Thursday, July 9, 2009

Panic Is Just A Word


Writers go through it when deadlines near, when a scene doesn’t come together the way they expect it to, and the absolute worst of all, when they sit at their computer and there’s not one word inside their heads.
The imagination has gone on vacation and didn’t tell anyone.Then there are the times we writers are buried under work and we wonder if it will all get done in time. I think of it as going forward one word at a time.
Yes, there’s everyday panic. You go shopping and realize your list is at home. Will you remember to pick up everything you had on it or forget something … or three? Times it’s happened to me I’ve wanted to slap myself upside the head. Then I mentally hear “take a chill pill, Aunt Lin” from my niece. She knows how I am when I’m grocery shopping. Shopping at the mall is more pleasure. Other shopping is a chore and I want to get in and get out without having to think about it.
And then there's the panic if you’re meeting new people. “Will they like me?” “Don’t have red wine because I might spill it.”
I’ve discovered that a little bit of panic is a good thing. It sharpens your mind. At least it does mine. I remind myself if I panic, I take steps backwards, while if I use that panic to my advantage, I utilize it to go forward.
Nothing happens if I forget a few things at the store. Unless it’s dog food and there’s none at home. Hungry dogs are cranky dogs. :} Then it's a quick trip back to the store.
So don’t sweat it, don’t let panic overtake you. Think of how you can use to help yourself.


Linda

18 comments:

  1. Have I felt that 'deadline's a'coming' panic?

    Well, hell, yeah!

    Enough that I know how to use it, and that is to ruthlessly subjugate it to the task at hand, use it to focus, control it, dominate it completely. That is the only way I know to use panic to my advantage.

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  2. Linda, great post.

    Panic means realizing you don't have business cards a week before Nationals and you have nothing to wear either! Not fun. I've been in panic mode for a while now and although it does help me get things done, it's exhausting. I just want a week or two off!

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  3. You know the worst thing about panic for me? Things stop being funny.
    When I can recover my sense of humor, I usually also get a handle on the panic.

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  4. I don't have a deadline looming at the moment, and I have business cards and clothes for DC, but what really makes me panic is when my browser crashes, like it did just now! Everything in my little writing world is on this computer, and I panic every time I think about losing it or having it die on me. I've got my books backed up on thumbdrives, but the rest of the stuff would be impossible to replace!

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  5. Panic is realizing when you are two hours from home that you forgot your purse! Can one survive while on vacation without their cell phone? Wallet? Business cards? Planner? Lip gloss? Well, yeah, but it isn't pretty! Took me another two hours to get over that panic.

    Oh well.

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  6. deadline panic puts me in tunnel vision mode. The house goes to pot, the pizza delivery guys knows our order by heart and laundry becomes a mountain to wade through.

    Panic at not being ready for National? Look out! Because I can't always control when business cards will arrive (or in my case, my neighbor who works for a copier company to get home from vacation to so he can run off some excerpt booklets for me - still don't know if that's going to happen!)

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  7. Cheryl,

    Buy yourself an external hard drive and back it up once a week. I have one and that means everything on my laptop is on there too. I even have my iTunes library that way.

    Linda

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  8. Judi,

    Same here with pizza and my crockpot is never put away.

    Linda

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  9. For conferences I make my lists ahead of time, do my best not to forget anything.

    And make up and a couple pair of undies are always in my carry on!

    Linda

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  10. I attended the first Nationals and I've been attending writers conferences since 1980. If you think that means I'm always organized, think again1

    Linda

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  11. Great post, Linda!

    Nice to see here in the comments that I'm not the only CasaBabe whose middle name is ACK! :-)

    Yes, I have deadline panic. Yes, I have Nationals panic because I do have biz cards but NO CLOTHES, no booklets, no lip glass...

    Move over Robin, I need that week or two also, and I'm thinking we should head for Maui!

    AC

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  12. SHEESH!

    That would be lip gloss... Told ya I was in panic mode.

    AC

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  13. LOL AC!

    Actually MAC cosmetics makes Lipglass so you're safe.

    Linda

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  14. I was going to say that same thing about MAC Lipglass Linda!

    Great post--I think it's something can all relate to. I think I'm stressing out more as I make my RWA daily to-do lists... it's going to be a great conference, and we all wish you were going!

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  15. LOL Danielle!

    We know the good stuff. :}

    I wish I was going too, but it means I have plenty of planning time for the Emerald City Conference this October.

    I tend to forget things at conference hotels. Left one without a shoe and my roomie left her nightgown behind. And I lost a nightgown another time.

    And considering the disaster the last time I was in DC for Nationals it might be a good thing I'm not going. It was a week I never wanted to repeat!

    Linda

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  16. I'm in a continual panic, trying to get stuff done, promo, lessons, word count before I go to work in the mornings and not be late for work!!! :) So Monday, the electricity went out with monsoons of a storm and I couldn't get the car out of the garage. Took my mother's car 2 hours early to work at work in the AC and with electricity, tires were flat, car registration expired, get to work, key to my workplace is at home in my car in the garage. :( So I sat in my car working on edits in the pouring rain, in the heat. :) But at least it was lighter out where I could see what I was doing. LOL The best laid plans....

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  17. Deep breaths! In thru the nose, out thru the mouth!

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  18. Getting to the airport, finding the line goes past the next three sets of checkin desks, round the corner, past the arrivals listings, and nearly all the way to coffee... Mmmm, coffee... But my son didn't panic at all. "At least it's a fast line," says he, and it was.

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