It’s time to kick Writing Anxiety square in the ass.
The next time he visits your blank sheet of paper or empty computer screen looking for a fair one, put your dukes up and knock him out early.
If you get nervous thinking that dope lead you just have to hang the rest of your story on or you find it hard to transition for the next paragraph of an essay, do what I do and transcribe Jackson Five lyrics. It’s called bobbing and weaving. Your hands are moving, your mind is still at work, and Writing Anxiety can’t land any punches.
My need to K-O this particular neurosis came to me during a confab with myself last night when I was thinking about how I lost a stringing gig to Writing Anxiety about a year ago.
I was working on a 500-word piece on Auto-Tune creator Andy Hildebrand for the National Society of Black Engineers, and for whatever reason, I could not get moving on a draft. Not even an outline. I’d done my interviews with Hildebrand, Grammy-winning producer Deezle, and with student members of NSBE. All I had to do was put the pieces together and ship it. Instead, I spent all my time all the way up to and past my deadline feeling choked and ducking my editor. When I wasn’t doing that, I was furiously searching the Internet for the root of my dis-ease. From what I could gather, Writing Anxiety had come to town, and this bitch was wailing on me.
Call him my inner cornerman if you want to, but one day out of the blue, somebody somewhere told me, “There’s nothing wrong with you. Go write.” And I came out swinging.
I shipped the story to my editor the same day, and while he admitted he loved it, he was still pissed. Blown deadlines and unresponsiveness are unforgivable sins.
Today, the resulting story,“Rappers Re-Tuned”, is one of my favorite clips. It’s my title belt, the reminder of the time I went medieval on Writing Anxiety’s ass. It didn’t even take a blow torch and a set of pliers.
The only way to write is to write. Know that there’s nothing wrong with you and that there’s no reason you can’t TKO that weak sauce dude Writing Anxiety. He’s a figment of our collective imagination anyway, and the minute you figure out he’s got a glass jaw, he’s done for good.