This blog, as the name says, is about writing—the writing lives of the eight participants. But today, I had a hard time writing because I was depressed about our election results. No doubt many of you are also depressed, so I don’t have to go into the reasons here.
But writing has fixed my depression before, so I opened up my manuscript and set to work. And the first thing I did was delete 2,000 words.
Well, they were probably boring words. But I realized that I wasn’t assessing my work with my best brain, so I decided that before I reduced my poor WIP to no words at all, I better find a way to crawl out of the wallow and come to grips with the new reality. So I went looking for comfort.
First I went for the chocolate cookies and the Japanese tea that Michaeline gave me that I drank out of the cup that Jilly gave me. That helped. And then I went online for what others were doing.
The best part of the search is that not only did I find comfort, but I found good advice for anytime anyone gets down about life. Lani Diane Rich, over at Storywonk, talked about how people always need storytellers, and now more than ever. Stories chronicle the times, she said, and people need that—and they need the thoughts, inspiration, and entertainment that storytellers provide. Even if you’re not at full strength, with all boilers working full steam, it’s important, she said, to carry on the best you can.
Then I swung over to the Murderati site, and JT Ellison and Amy had a list of 40 things to do that would make a person feel better when they weren’t. I read the list, and most of them would make me feel better—in fact, I did some of them today even before I read their post. I’m just picking a few here to give you a flavor. JT said that Amy got into the limoncello, so a lot of the items are Italian in flavor. So proceed at your own pace. Here’s a sample:
- Adopt a cat or dog from your local shelter
- Eat ice cream
- Start on your holiday cards
- Read a book
- Buy a book!
- Gift a book!
- Reorganize your bookshelf
- Clean your closet
- Go on a Christmas present-buying rampage
- Fill that Goodwill giveaway box that you’ve been neglecting
- Get a manicure and pedicure
- Rake your neighbor’s leaves
- Jump in said pile of leaves
- Binge-watch that show you’ve been waiting for
- Go for a walk
- Go to a museum
- Drink some Limoncello
- Learn who Edward Hopper is
- Donate $5 to your favorite charity, more if you can
- Make some coffee, tea, or cocoa in your favorite mug. Shut off the computer, turn off your phone, and enjoy
Finally, they said, “remember that the world will continue to spin no matter what happens.” Rich said that, too: “There are always other things you can hold onto that matter.” Rich herself, among other things, holds on to coffee mugs. “When I have a bad day, I buy a new mug,” she said.
So, feeling lousy? Keep working. “There’s nothing more important than what we do with the time we have,” Rich said. “Put the oxygen mask on first. Take care of yourself. Then take on the world.”
P.S.: Need a spot of election silver lining? Check out Jenny Crusie’s irreverent take on the election results.