Anxiety & The Creative Process


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Let’s Talk About Anxiety & The Creative Process
by Dan Blank

“People will do anything to alleviate their anxiety.”

This is a quote from a recent episode of Mad Men, that to me, underscores the everyday context that no one talks about publicly.

I work with writers, and find that anxiety is a very real and very constant part of their lives. Why? Just a few reasons:

  • The act of creating and publishing invites judgement, especially self-judgement.
  • Being a writer is often a new identity that one carves out for themselves, while everyone else around them clings to other ways of labeling them: mother, spouse, colleague, sister. They don’t easily accept defining the writer as such.
  • The “return on investment” of writing breaks traditional models. We do it for so many reasons, but the common reward of money is rarely the primary driver.
  • There are so many decisions involved in being a writer. First, with the process of writing and editing, then the process of choosing how to publish, and then the process of finding and connecting with readers. Each is not one step, but 1,000 decisions. None of which are clear from the start.

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Good article. Good writer. Good site. WriterUnboxed.Com is highly recommended!