Updated: May 11, 2019
Have you ever been told that your anxiety is weird? Have you ever been told that your panic attacks don't make any sense? Have you ever been made to feel like your uncontrollable worrying is irrational, and that you should just stop worrying?
Many writers deal with anxiety. I think it may not be a coincidence. I think people who deal with it often find writing is an escape. So it makes sense that writers are the way they are. It's not that writing turns you crazy, but more the other way around. One of the unexpected benefits of connecting with other writers through social media has been the realization that I'm not alone.
I have over two thousand "followers" on Instagram. The vast majority of them are writers. I put the word "followers" in quotes because I realize that many of them are just trying to build their own followings. Perhaps an unintended consequence of connecting with so many writers is the support system. It may not always be directly, but just reading what others write about their own similar feelings can be comforting.
Have you ever laid in bed and felt like you're drowning? If you have, you might take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Have you ever laid awake for hours worried that there is something that you should be worrying about but you can't remember what it is? Ok, maybe that's just me. But if you have, you certainly could take solace in knowing there are others out there who are just as "weird" as you are.
Sometimes it seems like the writing community on social media is one gigantic collection of neurotic, anxious introverts, sharing their neuroses with each other. Let me tell ya, it doesn't just seem that way. It is that way. Not all the time, of course. Sometimes we try to promote our books. Sometimes we post pictures of our dogs. There may be an occasional poignant quote, a heart-felt poem, or an adorable childhood photo for Throwback Thursday. But dig deep enough and you'll find someone with all the same anxieties that you have. And somehow, that's comforting.