One of those Downer Days.
Everyone has those days where they just can't seem to get it together. Between my cat knocking all of my papers off my desk repeatedly to the car, stalling out while we were on the road, today has been one of those days. Now I'm sitting in front of my computer, trying to force myself to write and despite my usual cheer, I have to admit, it's not a walk in the park. It's more like a jog through a swamp. Hot, sticky, uncomfortable, and I'm pretty sure the bugs are going to eat me alive. If the bugs are metaphors for stress. Yeah.
Anyway, I thought I'd share with you guys what I do on days like these. It's not easy being a writer. I'm sure the struggles are different when you're established, but while you're trying to get your foot in the door, you have to have an incredibly tough skin. Some people have it. Others don't. There are periods of time where you're so high on cloud nine you're sure someone is going to see you and proclaim you the next Superman. Then there are those days where you just want to crawl into bed and hug your pillow for hours.
I'm convinced that true heartbreak is thinking, knowing that something you've written is amazing, but not being able to find a company or agent willing to see your potential. It's hard to walk around puffed up like a rooster because you're positive what you've submitted is going to get picked up. Why wouldn't it? Your story is solid, your characters are well rounded, your voice is engaging, if not witty...what could be wrong with that? Only to find, four weeks later, that you don't have the "right" voice, or the story just "isn't for us."
It's disheartening to say the least, and it's easy to get into a slump. That's what I'm calling it. It's not really writer's block. It's just this depressive slump where you're not seeing any outcome for your hard work and you wonder if you ever will.
To battle the slump, I do a number of things. First off, if you find yourself staring at your screen for three hours with nothing coming...stop. Take a break, read a book (an important part of writing anyway), and just breathe. Go outside, take a jog, just do something to get your mind off of it for a little while. You can't expect to reset if you never give yourself time away from your frustrations.
If that doesn't work, I usually have a cup of tea. I know, tea, right? But it's always had a calming affect on me. I go outside, take my cup of tea, and let my mind wander for a little while. I don't think about work, I don't stress over what I've done wrong. I give it a rest. One of the hardest things about writing for me is that it never turns off. When I dream, I dream of my characters and how to make them better fleshed out. When I go to the store, I wonder what kind of food they'd eat and how that influences their tastes and smells. My work is never far from my mind, which isn't necessarily a good or bad thing. It's just a thing and need to be regulated at times.
My last bit of advice kind of depends on the kind of person you are. I'm a Cancer, and if you read into horoscopes, this makes perfect sense to you. If not...well, I'm an emotional girl. So, my last bit of advice is to cry. Just find yourself a nice place and let it out. Holding in all of your frustration and sadness isn't helping you so you might as give yourself some release.
So there you have it! You can do those things, or you can talk to a friend. Or write a blog! It appears to have helped me, at the very least. But remember, nothing worth having is ever easy. This is an uphill battle, but if you want it bad enough, all the stumbling and scrapes will be worth it. Absolutely.
Picture today is by http://zpolice.deviantart.com/
It was suggested to me that on top of adding the citation, I let the makers of the pictures I use know it's here on blog. I've reactivated my DeviantArt to do just that (LadyKahlan), but if I missed you and you do not want your awesome picture on my blog, please let me know and I will remove it immediately!)
"Original - Sad Day." Graphic. ZP zpolice. Thailand: DeviantArt, 2009. Web. 20 Sep 2011. <http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs44/f/2009/100/5/8/Original___Sad_Day_by_zpolice.jpg>.