A Rant About Worry–the Enemy of Writers Everywhere

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IBM Cloud Computing (Photo credit: IvanWalsh.com)

Isn’t this funny?

I stopped blogging every day, after 45 solid days of posting. I just got too busy to devote the time to it. I felt so relieved not to have the “strain” of trying to come up with a topic every day.

And now… I can’t seem to think of any blog topics at all!  Blank! What happened to my creative flow?

That cool editing project I mentioned in my last post is moving along really well. Happy client. Confident editor. But the social media marketing campaign I’ve taken on for an un-named celebrity client… aha! Not moving along so well at all.

Yes, I know how to tweet, blog, and post to Facebook. But I don’t really know how to get likes, fans and followers, and more importantly, how to translate those likes, fans and followers into people who want to sign up for what my client is offering.

This project came to me through an agency, and even though I have told them I’m a writer, not a Facebook marketer, they still seem to want me to carry on. The agency (run by my sister, if you must know) says they have complete confidence that I know what I’m doing.

I wish I did. Frankly, it’s making me really, really nervous.

I took one local social media expert out to lunch and picked her brain. She says social media is usually a slow start-up, but Mr. Big’s business all happens in the summer, and it is now April, so there is no time for a slow start up.

A lot of my brain power is now wasted mulling endlessly over what I should do, what I don’t know, what I’m missing — in short, I’m kind of paralyzed with the responsibility of the whole thing. And oh dear, what will happen if all my social media efforts lead to no sales, and the client feels that we (the agency and myself) have wasted his money or even worse, cheated him.

AHA…

Now I see why I have no ideas for my own blog.

I’ve fallen into a world of worry. I am, in fact, wracked with worry.  Worry sucks the creative juice right out of you. Worry is a war you cannot win. Worry wreaks havoc on whatever wisdom you (w)once had. Worry is a widening wart, wiping out  all imagination and common sense. Worry turns you into a gutless and witless wimp. Worry is wack.

I could go on with my wonderful worry rant, given just a wee bit of encouragement…

Or perhaps you’ve had enough?

And perhaps I’ve had enough as well. So here’s what I’ll do. (This is something that has always worked for me in the past.)

Leslie’s “Works Every Time” Worry Buster:

I’ll sit down Monday morning, first thing, and write a list of everything I can think of to do, including all the ideas the social media expert gave me. I do have a lot of ideas. I just got a bit overwhelmed with the responsibility and short time frame to accomplish the task.

Next, I’ll put them in the order which seems to make the most sense. And I will simply follow along on this checklist, and see what transpires. Instead of worrying, I’ll keep moving. If I get stuck, I’ll fall back on that time tested remedy of writers everywhere — research!

Yep, it’s that simple. The cure for worry is organized action.

Writing this post is what led me to remember that important fact.

So down with worry, and up with blogging!

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Posted on April 1, 2012, in About Writing, Marketing and Social Media, Occasional Rants. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. This is a fantastic post! A great reminder and very useful for all of us. I should print it and hang it in my office.

    Thank you so much for your self awareness and honesty. I am in awe of your skill of consistently being able to get to the “meat of the matter” when something is troubling you. You seem always able to eventually identify the core issue or the thing standing in the way. How do you DO that?

    And may I say how impressive your “w” alliteration was?

    • In this case, it was writing the blog that helped me realize what was going on! Writing is so therapeutic, isn’t it?

      I enjoyed the “w” alliteration too. My fave: worry is wack.

  2. Don’t worry – be happy! I know it’s not as simple as that – but you are a writer after all and the words will come to you.
    Stopping by from the A-Z Challenge.
    Leigh @oneandoneequalstwinfun.com

    • Thanks for stopping by Leigh. I was registered to do the A-Z challenge, but decided not to. I guess my name is still on their blog roll…?

  3. Please clarify something for me. You write down a list of things that you have ideas for regarding your client? Social media marketing ideas? Or do you write down a list of things you are worried about?

    Inquiring minds want to know……

    Kay in Hawaii

  4. I have a million ideas swirling in my head, but have gotten so overwhelmed with worry I am not implementing any of them. So, what I do is write them all out, and organize them into a timeline that I follow. Once they are on paper and out of my head, I become much less overwhelmed. As soon as I start following the list, instead of being worried I’m being productive… Obviously this doesn’t work as well for something like being worried about a doctor’s diagnosis, or anything life threatening, but it’s great for stuff like this.

    When I start working the list, the information I still need to do the job becomes obvious, and getting that information is added as a task to the list.

    But I have a little secret Kay, and when you read it you will probably think I’m a complete weirdo… LOL.

    I use something called the “body pendulum” which helps connect me with my “higher knowing. ” Using the body pendulum, I can sort out the list of tasks and accurately determine which things should be done first. So that is a big confidence booster as well, and also helps to banish worry.

    One of the reasons it’s so valuable is that I, like everyone, tend to procrastinate and avoid the tasks I am uncertain about or that are harder for me. So I might leave something till last that really needs to be done first, if left to my own devices. By using the body pendulum, in a sense I am getting out of my own way.

  5. Love the post today. I am continuing on despite worry in areas too! :)

  6. Worry should be my middle name, I swear. Even my husband concurs — case in point? One of his nicknames for me is “yabut the rabbit” because my standard response always begins “Yeah, but……” followed by some projection of how things will go horribly wrong.

    Thanks for a great kick-off post for the A-to-Z challenge (which is how I found you)!

  7. I read this in the wee hours of the morning and got up today, Monday, and implemented your “Works Every Time” worry buster and had my most productive day yet!

    Back in the days when I had my office job, I had soooo much to do, I felt so overwhelmed that I was paralyzed. I wasn’t worried just so overwhelmed I didn’t know where to start. Shoulda had an overwhelmed buster back then!

    Great post as always and I give you credit for my most productive day!

    • Productive is good! Can’t wait to hear about everything you did… it’s so funny, because the “works every time worry buster” is in effect nothing more than your garden variety list!

      • Oh but when you give it a fancy name like that, it takes on greater meaning and seems so important! I am like, man that’s fancy, I gotta do that!

  8. Hello from A-Z!

    Oy. Good luck. It’s SO good to stretch yourself to the edge of what you’re capable of doing, and really see what you’re made of, but yeah, it’s stressful when it’s on someone else’s dime.
    And you’re never REALLY going to know if it was your social media prowess or their product which results in sales or lack-thereof.

    It’s tough. You sound like you’re on the right track though.

  9. I recently discovered a very cool website called The One-Minute Writer. Every day they post a different one-word prompt and the idea is you’re supposed to write about it for a minute. They even have a timer on the page. Almost every day I find something to kick start the creative juices there, often for longer than a minute. It’s like little calisthenics for the brain.

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