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?