Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some Changes of the Internet Nature

Let me say this up front: I love interacting with readers online. I love hearing your feedback and your stories, and answering your questions, and being open and honest with you. However, as things change (and they have been changing, rapidly), I am forced to come to terms with what I can and can't handle.

You guys know I have anxiety problems, right? I've mentioned them before, though I haven't shared that much detail about them. For the past year I've gone to therapy in the hope of better coping with the stresses of my job-- namely, my ability to receive constant feedback from others without letting it affect my love of writing. (I am one of those writers who requires total isolation in order to be truly creative, otherwise I find that the voices of other people-- even if they're positive voices!-- crowd out my own voice.) Therapy concluded several weeks ago, and since then I have noticed that I have much better control of my anxiety, I've been happier, I've been enjoying my writing. But only while I've also been on Internet hiatus.

Soon after I returned from my Internet hiatus (a couple weeks ago, when I finished the draft), it all started again, just as bad as it was before: the difficulty sleeping, the constant nervousness, and worst of all, the fear of writing. That's what really gets me-- the feeling that one of the activities I love most in this world, and the activity that helps me to process my own experience of the world, is now a source of dread? That feeling has got to go.

Therapy helped me with my anxiety, yes, but it also helped me to realize that I'm not superhuman. I have to operate within my own limitations. And that's why I've come to the difficult decision that I'm going to be disabling comments on my blog, and keeping my Tumblr ask box closed for the forseeable future-- not because I don't like to hear from you guys! (Because I so do.) But because I need to take care of myself, and by doing that, take care of the people around me and the work that I do. For some authors, this isn't necessary--they can leave everything open without many negative repercussions. I admire those authors very much for that! But they are not me, and I finally feel like I'm okay with that.

I hope someday this will change. Until then, you are still welcome to e-mail me (I try to read all my e-mails, even if I am unable to respond--e-mail address is on the FAQ page of this blog). And I will still be blogging-- telling you what's happening in the world of Divergent, handing out unsolicited advice to fellow writers, and being as open with you as possible-- I'll just be a little less available than I have been in the past. I do, however, look forward to hearing your feedback and your questions and all of that at events or conferences or wherever we happen to meet face to face.

-V

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