Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Back Away From the Ledge

Quote of the Day:
A writer's life is not designed to reassure your mother.
~Rita Mae Brown

When my writer buddies and I start feeling the inevitable stress/depression/feelings of inferiority...the down sections of this wonderful roller coaster we are all on...we like to joke that we are 'living on the edge.' Sometimes we set up camp, complete with hotdogs and marshmallow roasts, and I believe one friend once set up an amusement park on her ledge.

Yes, we really do get that elaborate :) It gives us the opportunity to blow off some steam, vent our angst to those who will appreciate it, and most of the time, our ledge time allows us to scream to the high heavens....and then we get back to work, a little less stressed, a little more refreshed.

Well, I have been on the ledge for a few days. I'm not exactly sure why. I am a mere 3 chapters from finishing my YA WiP. My non-fiction book is being queried and I even have a couple requests out. I have several new WIP ideas knocking on the gates, and I'm so excited about all of them that I can't decide which to work on next.

Things should be great. But, they're not.

Another wonderful friend told me today that when you are on that ledge, you have two choices...take a deep breath and back away, or leap off and enjoy the flight. :)

Usually, I take that deep breath, back away slowly, and continue on. But I think this time, I'm going to take that jump and enjoy the flight. Not permanently, of course. But for today - yep. I'm feeling the need to fly :)

So, I am shutting off my computer, and I'm going to spend the entire day getting my house together and playing with my kids. Tomorrow I'll get working again (and I'm sure I'll be back on the ledge soon). But heck, I've backed away often enough, maybe jumping will keep me from that ledge a little longer :)

But before I go, here are my top 3 tactics I usually employ to make that ledge a little less inviting.....

1. My friends - those that are in the writing and querying trenches with me and understand the mad emotions that go with this "hobby" of ours. There is nothing like engaging in a full out vent session with those who truly feel your pain.

2. My funnies - a laugh cures a thousand ills. I pull up that LOL sight, google jokes, or go watch a movie that I know will put a smile on my face. There is nothing like a full out belly laugh to put you in a good mood.

3. My reading - I have been reading for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think my earliest memory is of reading. I remember lying on the floor with a book and tape set and looking up and seeing my parents in the kitchen. My mom said I got those books and tapes for Christmas when I was 2. I still remember opening the box. I had never seen anything so beautiful :)

What do you guys do when the ledge starts beckoning? Do you back away slowly or take the leap? Or do you just set up camp and party for a while? (Hey, sometimes that can be a lot of fun, especially if a bunch of your writer buddies are current residents) :D

I will be back tomorrow, hopefully refreshed and ledge-free :D Happy Writing everyone!


Anonymous said...

I know you won't read this until tomorrow - but I am very happy that you are taking a day to play!!! Have fun.

Elana Johnson said...

I'm the one who opened the amusement park. It's pretty fun, actually. So I usually set up camp and enjoy myself. Of course, there's like fifty coffee bars where you can email friends and stuff. That's what keeps me the sanest. Is that a word? Hmm, it is now!

Dutch Henry said...

I guess I'm sorta on the edge with ya. With the help of a terrific friend (A few others have already had their way with my novel, and my emotions), I am putting the final touches on my latest novel. Then I can leap from one edge to the next. The query cliff! Now that's an edge!

My therapy is my horse, Honey, a ten year old Tennessee Walker whom I rescued. Often, like today, I just sit with her in the barn with my coffee and enjoy her presence. Sometimes I'll read a book for an hour or two with her. Now her barn is what we call a run-in so she is free to come and go, but if I'm there, she's there. And we go for rides almost daily.

Then of course there is my wife. Now just because I mention her second - she's not. Robin is first with me, in everything, and has been for thirty-four years. She always knows just what to say…Or not to say. That's a different kind of therapy.

I follow some blogs; write a few notes, waste a little time on the internet. But the real head-fixin' comes mostly from riding my horse through the woods. Even if it is hot enough to set my straw hat on fire, or cold enough to freeze shut my eyelids. Nope, nothin' beats a good ride on a great horse!

Saddle Up - Dutch

Corey Schwartz said...

OMG, is that picture cute! I've been on the ledge a lot lately. In fact, I feel like I have been LIVING on it. My writer friends are what keep me sane.

Jeannette said...

I love that quote. I needed that quote!

As my boyfriend likes to tell me, "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room." Of course, he is not a writer.... If you're feeling the urge to fly a little then you'd better give it a go.