Mood Swings

on November 4, 2012 in Misc

Sometimes it’s a little scary for me when my moods go up and down.

Does that ever happen to you? I mean, we’re not talking bipolar here.  There’s no wild manic vs. depressive crazy-as-a-bat-in-my-belfry moods.  It’s just that anymore it seems I have positive, optimistic times when I feel excited about life, then half a day later my writing seems hopeless and things aren’t so good and life is just one big… I dunno… a big fart?

This weekend, at least, was pretty good.  While I didn’t get out and do fun Layla stuff, I did put in a good chunk of time on my Charity MacCay manuscript.  In theory I should just be editing it, but in reality, you know how it goes – there was a whole half chapter that I realized needs serious re-writing.  Then I saw a documentary on the History Channel that gave me a couple factoids I should add to my story.  And the fat Pulitzer Prize-winning bio of Cornelius Vanderbilt (he plays a role in my novel) is still sitting in my living room with my bookmark less than a third of the way through.

Anyway the point is, even though I have more writing work to do than I anticipated, I’m happy when I’m writing.  And this evening I felt a brief surge of joy.  Like maybe things will really work out.  People will read and love Charity.  My savings won’t all disappear into my teeth and my car.

All fine and dandy. But lurking in the back of my mind is the fear that some time in this coming week something will set me off, my optimism will go to hell in a handbasket, and I’ve got to park my butt down and meditate myself back to some semblance of serenity.

I mean, I’ve heard of writers having serious mood swings, but this is really getting tiresome.  And worrisome.  And bothersome.

So do any of you guys have up and down times too?  Days when you think of tossing out everything you’ve ever written and swearing off writing?  Are they followed by dreams of winning literary prizes and seeing your name at the top of the New York Times bestseller lists?

Okay, so that sounds like my own personal and favorite delusion.  Got any literary grand schemes too?

14 Responses to “Mood Swings”

  1. I’m usually pretty even-keeled, but that’s just my personality. No delusions of the NY Times Best Seller list, but would really dig a movie based on one of my books.

  2. Hart Johnson says:

    My ‘normal’ is pretty up, but when I get bogged down in too much to do that ISN’T my stuff, I can get pretty down too. I think it is a lack of ME-time. Fortunately, I look at writing as ME-time, so that kind of busy.

    Glad you are at an up-spot right now!

  3. Helena says:

    Hart – You’re right about writing time being ME-time. With your busy family, it must be tough for you to have enough.

  4. Helena says:

    Alex – Damn. Yeah, I’m the only one with delusions. Meanwhile, you’ve got a real bestseller on Amazon, but then you deserve it!

  5. Oh yes. I have huge mood swings. This weekend was okay as I finally started writing again after a big hiatus. I managed to squeeze out 2500 words. I just haven’t felt like doing it all that much lately. I got this question in the back of my mind…will anyone actually read this? I’m just wasting time, etc. But I legitimately enjoy it right now. I just need to convince myself of that and there really isn’t all that much to do aside from that right now. I am continuously plagued with self doubt, mood swings, and sometimes depression. Bleh.

  6. Helena says:

    Michael – Bleh is right. Aren’t mood swings the pits? But believe me, people (like me) ARE reading your stuff and if we didn’t enjoy it we’d go away, and I’m not going away. And if you’re enjoying the writing then please stick with it. Do what makes you happy.

  7. Ciara Knight says:

    I think writers tend to be emotional people, so we can embrace our sadness and purge it to paper. That is why writing is so therapeutic to us. Trust me, I’m moody. Don’t believe me? Ask DH, I’m sure he will share. :)

  8. Helena says:

    Ciara – Writing really is therapeutic, isn’t it? So let’s embrace our sadness and moods, and in my case my craziness.

  9. Oh you are so wonderful. Be sure to go and vote today, Helena.

  10. I’m normally pretty upbeat and happy. When something zaps that away, I muddle along for a bit but pop back up before too long. I do get cranky if I don’t write for a while. And I can read my work one day and think it’s crap, and the next day read a different part and think it’s not too bad. So overall, I think that’s pretty normal for a writer.

  11. Helena says:

    Michael – I voted yesterday by dropping off in person my mail-in ballot. Yay!

  12. Helena says:

    Carol – For me it’s so funny (in a masochistic way) to look at what I’ve written one day and think it’s solid, only to check it out later and wonder if I’d been drinking. So yes, you and I are normal writers!

  13. Old Kitty says:

    My star sign is cancer and I’m ruled by the fickle moon so you can’t get more emotionally volatile than that! Ahem! LOL!! I totally get the “who am I kidding, I can’t write” days after the “whoopee, someone loves my story, I am a writer!” times and never know anything in between! Totally get it!! Yay!! Take care
    x

  14. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – I know just what you mean. I love roller coasters, which are physically fun, but going through emotional roller coasters can be so tough.