January 27, 2012

It’s NOT Writer’s Block!

First I’d like to thank Gabrielle Evans for having me as her guest today. I appreciate the opportunity to share with her blog followers.

Yesterday something happened to me that hadn’t happened in months. I was putting my groceries in the car and I was tackled by an idea for a manuscript. I tossed the bags in the car—careful not to crush the eggs—and ran to the driver’s side, fishing my notepad from my purse. Furiously, I scribbled down the opening paragraph to the book and outlined some key ideas for the characters and plot. Once I’d finished recording these ideas, I burst into tears, but not for the same reason I’d burst into tears on man an occasion over the past two months. These were tears of joy. I was writing. More to the point, I was excited about writing again.

Since November I’ve been having the same debate with my family and friends. See, I usually write every day. Most days I couldn’t be pried from my computer by anything short of a medical emergency or strawberry cheesecake. “You’re just blocked,” everyone told me more times than I care to count. “I’m NOT!” I’d insist.

First of all, I don’t believe in writer’s block. Yes, there are times that I get stuck on a plot point or times that I’d rather best Super Mario Galaxy 2 than focus on the story I’m writing. And yes, there are days that writing feels like work. But as a professional writer, I have a whole bag of tricks to coax my muse back to the task of hand. This time, however, the problem wasn’t with inspiration or finding the words—it was something far more distressing. I totally lacked the energy to do anything about the ideas that popped into my head every day. Quite simply—I was depressed. It was all I could do to manage my daily duties at home and to my family. As far as world building and characterization—no freaking way could I muster the strength to tackle those tasks.

Depression in creative people seems to be a common ailment. Unlike Van Gogh or Sylvia Plath I live in a time when there are chemical, herbal and therapeutic options to manage these debilitating symptoms, but I felt it was a sign of weakness to have to rely on these kinds of options. But no matter how I tried to muscle through the sadness and fatigue, I couldn’t get over it.

Finally I went to the doctor who confirmed something I already knew—I suffer from low serotonin levels. No surprise. Most of my mom’s side of the family does. So I’ve taken steps to treat this condition and voila! The creative energy is back. I can’t express my relief.

I’ll admit I was embarrassed to admit to my family and friends much less my doctor that once in a while I had a hard time coping with day-to-day activities. Usually during these bouts of depression, writing would get me through. This time even that couldn’t help. Now, I can’t believe it took me so long to take that leap. And then I thought, I should share this little ordeal with everyone because I’m sure I’m not the only person for whom it took the loss of a cherished ability to deal with something I’ve struggled with for years. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of and often it’s not something that can be managed without outside help. Reach out. Trust me you’ll be glad you did.

Have you had a similar experience and want to share? Let us know how you keep the future looking bright :)


Cindy Jacks

Phantom Touch

Erika leads a quiet life—at least in the real world. But her alter-ego, Little Lottie, is a singer at a local club and engages in a wild online romance. For months she’s been communicating with a mysterious man, known only to her as the Phantom.

Her lover contacts her via texts, emails and instant messages. When he offers to fulfill her desires in real life, she can’t refuse. The only condition to meeting for their sizzling assignations—he wears a mask to hide his true identity. Despite his reluctance to reveal himself to Erika, he tears down her inhibitions and unleashes her suppressed passions, taking possession of her body and soul.

Erika may have finally found the one man who can sate her every longing…if only he would show her the man behind the mask.

Comment (and please remember contact info) for a chance to win an ebook copy of Phantom Touch!

Contest ends January 29th at midnight EST.


  1. I have the same problem sometimes with depression. I find writing to be theraputic. Letting everything out no matter what it is most of the time keeps me from getting depressed.

    I don't really believe in writer's block either. It either is there for you to write or you need a breather.

  2. I deal with the occasional blue days. As I call them anyway. ;) Never been diagnosed with depression, but I have the symptoms. Many years ago, I was real close to a break down. I was 18. Not a fun time. My dad helped me thru that. Now....I try and focus my mind on my family. I have a grand baby due in 3 weeks or less, and my 3 younger girls all need me. I try and keep that in mind as well. Sometimes it helps. Other times...I lay in bed n cry after all is in bed and hubby is working. I usually wake up feeling better, but not much.

    Thanks for posting about your trying times. It does help to know others feel the same and help is there!

    Stacy Wilson

    dragn_lady at yahoo dot com

  3. I've had depression for years. It took me six years to come to terms with the fact that I was ill and that it wasn't going to go away overnight. That was after six years of being on medication. I just had this idea that only certain people who'd been through something huge could have an illness like this, but it can happen to anyone.

    I haven't been able to write much since November either. It's the stress that "blocks" me. Christmas is over now and I feel the eagerness to write coming bit by bit. It was the same for me: loads of ideas but no energy to write (which stressed me out even more).

  4. Hi Hun, Love the blurb of the book, it's intriguing.

    I'm glad you got the help you need for the depression, I go through stages of it myself.

    stay safe and let your muse out to play.

    hugs, Tess

  5. I'm glad you got the help you needed to make your muse come out again. I've never suffered from depression so I don't know what it's like or... well... anything about it really.
    What I usually do to simply keep my mind off stupid wondering thoughts is to do little things here and there around the house. Clean or reorganize, mostly just finding something to keep myself busy. I never let myself dwell too long and how fucked up some things are that drive me crazy. I simply tell my self over and over, It'll get better. It always gets better. sometimes just looking at my dog makes me feel better. LOL... It's hilarious for me to think about how easy she has it to simply lie there and look pretty that it makes me crack up like a crazy person. LOL... it puts me in a great mood afterwards.

    So happy your writing again! Keep it up! we love ya! :D


  6. Anonymous1/27/2012

    It is frustrating when you are not able to do what you want. I am glad that you were able to get able. Keeping smiling and of course writing :-)

  7. Andrea1/27/2012

    I actually suffer from depression. Some days are really bad like nothing can go right and everyone hates me. Most days I am pretty happy. Therapy helps and so does trying to remember that its not as bad as it seems. Congratulations on being able to write again.


  8. Sometimes when im down or just feeling blue, I'll pick up a pen/paper and start scribbling. It just helps ease tension for me when everything gets to be too much. And then when i finally look at what is on the paper its usually something I had no clue was in my head. lol
    Glad youre writing again, I love having new authors to read.


  9. I am glad you got help for your depression and are able to write again. My husband suffers from bi-polar disorder. Over the 20 years we have been married we have been on a roller coaster of ups and downs. Depression is not something to mess around with.


  10. I am with Dragon Momma, I have blue days myself, though I did get some help from medication, so it is much more manageable these days.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  11. I'm glad you were able to get your depression under control and are back setting in front of your computer writing again.

    the blurb for your books sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  12. Hi! I am attempting to fix my "Choose an identity" so I am re-posting...

    It is frustrating when you are not able to do what you want. I am glad that you were able to get able. Keeping smiling and of course writing :-)


  13. Anonymous1/27/2012

    I haven't been diagnosed with depression but I've had long bouts where I've been depressed and on occasion I've been asked if I'm depressed. It happens to everyone at least once in their life and more for some than others. It's a great thing for you to be brave enough to admit you need help.

    Thank you for taking your time to share something so personal with us. =)


  14. when i was younger i had depression due to buylling at school so i know how tough it is. and i am glad to know i wasn't the only one

    as for writers block--it's all when the mood strikes you!

  15. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and dread when winter comes around. I have no energy and tend to be a bit grumpier than normal. Summer is like a new beginning and I feel like a new person. Maybe one day I'll move to a place where there's no such thing as winter.

    Your new release sounds wonderful and it's definitely on my wishlist.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  16. Hello Cindy,

    Thank you Gabrielle for hosting Cindy on your Blob today & Thank you Cindy for taking the time out of your day to spend with Us & sharing such a personal side of yourself, you are an inspiration to these who suffer from a similar experiences.

    Cindy, since you where so open in sharing such a personal part of your Life, I will share with those here at Gabrielle's Blog something very personal & often times very depressing to me...but for other reasons...

    I'm 42 years old & fully disabled. At 37 I worked in the Legal Field & was also a Personal Trainer, then my World changed. I was diagnosed with an incurable heart condition. Just one of the affects is I cannot stand or sit for more than 10-15 minutes at a time without passing out, this of course makes it difficult to perform even the most basic things in Life.

    But instead of spending my days "thinking" too much about things I cannot change, I enjoy getting lost in the wonderfully sexy, romantic, not to mention HOT, erotic world these fantastic Authors, like yourself, create for us. An Ultimate Fantasy for their Fans in each book they write with their incredibly impressive, imaginative minds.

    My Husband & my Doctors have told me that my eReader was the best medicine for my emotional health, which tends to help my physical health. So my eReader is getting fuller each week & my wonderful Husband is more than happy to let me Buy away. LOL

    I would very much like to read more about Erika & Her Phantom Lover's Story. “Phantom Touch” sounds like a very Sensual, Hot Read. A story of a mystery man behind a mask, will He be the one to satisfy her every desire? This definitely sounds like a Book not to be missed.

    I would very much appreciate an opportunity for a chance to for a chance to win an ebook copy of "Phantom Touch". Thank You.

    Take care & Wishing You the Best of Health,
    PaParanormalFan (Renee' S.)

  17. Hi. Almost didn't get a chance to get here in time. Have a great weekend.



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