Getting out of one’s funk–the answer to Wednesday’s depressing post

Somedays, I just want to roll myself in blankets with Rosie.

This past few weeks my emotions have been up and down most likely due to the stress of my last convention and getting stuck on a few scenes in The Martlet the novel I am currently working on. I left Westercon feeling great and then… hit the blues in a major way.

(Note: I am certainly not referring to real clinical depression. If you think you are clinically depressed, please see your doctor.)

So Wednesday I was feeling a little down in the dumps which quickly fell into me being pretty sure that I am the most uncreative, untalented, blah blah blah author ever. Well now it’s Saturday and I am feeling much more like myself. Here is how I got out of my funk.

1) I remind myself since my writing is good enough to get published, I am not the worst writer or the worst artist or the worst whatever.

2) I figured out what was bothering me. While something was the catalyst to my mood, that wasn’t what I was dwelling on. I was dwelling on the lack of reviews/readers for Other Systems. I began wondering why since I wrote a hard science fiction novel was I now writing The Martlet, a fantasy book about assassins. Maybe that’s a mistake. Is the Martlet storyline one which has been told before?

Now I pulled myself out of my mood before I started spiraling deeper. How?

3) I had to finish an interview to the Red Reader. She asks some fun questions including the dream cast of an Other System’s movie. I admit I spent a few hours going over IMDB picking out actors and even got Maria’s help in the silliness. Robert Downy Jr. was my choice for Cole and if you want to know the others go check out the interview!

Also she will be reviewing Other Systems probably somewhere near the end of the month.

4) I sent in Other Systems to the 7500 word challenge and got an incredible review of the first 7500 words. The Owl gave Other Systems: Characters 5/5, Setting 5/5, Plot 5/5, Grammar/Spelling 5/5, Punctuation 5/5, Structure 4/5, Potential Beyond 7500 Words 5/5

She said she “fell in love with the characters” and I was called a “world builder and a wizard with words” sniff sniff (Yep, those are happy tears.)

5) I wrote a rough draft of a short story about a fallen cherubim who lives in the Eastern side of Woodland Park with the rabbits. He steals sandwiches from picnic baskets–he likes the lunch meat and gives the veggies to the bunnies. No, I am not making this up, I actually wrote this story. It needs to rest for a day so I can re-edit it, I also need to head over to Woodland Park so I can walk the dogs and get a few technical details. It’s been a while since I’ve been there.  The point of writing the short was to get my mind off The Martlet for a very short time. I took two days of rest. Now I can get back to work.

6) I queried four more book reviewers. One accepted my query: I sent him the PDF this morning.

7) Finally my mom (who yes reads my blog) sent me an email to make sure I was okay and we’ve been talking about the next steps for the Other Systems’ universe.

My point is that when you are feeling blue and uninspired, making, forward momentum, even if it is just baby steps, will help keep you going. How do you get out a writing funk?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Since I’m about 6 months ahead of you in the process, I wish I could tell you it gets better, but after crunching the numbers I’ve estimated that I’ve literally worked 8 hours for every $.50 of income I’ve made on the book (that’s about six cents an hour), and spent on average about 4 hours of effort for every review I’ve gotten so far.

    It’s hard not to get into a funk when I feel like I am only one person trying to tackle such a big machine. Like you, though, I tell myself that if my work wasn’t good, somebody else wouldn’t have published it. Another strategy I use to pull myself out of the doldrums is to treat marketing like a NY Times crossword puzzle (I do them in ink): just keep challenging myself to find the answers.

    Reply

  2. I agree it’s a challenge.
    My husband always says its a marathon and not a sprint. I do my best to keep that in mind.

    Right now, I have another idea that I am going to be running past our acquisitions editor. I’ll send you a private email about it later today.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Candace Knoebel on July 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I haven’t even made it to the published status yet and I already feel the fear and self-doubt coiling within. I keep tyring to prepare myself for what’s to come whether good or bad. I think as an author, we all have those moments though, when you worry if you’re really good enough. There are days where I’m like, who am I kidding? Then I try to remember that not too long ago all I wanted was this-a chance at being published. It’s nice to hear that I’m not alone in my emotions and hopefully in the near future I can join you in the struggle to self-market.

    Also, Other Systems did NOT suck! You built a whole world and it was believable. Not everyone can do that. The good reviews you are getting are only the beginning. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Hey Candace,

    Thanks, most days I know Other Systems doesn’t suck, but for me the self doubt at least doubled after I was published! Here is a bit of advice (that you won’t take anymore than I do…)

    Do not watch your Amazon numbers rise and fall. They go up and down and up and down.

    While most people try to be encouraging, you are going to get someone who says something mean. Try not to let it get to you–especially because 9 times out of 10 then you will discover that person hasn’t even READ your book.

    And once you figure out how to do those things–let me in on how you do it!

    Reply

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