Ignore the Gremlins

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A couple weeks ago I had an opportunity to attend a writing/poetry fair at a local college. Many vendors, authors, and lovers of books and writing attended.

Several panel discussions took place throughout the day and I wanted to attend one of them because mystery author Walter Mosley was going to be speaking. I wanted to hear what he had to say and to possibly get his autograph on my copy of Devil in a Blue Dress.

 Long story short, M and I ended up leaving before the panel discussion. Truth is, I felt very out of place. I later told M it was because I felt like I didn’t belong; it seemed like there were more “relevant” and “creditable” writers there. I felt very small.

M and my psych both told me that it was silly to feel that way, and now I believe they’re right. You shouldn’t feel like you’re any less of a (insert profession or even person here) because a) someone makes you feel that way, b) strange environments, or c) especially because you let your self-doubts get the best of you. I started to doubt myself and my own writing and so I got depressed and nervous.

But, who’s to say I don’t belong there, rubbing shoulders with “the best of them?”

Nobody, that’s who.

So don’t listen to that little gremlin in your head who says you can’t do it and you’ll never match up. Because you can and you do.

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Weighing on Me

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Howdy, folks,

Today I’m going to change gears a little bit. My topic is about body self-image and body dysmorphic disorder.

I have very poor self-esteem as far as my body image goes. For some background, I weighed between 110-120 pounds for the majority of my teenage and adult life. I’m a small girl, so this has always been average for me and my personal age and height. Ever since I developed depression and anxiety, and was put on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety, I’ve gained a lot of weight. You might be aware that SSRI’s and anti-psychotic medications are known to be weight-gaining so this is not uncommon. For someone that has always been small, though, this has been very hard for me to overcome/accept. I weighed myself this week and the number scared and depressed me. I’m extremely upset, folks.

I tell you all this to tell you that it is hard to live with the two sides of depression and anxiety. On the one hand, you want to feel better and, along with therapy, medication helps you feel better. But then you have the side-effects from the medication; one of them certainly being weight-gain. What’s the toss-up? Sometimes side-effects just makes you feel more depressed, and then you’re not confident at all.

Sometimes that translates into my writing. If I’m “this fat and ugly,” then I probably really am “this bad” of a writer.

Get what I’m saying?

Well, the good news is that I’m trying to be positive and not think that way.

I’m going to speak with my psych(ologist) about my body-image problems on Wednesday; I’m hoping he’ll have some grains of wisdom for me, or at least just be a lending ear. Maybe he’ll have some advice.

I’ve been talking with M (my husband), too, and he’s going to help me with a new exercise and diet regimen. Since I saw that new number on the scale, I’m more determined than ever to lose weight. I’m cutting out 90% of my alcohol intake, drinking more water daily, exercising daily for 30 minutes, and eating less carbs and more veggies and good grains. (No more of my beloved messy-but-oh-so-yummy veggie burger wraps or tator-tot poutine at the pub down the street! LE SIGH!)

This is my plan and I am excited to start it.

If any of you are feeling down about yourselves, this is something that I have been telling myself: If you don’t like something about yourself, you have the power to change it. Whether that’s weight problems, seeking help for depression, or reaching out for extra help because you’re failing math: you can change what you don’t like.

I know it sounds simple and in reality, it can be hard, but I encourage you to try. You can do it. We can do it.

Stay cool, kids.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

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You ever get the feeling you’re not doing enough? Maybe not living up to what you’re “supposed to do?”

Word.

Sometimes I feel like I’m falling behind as far as being a writer goes. Like, there is some guidebook all other writers got on their first day, but I didn’t get it. So now I’m failing the grade, so to speak.

Right now I’m referring to how it feels like other writers are constantly pumping out writing and I’m sitting here struggling to write one thing in months. How are these people popping out stories and poetry like they’re robots? I don’t get it. Then I feel inferior like I’m doing something wrong.

Don’t misunderstand me; I have the “spells” where I go on writing bouts—the up-all-nighters where I can’t stop and I do pump out a short story or two, or a few poems, or several chapters of a book in a week or such. But, how are other writers doing this presumably all the time? Don’t you have a day job? And my day job consists of editing and writing other things, so of course I can’t concentrate on my personal writing. Grr.

How, I demand to know, how?

Maybe other writers made deals with the devil. O_O

In any case, it makes me want to get my butt in gear, so maybe it’s all a good thing. I want to write more to keep up with everyone else, but at the same time I think that isn’t necessary; I should write for me and when/where I feel like it… Sometimes I am not confident in myself or my words, though, so I don’t feel it’s worth it. But that’s a whole other blog post.

Anyway, what do you think? Do you ever think you have to keep up with everyone else?

-JCDK

Re-Vamp

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I’ve combined my personal and “professional” Facebook pages. I have nothing to hide. I personally don’t agree with having separate ones and have always felt weird about it. Much like the radical new indie publishing world, why can’t we have a radical new way of looking at authors in the sense that what you see is what you get? I’m not stuffy or hiding anything. I am who I am. I want people to know me.

I’m also tweaking this blog to talk about lots of other things, not just my writing. It’s going to be my journey to become a published author and all the other things I go through on that journey, too. Like an outlet, kind of thing.

I’m struggling with my depression lately. It feels like I’m falling into a puddle. I just don’t want to end up in the same place I was in three years ago. I refuse to end up there. I am just trying to take one day at a time and stay in the moment.

I haven’t written much in a while, either. I have a new idea for a novel that M helped me come up with. It’s going to be a comedy. I still have that other sci-fi I’m working on, too. I have to really sit down and work on them–short stories, too.

Anyway, that’s my update.

Stay cool.