Help for Hump Day


I  had mini meltdown. You know, puffy- eyed crying, hiccupping sobs, woe is me mental state, everything- is- out- of- control, insurmountable, unavoidable, bad-sad-boohoo, BLECH!

I don’t know what brought it on, I haven’t been that blue for a while. Well, no, I do know what brought it on. My novel. My beast of a rough draft that I’ve been diligently revising for at least 2 months now. The whole first scene is a forced dialogue set up as a dream, which BTW editors HATE!, and the protag is just not appealing. So, I rewrote it. I rewrote it again. I changed the occupation of a minor character to beef up the tension of my M.C.’s main goal. This was good, moved me along nicely. But,  because my mind works in a linear fashion, I feel the need to write this way. However, the first scene still sucks. It just does. I need to start that part over. Sometimes, most of the time, a blank screen is easier to conquer than a page of sucky writing.

Well, maybe I was overtired, but putting that first scene/chapter to rest while I moved along with the rest of the revision put me over the edge. Suddenly, I was “not a writer; I was a fake, a phony, a poser.” Who am I kidding? And I TEACH?! Seriously? What do I have to offer? I’ll never be able to focus enough to get past this hurdle. I’ll never finish this book. Again with the boo-hoo-hoo’ing. My husband was getting concerned.

My lack of writing talent and confidence quickly streamed into the other hurdles in my life. My son’s emotional struggle with his newly diagnosed diabetes. My day job rotting away hours in a cubicle, my younger son growing up and not needing me as much anymore. Boo-freaking-hoo. It was bad.

OK, this is supposed to be help for hump day? No, just a sample of how we can get as writers, artists, moms. What do we do when that dark cloud settles on our shoulders and the lightening severs our rational thinking? We let it run its course. Sometimes, we need a good cry.

And the next day, we wake up, puffy eyes and all, to see the sun is shining and the fall weather is crisp and refreshing and we ARE writers, no matter what. And we will push through.

I keep an ongoing collection of motivating quotes. They help me. They might help you too. Leave a comment and/or tweet this post and let me know. I’ll email my collection of quotes to you for a blue day.

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4 Comments

Filed under Advice, emotion, Perseverance, Rest

4 responses to “Help for Hump Day

  1. Oh, Mary Jo….I have been there and done that…just recently, too! Unemployed as an educator, trying to write enough to live, pushing the envelope by writing in genres never tried before, dealing with my daughter’s difficulties with accepting my beloved (not their father, who I divorced after 30 years of struggling to be the perfect wife)…ya, the list could go on and on…BUT, as you said, we wake to a new day, dust ourselves off and start anew.
    One of my favorite quotes, probably because living most of my life believing that I wasn’t good enough, is from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s, “The Little Prince.”
    “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. ”
    Look within, my friend…you have what it takes! All will be well.

    • Linda, I can certainly sympathize with not being “good enough” or taught to believe that anyway. I’m an ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic) and have realized through my own 12 steps all the baggage of my childhood I’ve been carrying around. Writing is a therapy in itself, so it’s painful to feel I cannot even tap into my soul through writing some days. But, I am in a much better placetoday, I hope you are too.

  2. Can’t say that I turn to quotes when I’m beating on myself, but I have recently learned to read and reread and reread books on writing I find inspirational like Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. An angel who visited my blog suggested the book and, oh my, what help it’s been reading a chapter a day, then starting it all over again from the beginning. I figure I’ll read it another 500+ times before I die.

    • W.J.
      I was just thinking about that book the other day and realized it was recommended to me by an artist friend about 15 yrs ago, and it was the FIRST book on writing and life of a writer that I’d ever read (only academic writing books up until then.) It is a gem and sits dogeared on my shelf, too.
      Happy reading!

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