Getting Back on the Horse

Dear Reader,

Last week you’ll remember that I announced unplugging to help eliminate stress in my life. Things were getting bad, and with my seasonal affective disorder on top of everything, I was feeling super low, unmotivated, and irritated that I felt that way. I worked from home on Friday both because my car was semi-blocked in by the snowplow and because I didn’t want to leave my bed. It wasn’t until I texted my guy Sweets around noon that I hadn’t left bed yet and I felt crummy about it that I realized what a pathetic waste of space I was being.

And I was tired of it. For about a month, now, I’ve been whinging about how I can’t write but want to, I feel crummy but am afraid to join a gym, etc. Wah-WAH woe is me life is hard what do I do?

I climbed out of bed and took a much-needed shower. I grabbed my computer and took Sweets’ advice to work at a bookstore or coffee shop instead. I finished the work day at Borders because I could walk to it. I walked back to my apartment, dug out my car, and drove to Barnes and Noble for some enforced writing. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to leave B&N until I had written 750 words. This was a big deal because I’m scheduled every Friday night to be at the ceramics studio… that’s $230 telling me I need to be in the studio on time to make the most of it.

Reader, I wrote over 900 words in half an hour.

They were crap. As soon as I glanced over it, I knew they were crap. My mood was plummeting because they were complete and total crap. But I left them, went to the ceramics studio, and had dinner with my friend Adrienne in the desperate hope she would smack some sense into me. On Saturday, the sun was shining, which is always a good sign. I decided I had to move.

An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest is dead.

After running around town doing errands, a skype date with some graduate school friends who helped me work through some things, and a pep talk from Sweets, I wound up at Panera drinking a lovely chai latte and nom-nom-ing on french onion soup. I pulled out my laptop and wrote over 1000 words to replace the 900 from Friday evening. And this time, they weren’t bad. They weren’t great, but they weren’t bad.

Yesterday, I met Jen Lane, a fellow local author, at a different Panera, and just being around another writer working on her own project inspired another 830 words. Don’t let these numbers fool you: the words are not flowing. It is a painful process. But at least I’m making progress. I know I said I wanted to write 750 words a day, have an outline for Catching the Rose, and be completed with Love or Lack Thereof by this point. But last week, six different people told me I need to chill the freak out and rest on my laurels a bit. I just published a book in October. No one expects another book so quickly. No one but me, that is.

So even though I am still a part of Round of Words in 80 Days, I need to chill out. Any writing at this point is better than none. I need to be okay if I have to postpone the release of Love or Lack Thereof again, since the words I do have are for the rewrite of Catching the Rose.

Thanks for supporting me last week when I was getting to my really low point. I really appreciated the sentiment. Don’t forget to see how other ROW80 participants are doing.


10 thoughts on “Getting Back on the Horse

  1. Don't be too hard on yourself. You should be really proud of yourself for taking charge of your life and doing positive changes. Before you know it you're writing will flow and everything will feel better.


  2. You know, SAD in MN can get pretty vicious (well, for my hubby. I actually like winter. Most of my family therefore tells me to go to hell at least once a week!) I know it can suck the wind right out of your sails. Maybe on your low days you can seek out the good in it – does that french onion soup taste as good in July? 😉 I think your recovery was pretty impressive, and really motivating too! I think all writers set a higher bar after each success, so you shouldn't get too down about realizing your intensity worked you over a bit. You got back in action and re-set your focus. I'm not sure you can ask for more.

    Thanks for your post, see you on Sunday 🙂


    1. The worst part about SAD is how difficult it can be sometimes to find the good in the moment. Like… it takes energy! Anyway, I go into slumps and then wake up out of them… it depends on how long they go. I felt like this was kind of a month of haziness… I was here, but not entirely here, except for when I visited Sweets for a day. So we'll see what exercise does to my mood and health… and then we'll start thinking about writing. 🙂


  3. I'm still working on my debut and when I saw all this indie stuff happening, I was all, "I've got to get this book out NOW!". Readers and ebooks aren't going to disappear while I write my book. I have to work it around my life and it'll be ready when it's ready.

    Glad to hear you're writing again and are okay with going at your own pace.


    1. Oh my goodness excellent point! You're right, readers and books aren't going to disappear. So I should stop worrying about them and continue focusing on what is right for me. Thanks for the supportive comment.


  4. I'm so glad you got yourself out of the dumps. I've let myself get down like that and the longer you stay down, the harder it is to get back up. Crap words are better than no words and you have to start somewhere so embrace the crap, the okay and the spectacular, they're all part and parcel of being a writer. Stay well!


    1. Yes, oh yes. The longer you're down there, the less likely it is that you're going to look up to see anything, let alone that you've gotten as low as you have.

      Doing my best to take care of myself. 🙂 Thank you!


  5. Hang in there, Belinda!

    Never forget: you can fix anything in editing except an empty page. Anything. 900 terrible words are 900 words better than 0, and even the best writers have lousy days.

    It's been a rough week all around, but it's really good to hear that you're getting yourself in motion. It inspires the rest of us to keep ourselves moving too. At the end of the day, writers are all in this together, even though we walk the road alone. We're in one profession (and calling) that doesn't require competition, and for that we can all be grateful!

    Hang in there! We're out here lurking and supporting you, even from afar.


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