Why I Share Articles About Anxiety


As I have grown to understand the full scope of my anxiety, I am more open about discussing anxiety.  I tell people I have anxiety.  Some believe they can relate and are sympathetic.  Some do have anxiety but never speak of their own struggles.  I sometimes wonder if they think I am brave for vocalizing mine.  Then there are others who do not understand anything.  They associate anxiety with being nervous before a test or feeling stressed at work.  They do not feel anxious every second of every day.  They are why I share articles about anxiety.

Someone offered me a neck and shoulder rub.  They said, “You’re so tense.  Loosen up.  Relax.”  I replied, “I always feel like this.  This IS me relaxed.”  At the time, I did not know all the physical symptoms of anxiety.  I have experienced muscle tension as long as I can remember.  I did not realize I lived with this condition for almost 20 years.  Everyone says I look tense, on edge, or hyper alert.  It makes them uncomfortable, but they have no idea how uncomfortable I am.  Their discomfort goes away; mine is constant.  They are why I share articles about anxiety.

I want to understand myself, so I can heal and grow.  I want other people to better understand where I am coming from and possibly appreciate me a little more.  I want potential romantic partners to understand why I worry or lack confidence in myself.  I want everyone to be patient with me and understanding.  I want to be loved in a way I have never known.  I want to feel comfortable and at ease with someone; with everyone.  I want to feel like I am not a burden to everyone around me.  That is why I share articles about anxiety.  That is why I write articles about anxiety.

Writing & Revision: My 4 Steps


Everyone has a different way for doing anything and everything.  When discussing the writing process, some prefer typing over handwriting and vice versa.  Which is better for someone starting their writing career?  You must figure that out on your own.  Some people type faster than they write.  Others cannot type at all.  Try both and decide which one works best for you.  You will eventually have to type your work, but the first step should feel easy and natural, so you can get your thoughts out quickly before you lose them.  These steps are my process and may not work for you.  This is just a guide to help you find your own process.

1.  Write the Rough Draft

I prefer writing by hand.  I always have.  I can ink out the words on paper faster than I will ever type.  My hand can keep up with my brain and before I know it, I have written four pages.  I am not against typing the first draft, but I save that for short blog articles or lists.  Long form fiction; I am writing that by hand and will not type until the short story or chapter is finished.

2.  Type the Rough Draft

When I finally go back and read what I wrote, I am shocked at how many grammatical mistakes I made.  Things are misspelled or missing letters (seriously); it looks like a jumbled mess.  Fortunately, I know what I thought when I wrote those terrible sentences, so I correct them as I type.  Sometimes I forget to write down a thought I had.  I do not know how I missed it but I add this in as I type.  If I had typed the rough draft first, I would spend more time correcting mistakes as I go than getting the words out.  This is why I handwrite first.  I get everything saved on my computer, fixing the minor grammar and spelling errors.  The 2nd draft is finished.

3.  The First Revision

I consider this the first real revision.  I print the document; 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, double spaced.  The focus of this revision is to flush out the ideas and expand the details.  Depending on what the story needs, I will add dialogue and build better character descriptions.  I make sure there are no plot holes unless I want to have plot holes.  I remove the passive voice in every sentence.  I remove the words “is” and “was” and rewrite the sentences so everything still makes sense.  Some sentences I delete all together.  I make the notations in ink and then I make the corrections on the digital file.  The 3rd draft is finished.

4.  The Show & Tell Revision

I always heard people criticize my writing by saying, “Show me, don’t tell me.”  The annoying aspect of this criticism; they never offered any examples.  Plainly put, I did not know what they were talking about.  I had to learn this on my own.  This is the most difficult part of revision for me and can result in multiple drafts during this step.  You revise and have a fourth draft, but you have more to show so you write a fifth draft; and so on until you have the best story ever written.  An easy out with this is using dialogue to describe things in the story.  Otherwise, you have to find ways to describe the anger in a character without saying, “This character felt angry.”  The writing process never ends and will always take longer than you prefer.

As I mentioned before, everyone’s process is different.  Experiment.  Try new things and learn what works best for you.  There is no right or wrong way.  Some things to remember; if you want to get published in a magazine or have a book traditionally published, you need to eliminate all the passive voice and always show not tell.  The more writing you do, the better you become.  Keep writing.  Keep revising.  Keep submitting to online journals.  The difference between successful people and everyone else is successful people have failed more times than everyone else has tried.  Never give up; never surrender.

2018 Starts Rough

We are one month in to 2018 and my life is already a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  While leaving out the extreme personal stuff, like my daily battle with anxiety, I will attempt to give you a recap of my life and my many misadventures.  For starters, I no longer work at a bar which is psychologically satisfying.  I served 5 years as the Head of Security and this only added more stress and magnified my anxiety.  I jumped off the boat at the first opportunity that presented itself.

This brought about other complications.  I had a couple weeks of free time and this was painful.  My mind rebels at stagnation.  With a bit of motivation from some minor grief, I have been writing up a storm.  I finished the first draft of a novel back in November and I have slowly started the revision process along with revising several short stories I have neglected.  Recent motivations caused me to write a screenplay, first one, and it has been revised once.  I am hoping to produce the film within the year, but it does not follow a traditional film script, and this could cause complications.

I have also started writing online articles in the hopes of starting a writing career.  I wrote a couple articles for BuzzFeed and you can view them Here.  I also have a couple articles on my LinkedIn profile and you can view those Here.  The writing I am most proud of are the articles featured on TheMighty.com.  These articles help me cope with and better understand my anxiety and it is a great place for people with any disorder to go and feel like a part of a community.  Just because you are struggling does not mean you are broken.  You can view all those articles Here.

As far as work and making money, I have actually turned down a couple jobs because I did not want to work some crap office job that I would hate after a couple years, just like every other job I have ever done.  I am trying my hand at this freelance gig and hope that it pays off.  I need more writing projects and I am already working on doing more in the entertainment industry of Tucson with my company, VaudVil.  It will be a long process and none of it will be easy, but I am so much more satisfied with my life even with all the uncertainty.  I think I am finally ready for my future.