My Uncle died and I recently finished the second draft of my fantasy novel. (Then sent it out to my beta readers.) These two things seem to have nothing in common but that is not true. Both left me in the ditch of depression.
I should be elated that I finished my second draft and I was…for about 15minutes. Then the realization set in that now I have to wait an unknown number of weeks for my readers to get around to reading my book and give me feed back. Then I have to write the same story all over again for the third time and maybe a fourth.
My Uncle died. I should be sad because I will never get to see him again on this side of the pearly gates. I cried. I hurt. I loved my uncle and I will miss him. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in January and passed away on Valentine’s Day. But the first thing I thought when I got the news was, what a perfect day it was for him to die.
You see my Aunt and Uncle were married for many, many years. They had three children together. The oldest two provided them with grandchildren and great grandchildren. Their youngest, my cousin Samantha, was my best friend growing up. She died in 2000 from Cystic Fibrosis. Then a year few years after Sam died their house burned down and they lost everything. Pictures, clothes, pets. Everything but each other. Neighbors, family, and their community helped them out and they rebuilt their lives. Then they found out my Aunt was dieing from lung cancer. She lived a couple of years before she finally passed away. (Her sister died a month late from the same thing.) So my Uncle lost his youngest daughter, his home, and his wife and still continued on.
Do to a learning disability, he never learned to read. If anyone sent him a letter or a card he had to take it to a neighbor to get them to read it to him. His eldest daughter made him his own phone book with pictures of the people he knew next to their telephone numbers. He lived alone with a little dog for company. So when he passed away on Valentine’s Day, I thought it was fitting, kind of like he was going to be with my Aunt.
Anyway the depression ditch is not a fun place to be. I haven’t wanted to do anything and I really haven’t felt like writing. I finally sat down and started working on stuff today, after over a week of inactivity. (It wasn’t only this blog I’ve ignored but all writing.)
The reason I started working today is because I got tired of dreaming about pirates. Yeah you read that right, pirates. Before I hit my downward slump I was beginning to piece together the second book in my fantasy series. (There will eventually be three books….or one really long book with three parts…) The first quarter of the second book is supposed to take place on a pirate ship.
The first two or three days I had no problems….well the depression, but no problems that make me think of writing as a sort of mental illness. After about day three pirates started showing up in my dreams and nightmares. After I dreamed of fighting off pirates from the back of a UPS truck, and then last night in a movie theater, I decided my brain was trying to tell me to get back to work. So I did.
I am really tired right now. It is surprising how worn out you can get from sitting in one place and putting words on a page. It has been slow going. Trudging down one word after the other. I feel a little out of shape. I did manage a fair amount of work though. Tomorrow I will get up and do it again. And again the next day, and the next. Because even though sometimes in life you end up in the ditch, it doesn’t mean you have to stay there.