When Life Throws you a Curveball

Warning: this isn’t a short post.

I’m currently in a writing low as of now.

As far as my WIPs are concerned, it’s in something of a doldrum from idea overload. Edits are edits, they are what they are. However, it is a bit worrisome that my blog is rather dead since I’ve been spending far too much time pinteresting, or making crude remarks elsewhere, as far as online presence is concerned. And I’ll cut right to the chase here: I’ve been really frustrated lately due to external factors, and that ultimately is the deciding factor of my mood.

I won’t converse about the causes of my distress here other than using it as a springboard to lead into how the emotional state of mind affects the creative process.

You hear countless times that writing is work. Why treat writing like it’s some hobby, if it’s something you’re really serious about? Do you have the option to skip work or school if you’re “not feeling the muse?” Of course not.

If you’re feeling depressed, do you skip work? And if you do, I doubt you can carry on like without repercussions until you get a doctor’s note – if your employer accepts such a reason.

So, like your day job, playing hooky with your writing will be a bad idea unless you treat it with responsibility, commitment, and basically, showing up.

But what do you do when depression, or a low time in this journey of life, attacks you when you least expect it? Or, in my case, while you’re riding high on a writing spree? Or, if your finances aren’t depending on your writing, what do you do when real life puts a major damper on your creativity?

Everyone has a different way of dealing with this, but the basic options would include: a) stop writing and be miserable; b) stop writing in your projects and journal your pain/sorrow; c) keep writing and suffer in silence; d) keep writing and ignore the external source of pain. You can tell me if there are more options out there; but these are the options I see in front of me whenever my mental life comes to a crashing halt. Because as emotionally stable as I’d like to project myself to be, it’s the farthest thing from the truth. If I’m happy, my writing muse is raring to go. If I’m miserable, my writing muse is hiding in a corner refusing to come out.

goaway

And I wish it weren’t so.

So what do you do when your life just isn’t cooperating with your writing? When the only thing on your mind is what’s hurting you emotionally?

There’s nothing wrong with taking a break. It could be a few days, or it could be a couple of weeks. I’ve done this before, and I know I’ll do this countless times again because my problems typically don’t go away very quickly – or at least in the foreseeable years to come. They come and they’ll go, but it’s a neverending cycle. As a writer, the doldrums of writing due to external circumstances never last forever. I’ve underwent years where I didn’t write – hell, I didn’t even think about a single story – for over two years. It upset me, but as it were, the circumstance at hand took much higher precedence than plotting a story.

Now the ability to take a hiatus from writing may differ for someone who gets paid for their writing. Because I’ll remind you that my fiction isn’t by contract. I write for fun, for personal satisfaction, to see my writing in book form one day – because that’s why I write: because I love to read. And there’s nothing more fulfilling than to see my story in tangible format. A part of my library. To be able say, “Yeah; it may suck, but I did write all that. And I’m proud of it.”

But when to take a hiatus, and when not to? It’s really up to you. Only you know your situation well enough to know what’s more important: your mental health, or your desire to write. And everyone’s desire to write is to some degree more or less than the other writer. And that’s okay. There’s no reason to compare yourself to someone you admire (or loathe). No reason at all. Because if you’re comparing yourself to another writer, then you have to ask yourself this: Are you writing for them? Or for your own pleasure?

More often than not, your “competition” is oblivious to your private struggle. They don’t even care.

dosequisbrushoff

When you begin to write for yourself, that’s where the fun begins. Because if you’re writing to score points, or be popular, or to impress… well, that’s where the trouble begins. That’s where stress comes into the picture. Because writing stories isn’t about making that A+, or one-upping your (perceived) rival, or being the next Stephen King. It’s about our own creative journeys. It’s about our self-fulfillment, and doing what makes us happy. So what if an agent rejects our story. So what if a publisher says our story doesn’t fit the times.

We write to fill our creative well. We write because we can’t help it. We write because it’s in our souls. And it’s a part of us. We can’t help it.

So when a bad time in life comes upon us, don’t despair. Our muse will never leave us. It may lay dormant for a while, awaiting our hearts to sync with its juices, but it will return. Never give up.

The artist inside never fades.

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9 responses to “When Life Throws you a Curveball

  1. *hugs*

    At least you know this is only temporary. It’s just a hit of the “pause” button, not “stop” or “rewind.” You’ll get through this and climb back into writing when you’re ready for it, in every way. And your writing pals (myself included, I hope?) will always be here for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thank you so much Sara! Of /course/ you are my writing pal! An amazing one at that ❤

      Life can be quite unforgiving, and trying to carry on through it is a struggle known to anyone from any walk of life. As a creative type, though, it's a big struggle. I want to write, but that dark cloud just hangs so low over me and I want to fight it away, but I feel helpless against it.

      But yes, thankfully, being that I've been in this storm many times before, I know the sun will shine again. It can't come fast enough though, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds nice in writing, but doing it in real life is another thing. I hope whatever you are going through passes soon 😦 I’m in a writer’s depression myself, and I pulled down all my stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      Yes, easier said than done because emotional pain doesn’t care what logic you give it, or what responsibilities you have — it’s going to attack you no matter what. The hurt I’m going through at the moment isn’t something new to me, but it doesn’t lessen the pain. I suppose, this time, I really wish I had the strength to just fight it away so that my creativity/mojo can flow freely. I can’t let that dam get too big. But at the same time, I hate repressing my feelings. I’m generally an optimistic person, so feeling like this is incredibly frustrating.

      I’m sorry to hear you’re in a writing low. I really hope that your well of creativity springs back up soon. It definitely will when your mind and heart are ready. *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry to hear about what you are going through, and I hope you feel better soon. I know what it feels like to have painful emotions attack you.They attack me all the time, but we have to do our best to overcome =)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Let yourself feel the emotions. I know, I, myself, block out the emotions which generally are the cause of me tripping up and falling flat on my face (my version of depression). I’ve since learned that it is better to feel the emotions, cry if I have to cry, rage if I feel anger. We cannot control our emotions. They are there for a reason. We accept them and let them run their course.

    These are obviously my opinions, and I would never presume to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do. When I struggle to show compassion to myself, I go watch a movie that I know will have me in tears. Once, I’m crying I can usually figure out what is actually upsetting me. Sounds super silly ^^^ but it works!!

    Hugs to you. You always have my support. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much ❤ I think I just may try that movie idea — What Dreams May Come with Robbie Williams is a winner with me for sure. We put so much effort into hiding our internal struggles, and then it gets lost within all our other stresses, and, well, you know what I mean! Thank you for your kind words *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Jessica! I nominated you for the Versatile blogger award: missceladon.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/the-versatile-blogger-award/

    Thanks for always writing such great posts and being an all-around awesome blogger!

    Like

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