I spent my days writing non-fiction articles and blog posts and pretending that I was content to be a freelance journalist. I was following a path close to my dream, as it felt less terrifying than pursuing the thing I truly wanted.
I kept researching authors, though, looking for the key to the door of that secret club. Many authors spoke candidly about the hard work that went into their books, about the need for practice and rewriting, and their own creative fears, and it dawned upon me that maybe my anxieties weren’t a death sentence for my writing dreams.
However, self-doubt wasn't easy to vanquish. Even when I started writing and got external validation, I still felt riven with anxiety. I was so nervous the night before my first book was published, that I was seriously considering calling my publisher and asking them to call the whole thing off.
Like anyone, I have good days and bad days. I’m still very critical of my work and never feel anything is good enough, and there are days when I feel physically frightened of putting words down.
I tell you this not to say ‘poor me’ but in case you have ever felt crippling self-doubt. I want to pass on my hard-won knowledge that it's possible to work out a living arrangement with your worries and get the work done. After finishing several books, I now know that it is possible to write in spite of my anxieties, not in the absence of them.
I have developed lots of tips and tricks over the years to get my stories from the safety of my mind and into the world, and I wanted to speak directly to other worried writers to provide reassurance and support.
And so The Worried Writer podcast was born. In each episode I grill (nicely!) an author about their writing process and the ways in which they handle worry and procrastination.
I love chatting with amazing writers such as Julie Cohen and C.L. Taylor, and it's a wonderful opportunity to get advice from authors at different stages of the journey. The show has had a great response so far, and it's really reassuring to get messages from people saying ‘thank goodness it’s not just me'.
So, please join me – and my guests – as we demystify the creative process. As with writing; everyone is invited.
Look out for a fabulous interview with Novelicious's very own Kirsty Greenwood coming soon to The Worried Writer!