I would like to apologize for the late blog post.
It’s been a rough week for the writer in me. I had originally planned to do a blog on the importance of fleshed out and likeable characters (a topic I can rant about, at length, at any moment), but I think what I REALLY need to write about is just how impossible it was for me to write this week.
It wasn’t a lack of inspiration, I had plenty of that, it was my headspace. I had fallen into a funk. I just couldn’t muster up the desire to write anything, not my script, not a short story, not my blog, not anything.
I tried to use my usual inspiring methods but when I found myself with the perfect opportunity and privacy to write (to quote Robert Heinlein, who is a big inspiration for me: "Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.")
I couldn’t muster up the desire to, which is alarming because I LOVE to write.
There was something certainly wrong, but I couldn’t place my finger on it.
As my deadline for the blog inched closer and closer I started to panic, then the deadline passed and this defeated failure hung over my head. The one of two things (the other is making movies) that I love to do, and can see myself doing professionally, I couldn’t bring myself to accomplish.
I have to admit to you that I’m very much forcing myself to write this as I type and listen to Alkaline Trio.
So what is up with me? I ask myself.
I do have a few mental health issues; depression, anxiety, and a lack of self-worth among them (common in writers and artists by the way), but I have been seeing a new therapist (who is AMAZING) for the past month and have been feeling a bit better.
So why the cloud?
I started to approach the situation like a detective and put together a few things. First of all, it’s March, and a very traumatic event happened in my childhood in March. While I can sometimes forget it completely, my subconscious never does and once I realized this, I could feel it lurking there triggering my mental health problems.
I’m also not sleeping regularly.
Though that is not unusual for me since my sleeping patterns have always been in constant flux all my life, it’s a little worse. I’m going from being active at day, then night, then day. I’m sleeping four hours one day/night, twelve hours the next, and I don’t have easy access to my usual coping mechanisms.
Also a lot of my support net, whether they realize it or not, keep inferring that since I started seeing a therapist, I shouldn’t need my coping mechanisms anymore… but it doesn’t quite work like that.
“What does this have to do with writing?”
You are probably asking right now. Well it’s a human problem and writing is quite possibly one of the most humanizing things we do. See I was putting a lot of stress and grief on myself for being human and having human problems as opposed to being a machine that just turns out word count goals every day without a care in the world, perhaps you can see the folly in that.
I think it’s important to remind ourselves that writing extracts from our souls and if our soul is in a state of repair, its detrimental to try and take more than you have just to keep up with writing goals (or any form of art and creation).
In short: It’s okay if you need to step away from creation for a while. You may feel pressured to reach a daily goal or to meet a deadline, but if the well you are drawing from is being drained by something else then you need to plug that leak before moving forward. IT’S IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, more important than cranking out words like Stephen King on cocaine.
If anyone is putting pressure on you to drain the well, then they are not looking out for your best interests. Those kinds of people are toxic.
If you are the one putting pressure on yourself, -SLAP!- Snap out of it! It’s okay to need to shut down for maintenance. In fact its more important than you can possibly imagine!
Hopefully this fog of mind will lift itself and I can get to writing that blog on character like I REALLY want to (not to mention getting back to finishing SILENT RAGE).
Until next time, take care of yourselves.
D. S. Warren