Amber Skye Forbes

Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes

Terrified to Write

Yes, I decided to do two posts in a single day. I was originally going to have this post with my most recent one, but I realized the post would have been too long, and the two topics were too varied. So if you haven’t read the last post, I am still having issues with hypomania. Usually you’re pretty confident when you’re in this state, but, as I’ve said, I’m just irritable/rage-filled. And now that I’m cognizant I am in this mode, I am terrified to write.

When I was severely manic in December of 2012, I wrote 15,000 words in one day, thinking it was the best stuff ever. When I came down from the episode, I realized it was completely awful. I couldn’t believe how delusional I was to write all that crap and think it was going to be worth anything. Now I didn’t care about being manic then. It was so much better than being depressed, so of course I was going to welcome it. I didn’t care how crazy it made me. I. Just. Felt. Good. When you are depressed, you will do anything to feel good, and for those with bipolar disorder, mania is one of those things.

But when I am in a stable place and I become hypomanic or manic, I don’t want to be in that place, because I felt fine before. My judgment was sound, I could concentrate, my brain was all there. I’m not depressed; therefore, I do not want this episode. It’s not that I’m worried about crashing from it, either, because I doubt I’m going to fall into depression. It’s that my concentration and judgment are shot, and I’m having a difficult time regulating my emotional responses to things I perceive as negative. Or trying not to be anxious or angry for no reason.

But I am terrified to write. I’m so afraid that everything I write is going to come from a place of instability. I know that a lot of people say mania makes them more productive, but when it comes to writing, for most manic people (from what I’ve researched) who are writers, the mania actually does skew their ability to write–and often not in a good way. I am afraid to touch my most recent novel, to even outline it, even though I REALLY want to. It’s my third revision (because I’ve changed the genre of the book). I just don’t want to touch it. I don’t want to break it. I don’t want to come down from this episode, look at what I’ve written, and hate it so much that I want to start over. I’m already on chapter four, and while I did begin this book in the midst of the episode, I don’t want to continue, not until I’m stable again. Sure, I might look at it again and not hate it, but I’m scared to take that risk right now.

I really am.

I’m having difficulties concentrating, and I’m scared these difficulties could be messing up my writing. I’ve been having issues with trying to find words I should know (so I’ve been referring to everything as thingy), and I can’t talk for long without stopping because my mind is moving faster than my mouth. When I talk, though, you wouldn’t think that because I don’t have rapid speech, but my mind is still on a fast train.

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3 comments on “Terrified to Write

  1. lindalitebeing
    April 25, 2014

    I truly hope that using this space for honest self-expression brings you some peace.

  2. Dianna L. Gunn
    April 26, 2014

    Hey Amber,

    Thank you again for being brave enough to share. Not being able to work on a project you’re really excited about is rough. Sharing the experience helps. I find free writing or brainstorming something like future blog posts is often easier for me when I’m not sleeping well/feeling grouchy. I tend to do these things by hand and I find the movement relaxing. Maybe it can help ease your mind over the next few days.

    I hope you manage to enjoy your weekend in spite of all this. My thoughts will be with you, and internet hugs are here if you want them.

    ~Dianna

  3. A. B. Davis
    April 28, 2014

    I understand the fear of pushing through and just writing anyway because you’re afraid it will be all for naught. As Dianna said, maybe some free writing, something that gives you freedom to write but without it being sewn into the novel, will help you to if not overcome the fear at least overpower it and continue growing as a writer as a result.

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