Manic/Depressive

I believe most writers are manic/depressive. Maybe not in the clinical sense, but emotionally. For me it would explain my wide mood swings. I get a good review, and I’m on the moon. Get a rejection (or a bad review) and I’m in the dumps. The euphoria and depression can be short term or long, but for all the years I’ve been writing, that’s been my pattern. And, at least in the writing world, I don’t seem to be alone.

I’m in the depression phase right now. In part that’s because I slipped and fell on my tailbone the end of June. (See if that kitchen floor gets mopped again.) That’s not a good area to hit when you spend most of the day seated in front of a computer. Up until this week I could barely stand to sit here for longer than an hour. I’m also in a lot of pain. I guess I do have a compression fracture, but more than that, I seem to have pushed my right hip out of alignment. (We’re working on that in physical therapy.)

Drugs have helped ease the pain, but they’ve also made me spacey and sleepy. Thank goodness my husband could drive us anywhere I (or we) needed to be. Maybe some drugs can make writers feel more creative. These certainly didn’t.

To add to my depression, I’ve received a couple rejection letters (one was very complimentary, but she still turned the story down; the other was pretty much a form rejection. Nice, but still a no.) I know I’m always telling others to keep sending those queries out, and I will…in time. Right now I’m struggling with all the self-doubts associated with this profession.

I’m also totally frustrated. I have Photoshop and a Photoshop for Dummies book, yet I still can figure out how to make that program work. In my mind’s eye I know how I’d like a book cover to look, but I can’t get it from an idea to a reality. Very frustrating.

This isn’t a plea for sympathy, simply an explanation of why I’ve missed a couple weeks of blogging. I know this mood I’m in could turn around in a minute if I should get some good news and/or if the pain in my back goes away. I have a wonderful support group of writers, on-line and nearby, and I know from experience the manic phase isn’t far away, so next week I hope I’ll have something truly inspirational to impart.

Until then, keep writing, even if you’re feeling down.

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13 Responses to Manic/Depressive

  1. It is definitely hard to be upbeat when life throws a couple of rough pitches at you. Cheer up, though. No doubt something wonderful will happen soon and send you back into that happy manic phase. Good luck with your back and your submissions!

  2. Annette says:

    There is nothing like body pain to bring on a discouraged mood. Hope you are soon as good as new.

    We writers tell ourselves that rejections are occupational hazards. But you’ve got a long trail of acceptances to balance out these ripples. And many satisfying books with your name on them!

    Keep your fingers flying on those keys. Your fans are waiting. All the best, Annette

    • MarisMaris says:

      The desire to write is beginning to return. I’m always so impatient when I don’t feel well. Thanks for your words of encouragement, Annette.

  3. So sorry about all your pain, Maris. You must really have a tough time sitting. I definitely hear what you’re saying about the mood swings. Must be the disease of the creative people, ’cause I have the same symptoms. And, funny thing. . .my mom used to say my daddy was either “on top of the mountain or down in the valley”. He painted in oils and wrote poetry. I guess it’s in my genes. Sure hope you feel better soon.

    • MarisMaris says:

      Yes, Loralee, I think a lot of creative people do have these dramatic ups and downs. I guess that’s better than simply traveling along a worn out path.

  4. Diane Burton says:

    Maris, I feel your pain. Literally. I’ve broken my tailbone 3 times. Very painful & probably why arthritis is felt in the lower back. Chronic pain is hard to live with. As you say, drugs can make some people more creative…or loopy. But, hey, it’s okay to wallow for a while. Hopefully, you’ll get some pain relief as well as good news on the writing front. Hang in there and know your friends are rooting for you.

    • MarisMaris says:

      Diane, the doctors haven’t mentioned a broken tailbone (I have a compression fracture of L2), but boy is it tender. This is the first week I’ve been able to sit on a hard chair for any length of time. I don’t envy you breaking your tailbone 3 times.

  5. Mona Karel says:

    Maris, my mentor in Salukis (my dog breed) was bi-polar. Manic Depressive. However we want to say it, she was used by her doctors as a research subject to decide how much Lithium was needed to keep people balanced. When she was high, she was flying. When she she was down, she was miserable. For the most part they worked ot keep her on an even keel. In spite of her issues she maintained several businesses, kept her family fed and housed, and did all she could to breed incredibly healthy dogs. She was also there for me whenever I needed her…and I was a pretty messed up young woman.
    Since my husband died I’ve been “down there” and am gradually seeing the light. Yes, I think so many artistic people live with the angels and in the depths. I’m also in the same place with the Photoshop…I can make my covers work but websites just do NOT do what I tell them to do! I work in Corel but I do understand basics of design. So if you want to whine, let me know…I’ll open a bottle of red or white depending on the weather and we can work it out together

    • MarisMaris says:

      Mona, so sorry to hear about your husband. I would never compare the ups and downs I experience to a true, clinical manic depressive. I’m glad your mentor (with the Salukis) found medications that helped. By the way, I love the Salukis. Years ago when my husband and I were trying to decide on a breed, I was strongly drawn to the Saluki. We lived in California then and there were several around, but the Ridgeback won our hearts, and I’m glad he did. I’m not sure how a Saluki would have fared living in Michigan. I certainly don’t see any around.

      As for the wine, I prefer to whine with red. Salute!

  6. Dealing with pain is bad enough but then to receive the “no thank-yous,” it’s enough to knock the wind out of your sails for sure. I do think writers and anyone working in a creative field is especially susceptible to those highs and lows. I know I’ve been there. Hope you’ll be feeling better soon and have some good writing news to help lift your spirits!

  7. Donnell says:

    Maris, you have hit the nail on the head, my dear. I’m so sorry about your tailbone. Glad you’re having it checked out. Please do. It can lead to neuropathy long term; I know. My mother fell on her tailbone and has suffered since. I tell you this not to add to your depression, but to do everything you can to prevent future trauma. This business, it has the ups and downs of a bungee jumper. Feel better and if it remains your passion get back to work. Thinking of you.

  8. We writers and one probably very much like us, who wrote the Book of Job, need to remain sensitive, enduring pain and happiness, in our deepest being while keeping our hides tough enough to survive the real tragedies and injuries in life. If that is a definition of manic/depressive, so be it. Poor Job, his friends did not sympathize as much as berate him for deserving God’s punishment. The Devil had his day in wagering with the Lord to inflict Job’s body as well as killing off his entire family would turn him from loving the Lord.

    In the end when Job did question, God finally answered condemning him for the question, “Where were you when I created the foundations of the world?” But the Lord did reward Job by giving him all he had lost, down to the last cattle, wife, and kid.

    But you can’t help but wonder if Job would had preferred the original family.

    I’m hanging tough, sending out poetry books to contests, full manuscripts on request (hurray…but I’ve been this close before), determining to write the next scene in my mystery, while baring the sorrow and pain of learning that my youngest son, who is the father of my only granddaughter (15) and grandson (13) in Seattle has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He feels better than he has for two years; but this is a life threatening, and life-long (hopefully) illness. I am remaining, to date, humble and accepting and praying for the Lord’s will.

    So to say I sympathize is the truth. Real pain and rejection come and go, we who endure as writers, women, deserve any slim joy be it manic or calm. Lay aside your worries, we love you and surely the universe, or the Lord, whoever allows your creative urges and production know and cares and hopes to restore your very soul.

    Rohn Federbush

    are the original Job’s of the world.