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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Why I'm Not a Happy Camper: The Dumps


I'm Not a Happy Camper: I'm in the Dumps


Lately, I have found myself NOT wanting to write! It's shocking to even type the words. Usually I can't wait to get home and feed my kids so I can open my computer and get down to business. These last few weeks I've found it harder and harder make myself open my computer. Whether it's the actual writing or the promotion, I can't seem to find the joy in any of it.

Perhaps it's a bit of depression, though I don't see the signs in my daily life. I still find joy in spending time with my kids and husband, and cuddling my dog. I wake up and I'm glad to be alive and fairly healthy for my age. But something about the act of writing has just become unpalatable. 

Anyone who knows me knows that this is a very odd occurrence for me, but it isn't the first time this has happened. When Redshift was done, I went an entire month without writing a new word. The question is: What the heck is the issue?!

After a long, hard think on the problem I've decided that I don't know what the root cause of the problem really is. I have tons of ideas for new stories. I've been outlining the next Aeon Project novel and planning my writing schedule for the year. I've decided I'm going to call this writing ennui THE DUMPS. 

The Dumps is a crappy place to be for a writer. Writing is my creative outlet. It's where I let loose my anger from the day to day, it's where I create happy endings when they're so hard to find in reality. I love my characters and the worlds I build, but I just don't feel like doing it right now. I think that's one of the saddest things I've ever said.

NOT TO WORRY! The Dumps rarely lasts too long. My brain has just had enough of the dual life of writer and well, everything else. (Wife, mother, full time day-jobber, dog/cat mom, homeowner, grocery shopper, laundress, cook and chief bottle washer) The Dumps is a wasteland that is devoid of the will to create. I blew a fuse, burned out a bulb, forgot to water that flower. But! I know how to fix the problem and that's the best part. 

Dr. Amy has prescribed for herself the following to combat The Dumps:

2 days of sleeping in over the long weekend
2+ hours of favorite music videos and music
Read 2+ books, new or old favorites
Eat chocolate
Drink Dr. Pepper
Binge Watch Netflix
RELAX

By this time next week I fully expect The Dumps to be completely cleared up and the flower should be blooming again! I look forward to the anxious, sweaty fingers that itch to hit the keys and write the books that (I hope) readers love. 

Until then, I'm signing off this blog with a wish for all readers:

May your days be filled with the smell of paperbacks and libraries. May your afternoons be spent in a reading nook, soaking up the sun. May your tea be hot and your PJs snuggly. Think of me when you open the pages of your favorite book and find your happily ever after. 

~AR

9 comments:

  1. It's hard to be in the dumps. I know from personal experience - I've had times when I can't write too. I hope you find your resilience point and move through it! I'm thinking about you!

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  2. Indeed it is, but I had a new project come to fruition and that's helped pump me up a bit!

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  3. Sometimes you just need a break to collect yourself before getting back to it. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I don't know what the answer is, but I hope it comes to me soon :-)

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  4. I've been fighting a similar case of the dumps. I like your plan for beating it, will have to try that myself. Here's to brighter writing days ahead!

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    1. Yes, I'm day one into the prescription and have binge watched Longmire all day. I ate a delicious dinner with brownies for dessert and did no work all day.

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  5. Your brain probably just needs a rest. Amazon's inability to count pages correctly had me in the dumps these last few days, so I sorted through my massive backlog and found three books I love and can't wait to publish...in 2019. All I did for the last two days is listen to David reading my those stories. It was so much fun. Today, I will return to work on Titan.

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  6. It's been a tough 6 months for me as an author, I'm not where I'd like to be with sales and I think I let that overwhelm the joy of writing the words. I'll regain it, and get back to work forthwith!

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  7. I hear this loud and clear. The Dumps, or as I like to call it Life Overload, stinks. My prescription also includes Netflix binge-watching, listening to books, organizing my workspace (be careful--that's also an avoidance technique), gardening, camping away from everyone--family most especially--because introverts need alone. I'm totally drained from all the pulling at my attention and brain space (including my beloved writing) and need to "Refill the well".

    Im planning such for the end of the month. One week away... in my private holiday space with just my books, a pool, and my hiking sticks.

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