So I’ve been working on a book this year. By this point I was hoping to be mostly done with the revision draft, with the goal of getting to the end of it by July.
That’s not even close to happening.
Depression sucks. My thoughts are simultaneously heavy and light – leaden enough to keep me from a more nimble mindset in which I can free-associate in order to put the right words down; and substanceless enough that what focus I can manage is easily lost to distraction.
I’m trying. And I am getting better. I’ve managed to crawl out of the gravity well of despair and am now sitting listlessly at the edge, unable to pull my feet out of the tepid water. I’ve been in this place before. Lots of times. I hate it even more than the days spent crying in bed because I feel like I SHOULD be able to do normal things again – laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, writing, reading – but as soon as I sit down to do them, I have to wrestle with the lethargy. It’s exhausting. So I close my laptop, or my book, or let the dishes pile up, or run out of underwear and just sit and rewatch three seasons of Buffy in less than a week. I tell myself tomorrow will be better, but it’s always the same.
Even so, I remain optimistic simply because I HAVE gone through this so many times before. I know I’ll get there eventually, but for now I’m still stuck while everything continues to shift and recalibrate and I continue to drain the poison from my thoughts with the help of my friends and therapist.
I can go out with friends and laugh and joke. I can go to work and be productive and make chit chat with my coworkers. I can come home and go running or to yoga. But as soon as the quiet comes, I am, once again, destroyed.
I can’t fucking wait until I’m myself again. It’ll just take more time and patience. So I’m gonna go bang my head against the keyboard for a bit and pretend like I don’t have four more seasons of Buffy burning a hole in my motivation. I will finish this book this year. I promised myself that much.
Call someone you love and tell them that much. They might need it.
Hang in there, Kelly. I know it might seem strange to remind yourself that you have talent, but you do. And there are people out there who are looking forward to reading your work. Remember that too. Just take it day by day. It sounds too simple, but sometimes that’s all you can do. Can’t wait to check out your next published story. Keep it up.
Thanks, Stefan. That means a lot.
I also struggle(d) with depression (been in remission for over 2 years now) and I *also* have a goal of finishing writing a book this year. Hit me up on Facebook if you want to be accountability buddies or have any ideas we could use to help motivate each other.
What’s your book premise?