Depression, Deadlines, & Determination

“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people” – Thomas Mann

Sorry I haven’t posted a blog entry in so long. So many things in my life, both positive and negative have conspired to keep me from writing as much as I’d like. The really big negative factor was losing the job I had for nine years and the subsequent depression that followed. Also time and energy spent in looking for another job has whittled away at my available hours as well. The lack of finding another job and the financial woes that entails led to yet more depression. You can start to see the vicious cycle my life has been in for the last four months.

One positive thing has been that I have been invited to submit short stories to several anthologies during this time. I have been trying to get these stories written, but the bouts of depression have often left me mentally defeated and feeling like I was unable to write anything, good, bad or otherwise. I have broken through these frustrating periods now and again, and made some progress at least, on the stories. I am coming up on impending deadlines however, so it is crunch-time now to get these finished, but I am determined to get them done, and done right.

Another good thing that has happened while all this has been going on, is that my wife started her own freelance photography business specializing in portrait photography. She does her shoots outdoors on location wherever the clients want the photos taken. I have been helping her with these shoots as her assistant, whenever I am available, and it has been hard, but fun work. Normally a photographer would take on an intern as an unpaid assistant, but she got so busy, so fast, having booked so many clients in a short period of time,  that she didn’t have time to find someone. So while I’m not working at a regularly scheduled job during the day, It was only natural that I should be the one to help out. If there is anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas  looking to become a photographer’s intern and is available both weekdays and weekends, contact Sussie at Photography by Sussie Atchley at and she will be more than happy to interview you for the position.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working with my wife, but at some point I hope to have a full-time day job again and then I won’t be availabile to help her out. Plus, the extra time at home writing and doing research for my stories is always good to have, as I have to schedule that around job hunting, keeping up the house and yards, eating, and staying in shape by riding my bicycle, and practicing Qi-Gong Kung Fu. I also need the occasional break to read, and watch a movie or TV show recorded on the DVR to clear my head from the writing process. Oh yeah, and sleep too.

Anyway, I hope to get back to posting here more often, probably after I get stories done for these upcoming deadlines, or when I need a break from writing my stories but feel compelled to write something meaningful here in my blog. I hope you are all having a wonderful November so far. I know many of you are participating in NaNoWriMo this month and so I hope you all will have a very productive output of words on your novels. I am focusing all of my time on these short stories so I won’t be working on a novel anytime soon, but I have a couple of unfinished ones that I will get back to eventually.

Until next time, everyone keep writing, and don’t let depression derail your determination.




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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yeah, it sounds like a royal pain in the ass, but keep at it. Everything i’ve seen so far leads me to believe it’s well worth the effort.

    • Thanks Jack. Your support means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to reading your story, you have some great ideas.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. Losing a job really takes a toll on self-esteem, far beyond what anyone can imagine unless they’ve been through it. J and I have both experienced it – he’s also experienced it more than once.

    One day in the near future you will come through it, be back at work again and this will be but a distant memory. In the meantime try to be gentle with yourself and continue to pursue interests (such as writing) that allow you to express your talents and feel like you are investing your time in something that lets you feel good about yourself.

    • Thanks so much, Holly, for the comment and the encouragement. Finally making the leap to becoming a working, published writer this year has been one of the really great things that has helped offset the shock and despair of losing my job. If it weren’t for my friends, family, and writing, I don’t think I would make it through this tough time.

  3. The last few days I have really not been myself. I’m usually upbeat and positive. I’m also very disciplined usually, but over the last few days I’ve been letting things slide and I just feel like I’m drifting off into an episode of depression (been there before).

    I want to get back on track before I get to the point where I can’t get out of bed in the morning but at the moment I don’t feel very motivated to do anything much. I’m not even going to the gym and watching my food intake which is something I usually do religiously (I’m a recreational body builder). I’m also letting things slide at work and in a couple fo projects deadlines are going to get missed which is something I never let happen ever.

    I know I’m not totally depressed yet, (I wouldn’t be writing this if I was) but I feel like I’m standing on the brink and it would be so easy to fall in.

    Any ideas?

    • Thanks for sharing your comment and situation with me, Melva. Getting out of your workout routine will make you feel depressed in and of itself. I made the same mistake these past few months, and if not for my Qi-Gong Kung Fu class, I would have really gotten out of shape and in worse health. Start excercising again, first of all, I think you will find that it helps you feel better almost immediatly. Excercise releases endorphins which are natural mood lifters. Also talk to your friends and family about your depression. This is very hard for me, as I tend to keep my feelign s an emotions bottled up inside too much, but I am trying to get better at it. Another thing is sometimes we get in a rut, enduring a perpetual cycle of life that has few if any changes. Try a new hobby, visit a place you’ve never been to before,(doesn’t have to be an expensive trip, even a local city park will work) call up an old friend you haven’t talked to in years. Little things can do a lot. I’ve found these things to be effective for me, and I hope they work for you too. Also, don’t let yourself fall into a pit of despair. Things are usually not as bad as they seem, and tough times end eventually. It is darkest before the dawn they say, and every day brings new opportunities to chage your life for the better. Hang in there.

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