Friday, June 26, 2020

Anxious and Depressed?

     I can definitely tell you that putting "sex" into the title of my last blog caused me to get more hits than usual. I expect a sharp decline with this one which originates from my annual physical held by telephone.Since the blood test was cancelled due to COVID, they had nothing to reprimand me about. In fact, I considered telling them I'd lost twenty pounds since I didn't have to go through the get on the scale ordeal this time, but I didn't lie. I merely said I was fine, not the entire truth. Then, they asked me the same question as every year--Do I feel more anxious or depressed? My answer--"Doesn't everyone?" In fact, I think something would have to be wrong with a person who didn't feel this way. COVID stalks the streets and riots rain down on the cities.I feel helpless about both except to keep wearing my mask on the rare occasions I go out and to send money to social causes.
     My writing has suffered. I write light stories with happy endings and feel almost guilty about that. Shouldn't I be doing something dark and deep in tune with the times?  Can't make myself. I do think we need some sheer escapism to carry us away from all the turmoil. I recall after Hurricane Andrew passed our way and everything was a mess from the roof to the yard, the only thing I felt like reading was historical romance by the light of a candle, a retreat into another time and place. Still, with every author's event on my calendar cancelled, my sales are way down despite having launched a fun new historical series, The Longleigh Chronicles, up to book four now and with the fifth, The Greatest Prize now slated to come out in December.
      I kept my promise to finish The Aussie Sinner, the next in my Sinner sports romances, though it was hard going, fighting through feeling down and worrying that I hadn't done a good enough job of portraying a person from another country. In the end, I loved Australian Jock Brown, but would anyone else? Bring on the anxiety. I submitted the book to my editor and immediately got the new party line that it had to be written in Deep Point of View. A simple introductory paragraph to set the place and mood is now labeled omniscient. Evidently, scenery and weather do not exist unless one of the two POVs we are allowed witnesses it. Reluctantly, I took the book back and rewrote the descriptive paragraphs, shoved in more deep emotions and resubmitted. Little else can depress a writer more than being told after having twenty-nine books published, they no longer know how to write. No word on its fate yet as the publishing industry is about to start its summer hiatus on the Fourth of July.
     Yeah, yeah, I know. I should go to self-publishing. If I had the computer skills to do that I would, but so many of my friends have gone that route and after hiring the help they needed to get the book out found themselves in the hole about a thousand dollars or more, and their sales without even the modest help e-publishers give very low. So, I have a right to my anxiety and depression as long as I don't let it get out of control. Usually writing takes me away the same as reading, but at the moment, I am trying to make myself to start a new Sinner book. So far, all I have is a title page.If you feel the same, know you are not alone. Keep shoving those blues aside any way you can. Read.