Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Up and Down, Up and Down

The title of this post says it all. Mood swings are affecting every area of my life, it seems.

My attitude towards my writing and life in general seems to change from day to day lately. Today, for example, I feel positive. Yesterday I felt the polar opposite. However, after a glass of wine the positivity returned last night and I hammered out 900 words of the Pocket Novel in half an hour. Sometimes it seems almost too easy.

If I think about my writing too much ie. what I should be writing or that I should be making it pay, then my creativity disappears and rebelliousness sneaks in. Rebelliousness takes the form of 'skiving off' by surfing the Internet or reading a favourite book (I felt compelled to re-read The Boy I Love by Marion Husband yesterday. One of my all-time favourite reads set in a favourite period of history - the aftermath of World War 1). I rarely allow myself to re-read favourite books or stories, because I feel guilty for abandoning the brand new, never-read-before books sitting on my shelves. It's a real indulgence to read an old favourite, but as a writer I think we can learn so much more the second or third time around. We're focusing less on the story and more on the way the writer works.

I've been dabbling in short stories again. I do enjoy the form; both reading shorts and writing them. I have no trouble with inspiration for stories and have no trouble getting ideas. I can write 1500 words straight off without pausing for breath, but then I dry up. I struggle to finish stories. The perfect ending always seems to elude me. I've had some terrific advice from Joanna Campbell here. She also advises starting with the ending, which I want to try. Any more tips on writing endings would be gratefully received!

School holidays are the perfect excuse not to write. Shopping for food takes up more time, as the children spend most of the day searching the cupboards and the fridge for food. That's when they're not asking me for lifts to places or begging me to let their friends come round.

The running is going very well. I'm now running with other like-minded ladies at least once a week and it's much more fun. I did a 6 mile run last Friday, which I didn't think I could achieve. We're aiming for 7 miles this Friday. I did a 4 mile run on Monday and hope to do another this evening. I've fallen into half-marathon training with a friend, even though she'll be doing the race and I won't! I really need to buy new running shoes, however, as mine are making my feet hurt. I hope to make a trip to The Sweat Shop in Milton Keynes tomorrow, where they can assess my running style and recommend the correct running shoes.

Now, back to the Pocket Novel......


Oldrightie said...

Sorry, Jo, mood swings are the first signs of the dreaded M! Still gives you ten years plus, though!

Eleanor said...

I so empathise, Jo. But let's reframe it: "we're interested in so many things (because we're bright, intelligent, curious etc) that we can't always focus on one thing!" How does that sound? Not so much up and down but here and there? My mum says I'm a jack of all trades. Anyway it doesn't change after the dreaded M if it's congenital so we just have to live with it. Good luck!

Jo said...

You've made me feel so much better, Eleanor, thank you!

Marion Husband said...

I think about my writing all the time too, Jo - with guilt, worry, doubt, sometimes with pleasure and pride, but a girl's gotta write what a girl's gotta write, we keep on keeping on...Thank you for creating the Yellow Room - it's a great outlet, and short story writers need more publishers

Joanna said...

Thank you so much for the lovely mention and link to my blog Jo. I really appreciate that.
I sympathise with the mood swings. I am having the hot flushes and the family are teasing me about M. But I think the low points are outweighed by the better days, when everything feels extra-bright. There's a feeling of emerging out of a dark place and I try to make the most of that.
Sometimes I have to do quite a lot of apologising to the family because I seem to cry more easily, which makes me feel a bit of a wet lettuce. And I am also more forgetful and dreamy. I have always been that way inclined, but now I'm worse! They are learning to bear with me and that's all we can do until life evens itself out again soon.

Carole Anne Carr said...

I took HRT and became normal again. :0)