I’m having troubles with the internet today, specifically my broadband connection simply stopped and I’ve had very little success with the service provider so I still don’t know what’s wrong. So I’m using a mobile wifi device which I’ve used before, but I’m having connection problems with that too – at least I am on my computer – so this blog post is being written in word and I’ll copy/paste it into the blog tomorrow I hope.
It’s exasperating and annoying, and it has driven me just that little bit lower than I already was. That black hole is waiting to suck me in and I’m partway there. Depression, it’s something that never exactly goes away. It’s always waiting in the wings to seize on any reason to envelop the sufferer in a black cloud. The cloud is heavy, hard to carry around and makes the sufferer exhausted. It’s difficult to do anything when you’re depressed, it takes almost all of the energy and leaves only enough to put on the mask of capability each day. There’s little left to actually achieve anything.
So why am I depressed? Sometimes it doesn’t take a reason, sometimes the trigger is a relatively minor thing. This time I suspect it’s because I’ve almost finished procrastinating about the book and will soon be sending it to publishers and agents. I’ve done the first edit, and I’ve made a (valid) decision to change something about one of the characters that I will have to make sure is changed right through the book. Once that’s done I won’t have any reason not to send it to my sister for her eagle eye to go over it. I’ll be writing the dreaded synopsis and then Zora’s Dawn will be ready to go out there.
That’s what’s causing it of course, not exactly sending it off but the ‘what ifs’. Not the positive ones, the ones that make me imagine being able to afford to live and perhaps living in a place where everything actually works. No it’s the other side of the coin, the fear of failure. Because if this book fails I don’t know what to do, how to make a living. This book is what I’ve been putting all my hopes into and if it fails….
Now if I was on an upswing, I’d be reminding myself that I can go the self publish road if necessary and I’ve learned a lot about that from the little books I’ve got out there (which by the way do sell, admittedly not many and not enough to make much money, but they do sell consistently). I’d be reminding myself that I haven’t even sent the book off yet, and I’d be giving myself a pep talk on my writing ability and generally lifting myself up.
But I’m not on an upswing, and I can’t, not right now, lift myself up. I’m scared, terrified that this will fail, and worried about what I will do if I fail. Depression loves fear, it feeds off it and grows bigger and bigger. And now it’s this dense black cloud that has descended on me so heavily that I don’t know how to throw it off. I will of course, in time. I always do. But until I do it’s a struggle to get through every day, a struggle to accomplish anything. Editing has been so hard, and I dithered about the change I’m going to make, not wanting to make the effort. But I really need to do it; now that I’ve reimagined this part of this character I’ve realised that it will work much better in future books in the series.
So for now I’m focusing on making this change to the book, focusing on the synopsis and trying really really hard to not think about the future. Depression, it loves you to look at the future and tell you there is not one, not for you. It loves to tell you that there is nothing for you so stop striving, stop trying, stop dreaming, stop hoping, stop being positive. There’s not point to it. That’s depression, a real party killer!
Now I know my mother reads this blog, so mum don’t worry. I’ve been down this road many times and I always find my way back and I will this time too. I just need a bit of time to work through it. And to the rest of you, same same. I will be back with a new blog soon and it will be much more upbeat, promise. Looking on the bright side, there is a silver lining to this depression; it’s great writing fodder. My main character will be going through it in the second book of the series. Not because I am but because of what she witnesses.
Do I suffer from depression because I am a writer? Do all artistic types have this personality glitch? Do we create because of this, or does this come with the creative package? I really don’t know. I’ve always had this black cloud. I used to try to explain it to family when I was younger and that was the best way I could think of to put it. My black cloud descends on me without warning and darkens the colour of my thoughts and makes the outside world seem frightening. When it lifts the world is brighter and I am lighter.
I will get through this, I promise.