Life is a rollercoaster: one moment you’re soaring with elation and the next moment you’re hurking up your guts.
Life has been very rollercoastery for me of late – roaring up the incline with sparkly new ideas for my WIP, and then plummeting down in despair as I realise I don’t have the physical or emotional resources to do it justice (or do it at all) while I’m working full time at the DDJ.
At least this week, and when you’re tired and stressed and over-emotional, what other week is there?
At times like this, a sturdy support structure is essential. (Rollercoaster without supports? BAD.) Enter the Caped Gooseberry, my personal live-in hero. (Silhouette has been edited to protect his identity.)
Progress is slow – very slow – and emotional outbreaks of self-doubt, -disdain and -despair still occur. But little by little I keep moving. I am not writing 2,500 words a week. Maybe I will again in time, but right now 500 a week would be heartening. I’m holding my goals lightly.
This is also an important time to read encouraging and revitalising advice. Kristen Lamb is one of my favourites for a boost when I’m depressed about my lack of progress, combining as she does reassurance and a swift kick in the pants.
Highlights for me include Stop Running Away (why do I do that??), Stop Worrying, Stop Thinking It Should Be Easier (but why is it so hard?), Stop Deprioritizing Your Wordsmithy (closely related to Stop Running Away) and of course Stop the Moping, Whining, Blaming, Lamenting and Being Afraid.
I don’t know that I agree with Wendig about Stop Dreaming, but at least I am sufficiently in touch with reality (I visit alternate weekends) not to start “Epic 23-book fantasy cycles!”
So if the contents of your peritoneum are the only thing moving upward as the rest of your life shoots down, take courage. You aren’t the only one in the rollercoaster car. Tighten your grip, scream if it helps, and hold on til the track turns upward.