I know. I’ve used this element before. But I keep coming back to it. Clearly I’ve not learned to pick myself back up. Or my back has become so bad I no longer can pick myself back up. But this might be confusing to some of you.
It has been months since I’ve been to the Victory – my favorite local coffee shop. I used to go there every morning to write. It was really the only way I could get anything done. By the time I was to a point where I had a shot to bounce back from losing my Aladdin, we had Ginger joining us. And she needed some stability. Fast. That was in August. Looking back, its been nearly three weeks since I’ve blogged (and that was the listing of what I’d read in January).
This morning the puppy woke me around 4am to go out. She was really excited to go out and to have breakfast. So I fed her. After finishing her food, she climbed up on the couch, dug a spot for herself under my quilt and went to sleep. And I mean SLEEP. Snoring louder than a dog that size has any business doing. So there I was with a snoring dog and no chance of getting any more shut eye.
I could have worked on edits. I could have written something new. Hell, I could have started up my audiobook or ebook for the reviews coming due this weekend. (Reviews being the one thing I have kept up on. I pushed one back due to my birthday, but that was it.) What did I do instead? I caught up on my television watching. I even watched a movie On Demand. To be fair, I’ve been missing a lot of movies since we adopted Ginger, but that’s not really a proper excuse.
The truth is there is no excuse.
Before it was being at a loss with no dog in the house. Then there was a dog who wouldn’t let me write without climbing into my lap and onto the keyboard. And now its just being out of practice. NaNoWriMo was even a stretch for me. It’s like my motivation left me and never came back. Only that gorilla? (See the notes about this blog branding if you’re confused.) That gorilla is rearing its amorous head. Which means the novel is still there, and the problem is with me.
Last night I intended to go home, make supper and do revisions on a couple of chapters to hand in to my writing group this week. With my wife working her national trade show (in California no less), Ginger and I are solo this week. I figured this would work fine. By the end of the night I hadn’t even tracked down the keyboard for my iPad. Or my Macbook Pro for that matter. I played with the dog. I fed her (and let her taste test my dinner). We watched television together.
Before she left, my wife was talking about how she missed Aladdin still. How she was feeling like he was still there. I’m feeling like Carol from this past week’s episode of the Walking Dead. Talking to Daryl out in the woods, she kissed him in a very motherly sort of way telling him to let the emotions happen. Of course she did this right after insinuating that she couldn’t allow herself to feel. Which is where I think I am right now, but at the same time it is likely what has me stoppered up. Like that first year I tried to complete NaNoWriMo and wound up driving family members out to Pennsylvania for an uncle’s funeral. Only this time the feeling has held out for months.
I have multiple manuscripts sitting in my Storyist folders. New this year is an account I have set to deal with editing and art payments just like a real indy publisher. And yet I can’t get back in the swing of things. At the heart of it though, it is all me. I’ve rarely suffered from any depression, and I don’t have it the way some of my friends do. Which is possibly why it was so easy for this one to sneak up on me.
In a memoir style short story I wrote about my Sensei teaching me that to overcome an opponent, even a fear, you had to name it. You can’t defeat something without knowing the measure of it and how can you know its measure if you haven’t identified the thing? Dragging it (as fluid and minor of a depression as it is) out into the open is me giving a name to it. Looking it in the figurative eye and acknowledging it.
For those friends fighting the real thing, the beast that Ethan Hawke recently called “the demon in the woods,” I have a lot of respect for the fight you give every day.
For everyone, I’m calling myself out to keep me honest. I will be releasing my writing this year. Keep an eye out for it. I will set some real deadlines to keep my butt in the chair soon. I do still have a convention to plan…