Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The Phantom Tollbooth was where I first learned of a term to describe that sleepy, no-energy, depressed feeling: the doldrums. We call it a lot of other things: the blues, the mopes, seasonal affective disorder, depression, apathy. Whatever you call it, the feeling ranges from acute to clinical. It could occur because of a gray, rainy Monday morning (welcome to Pittsburgh) or even during a bright summer day at a picnic surrounded by friends. It's funny that way.
And for writers it tends to be more prevalent. Do we experience the doldrums because we're so tuned into everything and experience intense emotions on both sides of the mood meter? Or do we gravitate to writing to escape these feelings?
How do you deal with them when they arise? Do you tough it out? Crank the melodramatic emo music? Binge on food or shopping to take your mind off of it? Or is it when you're at your writerly best?
My problem is silencing that little voice that, for some ungodly reason, tries to convince you that everything you're doing is wrong. This can come up in your writing or just your daily life. How do you get rid of it?
From QueryTracker.net 's Blog comes a new approach. It's a bit new-agey and touchy-feely, but at least it's a more active way to defeat the inner-critic. And to address it, they've brought in the big guns:
Carolyn Kaufman, PsyD writes fantasy, scifi, and nonfiction. She loves helping writers "get their psych right" in their stories, and her book on the same topic, THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment, and Human Behavior
Here is Part 1 and Part 2
I need to try this out as I've been in a bit of a slump lately. Let me know if it works for you. Good luck escaping the doldrums and silencing that critical voice!