Writers, the real ones I mean, are magnets for neuroses, paranoia, depression, fits of rage, and yes, occasional bouts of constipation. (I tried, but there was no way to pretty that up.) It’s a wonder we have enough strength to smother our sorrows in Haagan Dazs.
And as if this crazy cocktail wasn’t enough, many of us succumb to Seasonal Myth Disorder. Not familiar with SMD? Perhaps you are. You just didn’t know it has a name. Let me explain. Assuming we agree life comes in seasons (and not just the April showers variety), it’s important to recognize that with these life seasons come some myth-perceptions, otherwise known as Seasonal Myth Disorder. (Don’t bother looking for it in the DSM V classifications. If you must know, I made it up.)
In any given season of life, especially the ones that ram us down a rabbit hole, it is easy to mistake these three myths for fact:
1. I am alone in this season.
2. No one understands what it’s like to be in this season.
3. This season will last forever.
Let’s myth bust these one at a time, ever so gently, shall we?
1. I am alone in this season. Are you struggling to find time to write, much less produce anything worth reading? Trolling around Facebook will lead you to believe you are the only one who isn’t there yet. Everyone is landing agents, agents are landing contracts, books are launching, movies based on the books are debuting, writers are churning out novellas before tea time . . . and then there’s you. Everyone is wildly successful and you’re nothing but a schlep with digestive issues. NO YOU’RE NOT! (And lay off the Facebook for a while.)
2. No one understands what it’s like to be in this season. HIGH SODIUM LUNCHEON MEAT! (aka BOLOGNA!)
3. This season will last forever. IMPOSSIBLE!
Okay, okay, so maybe that wasn’t so gentle. The point is, these are all myths. You’re a smart, literary person. You know what a myth is. It ain’t true.
You are not alone. In fact, you’re in good company.
Every single writer you can name or will ever know struggles with seasons of despair from time to time (even the super cute ones). Lots of people understand what you’re going through. If you don’t know any, join SCBWI, start a critique group or do something to connect with at least one other writer. You’re sure to find some sympathetic souls.
And no, this season–even though it feels like a six-month-Michigan-winter–will not last forever. You’ll get your groove back. You’ll have some small successes. Heck, maybe even big ones. So, please stop mything all over yourself. You’re too fine a person for that. And you know what that does to your gut. Let this be the start of Be Kind to Me season, okay?
Now, my little creme brulee, put down the spoon and go write something.
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~ Anne Bradstreet