Okay, fine, maybe I AM paranoid a little.
Sometimes I think being a writer is a curse. (wow, that reeked of paranoia right there!) Seriously… I’m always trying to make things worse for my character, trying to douse them with conflict, so naturally this has spilled into my everyday living.
Before I do anything, my mind races with all the possibilities that could result. AFTER I do something, or say something, I imagine all sorts of reactions that could occur.
This wouldn’t be bad, and in fact, would be good story fodder, except that it breads fear. And God desires us to trust in him and not fear, to let his Perfect Love cast out our fear.
Here’s an example of this paranoia, taken from LOL: Mission Jack (my completed novel I’m pitching at ACFW), which features Jenny, ultra-paranoid accountant who seriously needs a dozen chill pills. *note* This is a chat-room scene… they are not in person but are talking on the Internet. the *jenny ________ stuff are chat versions of actions…
- JennyG: No… it’s been a pretty rough week and I didn’t get a chance to check my e-mail.
- JP: I’m sorry. I didn’t know your week had been bad. You want to talk about it?
- JennyG: No… I’m a little emotional at the moment… and am afraid if I try I’ll cry, and my tears would probably short out the laptop, which would then catch on fire, which would make me throw it because it is on my lap you know, and then it would catch the house on fire and Paige might not get out in time…
- JP: WOW. Okay, never mind.
*JP thinks Jenny needs a hug
*Jenny blushes at the thought
*JP puts his arms around Jenny and gives her a big gentle cyber hug
So… obviously Jenny is a little over the top, and she is joking… but only a little.
But do you ever do the same thing?
Example: Many times I’ll comment on a blog, and totally worry over whether or not it’s an appropriate comment. Usually I try to inject a teensy bit of humor, but what if they don’t realize my tongue in cheek personality? Or sometimes if it’s a serious post, should I just keep my opinion to myself? Will someone read it and think, “geez, there’s an idiot” and what if that someone is an agent and editor? Will they roll their eyes and put me on a “do not talk to EVER” list?
The same goes with my tweets/facebook status. I try to keep them fun and general, but what if someone thinks they are stupid? What if I respond to someones tweet and they think I’m totally whacked out?
And don’t even get me started on all the agent/editor etiquette. I fancy myself a fairly professional (notice the word fairly) person and don’t think I’d cross any lines… but I do like to be funny sometimes. I do try to stand out from the crowd a little, but what if I break a rule??? What if they don’t like me????
This isn’t limited to writer’s world. It’s the same at church, book club, writer’s group etc.
I think I’m just a walking “what-if” factory of paranoia.
Am I alone?
How do YOU get over the whole slippery-slope, worst-case-scenario, paralyzing spiral of negative thoughts?
Oh, I hear you Krista! I've made plenty of bad comments in the blogging world! And embarrassing slip ups! And after I've sent tweets, I've noticed spelling mistakes or punctuation errors! And I'm a writer–that kind of stuff shouldn't happen! That's like an accountant making a basic adding mistake, right?
But seriously, I think you are genuine in who you are in cyberspace, and that's really cool. Agents, editors, other authors can get a flavor for your voice and who you are through all of your writing. So, I'd say keep on being genuine!
Oh dear, you're making me feel very self-conscious right now which I should be because I flub so often myself.
Taking a deep breath.
Okay, this is what I'm going to do to calm myself. Feel free to use it to.
Without a doubt, the human sinful me will surface at some point and something will come out all wrong, and I want to thank you in advance Lord for helping me through it and for knowing that I am Your daughter and You will never forsake me. May I always strive to be the child You call me to be, and may I practice forgiveness on myself as You teach me to do for others. In Jesus My Saviours Name, Amen.
Hi, Krista! You're definitely not alone! I second guess and "rewrite" so much of what I say, trying to figure out how badly I messed that situation up. When it gets really bad, I pray 1 Tim 1:7 about a hundred times: "that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind". I pray for that sound mind!
i do cognitive therapy on myself. 🙂
well, seriously, i do. i fight bad thoughts (stinkin' thinkin') with thoughts i know are true (usually with scripture, since sometimes i doubt my own truthful thoughts). i'm weird, though.
and just to be completely honest…i think you have such a unique voice that carries over the technological mediums of email, twitter, and blogging. i especially love your *bodily actions* that accompany most every email or comment on a blog post. it's SO you…and i know i'm reading krista's comment without even looking at your name. just my two cents…but they are positive, truthful cents! 🙂
Where Romance Meets Therapy
I think your appeal is the fact that your audience is able to relate to you – and that is HUGE! Keep being who you are…no paranoia necessary (but I totally get it!). 🙂
Bear with me a minute here.
I posted about being "paranoid" about putting comments… and I have right around the same number of average views I have every other day… but half the comments.
Me thinks others are now paranoid!
Rest assured, Krista does not judge you by your comments. As long as you don't judge mine, ha!
You all had such WONDERFUL suggestions too! Thanks so much!!
But.. if you are giving me suggestions, does that mean that I NEED help in this area? Am I too Obsessive compulsive? Oh no, does that mean you don't like me? That you hate me? That you are telling everyone NOT to read my blog? Maybe that's why there are less comments today… Maybe you told them all to stay way because of how stupid I am. Maybe.. Maybe…
(Totally just kidding about the above. I just could NOT help myself!)
I am SO with you on this one. I reread my comments sometimes and wish I could edit them, but then I don't want to delete them, because that looks fishy. Yea… I'm the queen of overthinking!
I'm actually feeling quite better about my own version of the same thing. LOL Knowing you aren't alone when you go through life as if you are writing or reading a book is priceless. Now I must go catch up on more blogs so that I can get the new Jonas Brothers song "Paranoid" out of my head, well the few words that I know of it anyway… "just might be paranoid…"
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