There's been plenty said about the uselessness and negativity of worry. But when a champion worrier tries to give it up, the mental conversation can go this way:
Self: All right, I'm going to let go of that anxiety. I can't control that event anyway.
Self: But if you stop worrying about it, how will you handle it if things go wrong? You have to be prepared!
Self: I am prepared. I know what I will do if things go wrong.
Self: But if you just go merrily living your life, this thing can come out of nowhere and blindside you. Misfortune loves to do that. It waits until you're all happy and looking in the other direction, and then--pow!
Self: Wait a minute. You think that if you sit here worrying about this thing and focusing on it, you can control how it goes, don't you?
Self: I also believe that if I stop concentrating for a minute on keeping aloft a plane in which I am a passenger, it will crash. Or at least hit bad turbulence. The kind where the plane falls a thousand feet in a couple of seconds and your stomach tries to jump out through the top of your skull?
One aspect of worry is this illusion that we can control things. And in the writing world, there's plenty to worry about. There are the craft issues (Will I ever finish this thing? Does it work? Will anyone else care?) and the market issues (Will someone else write the same idea, only better and sooner? Will this find an agent/editor/readership? Will it sell?) and the career issues (Will anyone read my next book? How many different kinds of tax forms are there, anyway? Will I earn out? Can I get those rights back?).
Worrying is sometimes like bargaining: If I put myself through this pain and anxiety, I will have paid my dues, and the way will be clear for good things to come. It can be weirdly comforting and familiar; it can be scary to let go of.
One of the most effective tools I've ever found for dropping worry is chasing it away with a laugh. (Hm, now I feel like I should close with a joke.) Do you have a good strategy for letting go of worry?