Writers Need Support – Depression and the Author Part 2

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While writing a story is usually a solo act unless you have a co-writer, I have found that actually being productive on a daily basis is difficult. Writers need people to hold them accountable. Writers also need fellow writers to assist with story issues. I’m working harder on getting back into a writing routine and developing a schedule.

At the moment, I am trying to write without the creative support I desperately need. This is not an excuse for my slowed productivity. It is just a fact. I used to have a small writing group. These people had read my stories and understood my voice and the genre. We met weekly at either a local coffee shop or in someone’s home. It was wonderful! We could discuss our progress and brainstrom if someone had a problem, was outlining a new project, or wanted to develop a new character. Many corporations have what they call a think tank. I didn’t realize how much I needed my own think tank until it was gone.

The writing group disbanded as one member got a full-time job, another switched jobs, and the third is busy with work and hobbies. I have tried searching out another writer’s group in town, but I have given up. Nothing fit even close. I am a full-time writer and going over 4 pages a month wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

I went to a writing conference and took the blind dating for authors class. It was a lot of fun! The goal was to find a beta reader/critique partner. Unfortunately, that didn’t work either. I’ve applied through several groups online with lists for critique partners, and yet I still find myself on my own.

It is disheartening to feel the weight of the stories pressing down on my shoulders. Sometimes my brain hits a brick wall. In a previous story I knew I needed to introduce the hero’s daughter earlier but I had no idea how to do that naturally without an info dump. When I brought this up to a friend she suggested I have a neighbor buy the girl candy at the general store. Oh my goodness! That was so simple and it worked perfectly.

It is depressing knowing it takes me  longer to finish a story when I’m relying on my own brain power and trouble-shooting. I try to reason with my lap top screen and brainstorm with my cat. It seldom helps. Some days I feel so alone. I’m sure other authors are struggling for the same reason. While many cities have writing groups and even writing chapters they are not always a good fit. From experience I’ve  found (that for me at least) trying to fit in with a group makes me more miserable than not joining.

So I continue on my intrepid writing journey alone …. for now.

If you have a beta reader/critique partner value them!

About Haley Whitehall

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historicals set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
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