10 Way to Deal with the “Am-I-Crazies?”

Nathan Bransford posed the question yesterday “How do you deal with the Am-I-crazies?”  You know, that dark ‘n’ heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach that keeps gnawing at you while you write your novel.

The Am-I-Crazies can make you quit writing.  It can put doubt in your mind and remind you that this novel that you have spent so many hours on may never even see publication.  It can cause you to give up.

So how do I deal with the Am-I-Crazies?  Here are a few tips that get me through the writing haul.

1. Print out my novel for editing.  It’s actually kind of impressive to see all those words on so many pages.  I think, I wrote all of that!  Go me!  It’s a nice ego boost.  At least, until I start reading it

2. Read books.  Many, many books.  Reading always makes me want to continue writing, no matter how bad the book is.  This especially works if I read something in my own genre.

3. Read blogs.  Find the blogs of authors, agents, and editors.  They can answer any question I have, and some I didn’t even think of, from character creation to query.

4. Eat.  There’s nothing worse than trying to write while I’m hungry.  Being hungry always adds to my stress level.

5. Find the right atmosphere.  I live with three cats (actually, we’re down to two now, which is another story) who are very needy.  Like, if they’re awake, they want attention.  So if I need to focus, I have to go into the office and shut myself away from them.  Sometimes I also want music.  Sometimes it helps to have the TV on, but muted (don’t ask).  Sometimes I just need to get OUT, so I’ll go to a coffee house.

6. Daydream.  I’ve thought up my best scenes in the shower.  Why?  Because my 15 minutes in the shower are set to a specific routine, so I’m left with all this time to just think.  If I have a scene that I just can’t seem to write through, I’ll picture it in my head and work it out that way.  Sometimes it really helps to get away from the computer to be creative.

7.  Talk to other writers.  They’ll share your pain.

8. Focus on what you’re doing.  If I get too wrapped up in thinking about being published, I’ll forget about the fact that I have to finish this book first.  Writing books is like being in a relationship.  If you only think about getting married, you’ll forget that you have to fall in love first.  And what’s the point of marriage if you don’t have the love part?

9. Accept that you’re crazy.  Dude, you make up things in your mind.  The sooner you accept this, the better.  Stop fretting about being crazy and get back to work.

10.  Picture yourself never writing again.  If I try to imagine my life without writing, I’m so sad that I’m motivated to keep at it.  Maybe I AM crazy for thinking I could actually publish this stuff, but I’d go even crazier if I couldn’t write.


One Comment to “10 Way to Deal with the “Am-I-Crazies?””

  1. No no… you ARE crazy… I mean, I know you pretty well… trust men, you’re there. Crazy crazy.

    You’re not crazy about the writing thing… that’s awesome… but in most other ways… yeeaaah…

    But crazy in a good way. 🙂

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