Monday, July 16, 2012

A Bad Day

There will be bad days as writer, just like there are bad days in anything else. I just had one, and I started not to write this post because I recognized the symptoms in my own behavior. Sometimes, the day is cloudy, and my mood is gray. You know how that is.

I received no replies to a couple of blog posts I enjoyed writing - a disappointment. I received no new book reviews. A nonfiction project isn't flowing. My main beta reader is on a month-long vacation.  My agent is out of touch as is my editor, so of course I wonder if I've done something wrong or if they're just busy. I'm a fixer, so when situations are out of my hands, I am not a happy camper. Proactive is my middle name. Patience . . . not so much.

I'd rather curl up with a book and an ice cream cone, then crawl into bed early

On these days, I know better than to tackle something that takes much creative energy. I'm overly tired, and I'd rather curl up with a book and an ice cream cone, then crawl into bed early (pre-two AM).


On those days I do not want to write . . . anything. Why risk inserting those pitiful feelings into my prose? But frankly, I need to write, even a little bit. It's during these moments that I teach myself to buckle down and keep going. Because if I don't stay busy, the "what-ifs" haunt me. I can over-think something to death!

What if my book isn't selling as well as the editor wishes?
What if my agent isn't happy with my performance and is afraid to tell me?
What if my second book isn't as well received as my first?
What if readers are tired of my editorials in FundsforWriters?
What if I can't find that twist at the end of book three?
What if I'm not the writer I think I am?
What if I'm a fraud?

Silliness. I know. But I'm letting you know that everyone . . . every last single one of us . . . has one of those days. And it's normal. It's okay. Write a few words to prove that nothing will stop you from writing (you'll appreciate yourself in the morning if you do), then go get your book and ice cream. Be gentle to yourself on those days . . . after you've put a few words on paper. Prove that nothing gets in the way of you and your writing. Even yourself.

Enjoy this little video . . . especially if you've had a hard day.  *smile*



18 comments:

Sioux said...

Hope--Those occasional days ARE unavoidable, aren't they.

Listening to Cee Lo Green's song (the original, not the PC version) sometimes gets me back into the ring and ready to fight.

Yesterday my critique group went to one of our member's vactation home for the day. Eating too much, swimming in the lake, laughing way too much, eating even more...it was loud (at times) we were bawdy (most of the time) but it was also heartwarming (and heartburn-causing) and rejuvenating.

Chocolate does it for me more than ice cream. How about chocolate ice cream? ;)

Thanks, Hope, for the reminder about something I know all too well.

Elizabeth Boyce said...

This is a great affirmation that these days happen to us all, and it's ok to experience them--just don't let them keep us down.

Monday morning and the sun is shining. Here's to a new week and a fresh start.

ConnieReadBurris said...

Wish I would have left a comment before now!

Read & SAVED all your recent posts because you shared a wealth of information from Part 1 - Dialect through Part 7 - Etiquette and Nuances. I'm coming to writing late in life, but God has given me a great story to write and friends insist I can do it based on some Caring Bridge posts I wrote in 2009.

I don't comment often. Your post today points out the importance of all of us finding our voice. Thank you for leading the way.

BECKY said...

Hope, I'm so glad you posted this, because I'm a lot like you. I'm also a "fixer" and wonder what's wrong when I don't hear from people when I think I should. I hope writing about it and posting it has already helped your mood! I loved the little video! I watched the entire thing. Thanks for sharing that with us, too! Hugs...

Sarah Schlosser said...

Hope, thank you for this post...and the video. Both reminded me that it's okay to have some downtime...gives me a chance to learn nurturing my own creativity and nurturing myself.

Hope Clark said...

Yep, it's ok for those down days as long as they are occasional. I'm perky today, even with the thunder outside. Tackling a new project!!!

Thanks, y'all.

sharidragovich said...

Thank you, Hope, for this post. I just received a rejection from a literary magazine I submitted to several months ago - I had already assumed the answer was 'no' and had moved on. Then they emailed an official 'no' which brought up all those dumb feelings of rejection and lack of talent that I had to shake. Writing this afternoon hard, but at least I wrote. Your honesty and openness are much appreciated!

themusingwell said...

Hope,
Bad days happen to us all and while I hope this is just a rare crappy Monday for you (as they tend to be sometimes), at least you know you're not alone! My downer day was Saturday, having just returned from a writer's workshop that filled my head with hope and dreams and then...I came home to piles of laundry and a big dose of reality! Ouch! Hang in there...

Hope Clark said...

Actually my bad day was Saturday, when I wrote this blog post. I'm good now. But I understand about conferences. You can get so hyped, and you lose part of that coming down to earth. It's key to snag some and hold onto it.

Wapiti Wisdom said...

Hope,
We Shawnee have a tradition that when our life is as the depths of the cave, dark and foreboding, kneel by the water and look at our shadow upon it's surface. as we concentrate in that shape soon our nose, mouth and eyes appear.

Look deep into your eye's reflection and see the light within. That is the glow that we share freely with others to bring them light. When we do this, we are reconnecting with our Center... making our Circle complete.

The light of Creation burns within us, even in the darkest cave. We have but to open ourselves to it to be made whole again. For that Light is what our Creator caused to make us and keep us... until it is returned to it's Source. As your light shines on others, so can it be your Guide also.

All that said, pity parties are OK, for a few minutes. Your PP time is up, you have work to do... gitterdone!

Joy said...

Hope,
Thank you for this post. It has helped me more than you can know.
Today is one of those days for me. I finally heard back from the editor who had my manuscript for over three months. I thought my story was perfect for their press, and after all of my patient waiting, I got the letter that said, "We like it a lot but the market is currently over saturated."
Now I have to start over trying to find the right publisher for my manuscript, and I'll look over my manuscript to see if it needs changes. Ah,.... but in the meantime I'm heading for the ice cream cone.
Thank you for your help.

The Sprouting Acorn said...

Great post, Hope.... loved the little video, too. Thanks for sharing.
lf

Lisa McManus Lange said...

Much needed post - perfect timing! Received a rejection yesterday, and this was much welcomed/needed. Rest assured that even if you get no comments sometimes, you are always being read (although I know how much gettng comments can be rewarding:) Take care, and thank you for all you do.
Lisa McManus Lange
www.lisamcmanuslange.blogspot.com

Rose said...

On those days, I read my favorite book of all time, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

It begins, "I went to sleep with gum in my mouth, and now there's gum in my hair."

Alexander's day is one calamity after another ending with, "The cat wants to sleep with Anthony, not with me."

He wants to move to Australia to get away from it all, but at the end, he has this reminder, "My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia."

quietspirit said...

Hope: Life is life. We all have bad days. Raising a child can give us a lot of them. Being retired and watching our funds dwindle does give us bad days. Working in ministry groups causes us to have bad days. These are just some of the ones I have experienced. We have to learn to take them as they come.

Mary Ellen Carmody said...

Hoping you are having a better day.

annebingham said...

I found this 'bad day' post quite encouraging, Hope. It's good to know I'm not the only one this happens to! I usually blame bad days on either hormones or pollen, but lately there's nothing like a good low pressure system to make me want to crawl under the covers for about a week.

Joan Ellen Gage said...

What great words and wonderful video. I could watch this every day--and may!