We writers are an emotional bunch. It is both a blessing and a curse. Our ability to tap into the deep emotions raging inside us is what allows us to create such believable characters. At the same time, we are prone to experiencing periods of self-doubt, insecurity, worthlessness, and in the worst case--depression.
I am reminded of Rose Wilder Lane's biography The Ghost in the Little House. Rose was considered an excellent writer in her time. She traveled to Albania, Vietnam, and Baghdad. She ghostwrote many books, in addition to her own books and the many articles she wrote for Country Gentlemen, Woman's Day, and the Saturday Evening Post.
Yet for all her success, Lane spent a lot of her adult years unable to write because of the depression that overtook her. She felt torn between living in Europe and the responsibility of caring for her parents in America. Not feeling loved as a child, she reached out to men whom she felt she could have loving relationships with, only to end them because she never found exactly what she was looking for. She always sought to write something more substantial than the books and articles she had already penned.
It has been over a month since I've been able to write anything other than blog entries. Like Lane, I am controlled by my emotions. I have two novels and a memoir waiting for me, not to mention the two short stories I wanted to finish this month. And yet, I feel absolutely no desire to write. I knew it was bad when I couldn't even write a fan fiction story--that has always been my key to kicking my imagination into gear.
In Joyce Meyer's book Managing Your Emotions, Meyer speaks of the importance of not being led by our emotions. Surely, I am one who is led by every emotion I feel. Whether or not you consider yourself a person of faith, this one sentence in Meyer's conclusion sums it all up:
Until we learn to manage them, our emotions can be our greatest enemy because Satan will try to use them to keep us from walking in the Spirit.
Can it not also be said then, that unless we learn to manage our emotions, they can be our greatest enemy because they keep us from reaching our full potential? This is where I am now. I am being led along by emotions, unable to write, because I can't manage what I am feeling.
I refuse to allow this to continue. I want to be a published writer. I want to see my books on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and Borders. I want people to interview me, instead of me interviewing them. And the only way for me to do this, is to manage my emotions. I'm not sure how to go about it yet. I will read Meyer's book, which I was never able to get through the first time. Maybe I just wasn't ready. I will keep forcing myself into my chair to write blog entries and even some words in one of the handful of writing projects I have going on. I will get through this, because I am a writer and nothing can keep me from reaching my full potential--unless I allow it.