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.
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.