I know depression has been brought out into the open lately and it seems many people succumb to it. Depression doesn’t let you remember the useful person you used to be and any feeble attempts you try to be that creative person again is met by your own unrelenting criticism of all that you are and all that you do. Any negative feedback from anyone is magnified beyond proportion and you are left crippled by relentless low self esteem. I wouldn’t say it left me an empty shell – I was full to the brim with sadness and self loathing.
My turning point came when my psychologist suggested I try something I liked to do again. Writing was no good as all I could think about were the negative comments (and my self loathing never bothered with the positive comments). So I bought a sewing machine. When my kids were little I used to love sewing their clothes. I kept sewing until I realised fabric had gotten so expensive it was cheaper just to buy their clothes ready made from the shop. But I used to sew all the time – quilts, dolls… you name it. So when I bought a new sewing machine I made these baby alien dolls. Aren’t they cute? I remember cutting the fabric out and thinking ‘hey! I remember doing useful things instead of sitting like a blob on the sofa all day!’ It made me remember my real self – the creative self – the person who just got on with it and didn’t waste time feeling sorry for how her life had turned out.
If you are feeling depressed I highly recommend taking up something you used to find pleasurable. This was my turning point.
So five years have gone by since I first published Starcrossed: Perigee. I’d planned to have all three books out by now and I really apologise to all those who have been waiting patiently.
I haven’t totally been sitting on my hands the entire time. In these years I’ve been writing and re-writing Dark Matter (the second book in the Starcrossed series). I didn’t like what I was writing at all so I studied. I studied the craft of writing, read books and really picked apart what I liked and didn’t like, what worked, what didn’t. As a result I think my writing has improved immensely in the past few years. A few months ago I unravelled Dark Matter to the beginning again and am really liking how it’s shaping up. I’ve looked at my reviews and studied the comments – both positive and negative and tried to consider them to make a much more successful book. I think the study is paying off. I am really excited about Dark Matter and hope to have it out before my birthday in June – possibly sooner if I get a wriggle on.