They say that writers need to have thick skins…I always thought I was one of those impervious authors. I’m also half-British, so there’s the whole “stiff upper lip” thing to contend with as well. So, it was a surprise to me when last summer I started feeling off. A little blue, a little irritable. I wrote it off as having all the kids home for the summer and other things life throws in an author’s path. Plus, I’ve always been a worst-case scenerio, glass-half-empty, touch of melancholy person, so I wasn’t too worried. Contrary to all my instincts, I assured myself that these feeling would pass.
Then, November, that bleak month Jo March referred to in Little Women arrived. We live in California, normally November is pretty pleasant. It wasn’t until all the sparkling lights, joyful carols, and bouncing-off-the-wall anticipation of the upcoming Christmas didn’t budge the black cloud over my head that I realized something was pretty wrong.
By February, desperation had set in. I hadn’t picked up a pen or illuminated a pixel in months, the voices in my head had gone preternaturally silent, and a rejection letter from my dream publisher felt like a death toll. Having never had writer’s block, I wrote it off as that. But why, after almost a lifetime of writing, would I suddenly have something I wasn’t sure I even believed in? I realized I was deluding myself. I was plain and simply DEPRESSED. Clinically, chronically, to the point where even getting out of bed felt like an enormous accomplishment — that sort of depressed. I sought help.
Although medication might be touted as a miracle cure for depression, I have to say that for me it’s been a long road back to feeling “myself” again. I knew I’d turned a corner when I suddenly had a thought I hadn’t had in over a year.
“That would make a great story.”
I’m relieved, my family is relieved, above all, the voices in my head are relieved.
Sadly, since I’ve been away, a lot has changed in the publishing world. Some of my titles have gone out of print, and one of my beloved publishers has closed its doors permanently. I’ve finally got the energy to tackle updating my website, so you’ll see some changes. Finally.
I want to thank you all for sticking with me through the darkness of the storm.