Friday, December 13, 2013
The Manic Depressive Life of a Writer
Up, down, up, down, sideways and back down again. It might be a rejection, it might be a critique. It might be a comment. Or a story that just doesn't work. Or one that does. A publisher who says yes. A robot who says no. I find this writing life to be like a crazy, wild roller coaster.
Up there is a photo of some of my published books. One would think I could look at those and think- okay, I've accomplished a lot. I'm not a complete hack. I should be happy. But it doesn't work that way. For me it's about two things 1) where I am today and 2) where I want to be tomorrow. What I've done is, well, done. Today I'm a bit stuck. Not quite started on a new project, not having any smaller jobs to distract me from my bigger problem. So today's not one of the good days.
I've known manic depressives in my life and I always thought if I was ever one I would not take medication. I would accept the depressed times so that I could still have the manic times. And it's like that with writing I think. I'm in a bit of a depressed time right now, but I know it won't last for ever. Out there are those glorious moment when things will be perfect. Those crazy wonderful moments. I've had a few.
You sit down at the computer and the story comes to you like it's been waiting your entire life. Or you get mentioned in a newsletter with a writer you really respect. Or you attend a prize giving where you win. Or a publisher tells you they're so keen you sent them a manuscript.Or you finally understand the plot of your latest book you've been fighting with.
Up and down and up and down. The writing life is a bit exciting like that. Sometimes not so nice, but always exciting.