High Anxiety – Cidney Swanson

High Anxiety

HIGH ANXIETY is a Mel Brooks song/movie some of you might remember. It’s also a common feeling for a writer. It hits at, say, a few weeks before your next book releases. Even with a hyper critical  insightful editor, awesome beta readers, and dedicated ARC readers, I still get anxious before putting a new book out there. Is it funny enough? (Is it funny at all?) Is the romance swoony enough? Are the stakes high enough, menacing moments frequent enough, conflicts sufficiently … conflict-y?

So I turned to one of my favorite 20th century products: the sticky note.

I started reading through the manuscript again, popping a yellow note wherever I lol’d, a pink one for romantic angst, a green one for menace, and white ones for something harder to describe which I call “heart.” (Maybe “emotional core” is more descriptive? Nah, I like “heart.”) I was scared I might not be able to find even five examples of each of these, so I spent all day yesterday going through the first 1/2 of the manuscript before other things called me away, and … whew! I guess there is a bit of each of those things I was panicking about having left out.


(As you can see, the swoony romance takes a few pages to get going when the author makes the hero and heroine, you know, LIVE IN THE WRONG CENTURIES.)

So there you have it, an anxious day in the writing life of this writer, which prolly fits since the main character in this story has an excess of anxiety. Okay. How ’bout a giveaway? By way of a cover reveal! (Woo-hoo!!) I have a fridge magnet showing the new book cover (in center of magnet) and I’ll give it away to someone who posts in the comments answering this question: what makes you anxious? (Bonus points if you share how you get past it!) 


(P.S. If you want to check out the song HIGH ANXIETY, here’s a link. At a minute in length, it’s good for a a quick laugh!)

16 Replies to “High Anxiety”

  1. Driving during the winter! Hate snow and ice. How do I deal with it? I retired on 2/1/17 and don’t have to go out in inclement weather unless I really want to go driving.

  2. Pretty much everything gives me anxiety since I have an anxiety disorder ? Large stores, too many people and winter driving . I broke my arm on the snow/ice in January so I am staying safe at home with hot chocolate and my Cindy Swanson books?

    1. Sending warm thoughts. I agree books are one of the best things out there for coping. I lived with a general a.o. for two decades. Wishing you healing and lots of hot chocolate. (And books!)

  3. I’ve never really had a lot of anxiety issues, until more recently. My daughter’s health has been difficult to manage she’s in the hospital again, this time on oxygen), and it’s gotten harder to deal with some of those emotions.

    I started journaling. One for her and all her medical issues, and I put in a summary every few days, and track her accomplishments. Then I have a personal journal just for writing. If I don’t have any anxiety I copy scripture or do journal prompts, or just write what I’m struggling with that day. And I started a bullet journal to help track the million and one things I need to do on a given day. It’s helping immensely.

  4. I get anxious when family members are traveling. I use my Find My Friends app to follow them on their journey and then I can see if they have arrived at their destination (why do they always forget to call to let me know?).

  5. Drought, several years, then almost more rain, (raining now) than we can handle. But, that is California for you. It keeps us wondering are we going to blow away, or wash away.
    How do I cope, keep an umbrella handy, and a shovel to divert the rainstorm runoff.
    Life is wonderful!

    1. Umbrella. Check. Shovel. Check. (I have been watching the drought and flooding with interest–CA was where I spent my first 23 years!)

  6. It’s funny how the timing of things works out. My husband and I have been picking at each other recently. I’ve taken today to focus on the things about myself that I can fix to help the situation. One of those things is being more responsible about organizing and maintaining a well balanced home. We have 4 kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, huge fish tank, and a bearded dragon named Draco the Hungarian Horntail. Life is busy and hard. I was in the middle of vacuuming and my kids were not only chasing me around, but screaming and laughing and throwing toys. My anxiety went through the roof. It’s like they had crystal meth with a side of red bull for dinner. I ended up stopping the vacuum, yelling at everyone, and demanded everyone retreat to the upstairs. I literally couldn’t breathe, it felt like there was an ogre sitting on my chest. I had the guilt of losing my temper in a bad way, knowing if I had done these things throughout the week instead of leaving everything until Sunday night, my kids wouldn’t be acting like this. I walked into the garage, sat down, and started deep breathing like I learned in yoga. It helps me to focus my physical pain and anxiety into a direct physical action and while I’m doing so I can reflect on what just happened, and how I could have prevented it from becoming a trigger in the first place. (All of this was 10 minutes ago.) I also tend to hop on a mindless outlet directly after said situation because I don’t have to think about anything. Except… I found this post, by one of my favorite authors, asking the specific questions of which JUST occurred in my life. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Cidney, your work is such an incredible escape and release from a world chalk full of anxiety and bad situations. There isn’t a single thing that you could publish that we, as your fandom, wouldn’t love. Take a yoga breath, hop on FB, and keep on going! All the love.

  7. The winner is Bob Bush! Thanks to everyone who shared. Bob, pls send a mailing address to me at cidneyswanson at gmail etc OR use the contact form on this website. YAY!

  8. What makes me anxious- ironically you clearly identified it in your Flight in Time book. Mr. Wright- I am one who fears the loss of control. It has even paralyzed me as it does Jillian in the story but not as bad about flying. I had not being able to place my kids in a box where I can control things. And finally what makes me anxious! Your ending to the book and the fact that I don’t know when the next one comes out! You’re killing me 🙂

    1. When I was researching the Wright brothers, I kept running across their quote that they’d had three problems to solve (lift/power/control) and all the sudden it hit me one day that those things are so directly tied to most flight phobias. I’m glad/sad that you could relate. 😉 I’m writing away on the next book. It is soooooo much fun! I hope to have it out at the end of summer. Thanks so much for being a reader, and thanks for dropping by here!
      <3 Cidney

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