Friday, May 09, 2008

Pick pick pick

My fingers are a wreck. When I get anxious, I pick. I'm not a nailbiter. My nails are always in shape; it's the cuticles and hangnails that I torture. I usually don't even notice I'm picking until Husband grabs my hands to stop me. In my anxiety over taking the next step, I've taken up the old bad habit. I need to find another way to handle anxiety. Normally I run. But lately I've been too lazy. I guess I better dust off the old running shoes before I convert my cuticles into a scabbed red mess.

I have yet to start the second draft typing/edit. Last weekend I said I would begin on Monday. But there was a doctor appointment I forgot about. And a last minute vet visit with Drew (apparently he developed seasonal allergies). The next day I had to take the blood test my doctor ordered, and Husband asked me to have lunch with him. See where I'm going with this.... Somehow I arrived at Friday with no progress to show for myself. I'm unbelievably frustrated with my inner procrastinator. I know it's important to let the first draft sit untouched for awhile, but in my case I need to type all the handwritten chapters before I can edit in earnest. Plus, it's been months since I wrote chapter three, which is where I planned to start typing. On the one hand, I'm eager to read what I wrote since it seems a bit hazy and distant. On the other hand, I'm terrified to find that it's all mush. And so, until I can properly beat out the procrastinator in me, the anxious finger-picking will continue.


Yvonne said...

Wow Angie - apart from my mother I've never known another person who has the same anxiety habit as me. I've also resurrected my nasty cuticle and hangnail picking habit this week. I also hope I'll kick it very soon because they are looking awful at the moment...

I understand completely the reluctance to avoid reading the first draft - I went back to work for six months and only after that did I read it, and I was so anxious. Good luck with it, but until you do, try to enjoy the break...I long for it at times!

Lane said...

Deep breath and take the plunge Angie. I'm sure it will be far better than you think:-)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it's not mush! Good luck with the editing and leave your poor cuticles alone!

Anonymous said...

How frustrating for you and how natural to be scared at taking the next step.

You can do this. You are a capable and talented writer.

When I am stressed I pull at my hair and scalp. It got so bad once that I decided to take up knitting (badly lol) as an antidote.

The only thing that really works for me is taking some small action towards mastering what is scaring me.

Bobo gave me this idea when I once wakened in the night feeling anxious. He suggested I divide a piece of paper into two and write down the left side everything that is worrying me, now matter how small or seemingly ridiculour. Then on the write handside, I write in bullet points rationalisations of the worries or small things I can begin to do about them.

Hope this helps you,as it certainly helped me. {{{Angie}}}}}

Angie said...

Yvonne, it's an awful habit, isn't it! I have to kick it soon too. I'm in a friend's wedding in two weeks, and I'm sure it would look better if my cuticles were intact. ;)
I started this week fresh and began to look at the first draft. The jury's out...

Lane, I took the plunge yesterday. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Only time will tell, but I do have a lot of work to polish it.

m&t, thank you. I suppose if I focus on the editing, the cuticles will get a reprieve!

Hullaballoo, thanks sweetie. I took up knitting too, though I usually don't think to do it, so it's not that helpful. ;)
You're right about taking action against what's scaring me...I began yesterday.
Thanks for the tip from Bobo. It sounds very helpful. Plus I love lists, so it might be a good way for me to target my anxieties.

Rebecca said...

well, big CONGRATS on finishing the first draft. At least you HAVE something to fix, eh??

Angie said...

Hi Rebecca, it's good to see you again. And thank you.
You're right, it's better to have something to work with than nothing at all. Glass half full and all that. ;)

kate said...

Congratulations on finishing the first draft - you've got the story now, and the second draft is in many ways the most exciting part -the conscious and the unconscious get together! I relate to your cuticles!For years I've picked at the pads of my index fingers with my thumbnails - I've managed to stop doing it on the left hand but I have a callous on the right one - it does relieve stress though, and it stops me reaching for the bisquits when I'm anxious. Good luck with the seond draft and don't worry about the delay - somewhere, you know what to do and waiting a bit will tease it to the surface