The Funk (A nicer word for self pity)

Last week I was in a bit of a funk. There were all these great tweets and blog posts about the RWA conference and positivity was just oozing everywhere, and I found myself not catching the spirit, but feeling a bit low. And then lower. And then lower still.

I think this happens to all writers, I’m pretty positive it happens to most aspiring authors. It’s not just self-doubt, it’s just a little niggling self-pity. When oh when is it going to be my turn? I suppose that’s selfish. Maybe even immature, but I can’t help it. I want to achieve my goal, and it’s hard to sit back and keep… not achieving it. Even as I take all the “right” steps.

I keep writing, keep submitting, keep waiting. In the end, those are the only things I CAN do. I certainly can’t control anything beyond what happens here at my little computer: write, submit, wait.

That gets to be a grind sometimes, and it can weigh on you. (Especially if you are, say, mid WIP and feeling a saggy middle coming along).

How do I deal? I mope. I consult Twitter every second to find more things to be mopey about. I inwardly lament how slow things move (for me, the aspiring author). I’ll write a handful of sentences, and then mope some more.

In the past few months I have developed a new coping mechanism: I put something out there.

You see, I’m a pretty speedy writer. I have completed three novels in the past six months. I’m on a great pace, with a process where I switch off writing and editing as I go through. So, these three novels are pretty much submission ready.

Each time I’ve been feeling low, trolling the internet or twitter, I tend to come across an opportunity and think… hmm, that might fit this MS I have. And then, because I’m bumming around feeling sorry for myself, I start to tweak my query/synopsis/whatever, and usually by the end of the day, off something goes.

And after that proactive moment of doing something, some of that funk tends to lift. I feel a bit more… positive about things. I go back to my WIP knowing I’ve done something productive.

Of course, then another wait begins, and the cycle is destined to repeat itself. Until it doesn’t. Such is life.

I finally got my Goodreads together & added some reviews to some of the books I’ve read this year. If you’re on Goodreads, come visit my bookshelf: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5339631-nicole-helm

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