My one “resolution”, if you want to call it that, I mentioned in my comment on Katie’s New Year post: Do Better.
I’ve been in a slump, professionally and personally, for about two months now. I won’t go into specifics, because it’s boring, but I’ve had incredible anxiety and worries, and it’s all lead to me falling into that dark pit called Depression. I’ve mentioned my struggle with the Big D before. I never claimed to have it whipped, but for two years now, I’ve felt even. I’ve been coping. I’ve been happy. But all it takes is a series of unfortunate events to push you right back down.
I’m slowly but steadily finding my feet on level ground again. I’m re-engaging, both in real life and online. Anyone that knows me would have noticed that I’ve been unusually quiet on Twitter, not just on our blog account, but on my personal one, as well. I spent most of the Christmas break avoiding the laptop. I would check-in online via my phone, but to open the lid of the laptop and engage—well, that was just not appealing to me. The worst thing about that is that it also meant I wasn’t writing. That’s one of the ways you know you’re in a depression—you can’t bring yourself to do the thing you love.
It’s a new year and like Katie, I love to look at a blank slate. It’s a baptism, wiping away all the sins and the letdowns and failures of the past year. Truth be told, you can start fresh anytime you want to—you just have to be willing to do it. But there’s something to be said about having a set date on the calendar or some tangible milestone to give you that impetus. January 1st is as good as it gets.
So starting on Tuesday, I resolved to Do Better. So far it’s working. I feel more at peace. I’ve gotten a handle on the depression. As a result, I’m being a better mother and wife than I was. The anxieties haven’t gone away, nor has the situation that brought on the anxiety, but I am coping with it more productively than I was. (Then again, anything is more productive than laying in bed sleepless every night, spending all day cranky, and squeezing in cat naps when you should be cleaning or writing or cooking or anything else.)
And I am writing again. It’s a little forced, but I’m doing it. You would think that after winning NaNoWriMo two years in a row, it would all just come easy. Not so. I’m afraid. Afraid I don’t know what to write, afraid that I just don’t have the talent to sustain any kind of writing career, afraid of not being able to live up to my own exceedingly high expectations, afraid of letting everyone down. That’s one of the other signs of depression—it robs you of your confidence.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.
…You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.
Thank you for sticking with us here at A Common Sea. King also said, “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.” If you’re here, reading this, I take it as a sign that you believe in us. I can’t promise too much, but I can promise that as long as you continue to believe in us—in me—I will continue to Do Better.
Happy New Year!