A Sliver of Peace

Overthinking, friends, is a bitch. It’s a bitch that I’ve been dealing with a lot, lately. I won’t bore you with all the fine details, but needless to say, I’ve been overthinking certain aspect of my life lately. A lot. Needlessly. Pointlessly, as there is no point in overthinking all of these things when most of it is out of my control anyway and I should ignore the voice in the back of my head whispering lies and instead just trust that things will work out the way I hope they will; that I’m a person that deserves happiness and is capable of achieving happiness. I know this. I am so totally aware that I am overthinking. Friends, family, both have called me out on it.

Yet I can’t stop.

And today, at work, with the quiet buzz of students working and nothing but a six hour shift to distract me, it gave those worries and anxieties power, as I felt trapped. So much power that I physically felt the stress I was causing myself due to a situation that is partly out of my control. I couldn’t focus on anything. The first hour of my shift was spent looking at everything I needed to do or should be doing–or hell, even wanted to do–yet my body was so pent up with anxiety and worry and fear spawned directly from thinking too much that I was left without an outlet. I was stuck at work, in a public place. I couldn’t escape anywhere else. I couldn’t slip into bed and hope tomorrow I feel better. I couldn’t hide in the shower and let hot bullets of water pelt into my back as I attempt to release my worries through tears safely shed in the comfort of my own home. I couldn’t even go on a run and try to physically rid myself of all this pent up ridiculousness that I shouldn’t be feeling to begin with but can’t help it because I’m so insecure and don’t know what I’m doing. 

Except, there was an outlet. One shiny, glorious and downright surprising sliver of peace: writing a pitch.

On my To-Do list was writing a pitch for THE RESISTANCE, the novel I’m pitching next week to the Pitch to Publication contest. I opened a document to start writing this pitch at the beginning of my shift, but gave up on it because of the knots in my stomach and the stress caused by overthinking things I shouldn’t be overthinking (which is only made worse being hyper aware that your worries are for naught yet they still exist within you anyway). I ate dinner during my break and came back and opened the blank draft again. And I stared at it for a bit. Eventually, I got a sentence down. And then another. I pushed and wrote and focused on the always difficult task of trying to sum up an entire novel into three paragraphs that make it sound enticing, unique and make you want to figure out the end, while also making sure the hook, the stakes, the characters, the genre, the age group and the word count are all included. And then I finished a draft of the pitch and reread it. And reworked it.

It wasn’t until I was tweaking a third read-through that I realized my chest didn’t feel so tight anymore; my muscles not to tense; my mind not so panicked. Granted, all those emotions are still lingering and fighting their way back to the forefront of my mind, even as I write this post, but for a moment there; for a solid 30 minutes of work, I was able to escape it all when I thought there was no outlet available to me, through crafting a pitch about my writing. Something that I normally loathed to do, because I suck at it. Yet in this instance, it gave me peace, even if it was short lived.

Life can get hard, sometimes. Living with insecurities and anxiety and depression and self-doubt and being a worrywort and an overthinker makes life harder than it probably should be, at times. Being aware of that makes it even worse. And there are so many aspects of my life that I don’t have control over; that I have to trust others with, knowing that things might not always work out, even if I desperately want them to. But I take a lot of comfort in knowing that no matter what life throws at me or what I go through (or sometimes put myself through) emotionally, there is one constant, one comfort, I can always count on in my life: my writing. I may never get published, but that’s not what I mean here, when I talk about my writing. My dream of being an author may never come true and a lot of that I have no control over. But that won’t stop me from writing. I’ll never run out of stories I need to pen or the desire to write. And I don’t think life will ever grow too difficult that writing won’t give me an escape or a chance for peace. I will always have that.

And thank God for that.

Cheers.

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About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

7 responses to “A Sliver of Peace

  • Joyce C

    OMGOMGOMG I didn’t know about Pitch to Publication! Am going to be working on my pitch now too.

    Also, I totally hear you on the overthinking problem. My friends constantly tell me to stop overthinking, but I can’t help but obsess over the things that haven’t yet happened, things I can’t control, or things that I keep expecting to happen because I’m a worrier like that. I think it’s a kind of defence mechanism our brain has developed to protect us from crushing disappointment. It’s like, hey I just knew (shitty thing) was going to happen so I’m not even that bothered by it when it actually does. But it doesn’t make things at all easier to deal with – in fact, it makes it worse. All we do is trap ourselves in this constant loop of anxiety.

    So I’m glad you’ve found something to channel your energies into. Writing is the home that we always come back to when the world around us is spinning crazily on its axis. Even if there’s a lot of stuff that is out of our control, at least we know we can always count on our stories to tame the whirlwind of thoughts in our heads.

    All the best for P2P! Go slay it 🙂

    • Nicole Evans

      JOYCE. I really hope you enter so we can support one another! I know you would love it!
      Gosh, that line: “It’s like, hey I just knew (shitty thing) was going to happen so I’m not even that bothered by it when it actually does. But it doesn’t make things at all easier to deal with – in fact, it makes it worse.” <– That is so bloody true. You captured that idea perfectly!
      Come slay it with me! 😀

  • azpascoe

    Awesome work about getting that pitch out Nicole! It’s funny how, even when what we want is to escape and not write (and I love writing, but sometimes I’m like ‘ugh, not NOW’), sometimes when we force ourselves to put one ugly little word after the other, we end up creating something awesome. Or even if it’s not awesome, we made it. That’s just so cool!

    I know how you feel about the overthinking: sometimes it feels like you’re being eaten alive by these thoughts that just WON’T SHUT UP, and there’s that nagging ugly voice that keeps telling you you’re not good enough. It ends up being this horrible, frustrating, vicious cycle. I’m glad that you found some escape in your writing. All we can do in that scenario is fight everyday to reprogram that asshole voice and find the one that’s telling the truth: that you’re amazing, you’re funny, you’re kind, smart and beautiful… And everything is going to be ok.

    Good luck with P2P – I have no doubt you’ll destroy it!! 😉 xx

    • Nicole Evans

      Thank you! I dunno if it is any good, but it is nice to at least have *something*. So true! I’m surprised how often I fall into the, “Eh, I don’t feel like writing,” and choose to do something else instead, but I am even more surprised when I force myself to write anyway and how often it is actually successful. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and empathy. They mean more than I can express! ❤ You're fantastic!

      • azpascoe

        Knowing you, I don’t see how it could possibly be anything other than excellent! Have you gotten someone to proof it for you yet? I’m always happy to help if you need another set of eyes 🙂 Completely agree! That’s why the argument of being ‘inspired’ is such crap :p I’m glad, as long as they make you happy!! ❤ And I think the same!

      • Nicole Evans

        Aww, thank you, darling! I haven’t, so I may be hitting you up here real soon. I mean, there are definitely days where the words just flow out of me and it’s absolutely crazy and I definitely feel inspired, but I agree that you can’t wait to be inspired. You’d never finish a draft!

      • azpascoe

        Well I’m always more than happy to read anything you write!! 🙂 Those days are incredible! They also just happen to be relatively rare 😛

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