How to Make Real Progress on Your Novel

You’re at a big scene, just nearing the end of a chapter. Your voice is on point, your material’s spilling out faster than you can move your fingers to type it. And you see your deadline on the horizon and you think it is entirely possible you will even beat it.

But, wait. What’s happening?

Is your heart beating too fast? Are you aware of the days passing and can’t stop thinking of all the time you don’t have?


That’s funny. Your ankles are itching. Now behind your ears. Now your sides. Your fingers feel like they’re swelling up. Oh crap maybe they are.

Great job! You’ve just given yourself a solid case of nervous hives.

Yes, folks, I am allergic to my life. I’ve been on Benadryl, which helps, but guess what? It also tends to put you to sleep so you’re too tired to write. NOT HAPPY.

I called my mom, as I always do when I’m sick (raise your hand if you continue to call your mom when you’re sick!). My mom gave me good advice. Plus, she wants me to take a break today, so I am. I’ll call the doctor tomorrow if this continues. Maybe I am allergic to something—I have no idea. Then again, I once got (huge, giant!) hives on my mom’s wedding day because I had some buried anxiety about it, so this is not out of line for me. So annoyed at myself right now, you have no idea.

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