As many of you know, I suffer from depression. It’s nothing too serious. It’s just one of those things that makes me who I am. It could be a beautiful spring day, the sun shining, birds singing, the leaves all green and waving in the warm gentle breezes—and I still have a tendency to feel down. That’s who I am. I’m an Eeyore.
This time of year is particularly difficult for me. The school year just ended. I’m coming off the stress of grading hundreds of finals and papers . . . and students are complaining because they only got an “A-.”
However, I’m a bit down today for another reason. You see, I just finished the second draft of my third manuscript (tentatively titled, Blood in Snow).
This is problematic for a couple reasons.
First, Blood in Snow is the last of the trilogy that Diversion Books has contracted me to write. I don’t know if they’ll have me write anything else. So it’s a bit of an end for some characters that I’ve grown to love. In a strange way, I feel as if there’s been a death. Friends are gone and I’m never going to see them again.
Second, the end of the second draft is a kind of milestone for me when I write. The first draft is all helter skelter—paragraphs incomplete, dialogue long and rambling, conflicting details in the plot—it’s just a skeleton of the actual story.
During the second draft, I flesh the skeleton out. I fix the holes in the plot, complete the fragmented sentences, and get things in better order. I then set the manuscript aside for a few months, letting it germinate, so to speak, before I polish it a couple more times.
There in rises the problem . . . I don’t have anything to do.
Oh, I’m sure I should start another manuscript. Maybe I could even begin working on a fourth book in the series and hope that the first three sell well enough for the publisher to buy it.
I should. . .
But I can’t.
My heart just isn’t in it. I don’t know why. I’m just not in that mindset. I’m in a funk and I’m having difficulty getting out.
Deep hole filled with fuzzy darkness . . .
I suppose that I just need time to “mourn” the passing of my characters and the completion of my contractual obligations to Diversion Books.
Maybe I need another “hobby”/”compulsion” on which I could perseverate.
Maybe I should see this point as a success and be happy! After all, I set out to do something I’ve always dreamed about doing…and I did it!! What’s more, many of you seem to like my little stories.
But I can’t. I’m an Eeyore and seeing the dim side of the bright lining is what being an Eeyore is all about.
“Oh, bother . . .”
I suppose if I stare at my beloved computer screen long enough, the radioactive glow will eventually warm my heart…and I’ll start writing again. Only time will tell.
Do any of you have this issue? Do you feel really down after you complete a manuscript? What do you do to pull yourself out of it?