The Work of Being a Writer

Hi, everyone. I wrote this 12 years ago, and a lot of it still rings true (although we now know that my “medically resistant depression” was due in part to Hashimoto’s Disease). I was “shopping” my first novel for paperback rights, and it was indeed picked up by the UK publisher to whom I refer. Still, it was a challenging time, and I just needed to share my thoughts.

I should be drying my hair, but I just need to get this out.

Being a writer is hard work. Sure, there’s the actual writing … but then what?

I was thinking about so many things this morning, and trying not to be overwhelmed.

— Every submission requirement is different. I’m in the midst of prepping yet another version of In The Eye of The Beholder, this time for a UK publisher who is interested in receiving my manuscript for consideration. After that, yet another submission version to prep for Authonomy.

— Publicity is hard, and sometimes you make a mis-step. I did already. I submitted my book to a reviewer who belatedly (and I mean belatedly … this had never been stated previously) announced that he expects authors to query him before sending him works. I sent a note of apology; there’s nothing more I could do.

— I am sometimes frustrated by the publicity process, to tell you the truth. We are all taught not to be boastful and self-serving. I used to work in public affairs for the Army, and I wrote press releases and promotional news information all the time. Marketing myself, though, is a challenge. My new marketing postcards have arrived … the next step is getting them out to people.

— I have the additional burden of dealing with medically resistant depression. That makes getting out of the house to go to my day job (and every author of my acquaintance has a day job) difficult, so adding this additional “shift,” if you will, makes things just a little tougher. Thrown in that my house is a disaster … which just feeds the depression. I’m working on the house, but sometimes it’s all I can do to pitch out the recycling. Those who cope with depression will understand; those who have never been through it cannot possibly relate — it’s not something you can just “snap out of.”

— At the same time, I theorize that my depression may be a gift. Many artists and authors throughout history have been prone to bouts of melancholia. I even gave my main character, Claire, a tendency toward melancholia in an attempt to get across what it’s like to live in that state. I don’t know how well I succeeded in that regard … only a reader could tell me.

I really needed to get this off of my chest. I am trying not to get frustrated or depressed this early in the game … some minutes are better than others.

5 thoughts on “The Work of Being a Writer

  1. I don’t know why you wouldn’t ‘toot your own horn.’ Writing is difficult enough for those of us who don’t struggle with depression.


  2. I think women are too easily diagnosed with depression when there is another underlying contributor. A friend’s sister was finally after a year discovered to have had a stroke preceding her depression.


    1. I wholeheartedly concur. When I was initially diagnosed, I was in my mid-30s and recently divorced. While it is now the standard of care to do a thyroid test for women who present with depressive symptoms, it wasn’t at the time — so they tried me on everything from the latest SSRIs to the oldest tricyclics before telling me, in essence “Too bad, you’ll just have to live with it.”

      It wasn’t until I went to a new doctor for something totally unrelated, and I mentioned gaining weight on less than 1000 calories per day, that we found out what was going on.

      Liked by 1 person

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