ANXIETY, That Voice in Your Head… and Writing

Something wonderful happened recently at a time that I very much needed something wonderful to happen. Spirituality and Health, one of the magazines I am an avid reader of, sent me an email saying they wanted to publish a story I had pitched.

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I was over the moon. I have done some pro bono work for up and coming online magazines, but this would be my first real, PAID publications. And to a magazine that comes to me in the mail! I literally picked up my most recent copy and danced around the room with my cat trying to explain to him that Momma’s words were going to be on these pages. He just looked at me funny and said, “Get off me Mom!” Or Meow. Same difference.

This article is especially near and dear to me because it is about a friend of mine, who happens to be gay and wanted to have a Catholic wedding. The series of events that made this impossible event possible was so miraculous (made me cry every time) that I knew I had to share it. So when I queried only ONE magazine and got an acceptance I thought it was another miracle. Everyone told me I would have to query 100 times or more and I was 1 for 1! Maybe there was something to be said to surrendering to God’s plan and everything would fall into place.

But then, something weird happened. After I accepted the offer there has been radio silence. I submitted my article within the deadline requested but haven’t heard a thing. Not even a, “Thanks! Got it!” It’s gotten to the point that, after three follow up emails over the past three weeks, I have to repeatedly pull up the original acceptance email so I know I haven’t gone all Girl, Interrupted, had a psychotic break, and made the whole damn thing up.

This situation has stirred up a lot fears within me like, “Here we go again, it’s always too good to be true.” Or “They read your article and decided you were such a bad writer it would be an embarrassment to even respond. Also they blacklisted you for life.” OK. Obviously, this is dramatic. But what is going on????

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In order to not completely sabotage myself, i.e. sending an email every hour on the hour until they actually say I am blacklisted, I’ve done a lot of meditating. I’m also writing this right now instead of sending them a neurotic message saying, “What’s wrong? Why don’t you love me?” I mean, it didn’t work with any of my past boyfriends. Probably wouldn’t work on an editor.

I just finished a book called The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. It’s an amazing book. I highly recommend it. He basically tried to go meditate by himself in the woods forever (I get it, there are days at work I want to do that, too) but he had a vivid dream that he could only find his true peace and enlightenment by living within the world. So he decided to just say yes to whatever life presented him with. He ended up with a multi billion dollar software company. Not bad, right? But it was the little things that, to me, were so miraculous in this story. How he met the right person at the right time. And how, when he was able to merely observe that voice in his head instead of taking it at face value, circumstances would fall into place without him even doing anything.

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I’ve been experimenting with surrender a lot. I get up every morning and surrender to whatever life wants me to do, because clearly I’ve been fucking it up with my own devices. If I’m supposed to act, I’ll act. If I’m supposed to write, I’ll write. If I’m supposed to be a sommelier, I’ll learn about wine. If it’s something else entirely, cool. Show me, because at this point in my life I just want to be HAPPY.

So I’m choosing to use this uncomfortable experience as a lesson. Everything’s probably fine. They literally just finished their November/December issue. I got it in the mail yesterday. So I’m sure in a couple days they will get in touch with me as my article is for the January issue. In the meantime, I will sit with those nasty voices in my head and tell them that it’s not true, I am good enough. And even if they decided not to publish my article I can publish it here. I surrender. What I will not do is act like a crazy person and give in to that voice. If I need some drama, I’ll step away from my email and turn on some Real Housewives.

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I’d love to hear about some of the voices in your head as well. Mostly so I don’t feel schizophrenic. But also so we can slay them together!

 

17 thoughts on “ANXIETY, That Voice in Your Head… and Writing

  1. Oh, man! I could have swore I lost one of my closest friends this year. He is sometimes slow to respond, but there were times he just didn’t respond at all. So, of course, my voices told me how I had just burdened him until he had to cut me off, that he’s all making fat bank and has no interest in wasting time with a bum.
    He finally called last week to say he’s been working like 70 hrs a week for months straight for his fat bank and we gotta catch up sometime soon.
    It’s weird, I’m usually perfectly content being alone, but sometimes not hearing from my friends really gets to me. Those voices all tell me how nobody wants me around or cares about me. My closest friends fill the void where my parents ought to be, so I easily worry myself about wearing my friends out.
    My partner gets anxious if she hasn’t messaged or talked to me for 4 hours. Really, it’s more like 2 hours, but she also tries not to wear me out! I think not hearing back from someone just hits a nerve common to everyone.

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    1. Thank you for sharing! Yes, we can all drive ourselves crazy sometimes. But know those voices in your head are SIMPLY NOT TRUE. I like to tell my voice, “Thanks for your input but I’m going to go in another direction.” For instance, I know I’ve been on the opposite side of the friend thing where I was too busy to text back that moment but it didn’t at all mean I didn’t care about them. So I try to comfort myself with that fact, but it’s easier said than done sometimes! I do feel like when these situations come up its a great time to practice growth instead of giving into our crazy sides. Which it looks like you did with your friend so good for you! We all need to remember to not take things so damn personally haha!

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  2. Oh, I feel you. I’ve had similar experiences happen with editors accepting my work and then I don’t hear a word back. Don’t be discouraged . Trust in your writing and that they want your work. If for whatever reasons it doesn’t happen, something else will. As for those voices in my head, I have a number of conversations often going at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I nag them lol 🙂 Yep, I send follow up emails until I get an answer. Usually I do, either way but sometimes the slack bums don’t get back to me and I move on. There’s only so much we can do.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi there. Life is full of so many disappointments, real and semi-imagined, it’s pretty amazing that most people keep on keepin’ on. But we do. I guess that one of the keys to a contented life is to try and keep an even keel.
    Anyway, maybe you should let the magazine know that you need an answer by so and so date, so that you can submit your essay elsewhere if they don’t want it.

    See you —
    Neil

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t lead a very busy life, so when I don’t get replies from friends and it’s been days, or never, I try to remind myself that normal people have busy lives. Life gets in the way. You’re right, the voices in your head are exactly that, just in your head. It’s you talking to yourself rather than any rational input. And I always feel like a numpty when the reason is explained why a reply was late. Good luck with your submission, and if nothing comes of it, cancel your subscription and try elsewhere. (Maybe not. Nose Face Spite Cut!) 😊

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  5. I have never submitted anything for publication so I can’t relate at all, but I imagine I would have done something extraordinarily stupid because they hadn’t responded, so I think you are doing alright!! Good for you for going for it. I don’t know anything about sending queries or how to even go about getting something published, but I think I need to learn. Hope you write a post once it is printed so we can read it!! Super cool!​

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, hopefully I hear back soon. I’m gonna follow up on Monday which has been a week so won’t look too crazy or obsessive 😜 I’ll definitely post the story either way. And all you have to do is buy a book called Writer’s Work. It gives you examples of queries as well as listings for magazines etc to submit to. You’re such a good writer, you definitely should go for it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well first off, CONGRATULATIONS for this! You rocked it with the happy dance with the cat!. And secondly, I completely get you. I get that a lot in similar ways with recruitment agencies. They call me with this amazing too good to be true contract opportunity (I do I.T. work in my alternate universe) and then I never hear from them again!
    If this is a magazine it may be that the Editor has moved your article along to the next issue or something, you’re sensible for being patient. Hey, why not submit another article to them? that way you’re not “chasing them” about the one they said they’d liked, but you’re keeping your name in their heads?
    Keep up posted, and I’m still waiting for the grape squishing jobbie!
    Love love, Sam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And they FINALLY got back to me. The editor said he was running behind, but everything seems to be back on track. So thank goodness I didn’t freak the f*ck out at them!!!
      Of course, I do need to keep submitting articles to them and others, too. Can you help me figure out an invention for more hours in the day????

      Liked by 1 person

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