Every writer I’ve ever worked with has specific anxiety trigger points that occur during different phases of the writing process. Some writers are the most anxious while writing the first draft, because everything feels chaotic, messy, and uncertain. Other writers love the first draft phase, but their anxiety kicks in when it’s time to edit. They’re afraid if they change things they’ll end up ruining the story.
Most writers assume that they have so much anxiety around writing because they don’t know what they’re doing, or they’re feeling pressure from the outside to perform or achieve according to someone else’s expectations. While this is true in some cases, it’s not the whole story. The deeper causes of the anxiety we feel as writers comes from the anxiety we feel in our lives overall, and this anxiety is a direct result of living in a society that feeds us the message that we should be in control of everything, at all times.