HOW ANXIETY WROTE A NOVEL

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Submitted Date 06/28/2019
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In October 2015 I was having severe anxiety.

It was a culmination of several issues, which anxiety usually is. For almost a week, I had awful insomnia and stomach pains which made my daily life unbearable. I did know what was at the root of my anxiety, however actually dealing with it was something that was not so easy.

Around the same time I joined a writing forum. I was already working on one story with characters I had developed years ago. But suddenly one day a new idea stuck and I began to write these two new characters. It was therapeutic for me, a way to put aside the anxiety I was feeling for a while and concentrate on this story. I decide to make one of the characters suffer from bouts of anxiety and insomnia so I had an outlet for how I was feeling. This worked well as I could project what I was feeling at any given time on this person.

I put my anxiety into one character and my insecurities into another and amazingly still made two people that the readers seemed to like and identify with. I got several comments saying my characters were easy to relate to, they had real problems and followers could identify with them.

Between my nervous anxiety and actually having a set outline for my story, I was able to complete it and actually used it for NaNo that year since I was in the middle of writing in when November started.

I never thought when the story began forming in my head that it was would such a needed release for me or that it would resonate with others. I haven't written anything that substanal again and may never but I will always be proud that in a small moment, everything came together and I wrote a novel, even if anxiety was the flicker that needed to start the fire.

Comments

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  • Rick Doble 3 years, 7 months ago

    Your writing and characters often have a life of their own -- and it is our job to listen and to follow -- odd as that may seem.

  • Ceara 3 years, 7 months ago

    I love that this was how you channeled your feelings. Keep it up! You never know what might come next.

  • No name 3 years, 7 months ago

    Isn't it wild how life and creativity intermingle?

  • Jackie Hemingway 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Over a lifetime of writing I have learned this same valuable lesson…out of seemingly nothing, through diligence and perseverance, a story is born. Mine was scribbling what seemed to be just fragmented thoughts and ideas as I lay recuperating from surgery with nothing to do. I had no idea that it would eventually turn into a Pulitzer Prize contending novel (though it lost) and be the first novel of a successful series that I am now writing the third book for. Inspiration comes in so many forms and at the oddest, and sometimes most inconvenient times. That is great you listened to yourself, allowed anxiety to form the foundation for your storytelling platform. I hope you are continuing to write, even if it doesn’t develop into a novel, a writer must write!