writer’s depression

 

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The internet has exploded with opportunities for those of us pouring out heart and soul into beloved characters and imagined worlds. One of my biggest problems with this gateway to all things written, is  the distraction potential. Before I realize the danger, I have too many irons in the fire. With millions of chances to rub cyber-shoulders with other word lovers and thousands of contests to show and better your work, how do you choose witch to ignore and which to latch onto with both hands. If anyone out there has the answer, I would love to hear it, because I find the world of wordage to be daunting and hard to navigate. Fun, but distressing.

My current mode of operation is to pick few at a time and see where it goes. I went through the query/pitch contest #pitmad on twitter and participated in #postitforward. #PostItForward helped me to refine my 35-word pitch. Hopefully I will be better prepared for #NestPitch, the contest being held the first of April. I even managed to find a Beta reader for my Novel Finder’s Keepers, while tweeting about queries on twitter. But the number of rejections, no matter how polite, and the multiple edits weigh me down at times.

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Feeling the writers depression heavy on my shoulders, I decided to distract my mind with an outside art project. I love all things artistic. It really doesn’t matter what type of art, from music to cake design, from paintings to wood crafting, from beaded necklaces to knitting … And especially writing. I love it all. 😛

But the end of a story leave a kind of undertow, a empty space that needs to be filled or else. I have read as my fellow authors mourn the end of there current story, so I felt partially prepared. Still … I was shocked at the depth of my fall, like an adrenaline crash. I am ashamed to admit that I spent a day or two moving around in a kind of haze, feeling as if I didn’t know where to go, what to do, or who to turn to. I didn’t really want to be around others. I didn’t want to read any of my favorite authors or watch my favorite shows.

I looked at my mother and finally said, “I am stuck in a writer’s depression.” I knew what the problem was, but that didn’t mean I knew how to fix it. I didn’t want to start another story. I didn’t want to send of query letters or read through my novel for the hundredth time. But once I admitted out loud that there was an issue, I was able to stop and think. I needed to create something. I needed to immerse myself in something other than writing and entertainment. Creating a baby outfit from yarn seemed like fun.

It all started with those adorable little shoes. I had never attempted to knit, and  I am not that great at following all the jargon. My friend Debbie and her wife are expecting a bouncing baby girl soon, so I jumped in feet first – as I always do 😛 – and managed an outfit perfect for a pre-me. Since that baby is following the normal format, my creation may end up as clothing for her doll babies. Next time I will shot for the 3-6 month old size. lol

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Correctly sized or not, my knitting project did the trick. I felt energized, able to start editing and fleshing out my second novel. At times I still feel so new to the world of writing that I imagine phrase like ‘wet behind the ears’ and ‘the paint isn’t dry’ are stamped on my forehead. Not that little things like lack of experience would ever stop me.

The worlds created by the voices in my head have been building for years. Little thoughts that I would jot down and forget. Ideas that I would use to set the landscape of my dreams as I feel asleep, but nothing more. Finding out who I was after my life was turned upside down with Multiple Sclerosis was a hard road. My worlds, my characters, and my imagination saved my life. I had my mother by my side feeding my creativity with art projects that I could work on from the bed that held me hostage for years.

With her help and the constant stimulation of the projects she provided, I slowly became a person again. I found my worlds, my voices, and my creations. With each downward slide from a writers high, I know that I can turn to her and she will push me to create, to live. Everyone should have someone willing to give that push. A family member, a childhood friend, or cyber writing buddy. Find that person willing to push you out of the downward slide from your writing highs. Some willing to push you to create!

Happy wordage everyone

28 thoughts on “writer’s depression”

  1. Great post. One of the challenges is having to spend so much time on non-book writing activities, like social media. I often find myself so busy responding to comments or doing other thing I end up happy if I can do 1,500 words in a day.

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  2. Hi Tracy:
    Yes, know what you mean – sometime it is overkill with writing and just switching to writing something else doesn’t always work. So I switch to gardening or cooking and go for a walk. The latter works wonders when you are stuck with where something you are writing is going. So is sleeping on it.

    And I’m interested in a blog tour exchange with you. Have been doing this for a few years although not as often as I wish. I’ll contact you or your publisher next week on this.

    Cheers.

    Sharon

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  3. Very good article! Glad you got over your depression and found the creative outlet of knitting to help you through. Rejection hurts. Finishing a book, or a story can leave you with that empty feeling for sure. Encouragement and support from loved ones can help get you through and back to the bright side of life. But like you said, first you have to open your mouth and speak….let it out…even if you’re only talking to yourself. I’ve found that you just have to give yourself a good pep talk, if no one else will. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and get on with it. Time is just too precious to waste. So much to do and not enough time. 🙂 I wish you much success in all your writing, and thanks for stopping by my place.

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    1. anytime.. I enjoyed your site… and thanks so much for adding your comment… like anything that affects human minds, talking about it makes it easier to deal… for ourselves and for those that see us deal and move past 😛 happy wordage

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  4. i am always elated when i first finish a writing project, but then comes the downward slide…. I self-publish my creation, and sweat it out, waiting for reviews, and even more elusive, sales…

    Knitting can be very rewarding! I’m still wearing garments that I made twenty years ago 🙂

    Best of luck with your writing 🙂

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    1. thanks… lets hope that the depression stays mild enough that you avoid updating your wardrobe, and resist the temptation to try my hand at murals… if only I could use oil paints on my walls, I would have already started the last time I finished a piece… lol

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  5. I know exactly what you mean. I struggle with depression, too, when I finish a project. I usually do research for the next, or on publishing generally. Or I’ll start a short story.

    But knitting sounds very therapeutic as well.

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    1. when I relax with knitting, I have a number of looms to help me along… I tired going old school, but a pearl-one-knit-two gal I am not… lol… but give me a loom and I am the queen 😛

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    2. hey… my publisher is planning a blog tour… if you are interested, or know anyone that would want to be one of the stops, just let me know… or contact Mary at gonewritingpublishing@gmail.com … with the subject ‘blog tour’ … I could also use some sage advice here… this will be my first, have no idea what will happen… lol … but I’m excited…

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  6. I know what you went through all too well. I’m just getting out of a funk like that myself. What got me out was finding several wonderful painting tutorials on youtube. Painting allowed me to clear my mind of all those little gremlins that make a writer feel like they’re not good enough and why bother. Love the post!

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    1. hey… my publisher is planning a blog tour… if you are interested, or know anyone that would want to be one of the stops, just let me know… or contact Mary at gonewritingpublishing@gmail.com … with the subject ‘blog tour’ … I could also use some sage advice here… this will be my first, have no idea what will happen… lol … but I’m excited…

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  7. I could be you. I totally empathize with what you have been through. This is so me: “Ideas that I would use to set the landscape of my dreams as I feel asleep” Lots of that is where my writing begins. When a novel is done, I continue it in my head. Sad but true.

    Keep on writing and creating!

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  8. i have had my ups and downs thanks to reaching the end of a book length manuscript and/or a rejection or lousy review on Amazon but I’m usually thinking of the next story before i finish the one I’m working on and it is all I can do to keep myself on track and not jump from one unfinished ship to the next. And after I finish a rough draft, I have to force myself to revise and edit before I turn the work over to my editor. I don’t want to revise and edit. I want to dive headfirst into the next story that’s already boiling inside my head.

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    1. soooo true… edits are evil… lol… I put mine off so long that I now have four more stories and a bunch of short/or novella to edit… I am drowning in edit 😛 happy wordage

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        1. hey… my publisher is planning a blog tour… if you are interested, or know anyone that would want to be one of the stops, just let me know… or contact Mary at gonewritingpublishing@gmail.com … with the subject ‘blog tour’ … I could also use some sage advice here… this will be my first, have no idea what will happen… lol … but I’m excited…

          Like

  9. Hi,
    I can relate to what you wrote in your tagline about a writer’s voice and why it needs to be expressed.
    I’m Janice from Reflections. You visited my site this week. I’m glad you liked my Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. I’m sorry I am vacationing and wasn’t there to greet you. Thank you anyway for the visit. I’ll be posting again soon.
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I get the depression kicking in when have decided I am done editing. The characters I have lived with are gone. Moved on with their lives. I miss their wit, the stories they tried to tell me and I attempted to chronicle their adventures, horrors, loves, heartbreaks and spilled drinks. (Note: none smoke as of yet, and there have been hundreds) I miss their company. And now they sit in a corner, on deck as it were, ready to go online at ebook houses.

    I miss the focus and I am lost for — this time around, longer than usual– a period of time.

    But now I am making my way back to the keyboard, I can hear the hearts and voices, becoming a chorus once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gaaa, the dreaded writers depression. It’s very real and I have eaten myself into many a stupor when I’ve felt that way. It is slightly different for me because I don’t have to query and wait to try to find an agent. I am purely responsible for everything I do, from writing to publishing so it’s not the rejection, however polite, that slams me – it’s the fear that I’m messing it all up, that my beautiful readers are going to read my follw up book and say….whaaaat? I guess what I’m trying to say is that this kind of depression comes in many forms. I had a severe bout of it lately and my CP’s (who I met through a pitch competition) pulled me from the floor, dusted me off and told me to write. It’s not a magical over night thing, that you can go from being blue to gold, but the gold is always on the horizon waiting. No matter how much we stumble, we do get back up. The trick is having other people that will encourage and also knowing deep down that you DO have what it takes and you WILL be okay. Your mother obviously did a wonderful job providing you with support and encouragement. Yay for the happy ending!

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    1. My first big hurtle is to say there is a problem out loud, ‘hello my name is Tracey and …’ Like you said. It isn’t something that can be fixed magically. But for me, sharing what is going on inside my head allows me to start to move forward (with loving parental pushes 😛 ) happy wordage

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