It never fails. As soon as I start a new endeavor, I'm destined to have an emotional and mental breakdown that makes me question everything I've ever done and hope to do as a writer. Why should returning to blogging be any different?
When I blogged before, I desperately tried to always be positive and hide the worst of my inner turmoil. I wasn't perfect in that because I'm a horrible liar. Always have been. Part of me still thinks this is the best course of action. However, a year of podcasting has taught me that it is always better to be honest and real than to put on a mask that prevents people from getting to know you. I want to be authentic without being a downer.
Is that even possible? I think so, and I'm going to strive for that in all areas of my life including this new blog. So, let's give this a shot today.
The last three to four years of my life have been a major emotional roller coaster. Someone I love, and base a lot of my personal self-worth on, has struggled with anxiety and depression. For the most part, I've been able to keep my head above water and look at things logically. But every once in a while I sink. The last month has been one big sinking episode. I'm tired. I'm ready to have my best friend back. I want the whole world to leave us alone so we can concentrate on helping our family through this time. But that's not how life works.
Anyway, last night I found myself sitting in my office after midnight, notebook in hand, feeling perfectly miserable. The big question was, "What can I cut from my life so I have more time to take care of my well-being and my family?"
The only thing I have control over is my writing world. All the things I do in order to be an author. That includes: writing, revising, editing, podcasting, instagram, facebook groups, taking classes to be a better marketer, marketing, attending writer's groups and conferences, and thinking about all the ideas floating in my head.
I wrote the following down.
Things to cut from my life:
Podcast. Even though I love it, I don't want to do it alone. This will also cut out editing time, a facebook group, and a Clubhouse group that never got off the ground.
Maybe I finish my current series that is already up for pre-order and then quit writing altogether? Writing is hard when I'm not happy and too time consuming. This would clear out my entire life. But what do I replace it with?
That's the kicker, isn't it? If I stopped being a writer, what will I be? It's the only thing I feel I have control over in my life. Would I fall back into depression if I let it go? Writing saved my life once. What if it's doing it now and I just can't see it because of everything else?
It's a crisis that started in the night and I still don't have answers to. Something has to give. Maybe just for a short time, but I'm just as scared to quit as I am to keep pressing on.
Have you ever had to give up your dream in order to hold your world together? How did you survive, what did you do instead? And, did you ever get to return to the thing that made you happy?