I’ll admit, I’ve been in a bit of a slump.
There are a lot of things going on my life right now. Kids. Parent. Work. Outside influences. More outside influences. Even more outside influences.
I’m normally a pretty upbeat person, able to handle any situation with aplomb, but every person has a top level of stress that he or she can optimally handle. After two and a half months of piling on and more piling on, my creative juices trickled and then shut down completely.
Yes, I’m depressed. I liken depression to an emotional fetal position. Your brain curls up and stops working.
I’m not only fairly upbeat, I’m smart. I went to the doctor. I have medication. I purchased a light box for the SAD that began two months early because of the horrible summer weather we’ve had. I force myself to run/walk on my incline trainer every day.
But creativity… it still wasn’t forthcoming.
This is when I realized the writing won’t get done until I plunk my behind in a chair (or resume carrying my notebook, or keep a pen in the car) and begin doing it again.
Action is the only means by which to accomplish your goals.
I might be minorly depressed, but I still have goals.
So… I signed up for another writing course, starting in October. If forced to complete tasks on a schedule, well, I can do that. I also applied for an authors’ meet and greet at a local chi-chi store, for October 26. I was amazed (and excited!) to be chosen as one of the participants. (Finding Cadence might not be a perfect work of art, but it’s mine, and I’m proud of it.)
In the meantime, I’m using the J. Peterman catalog as a writing prompt. If you’re familiar with the catalog, which was made popular by the TV show Seinfeld, it sells trendy clothing and accessories (think high-end Banana Republic). The catalog features catchy titles, and the first few sentences are usually not about the clothing. Instead, the short paragraphs might refer to a romantic rendezvous in Toulouse or chance meetings with a fetching red-head whose mane glistens in a harvest sunset. This catalog is evocative. Dreamy. I’ve never purchased anything from them, but love the catalog for its literary value.
So my current mini-writing assignment is to take each title in the catalog and write my own scene. Should take less than ten minutes.
The takeaway from my sad plight is to remember this: You have to ACT. Make a move, any move. Hibernation isn’t going to solve anything. Taking that first positive step might not be a joyous one, but it’s a step in the right direction.
After all, you can’t claim to be a writer until you write.