Tuesday, 27 October 2009

I Am A Writer!

I am feeling quite sad about my writing at the moment. It doesn’t feel like I am making time for it, the little I do feels shoddy, and I feel dispirited with how long it is taking me to move ahead and the lack of good progress. I still open the Word document every day, but spend more time staring and sighing than I do actually writing. It needs a big dose of positivity and I don’t feel positive about myself at the moment, let alone for ‘creating magic’ with writing.

I am also thinking of joining the Society of Authors (I think I still just about scrape the criteria) in order to think of myself as someone who writes… For some reason I need justification. I am a bit strange like that. I’d so much rather be a person who writes on a strip of notepaper ‘I am a Writer!’ and sticks it up by their computer, nods head in satisfaction, and gets on with it. For some reason I prefer to pay £90 for an official letter that says I belong. I iz stupid really.

But to be honest I think the person that sticks up ‘I Am A Writer!’ has the best idea. It is the mindset, the belief in yourself, - this is what makes the difference, not an official bit of paper. It falls back to being positive again, of knowing you are on the right track. My track has too many stations that waggle wine glasses and diversions. I think I need to be more single-minded.

I need to be happier with myself as well, I need to find a balance. I don’t like my looks, my hair, my figure, my personality, my clothes, my shoes. I don’t like my frown lines. I fear I am very boring, actually. I feel like a pale little mouse that hides around the edges of life. So when I feel like that it is hard to whoosh in magic!

Although there are plans afoot… it normally takes me a while of feeling like the above before I acknowledge it and decide to do something about it. I have taken a deep breath and booked some time with a counsellor in order to get rid of some of this negativity. The last time I tried this was seven years ago when I was referred by my doctor to a place that had iron bars on the window, and double-locking doors. It looked like the sort of place where the wrong word could get you sectioned – (Tea? We only drink coffee in here! Get the straight-jacket!)

I was in and out in less than five minutes, having swiftly decided that I didn’t have a problem. There were people sitting and dribbling while they were waiting for an appointment – now these are the folk who need help. If you are sitting with a chain of dribble connecting your mouth and your coat and don’t appear to notice, then that is a whole different ballgame from feeling a bit pathetic and miserable every now and again.

Yes, you may have gathered I do suffer a bit from depression – although this is tempered with the other part of me that thinks I should just get on with it and stop bloody whinging. I am as harsh as hell with myself, nicer to others I hope! I also have a whole seven days off work just so I can write, and in that time I will ask a hairdresser to kindly do something with that stuff that lives on my head. So you see – negative and positive together, totally ambiguous. It’s as if I can see a coin flipping in the sky and one side is negative and one side is positive, and my mood swings with every slow-motion turn of the coin.

So say this with me - I Am A Writer! I Will Achieve What I Want To Achieve! Let's land that coin positive side up.


Eliza said...

(hugs) It can be hard to think positively sometimes. I know how you feel on the depression front to. All you can do is keep going, it'll pass.

Kit Courteney said...

Blimey, Jayne.

I jokingly twittered/tweeted/whatever it flipping is the other day about us being separated at birth.

But this is another spooky one.

I've been through those things you mention in a big way (been a bit mental in my time (properly so) and if I had the courage to blog about it I would but if my parents read it they'd be very upset and I couldn't do that to them) and I didn't find God or anything similar.

I found myself. That sounds hideously twee but there's no other way of wording it. It took a while, but by the sound of it, you're more than half-way there.

I see you as a writer. Without question!

You MIGHT have 'bad' hair (remembering one post/tweet thing in particular!) and I think you are around the same age as me...so frown lines are going to happen...(I squint really badly in the sun when I'm driving but I've convinced everyone they are laughter lines... mad fools believe me).

You're right...you need to find the balance.

And you are FAR from boring!! (Looks at self and gives withering glances at screen.)

You ARE a writer, Jayne. Your blog is fab and I'm willing to bet money that your novel is even better... Of course, now I think you are a total cow as your characters sound SO much better than mine...

Are we ever satisfied...?!

Aspiring Writer said...

Sorry Jane, but I was a in fits of laughter at the waggling wine glass, the mouse on the edge, the hair, the coin... you are definitely a writer, and so funny. I love that. I think we all as writers suffer varying degrees of depression. The good thing is some of us balance it so well with humour. Keep going...

wannabe a writer said...


I've been lurking around your blog for a while and not daring to post.

Like you I'm ploughing my way through the second draft of my novel and despairing that it is absolute rubbish, there are so many holes in the plot it looks a bit like one of those snowflakes you used to cut out from paper as a child. To cheer myself I've started dabbling with a new idea I've had buzzing around for a while and its made me believe in myself as a writer again. I'm so enthusiastic that I've even managed to find some inspiration for the current work in progress.

As for the depression, it could be the time of year - have you tried sunlight therapy?

Keep your chin up and keep writing, I want to see your finished novel in print because it sounds so interesting.

Jayne said...

Thanks Eliza, that hug means a lot! I do hate feeling like this, it is so weary more than anything. But I know it does pass, so will keep chugging along. Cheers for the kind words. :)

Jayne said...

Hi Kit – your comment made me smile and feel warm and slightly teary at the same time – thank you so much m’dear, I am really touched by your words. I think deep down I am convinced my real self is somewhere else (with great hair) and I am a shadow sent in her place – but this is all about, as you say, being settled in your skin, so to speak. I am so glad you found yourself after a similar journey, that does give me hope it can definitely be achieved. That elusive balance! I look forward to that day a lot. Thank you. I'd say more but might start to gush. :)

Jayne said...

Hee! Thanks Joanne. Even though I was feeling a bit sad when writing that post, I couldn’t resist the humorous embellishments – they just pop out of nowhere, more for my own wry amusement, and I am always so pleased (and chuffed!) when they work for other people. Yes I think you are right that writers do suffer with degrees of depression… I wonder why? Maybe because everything is always internalised… and since we are imaginative, we fear the worst? Thanks for the encouragement, I will, promise!

Jayne said...

Hello Wannabe a Writer,

Thank you so much for coming out of lurk-dom and posting your comment, I really do appreciate you doing that. I remember when I first started doing this blog it took me a long time (and many revisions in Word) to build up the courage to post on other blogs and then when I did dive in the water was thankfully warm and inviting!

Firstly well done on having completed a novel! Gosh – blood, sweat and tears, isn’t it? That’s great news that a new idea has inspired you with the old, and very timely advice – I have been toying with a short story idea and maybe I should try it out. I would like to feel enthusiastic with writing again. I am glad you have regained inspiration!

I have never tried sunlight therapy, but will look into it, thank you. I usually tend to like autumn, but this year I haven’t done any of the things I usually like to do – stomp through leaves, walk in the woods – so perhaps that is making me feel a bit dispirited as well.

Thank you for the encouragement, and I am so glad you think it sounds interesting. Yeay! And lots of good wishes for your redrafting – do swing by at any time. :)

Rose said...

Hi Jayne- popping in late to say that of course you are a writer! A very good one- and a funny one! but I know what you mean, verbalising something does make it seem more real.

I think most people who write or are creative know what it's like to have darker days or periods of time. It's learning to use them to be creative that can be both beneficial and maybe lead you away from the bad feelings.

It's the people who don't feel bad about themselves sometimes, or don't have dark days or hours, that have the real problem in my opinion.

That said sometimes I feel blocked etc and I think I've now realised that you just have to wait. I find lists can help to get me going. Or go somewhere completely inspiring you have always loved or wanted to go.

Jayne said...

Thanks Rose! That is nice to hear. And yes that’s a good point about creative folk having darker days (or perhaps more open to recognising them, maybe?) but somehow harnessing them for creative use – that is a good way to think about it.

Walking in the leaves always helps me, smelling freshly turned earth, moulchy compost, smouldering bonfires – I did this yesterday and realised how much I had missed it. I also enjoy making lists, and ticking things off as I go – such a feeling of satisfaction.