Reading through a Rough Patch

I've had a few bad weeks. I'm not entirely sure why, but I wasn't happy, and I wasn't able to write. Those days are over now, but that's not the only good thing. I actually learned a lot about coping .

There were external things that helped me, things like chocolate and a good marriage, but I also need to give credit to myself for learning how to listen to my gut. During the Period of Misery (as I'm calling it) I slept when I was tired, I read when I wanted distraction, I bought flowers when I wanted to do something creative. I even colored a little. A friend of mine who's a kindergarten teacher turned me on to it, promising that the monotony and simple accomplishment of it relieves stress. And she was right.

I also caught up with a lot of the blogs I hadn't read in a while - mostly ones belonging to authors, literary agents, and editors, but also a few not related to writing. I keep up with my wedding photographer's blog and with a blog belonging to a florist I like back in Ann Arbor (near where I grew up) because they're both talented and it makes me happy to see their latest work.

I read a little of Stephen King's On Writing, and I was liking it, but then I read the synopses for some of his novels and got so creeped out that I had to put it down for a while. There are dark places in my mind, but no place so dark that I could sic a rabid dog on a desperate mother or cut a guy's foot off with a chainsaw. No, thank you. I had much better luck with The Elements of Style and James Scott Bell's Revision & Self-Editing. I even read a little fiction - Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Matched by Ally Condie, and the first 100 pages of Divergent by Veronica Roth. (Those pages were online for free. I will be reading the rest of the book when it comes out on May 3rd.)

When I look at the Period of Misery in this respect, it actually looks like I got a lot done, although at the time I felt like a sloth and a failure. That's what I like so far about this blog. It's helping me to see the positive, to let the good things stick and let the bad ones fade away.