Most writers will tell you that there is no “mood to write.” You must meet the paper (or your laptop, or whatever you use) every day. Put pen to paper and write. Just start.
And I have always followed that rule, for the most part, because if I didn’t get the poems and stories and, for the past few years, ideas and complaints and responses to the world around me out, I would burst. Knowing that I feel that way makes me confident in my craft.
But lately it’s been difficult, and this difficulty has reminded me of other times in my life when I struggled to let the ink run. Each of these times in my past was due to a depression of some sort—one in high school, another in college—when it would have been most beneficial to me to write in the first place. That’s how I’m feeling right now, as I find sitting and typing to be almost painful.
The thing is, I’m not depressed; not really. I’ve been very, very angry—which is usually my favorite place to write from—and now I’m just very sad. I am going through some tough family times right now that all could have been prevented if I simply had chosen not to move where I live right now six years ago—or, perhaps, prevented if one person (them or me) had picked up a telephone to clarify something, anything, during its incubation rather than make assumptions later.
Today I read a quote that said something to the effect of how it is important to mind your character rather than your reputation, as the former is what you really are and the latter is simply what people think of you. I’m going to do my best to move forward with this information, abandoning my horrible tendency to try to please everyone—a task that cannot be done, by anyone, ever, which many people (particularly women) have learned the hard way—and meeting my keys every day to get my deadlines done, to get these stories out of me, to keep the nightmares at bay.
So… how do you do that? I’d love to hear how other writers detach themselves from such things—or don’t and write anyway, either way—and manage to go on, continuing to work even when you’re at home and you can’t leave it all behind, like you can at an office. Do you just include it in your work (as I’ve obviously just done)? Do you turn it off somehow? Any tips would be welcome.
And in the meantime, here is my new life theme song…