Wow! What a summer it’s been! I was a presenter in the Jacksonville Public Library’s summer reading program, won a national writing award, was published in two literary journals and made my local newspaper twice—the second time, the front page no less. I’ve been a busy girl and honored by the accolades. What I haven’t been much of these past few weeks is a writer.
I felt the funk that I’ve found myself mired in of late coming on the very morning after being presented with my first national award since the Presidential Physical Fitness certificate I received in gym class in 1991. Taking first place for First Chapter of a Novel in the Alabama Writers’ Conclave annual writing contest was thrilling, but I awoke the next morning at the Huntsville Marriott in the super comfy bed that I’m pretty sure is stuffed with honest-to-goodness clouds from Heaven to an unexpected visitor: depression. I’d anticipated feeling energized to finish Daddy’s Girl—for which I won the award—and motivated to continue my quest to find a publisher for The Genie Chronicles. I never imagined that I’d close my laptop for over six weeks while I concerned myself only with what the underside of my writing desk looks like.
I spent most of my free time this summer lying slug-like and despondent on my bedroom floor pretending to be exercising in case any of my children happened to wander in looking for their next serving of chicken nuggets. Couldn’t have them thinking I was drunk and passed out in my yoga pants or anything, naturally.
A killer case of writer’s block exacerbated my foul mood. Or maybe it was the depression that drained me of my creativity faster than a pack of vampires in a blood bank. I wish that I could say that I’m over it. That I’m as happy as a lark once more and writing more than ever, but it just ain’t so. I’m making strides, though. Employing the strategy of “Fake it ‘til You Make It”, I’ve started attending the writers’ meetings I avoided all summer, absorbing the energy of other literary minds and participating in the writing prompts. My creative juices are flowing again, albeit slowly. I’m at least back to having conversations with my characters in the shower again…and I’ve returned to the blog. Hooray!
What helps you get on your feet emotionally and back to the things you love? Any tips for working through writer’s block? I’d love to hear from you.
My *ahem* NATIONAL AWARD WINNING story Daddy’s Girl can be found online at www.alalit.com as well as in Jacksonville State University’s 2011-2012 edition of Something Else.
You can also read my feature in the Jacksonville News at www.jaxnews.com.