Weekend Coffee Share: Editing, Social Media, and Anxiety

ScarlettWestHeart to Heart, Weekend Coffee Share7 Comments


I’ve decided to join bloggers Elizabeth from justaddtea.wordpress.com, and Diana, from parttimemonster.com, in this “Weekend Coffee Share” conversational blog format. The idea is to share what’s going on in my life as if we were chatting over a cup of coffee or tea.

If we were sipping coffee or tea, the things that come up in my mind are the struggles I’ve had lately with writing, technology, and my anxiety surrounding those things.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I am in the process of writing a vampire romance series. To be honest, I’ve never been happier writing these stories, creating the characters, building their world, and developing the ongoing story. It may sound odd, but I enjoy both writing first drafts and the editing process. Revising feels like molding a piece of clay in my hands, forming the story from images in my mind so the reader will enjoy the shape I want it to take.

Besides the fun I have with it, mostly, I have learned not to take my editor’s suggestions personally. The way I look at it, she’s here to guide me to help me improve. Since I want to make my novel the best I can, I appreciate all the help I can get. My writing is a part of me, but I recognize I have a lot of room to grow so it’s always good to learn.

My problem is that I have information overwhelm and get anxiety when I approach a project. I feel overwhelmed and can’t think about anything at all. I have to break things down in tiny crumbs sized nibbles otherwise I will get nothing done. For example, when the editor returned my project, at first I couldn’t open it. When I did, I glanced at it, then closed it, then returned to it, several times.

The way I finally start to work on it is that I force myself to ignore that fact that I have over 300 pages to do. My anxiety reminds me that I have so much to do, and sometimes even thinking of how to change one sentence feels like a mountain. The enormity of the task is daunting, but I care so much about this dream, I can’t let my anxiety paralyze me.

We can do this.

We can do this.

I have several ways of dealing with this. Deep breathing, taking breaks, spending time in nature, reading books, and focusing on one thing at a time helps. Every time the discouraging voice pops up, I tell myself over and over that I can do this, that I just have to take things one word at a time.

I feel a bit odd revealing this personal information to the whole world, but sharing with others relieves me of the nervous pressure I feel. I think that’s why I like blogs like Justaddtea, and Parttimemonster, dashanddrizzle, because the authors aren’t afraid to share who they are. In fact, reading their personal stories comforts and strengthens me.

That’s also why I deeply appreciate any of my three F’s—fans, friends, and family, who offer support and encouragement to me. Because the struggle is real.

If we were drinking coffee, I would ask you if you want to get a re-fill or a snack. Then we would hunker back down and continue talking.

Besides editing, I’ve been working on building up my author platform through social media. Before launching myself in the world, I was never on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other type of social media. I read in another author blog that she struggles with the social aspect of social media because naturally she is a shy person. Only, except for when life gets to be too much, I am the opposite.

My issue is that I am terrible at computers and technology. I get confused, struggle with understanding instructions on how to do things, and again, that “good old” information overwhelm is terrible.

social media images

Things that seem simple to other people are complicated to me. The other day, I was trying to learn how to make my own memes with this online program. I want my stuff to be professional and interesting, so I learn new stuff even if it’s hard. It took me over two hours to make a little picture with words over it. I almost threw in the towel, but I can’t do that. In the end I finished it and it looked pretty good.

Typical to my personality, I can never leave something hanging. I always look for a solution and for tools to help me get through. I am part of an online author forum that gives me lots of ideas of how to do things, I get ideas from Twitter and Facebook friends, and lately YouTube how to videos are my best friend.

Another biggie is accepting my slow pace. I just have to accept that this is the way I am, and not pressure and beat myself up for not being able to do things in the way I wish I could. I think everyone wishes they had “this or that” different about themselves, but I’ve found acceptance is a way of not fighting what is. When I stop fighting, I free myself up to see the solution.

I wrote more on this in my blog, http://scarlettwestwrites.com/2016/04/19/increase-productivity-3-steps-to-overcome-writers-block/.

I even get anxiety about anxiety and how it limits my life. I get afraid it’s going to stop me from publishing my books and sharing my stories. To make things work, I have to come up with a lot of creative coping mechanisms. Another thing about me, is even if I feel sad and frustrated, I don’t like to stay in that place for too long. What will it get me? Not much.

That’s why I reach out to others on and offline. Another tool that helps me is to write a list of things that are awesome about me and refresh my memory that despite my obstacles, I have done a lot of amazing work. A sense of humor is also a big help. That’s why I like funny memes and people who remind me not to take myself too seriously.

good enough, smart enough, people like me

Guess it’s time to pay and go home for the day. I hope you enjoyed our chat over coffee.

 Thanks for reading,

Scarlett West

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7 Comments on “Weekend Coffee Share: Editing, Social Media, and Anxiety”

  1. You are so amazing! Thank you for sharing, and know that you’re not the only one who has anxiety. I haven’t touched my novel in weeks because I got stuck and then Life happened, and I’m paralyzed by the fear that it’s not really any good. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. You have been through a lot yourself. Thank you for cheering me on all the time. I really mean it when I say my three F’s, Fans, Family, and Friends, mean a lot to me. I couldn’t do it without everyone!

      I believe in you to get back to your novel. You are a great writer.

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