If I Can’t Title My Blog Post, How Am I Expected to Title a Book?!

I know I have something to say.

I’m not sure what that thing is. The words aren’t exactly falling off the tips of my fingers, typing themselves onto this page. I can feel that my heart is racing, beating in a rhythm unreasonably rapid, and even when I’m not conscious of it, I’m worrying constantly about how I worry constantly about the future. It’s (un)shockingly exhausting.

It feels like I’m permanently anxious, guys, and the fear and the stress are giving me very real back problems, which is a sentence I had hoped I wouldn’t have to say until I was 40+. But here I am, barely grazing 24, and apparently my apprehension has decided to tuck itself into my shoulder blades, to keep them tense and angry and hurting, always. There’s a literal burden on my back, pressure coiling into a million hard knots to remind me that I’m sitting here in fear, determined to hope that my novel with drag itself out of me if I only keep my fingers pressed to a keyboard.

I have a favorite creative writing teacher who would laugh at me when I worried. He’d quote Oscar Wilde at me – Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about. The same wisdom’s everywhere, in literary or colloquial form: take a chill pill, don’t take yourself so seriously, take a deep breath, count to 10, and whatever other mantra you mutter to yourself to make yourself finally, finally, finally sleep. Intellectually, I understand exactly what everyone’s saying, why I should listen, why it’s important for health and heart. But no one can give me the how. There’s no “oh, well, you just make sure the knuckles on your right hand are always hair-free, and then everything will be stressless.” Oh, no, everyone’s all sweetly buddhist about it, the way they are about nothing else in their lives.

And now I’m anxious about how not to be anxious.

This is going really well.

Look, I know my posts are usually all GUNG-HO, WE CAN DO THIS, KEEP THE CANDLE BURING, GO GIRL GO, but I’m honestly not sure how to make it go away. I’m hoping that as long as I don’t actually let it consume me, as long as I keep pushing through it and coming back to the computer and the story and keep chugging along like the little train that could, I’ll leave my coiled up shoulders behind. (Figuratively. I’d literally like to stay attached.)

So I guess all I’ve got is a teensy weensy bit of hope.
But it was only ever a fool’s hope, anyways*.
Now I’m taking a deep breath before the plunge**.

But first, coffee.

* &**: No, I will never stop quoting Lord of the Rings, thanks for asking.




One thought on “If I Can’t Title My Blog Post, How Am I Expected to Title a Book?!

  1. Only slightly older than you, and I’ve had a similar problem, though mine was with my lower back. As I’ve focused on doing stretches and exercising my back–nothing that takes much longer than half an hour–it’s gotten much, much better. I think we writers have to take time to do exercise of some kind in our bodies, just to give them a chance to keep up with our minds. 🙂

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