try to overcome it alone. You don't have to deal with it yourself. It's not shameful to seek out help. You're not the only one.