July 15, 2018
I miss reading.
For the last month I have had a very hard time concentrating while reading. I have been able to read thing I NEED to read, but reading for pleasure doesn’t fill me with…well… pleasure at the moment.
Now my genre of choice is paranormal romance. Especially shifter romances. I LOVE me some shifter love. So I thought I would pick up a quick read by a tried and true author. UGH. It felt so slow. This tiny 100 page book dragged on. So I thought maybe I should read an author I haven’t tried before. I picked up a book by an author I’ve known about for 2 years and just recently downloaded one of her books. I went to one of her workshops 2 years ago at DragonCon in Atlanta and heard her talk at the Readers and Authors Get Together last month. Such a nice lady and very popular. And by all accounts it’s a great read, but my head is just not in it. My brain could care less about the plot or the increasing tension between the main characters. I put it down Friday and haven’t looked at it since. I feel like a bad reader. Like I should have a sign over my head that says “Fake Book Lover.”
I feel guilty over NOT reading. I know it’s the depression. By all rights it is connected to the medication switchero happening. In another week or two I will be back reading the novels I enjoy. But in that time am I stuck reading RPG manuals at the request of my GM? I hope not. That’s the kind of reading that should be left to the last minute so I can enjoy a good urban fantasy or shifter make-out session.
And of course it’s affecting my writing. I’ve slowed down. My ideas on what my characters should say and how to push the story forward is moving at a snail’s pace. And this here, this what I’m writing, is something I’ve been thinking about for the last 24 hours. I knew it would be short, but I had to get it down, get it out. I hope it will do me some good. It might just be the thing my brains needs to push past the void.
And now it’s done.
August 13, 2018
I wrote the above piece a month ago. Part of me wanted to make it public in that moment. A larger part wanted to hide under the covers for the rest of my existence. But I realized something. I shouldn’t feel guilty. I shouldn’t feel guilty, because I didn’t actually let myself down. Sometimes we can only climb out one hand at a time. At that time my one hand couldn’t handle pulling up and holding a book. And I’ve leveled out; gotten closer to the top. And in another month it will be even better.
I had to give myself time. I had to give myself permission to take time. And that is hard when all your time is consumed by work and family obligations. In my case family also helped pull me up. Have I picked up that book I put down a month ago? No. But I have read a few books since. That book I put down will be picked up tomorrow.
So if you are feeling guilty for not engaging in whatever norm you have(e.g., reading, writing, exercise, cooking, singing), remember that sometimes you need time. You may need time to process the day or the year or your life. Sometimes you can only pull up with one hand at a time and as long as you are hanging on you know you haven’t fallen. And hell, if you fall, you can get back up again and start climbing.