Anxiety, Perfectionism, and Writing

days6I was never really aware that my issues with anxiety and my perfectionism were related. On the contrary, I was under the impression that the two were as far removed from one another as it was possible for any two things to be. After all, writing is one of the only places I don’t feel anxious, or maybe it’s just that I notice it less when I’m creating. The only reason I know at all, is because of a video from the Mighty, that talked about what high functioning anxiety looks like.

It’s easy to assume that perhaps you’re overthinking, or overreacting to everything, that nothing is as bad as it seems in your mind, but there’s a validation from seeing oh wait other people deal with this too, and this isn’t just something I’m dealing with alone. Throughout the process of writing my current work-in-progress, I always kind of assumed my perfectionism was this outside thing, unrelated to anything else. It was something I’d been struggling with for years, before I even considered the possibility that anxiety was even a factor. Or at least that I knew of. Truthfully it makes sense that they would be related. An insatiable desire to continuously strive for that most elusive goal, the ‘perfect’ novel, that has me spinning around in my head trying to come up with ways to make it even better, sounds a lot like anxiety to me.

And much like with anxiety at any other time, I know it’s irrational, I know that perfection is impossible, and it’s curious that the perfectionist tendencies don’t seem to hit where my blogging and/or essays are concerned. Or even where the podcast is concerned. The thing of it is, I know I’m talented. That may sound conceited or dare I say narcissistic but when you have enough people telling you hey you’re really good, you’re really talented, you tend to want to believe it. Even if some little demon voice in your head does want to deny them, but that’s a whole other aspect of anxiety, isn’t it?

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