Writers and Dealing With Anxiety Part Two

On Monday, I posted part one of this two-part post which is all because one of my writing students asked:

“Seems like a lot of us writers struggle with anxiety and low self-esteem. All I can do, apparently, is grind out a page here and there during my more lucid moments. I don’t suppose you’ve got the magic key to overcoming emotional struggles so that the writing gets done?”

Writer who I’m not going to out here because that would be horrible

I have my own way of dealing with this, but my way? It’s not everyone’s way and it’s not that writer’s way so I looked to my Facebook friends for help.

A lot of people were super kind and gave recommendations. I’m going to share some of more of them


Every morning, my dog Gus and I go under the tree in the front yard for about an hour. I bring a radio and a towel for Gus and a chair for me. He crunches on dog biscuits and I work on something–maybe a short story, maybe transcribing / formatting work that’s reverted to me, maybe do some edits, maybe play with some outlining or idea generation. There’s something about it–being there with him, not checking Twitter, not doing emails, in the peace of the morning that’s really helped me lately.

Holly Schindler

Go All Nike

Just sit down and begin. Sone days it works, other days, well…

Liz Jones

Switching It Up

Writing by hand in a notebook feels less “official” to me and helps me move past some of the doubt and anxiety.

Sarah Yasutake

Brain Dump with a Side of Wonderbook

I sometimes start a new document and brain dump. If it has to do with a piece I’m working on, cool, If not that’s okay!! I have the writing book Wonderbook and it some amazing images, tips, essays from writers on their speciality and genre. It really helped me with my anxiety when I was in workshop classes at UMaine because I was so vulnerable for the first time with my writing with other writers, let them know it’s okay to be anxious and scared. That’s honestly where my best stuff comes from. I just dive in what I’m feeling and go with it and see where it takes me! But HIGHLY recommend Wonderbook, I rented it for a class but ended up buying it because I use it almost every time I write!

Callaghan Carter

The Quiet Place

Just finding a quiet space without interruption is what I find I need these days. A glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea while writing helps me as well. But like you said, just sitting down and doing it is the first step. That’s the hardest part for me.

Brittani Gallegos

There! I hope these helped a bit. I have more, too, so let me know if you’d like me to post them and make a part three. But try to remember that you don’t have to be perfect and that you have as much a right to write your story, your book, your blog, as everyone else out there does.

You’ve got this.

Continue reading “Writers and Dealing With Anxiety Part Two”

Ride Hard. Seven Tips for Aspiring Writers

Remember all stories have a beginning, a middle and an end where people (or hamsters or whatever) ride hard for something and there are obstacles blocking their way to get that something.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Ride Hard. Seven Tips for Aspiring Writers

Tips for Aspiring Writers? Everyone gives them. But these are the essentials that were inspired by a hot-wings induced stupor. Shaun doesn’t believe you can get drunk off hot sauce, but I’m here to tell you that I (Carrie) can.

Seven Tips for Aspiring Writers

  1. Write your ideas down anywhere and everywhere. Don’t think that you’ll remember the amazing ideas you got while in a half-drunken stupor from too many Buffalo wings. Have a notebook or notes file on your phone. Write that stuff down. 
  2. Ride hard for books. Not just your own books but other people’s too. 
  3. Wait. That’s not good enough. Ride hard for words. Fall in love with them. 
  4. Remember all stories have a beginning, a middle and an end where people (or hamsters or whatever) ride hard for something and there are obstacles blocking their way to get that something. 
  5. Remember all stories have characters who have external wants (a good hot wing) and internal desire (to be admired for devouring that damn hot wing without doing a Will Ferrell and crying). 
  6. Study people. Write people. Not card-board cut-outs. Don’t make your story an Instagram filter. Show people the quirks, the dirt, the torn hems on your skirt. 
  7. Write. You aspire to write? Do it, my friend. Don’t just aspire. Do. 

Writing Tip of the Pod: 

If you want to write books, study people, study books, and experience as much as you can experience so you can use everything you do, see, and feel to communicate that to others. 

Dog Tip for Life: `

Channel your inner Yoda. There is no try. Just do. 

Or channel your inner Nike ad. Just do it. 

Don’t aspire. 

Work towards it. You’ve got it. 


The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.

This week’s episode’s link.


The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Big News!

I just published a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?

Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.

But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor. 

As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.

You can order it here. Please, please, order it. 

So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.


My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!


It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!

Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?

In the Woods
In the Woods



Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site. 

Dogs Are Smarter Than People Podcast: What Makes a Story Memorable?

Here’s our biggest tip for beginning writers.

Ask yourself this question:


It’s change. It’s how the hero of the story enters that story with something broken inside them. All the things that have happened before your story starts – the back story – has set up the hero needing to achieve something or needing to change something inside of themselves.

ET was a movie about an alien, but the reason it was so amazing was because it was a movie about a family in pain, a family that needed to believe in magic and love again. ET gave them that.

So, when you’re writing your book, think about the backstory of your character, what it is that put her/him/them in this place and what they need to do to change themselves or their world.

That’s what the heart of a story is.

That’s what makes it memorable. The internal change.



Don’t be afraid to evolve. New places, new experiences, new life paths, are all ways to become something and someone better.



  1. Have Fun – Don’t write unless you love it or can’t live without it
  2. Remember That Your Characters and Their Journeys Matter
  3. Cut out Extra Scenes
  4. Don’t Try to Write Like Anyone Else
  5. Edit Like A God – Cast out all that doesn’t belong
  6. Don’t Worry About Being Successful – Worry about the story.


The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website.Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.


Please like, subscribe, share it on iTunes, Stitcher, anywhere. <3

We all appreciate it.


I’m heading to Montreal this week and the Houston and Virginia Beach pretty soon to promote my picture book biography of Moe Berg. It’s called The Spy Who Played Baseball. 

My Post copy 6

And I’ll be in Freeport, Maine September 28 as part of a Nerdy Evening of Kidlit writers!

ENHANCED, the follow-up to FLYING is here! And it’s out of this world.


The last TIME STOPPERS BOOK is out and I love it. You should buy it.



If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For signed copies – email barharbor@shermans.com for Sherman’s or email info@briarpatchbooks.comand let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!


You can buy prints of my art here. Thank you so much for supporting my books and me. I hope you have an amazing day.