Dumps and Holes

Image provided by Stefan Rimaila @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/monglercock/
Image provided by
Stefan Rimaila @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/monglercock/

Do you know what the difference is between a dump and a hole? The former builds an ugly mountain of debris, while the latter makes a deep dark crevasse in the ground. Neither are pleasant.

These days I’m feeling down in the dumps. The cliché is confusing, isn’t it? I mean, how can I be down when I’m on a pile of garbage? Maybe the saying should be “up on the dumps”. It doesn’t roll out of the mouth very well though. I’m at a lost to figure out why I’m feeling this way. Autumn is my favorite time of year. Daylight Savings Time goes off (YAY!). The air feels brisk and light instead of the weighed down feeling of the heat waves that clutter the air in the summer. I’m able to do more of the physical things in life because I’m not feeling lazy from the heat anymore. Yet, some time last week, the blues started settling down on me.

Did you notice I stated that I’m not feeling lazy? Yet, I’m sleeping more, which may be a good thing seeing that for over five years I wasn’t getting anymore than five hours of sleep each night, and even that was broken up. Still, I’m sleeping odd hours. I know that I’m missing out on time I could be using for something productive. I can’t run the vacuum in the middle of the night. Hubby is sleeping then. Could this be the reason for the dumps?

Could it be that I have taken a burden of time self-imposed on me? All this sleeping that I’ve been doing is cutting quite heavily into my time on my writing project too. And that is, most definitely, self-imposed. My most creative time during a twenty-four hour period is between 5pm and 8pm. Yet, because of this sporadic sleeping I’ve been doing, I find myself with heavy eyelids at 6pm. An hour of writing is better than none but it isn’t enough — not by a long shot. Whether I write longhand or type, it takes me a while to get words down. I’m a lefty — you know, left-handed. That makes longhand go slower. Still, because of this fact, I’m better off. You see, I can only use this one hand. The other one is useless because of disability. This, in turn though, makes typing slower too. As the cliché goes, ‘6 of one and a half-dozen of the other’. In actuality, typing is a little faster.

I did mention holes at the start of this post, didn’t I? I feel that I dug myself a deep one. I love putting words in visual form. (Anymore it’s more of the visual of the computer screen but I like writing longhand too.) What is more, the thought of writing a novel is exhilarating. I’m a pantser (as opposed to being a plotter), finding my way through the story as I go. Be that as it may, I do it more by scene than looking at the bigger picture. In a couple of sentences, I state what the scene is about before plunging into it so that there’s more of a chance of me staying on track. But now I’m past the ‘beginning’, the ‘start’, the ‘first act’ of my story. I have introduced almost all locations, characters and norms for those characters. I am at that place where the tale really begins. Yet, I’m floundering. I’m in that deep dark hole where I can’t see my hand in front of my face.

What would a pro tell me to do now? Do I push through without re-evaluating what I’ve already written? Or should I go back to some point in the story and find my bearings? Is this a place where I might need to take a break from this writing project and pick it up again in a week or two? Is this the time to give up? Oh, I hope not because I really do want to see this to the end.

Being in this hole and also being in the dumps is mind-wrenching. I question why I’m trying to write a novel. I doubt that my skills as a writer are up for this challenge. Who wants to read a novel that is so clearly written by an amateur, and, at that, a bad one? Have I gone over the edge into the land of loonies?



23 Replies to “Dumps and Holes”

    1. I don’t think I’m done yet. I do question whether I should though. Writing is like other arts and the person trying to succeed with it has those times of doubting whether anything he or she does is worth a penny, let alone five cents. I look at what I write and wonder about how many people are trying to read it and are saying, “What? I don’t get it.” Or maybe, “I can’t read anymore of this garbage.” I’m hoping that this is a phase that many go through and I will snap out of it soon.


      1. You’re right about questioning ourselves and our ability as we reach toward our dreams. It is that self doubt though that cause so many people to quit. Is there a place where you can submit your writing specifically for feedback? Maybe that would help you to get a better understanding of if it’s ‘just you’ or if indeed your concerns are valid. Maybe you’d be surprised by all the positive feedback, that I’m sure you’d get. 🙂


        1. Yes, there are a couple of places online where I’d feel okay about submitting some of my project. I also have a writing buddy. I had been putting off sending stuff to her because I really didn’t have enough for her to sink her teeth into. But that’s not the case now so I don’t have that excuse anymore.

          Thank you for “talking” me through this. I do feel a little better now that I feel that I have a “next step”.


            1. Oh, how wonderful. Would you like to be a beta reader? You wouldn’t get the book with the cover and it would probably be on PDF form, but you also wouldn’t have to pay anything for it.

              Keep in mind, it’s going to be a while before I’ve even close to having this story done. 😉


  1. Moving right by that your example of productive was vacuuming, is this maybe simply cyclical? That emotions are up and down, we get the full range so we understand the highs and lows? I’m generally pretty happy, but occasionally, I have a down day.

    OK, I see the flaw. I rarely have a down week.

    I liked your discussion of dumps and holes. Got me thinking.


    1. Are my emotions cycling? You may have something there, Jacqui. I’m usually kind of happy (not at pretty happy though). I’m an introvert and I’ve been told more than half a dozen times that I’ve very serious or too serious. It’s probably true. I’m usually the last one to laugh in the room.

      I mentioned vacuuming because I have 3 cats that shed all over creation without a thought to my obsession for neatness. 😀


  2. I’m not an expert in writing, but I am very proficient in digging deep holes. When my sleep is off, life is much harder for me to navigate. I’m also not a sleep expert and have suffered from insomnia for years and years. Don’t give up your dream, and learn to have a little faith in your abilities. If I can do it, so can you. 😀


    1. You made me smile, April. 😀 Sometimes, not always, we seem to be two peas in a pod. I’m going to feel a little lost when you move despite the fact that we only know each other online and will continue to keep that friendship.


  3. I wonder if you’re floundering because you’re unsure of what you’ve written. Okay. I’m also a pantser. I bet if you look at what you’ve written so far by taking a sheet of paper and writing one, and no more than two sentences, summarizing each chapter so far, you might find the problem that’s blocking youl. This is called mapping I think. After a while you might like to add to it to see the path of your story. Let me know if you like this, or if it works for you or not. 😀


  4. Hi Glynis… sorry you’re a bit down in the dumps. When I’m depressed, I can sleep for hours, day and night. I also regularly put words into visual form, particularly in therapy.
    As for writing – especially at the moment when you’re feeling down – do what you enjoy the best. there’s plenty of time for reviews and plotting and for taking a rest. You don’t seem so amateur to me. Writing is what develops our skills…. so keep at it…


    1. Thank you for the nice compliment, Cat. When I look at well-established writers, sorry but my work looks like that of a child. When I wrote this post, I was just trying to get my feelings out so that I could get rid of them. It’s a technique I learned from my social work classes in college. Yet, the out-pour of support I’ve receive from a few reading this post has lifted my spirits enough to go into battle again. Again, thank you. ❤


      1. It is your ability to look objectively at your writing-v-other writers that will make you into an even better writer!! Those improvements can even happen in between drafts…. glad you’re moving forward with it.


  5. We all go through these moments of gloominess and desolation…these are fleeting in nature, sometime appears bigger and more imposing than they actual are, many times couple of hours or within couple days the scene changes, we are excited and charged up to take up newer and bigger things in life…

    The best thing to do in these bouts of low phases, is to take a break and get indulge in things entirely different or things never tried, also not get bogged down by the task at hand, keep it on hold, the world doesn’t cease to exist and nor the sky falls…it is sometime good take it very lightly and let the pressure ease out…the more we think, the more the problem rides on us, give a break and make a new beginning…

    Writing is a very tough task, and it needs the mind to be the right zone to get the thinking in place and thought to flow…the external things and the other pre-occupation keeps us off track, we need to get ourselves back on track every time something distracts us…therein resides the power of consistency.

    The success to good writing is just keep writing, that is perhaps the best antidote to the lingering feeling of dull and mounting drowsiness…one good piece of writing suddenly augments our creative juice to start flowing.

    Happy Writing!!! Keep Writing…


    1. Writing is tough at times. It takes concentration and diligent. And you have to be able to withstand those figurative kicks in the stomach by readers, critiques and editors. Fortunately, I love writing no matter how amateurish I may be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes you are right. Writing is a passion and it makes us feel good, so external things cannot deter us from writing…the force of passion within withstands these external challenges and we have to just keep writing…it improves and drives our passion to new highs…

        We have our own style and thoughts, these are unique and we should preserve it, and we should enjoy our thoughts and writing…others will follow.

        Happy Writing!!!


  6. I actually write my best when I am feeling at my worst. I don’t understand how that works but it is what it is.
    I like that you’ve written out your frustrations Glynis and I certainly hope that it helped you.


    1. I could probably write poems when I’m depressed but I don’t because I don’t want anyone including myself to read them later. I was surprised at how well it worked for me to write out my frustrations to people who were going to read them. I was able to go back and read it later and it still seemed understandable to me. And the support I’ve received has gotten rid of the lonely feeling. Now I’m just alone, which is fine.

      Have you written poems?

      Liked by 1 person

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