Control

As we get older, we begin to realize that control is an illusion—one that, as I recently learned from Dr. Shelley Prevost—can cause big-time anxiety. Think about it: if you believe you have the ability to control a situation, then you also believe you’re responsible when it falls apart. You could have done more, tried harder, worked longer …

This, of course, is bull. We do not have control over what happens—not ultimately, at least.

And this is just as true for authors as it is for the rest of the world.

Say you spent the last 2 years of your life writing a book. You worked with an editor through a developmental process, you revised, reached out to test readers and took their ideas into consideration, and you had the final draft proofread. In short, the book is in terrific shape. It’s the best you can possibly make it.

So why then, when you set it up on Amazon, does all that momentum you were building stall out? Why does a reader leave a 1-star review? Why do the sales move so slow? Why, why, why …

If you have the expectation and/or belief of control, then you’ll likely castigate yourself. Maybe you should have done one more revision. Gone through one more edit. Pushed a little further with your test readers.

And all that might be true. But.

At some point, you have to concede that you’ve done your best. The person you are at this moment and all the knowledge and hard work you can muster were put into the book. It’s honestly the best you can make it today. And it’s now time to move on.

Because guess what? Your next effort is going to be better. It’ll take a little time to find your guts again, but once you get started, you’ll take everything you’ve learned in the past 2+ years and pour it into this next effort.

All any of us can do is try our best—and then realize there are trillions of things (big and small) we will never be able to account for, let alone control.

Maybe that 1-star reviewer was having a bad day and decided to take it out on your book. Maybe there aren’t enough people interested in the niche you’re writing about. Maybe, maybe, maybe …

Sometimes, you won’t be able to figure out why things didn’t go the way you hoped. All you can do is stand up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

And when you’re ready, I’m here to help!

Practical Tools for Time Alone

Nothing in the world prepares you for the feelings that come the first time your kids walk out the door to stay with your ex-spouse. You expect to miss the little hellions, but the overwhelming anger, guilt, bitterness, and shame? Well, those can come as a total surprise.

Basically, it feels like your insides are being scooped out with a melon baller, one muscle at a time.

But your kids need and deserve time with their other parent, so you have to find a way to survive. This post is about that: you and me finding some creative ways to handle the time alone.

Continue reading

Article: “Tips for Business Meetings When You Have Anxiety”

“As an introvert with anxiety, the ability to work from home has been a godsend. There’s no elevator small talk. Meetings are accomplished over text and email. The phone stays off, and my mind stays steady.

It may sound reclusive, but the truth is I do work better this way, because I’m not anxious about making a good impression. The computer doesn’t judge, and I don’t have to second-guess anything but the words on my screen.

There are times, however, when venturing out into the business world is unavoidable. When that happens, there are a few things I’ve found that can help take the edge off …”

From The Mighty.

Article: “Should I Take Medication for My Anxiety?”

“At the age of 38, I started to stutter. I was homeschooling my young son at the time, and every day saw us seeking out opportunities to socialize, venturing from the safety of our home to the outside world. One day, my words stopped coming. I could see them in my head, but they refused to travel the short distance from my brain to my tongue. And when that happened, I did something I swore I would never do: I decided to try medication …”

From The Mighty.