Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Writing despite myself

Camy here, talking about the one thing I struggle against the most when it comes to writing—myself.

I don’t like it, but I am a very emotional writer. Meaning, my writing motivation is often fed by my feelings.

I find I write less in wintertime because the season makes me a little depressed, more sluggish, less motivated. I know I’m not alone.

Other times during the year, when something happens to emotionally impact me, my writing goes out the window. High stress situations will also sap my creativity.

This is not a good thing when I’m under deadline. While my editor might be sympathetic, I’m still UNDER CONTRACT to turn in a manuscript. A publishing house is a business, and I have been hired as a freelance contractor to deliver goods (my manuscript) on time.

In short, I’m still struggling to find a way to write despite depression, despite stress, despite distraction, because it’s my JOB to write, and I can’t shirk on my job.

In hindsight, I wish I’d developed these skills when there wasn’t so much riding on my performance—before I was contracted. Once I became contracted, I realized that my normal method of handling depression and stress—eating copious amounts of rocky road ice cream and nagging Ruthy for her cream puff recipe, oh, and not writing—wasn’t going to work.

So now, I am learning stress and emotion management. It doesn’t always work, because depression is something I have a hard time fighting (I have mild depression that can be triggered by external stimuli—I’ve been that way since I was a teen).

One thing that sounds like a broken record but which really does work is write a little every day. Whether I work on my contracted novel, or on something else just for me, or on a short story for my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers, I try to write at least 100 words a day. (Fiction words, mind you—emails and blog posts and articles don’t count.)

Most days, those 100 words are easy. Other days, it’s like trying to squeeze my size 14 bum into size 6 jeans—a lot of heaving, ho-ing, sweating, and grunting.

But that little burst of creativity does two things:

1) It keeps my writing momentum strong. If I stop writing for a day, my depression or stress might keep me from picking my writing up again for days or weeks.

2) It somehow helps to keep the emotions at bay. I feel calmer, even a little happier, because I accomplished those 100 words for the day.

Another thing I try to do is read my Bible every day. Even just a chapter.

You can pick and choose your own method of spiritual relaxation, especially if you’re not a Christian.

I am, so I turn to my Bible—it’s a no-brainer and it really does help me. It calms me like nothing else and helps me to emotionally tackle those 100 words for the day if I haven’t done them yet.

Whatever you choose to do, pick something that will calm you, center you, inspire you, and focus you.

It won’t be a cure for whatever emotion is roiling inside you or pulling you down, but it will help in small ways to help you keep your writing momentum with those 100 words.

I’m still struggling with this, so if any of you have ideas, feel free to comment.

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novel Single Sashimi is out now, and she runs the Story Sensei critique service. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly giveaways!


  1. Your blog was just what I needed. I am just beginning my writing journey and have struggled with the motivation to write the last few months and realized after reading your blog that I struggle with the same thing as you! My son got married at Christmas, our finances are non-existent due to our starting a church 2 years ago, and we will probably lose our house in the next few months. So...I guess you could say I am a bit stressed.

    My writing is definitely taking a hit, but your 100 word a day idea is great and I will definitely give it a try! Thanks for the blog!

  2. I'm glad my post was helpful, sherrinda! Although I'm sorry about all the things happening in your life.

    Let us know if that 100 words a day works for you, too. So far, I only know that it works for me when I'm stressed or depressed, so it would be nice to know if it helps other people, too.


  3. OOOOH boy, thanks for sharing Camy and Sherrinda for your honest thoughts.

    It is so hard to write when you are under pressure in other areas.

    Don't you suppose it is probably that way with most writers. That sensitive part of us is what makes us writers. I wish i could turn it off with a switch but alas I cannot.

  4. Great post Camy, I went through a period where I didn't write and it was because of extreme stress. Sometimes when things happen, like my mom was dying, I gave myself permission not to write and I'm thankful I spent the time with her.

    But believe me, it is very difficult to get back into the practice. so I agree one hundred percent to just do it. Write every day. Keep your goals realistic like Camy said so you don't give up. If you write more then hooray. You feel great.

    One thing that helps me besides reading the Bible and writing is to walk every day. I get most of my story plotted during a walk. The physical activity is enough to keep my brain from wandering to other things.

    Thanks Camy. Oh yes, another thing I do is eat, but that isn't a good thing. So I'm bringing some healthy snacks for us. A plate full of fresh strawberries, blackberries, slices of crisp apple and chunks of pineapple. A dab of peanut butter on the apple slice takes away all cravings. Guaranteed.

  5. Camy, I hear you...loud and clear. I'm an emotional writer, too. When I'm stressed, my muse takes a hike. Hubby lost his job recently. We have 16 days left of medical insurance, which is more upsetting than the loss of income. I'm trying to prepare for Genesis and my chapters aren't coming together the way I had hoped.

    Winter is my least favorite season because the cold depresses me and makes me feel so unmotivated. In NW PA, we have plenty of snow from November through March and sometimes into April. Once I start seeing green peeking through the snow, my enthusiasm perks up.

    I'm struggling with writing while working full-time and going to school part-time. I'll graduate in May, so substituting writing time with homework won't be a problem any longer.

    Praying that God will help us through these seasons of depression!

  6. Oh, man, move over, Camy, because I struggle with the exact same thing ... as I suspect a lot of authors do (uh, except maybe Mary and Cheryl, from whom the written word flows as easily as sassy comments from the lips of our Ruthy).

    I totally concur that if I don't write for a day (or in a recent scenario, for months), the monster of malaise and depression rears its ugly head. The Bible works wonders in situations like this, as does worship music. Another thing that helps me is the treadmill, where scenes whip through my head as fast as the conveyer belt beneath my feet. It also helps to go back and read a particularly favorite scene in my WIP, something that will resuscitate my passion for writing.

    But a 100 words a day? I can do that! Thank you so much, Camy, for this candid and inspiring blog -- it always helps to know we are not alone in a struggle.

    And Sherrinda -- my heart goes out to you over your recent struggles. Please know that I am putting you on my prayer "hit list" for things to turn around.


  7. Boy, do I ever struggle with this! I thought I was the only one!

    Beth Moore studies help me! November and December are my hardest times. But God's grace is sufficient.

    It took me 18 months to write a 75,000-word book, for this very reason, stress and depression. But I pushed and forced myself to finish it. Of course, it's the book nobody's even read yet! Maybe never will! Ha! But God is proud of me, anyway.

  8. Camy,

    Wonderful post. Do you count editing in this 100 words a day? I've finshed the rough draft of my novel and have put it Excel to find the holes. I'm also redoing my original synopsis (which has changed since I started) and trying to re-write a chapter based on MRUs.

    Granted, reading over what I write above stresses me out.

  9. I fail with my word count more than I succeed, unfortunately. Perhaps my problem is too high a word count. I'll have to try the 100 and see if that works better for those "down" days.

  10. Every time I ever feel sad, reading my bible always makes me feel better (and I mean that in the least religious way possible).
    I'd say I'm an emotional writer too, but usually, if I force myself to sit down and right, I begin to enjoy it and get on a roll. Not always, but usually. :-)
    Can't wait to read your suspense!

  11. Hi Camy,

    Seems you've hit a hot button today! Yesterday we had a blizzard and today it's -25 C so it's hard not to just curl up in a blanket and shut out the world! On top of seasonal depression, I have the dreaded hormonal imbalance known as peri-menopause. Lucky women, aren't we!

    Thanks for the inspiration. I will try to do at least 100 words a day!

    Think Spring everyone...


  12. I like the 100 words a day idea. I'm a winter hibernator so its easy for me to write in the winter. The summer, however, is another story. From May until September is very difficult. The warm air calls to me. I am also the mother of a special needs 12 year old and while most days she inspires me, some days, like today, she tires me out. Your post gave me a much needed pick me up. Thanks.

  13. I know what you mean, Camy. If I miss a day, it's easy to miss another day. Then another, and another.

    And life causes me to do this on occasion. In writing, in dieting, in pretty much anything that I desire to be more consistent and diligent about.

    But as I've become more cognizant of this phenomenon within myself, I find that I pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back to business more quickly than I used to.

    Bible reading helps because it revives and refocuses the spirit. Exercise helps because it revs up the mind and will as well as the body.

    And no matter what anyone else says, a square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate doesn't hurt. :>)

    For some, even 100 words might seem daunting. One author told me to focus on writing just five words.


    Who can't do that?

  14. Hi, Camy, you always seem so PERKY. :)

    I think the reason 100 words a day is so CRUCIAL. Yes, I said crucial, is because STARTING is so often hard.

    It's not writing ten pages that's hard, it's writing the first sentence. So, if you break your goal down to something completely NOT scary, like one hundred words, I mean, c'mon, that's PARAGRAPH, then it doesn't seem overwhelming and once you've STARTED who knows, you might end up writing 1000 words or 3000 words.

    So, I highly recommend this. I used to have for a daily goal what I called, "A Fast 300". Someone else's term, I think. It's longer than 100 but it's the same idea, just a really DO-able amount, and it gets you to open that document, type that first sentence.

    I now try my level best to write 1000 words a day. I keep trying to up it. I wish I could consistantly write 2500, man I'd get a book done fast if I did that. And I do write that much many days, sometimes more.
    But so far I haven't been able to really raise the bar to 2500 and, rather than fail daily, I've kept the goal to 1000.

  15. Susan Ann, I don't think you can say DEPRESSED when it's -25 degrees. Being miserable is just common sense.

  16. Minus 25 degrees is just scary. It doesn't even get that cold in Ukraine.

  17. Oh man, it's hard to be a snark amidst so much angst.

    And yet, I can.


    I could give the snap out of it talk. The look around you and see who's worse off than you lecture. I've copyrighted the "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it" series of smackdowns for people who need to be uplifted.

    Or smacked.

    But admittedly it's hard to be a total snark when people talk about losing homes, insurance, jobs, children, so I'm digging into the Mary Elizabeth Logan side of my nature and commiserating.

    Which I CAN do, on occasion. I just hide it well.

    These are trying times, but not unusual. Just unusual for us.

    And if our parents survived (and some actually thrived after living through the Great Depression, a World War or two, Korea, Vietnam, the sixties revolution, seventies insanity and the indulgence of the 80's and 90's...)how can we do less?

    In some cases it means moving. Working two jobs. Working three jobs, if necessary. Settling for less than what we thought we needed. Relocating. Suspending our Road Runner or AOL until we catch up on the electric bill.

    God gives us the strength to be tough. He doesn't make it EASY to be tough, to endure. For those who've lost a parent, a spouse, a child, a sibling, a grandchild, a home, a job...

    These are the rough roads that build the plots of our books, that set the stage for the HEA we love. In real life, they suck. Thank God for the talent that helps you bring them alive to help others through similar life-altering circumstances.

    What do we do?

    We hang tough. We pray, work, pray, laugh, pray, cry, and in the midst of it all, if we forget to be thankful for the important stuff, the healthy child, the successful birth, the eccentric grandparent, the beauty of a mid-winter snowfall, the bright red cardinal perched on a snowy branch, the negative test results that show a tumor is benign...

    Then shame on us. God gives us reason to sing, to rejoice, to expound, to praise every day.

    If negative feelings and/or depression hound you, set a time limit. Really, truly. Discipline yourself to set that timer and when it beeps, blings, rings or whatever, get it in gear.

    If you need physical help, I've got a stiff boot that's just the ticket. Be your own NIKE commercial...

    Just do it.

    Note to those who've suffered life-altering loss:

    God's got your back. Promise. And I won't give you a swift kick, but I'd gladly give you a hug or a clasped hand. And no one cries alone in my presence, so bring the Kleenex, lotion-treated please. My nose likes those better.


  18. Ruthy said:
    If you need physical help, I've got a stiff boot that's just the ticket.

    Oh yay, The George Patton School of Psychology, alive and well in Seekerville. LOL

  19. Camy, I really relate. Mild depression has plagued me for as long as I can remember. "Happy pills" do nothing but sedate me and fry my brain, so I've learned to accept this as part of who I am (God's creation any way you look at it) and find creative ways to muddle through the darker days.

    As for Ruthy's kick-in-the-rear therapy, well, let's just say I'm thankful she and I live too far apart for her steel-toed boots to reach!

  20. Camy, I'm so glad you wrote on this subject--seems like I'm not alone in this fight.

    Though most people who have met me wouldn't know it, I've fought depression most of my life and I do fight it like it's a war. To not write means that the depression has won that day and I'm just a little too competitive to let it win.

    But I lose the battle at times, especially when things are a roller coaster ride at my house. I think it's true that most writers deal with this to some degree--to make believable characters that people care about, we have to care and that can play on our emotions.

    Getting on my face in prayer calms my heart and gets me in the writing mood. There's something about being on my knees, taking to my Daddy that helps drive the depression away, even if its just for a little while.

    Another thing I do is clean house--I know, how can cleaning the house help you get words down on paper? Well, I'm a thinker and I can't tell you the times I've come up with ways to work out that problematic scene when I'm on my knees, scrubbing the toilet.

    Anywho, thanks for posting on this subject, Camy. I really appreciate it.

    Patty Hall

  21. Hey, to soften my pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps post, I brought fresh chocolate chip cookies for the afternoon session.

    There's precious little on God's green earth that ain't made just a little better by a chocolate chip cookie.


  22. After I had baby #4, I experienced depression, and every so often, I feel that "black cloud" coming back.

    My older sister, likewise, has issues with panic attacks. Had to take medication for a while. She believes that once you've experience panic attacks or depression, you're more suceptable (I don't think I spelled that correctly) to experiencing them again.

    I've always thought God just made me with this way.

    Myra, I'm not picking on you. Your comment was a slap in the face. Suddenly I saw myself for the enabler I am.

    See, that reasoning has excused lots of my bad behavior.

    God made me female, which means He intended for me to have these wacky emotional rollercoaster days; therefore, my dramatic responses to things during my pre-menstral week, menstral week, and post-menstral recovery week are just how things are going to be. I'm created to be a drama queen three weeks out of the month. I'm also created to go to food when I'm feeling the blues and am unmotivated to do the things I have to do because God created food for my pleasure.


    What a bunch of %*#@!

    According to Webster, self-reliance is depending on one's own ability, judgement, or resources.

    God helps those who help themselves.

    Lord, why is there sometimes only one set of footprints in the sand?

    Because that's when I carried you.

    What a bunch of religious blech that has no scriptual foundation. God NEVER NEVER NEVER created, designed, or intended for us to manage life on our own. Life includes those menstral weeks, days of depression, times of stress. Somewhere along the way, I got this idea that if I prayed hard enough, have enough faith, then God will get me through this.

    Just wait it out. In time, things will get better.

    Umm, what about when they don't? Or when it takes years and years?

    "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength..." Jeremiah 17:5

    "They will be held guilty, they whose strength is their god." Habakkuk 1:11

    God doesn't want to carry us through the sand sometimes. In fact, He didn't even create, designed, intend us to carry us at all. *gasp*

    He wants to live through us, in us, for us (Romans 6:6, Galations 2:20).

    In other words, when we're facing whatever battle (depression, stress, bored, dependence of food), we need to speak the truth. I can't overcome this depression on my own or even at all. The battle is the Lord's.

    Fortunately, I'm like Sandra in that I can give myself permission not to write during more intesnse seasons of my life. I haven't written any fiction stuff since Thanksgiving. At first, I struggled with guilt. How am I ever going to get published if I don't write? What about all the $$ hubby has invested in my writing career?

    Guilt is one of Satan's favorite tools to make Christians live defeated lives.

    Right now I'm just doing what I need to do as a mom and a wife. When I see the new craft of writing books I got for Christmas and I feel the pangs of guilt and depression coming on, I walk away.

    It's not I who live but Christ who lives in me. So I'm going to continue being a Mary and sitting at His feet and aborbing what He needs to teach me.

    When I take my eyes off my problems, I can focus better on the right thing. Plus, I can also better smell the poopy diaper that needs to be changed.

  23. Camy, thanks for sharing.

    I tend to get overwhelmed until I freeze up. So I've found that counting the days til a dealine, then dividing the total word count left by the work days available, I can come up with what I need to do each day to finish in time. It's been really freeing for me to say, okay, if I write 1900 words a day, I'll be done in time.

    And once I'm done with those words, I have the option of quitting for the day. I can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and not get overwhelmed.

    And I think the online support of other writers is huge! Plus, having a boot in the rear from Ruthy on occasion keeps me going. :)


  24. Great advice, Camy. Who isn't under a tremendous amount of stress these days? Since last October, I've been writing something, even if it really bites, each day.

    You're right about finding something to calm you. The Bible works for me, too, sometimes a double shot, LOL! I also have a very demanding little dog that just sits there and stares at me until we do the W-A-L-K thing. Have you ever tried being creative with two little eyes begging?? Even happy pills can't overcome that!

    Ah, Camy? Have you ever looked at your schedule? Do the words slow down mean anything to you???

    Hmm, you can slow down anywhere else except for writing. Keep cranking out those books!!

  25. Tina--you hit the nail on the head. What makes writers good writers is our sensitivity, but we can't turn it off when it dips toward depression or low spirits. That's why I need the 100 words a day, just to keep me from dipping too far. It works for me, not sure if it works for other people, but I put it out there in case it'll be helpful.

    Sandra--walking is a great idea! I have a writer friend who also suffers from depression, and she walks a little each day, doctor's orders, to help her stabilize her emotions. It really seems to work for her. The only problem is that sometimes it's really hard for someone who's depressed to get the energy to walk even down the street.

    Lisa--so sorry about your hubby! I'm praying things work out for you.

    Julie--worship music is a fantastic idea! I'll have to try that myself.

    Melanie--how great you finished a book despite your emotional struggles! That's a total VICTORY. A Bible study during Winter months is a good idea, too. It's something to keep a writer focused during seasonal depression.

    Walt--no, it has to be 100 brand spankin' new words. The creative process during writing is very different from the analytical process during editing, and you want to stimulate that creative process in your brain daily to keep your creative juices flowing. You don't want those creative juices to suffer from lack of movement and inertia. So just press through and do those 100 words!

    Eileen--100 words is totally doable! In fact, most of the time I exceed that, but the low word count requirement helps me on my low days.

    Jessica--thanks! I hope you enjoy it! Reading the Bible helps me too.

    Susan--you touched on a good subject--a lot of times, hormones can influence our writing, too! I don't know if the 100 words a day would help with hormonal imbalance or not, but if it does, let us know!

    Karen--you're welcome! Just keep plugging away at the writing--remember, it's a long distance marathon, not a sprint, so any small increase in word count is a good thing!

    Patricia--I'm exactly like you--if I miss even ONCE, it's TEN TIMES HARDER to pick my schedule back up again, whether it's writing or exercise. Five words is just as psychologically effective as 100 words--I say, anything that gets a writer to write for the day is good!

    Mary--you are totally right! The STARTING can be harder than the words themselves. I spend more time staring at the blinking cursor than actually typing. You are actually one of the most consistent writers I know--it seems like I blink and you're finishing another book because you've been plugging at it so consistently for the past few weeks!

    Ruthy--it's very true, God's always got our back no matter what we're going through! And sometimes our circumstances do call for tightening our belts and sacrificing, even if only for a little while.

    Myra--I'm the same way, I don't like taking medication because it makes me feel yucky or weird, and I'm weird enough as is! LOL

    Patty--you bring up a good point, prayer is our greatest offense against emotional swings that keep us from writing. And I've come up with story ideas while scrubbing the toilet, too, so you're not alone!

    Gina--don't give in to guilt! God can convict, but He doesn't manipulate us with guilt, that's Satan. If you can't write, you just can't write. But if you can try to squeeze out a few words, that might help you, too.

    Missy--scheduling my word count works for me too! But I tend to leave things to the last minute rather than being consistent (like Mary) so it's not always as effective as it could be.

    Audra--LOL it's true, I'm busy these days, but not SO busy that I can't find time to calm down. I just don't always MAKE myself calm down, if that makes sense!


  26. Thanks for this timely post, Camy. My wip is the first book I've had to write to a deadline and that in itself unnerves me. I don't have depression, but writing is hard work, at least for me, and some days it's all too easy to avoid buckling down.

    What works for me?

    Dividing up the book in doable segments.

    Having a critique partner waiting on my stuff.

    Giving myself permission to do something fun when I meet my goal.

    Then there's my secret weapon. My husband, the male version of Ruthy. LOL When I'm in a generous mood, I call him my accountability partner. Maybe having someone to pat you on the back or give you that look will help. It does me.


  27. Janet, you bring up another good tool--when someone else is waiting to critique your manuscript, sometimes that's a good motivator when you're feeling tired or emotional. Even submitting crap to your critique partner is better than not submitting anything at all!


  28. Glad I'm not the only one who's having trouble being creative this winter. It's cold in Georgia! Evidently too cold for my muse to flap her wings and give me inspiration. :)

    I'm finding chocolate helps!

  29. Okay, Janet, you've begged the question. What do you call your poor hubby when you're not in a generous mood.



  30. I'm loving all these suggestions! Thanks, everyone, for sharing.

  31. Missy said:
    Okay, Janet, you've begged the question. What do you call your poor hubby when you're not in a generous mood.

    Camy here: I want to know, too! LOL ;)

    Debby, I like chocolate as a creative spur, too! It's gotta be good for something besides adding padding to my behind.

    Actually, I thought I did read somewhere that chocolate can help with low spirits because of some neurochemical thing. Missy or Tina would probably know.


  32. From RealMentalHealth [dot] com:

    There are several ways in which chocolate could boost mood:

    Chocolate contains carbohydrates. Eating food high in carbohydrates but low in protein can boost the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is thought to be in short supply in the brains of depressed people. However, some scientists believe that the protein content of chocolate may prevent it from boosting serotonin. Chocolate contains small amounts of various drugs that might affect mood, including phenylethylamine (which affects the level of certain chemical messengers in the brain), caffeine and theobromine (which are stimulants), and other drugs which affect the brain in a similar way to cannabis. However, the dose of these drugs in chocolate is fairly low. The pleasant taste and texture of chocolate is believed to bring about the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain which act like opiates to increase pleasure and reduce pain.


  33. LOL so basically, chocolate can or cannot boost mood depending on what you believe about the science, but it's generally believed to cause endorphin release, which makes you feel like you're in love.

    What if you were stressed out a lot when you were in love with your husband????



  34. I was just skimming along reading posts until the word cannibis jumped out at me.

    Talk about the neighborhood changing

  35. Oh, the article got better! By the end, it talked about how much of the good feelings could be destroyed by the guilt of eating it!! LOL!!!!


  36. So...

    Drug us with pot or chocolate, and everything gets better.

    It took us ALL DAY to figure that out????

    We're slow today.


  37. Camy -

    While your post struck a familiar chord for all of us, nobody commented on something that might be worth pursuing.

    From your description, sounds like there is a physical trigger (lack of sunshine) that might respond to a physical solution (one of those natural light lamps!)

    They're not cheap, but you might check to see if there's a 30-day free trial or see if somebody you know might have one you could borrow (or even work there for a morning or two.)

    If it works and you're able to boost productivity, maybe you could even write it off as a Schedule C expense!

  38. Camy, thank you for being so open and real. We don't always talk about our trials as much as our triumphs ( and I do provately but I meant writers in general...LOL!).

    Great post!


  39. Thanks for this post Camy.

    As you may know, I'm not contracted yet so I set my own pace. However, I've been thinking about the fact that one day I'll be contracted and have deadlines to be met.

    I can't let clinical or situational depression (I have both) get in the way. I've been trying to think more professionally. Trying to remind myself of what kind of schedule I might have as a contracted author and how to Git-R-Done in spite of my issues.

    Perhaps I've had too high a goals for me. I haven't written a thing in several months. I even tried to pressure myself a bit my placing a word count widget on my blog for all the world to see.

    You know what?

    It's still at the same number as when I placed it there. So much for peer pressure, huh?

    I'm going to try this idea of just a few words. Like you do at times, I suspect I'll find myself getting into the groove and writing more.

    I really wanted to do NaNoWriMo last year and Amazon' Breakthrough Novel contest this year. Missed both opportunities. Simply because I couldn't or wouldn't write. This is not good for one who wants to be a writer when they grow up.

    Hey, I'm 45, but that has nothing to do with maturity. Right?

    Anyway, thanks for such a timeless message. I intend to post a link to this on my own blog today. It's that good and that relevant.

  40. Okay there are days I don't love my husband's gentle nudging...ah, that cattle prod he carries. ;-)I just say his full name, in that tone angry moms use on their kids and give him that look. And he backs off. :-)


  41. Susanne, excellent idea! I'd read somewhere that natural light bulbs help some people with seasonal depression but I forgot about that.

    Thanks, Cheryl!

    Todd, so glad this was helpful to you! You're right, we sometimes just have to kick ourselves and just do it. That's why I try to do 100 words a day, because it's an easier "kicking" threshold than, say, 1000 words a day.

    Janet, you seem like a softy but you carry a stern voice. :)


  42. Thank you for sharing so openly, Camy! Here I thought I was the only one who struggles with winter, depression, and lack of motivation to write.

  43. Judy, you sweet thing, it never shows. Every time I see you, you're so happy and cheerful!