I’ve been answering some neglected e-mails today, and in one, I described my current mood by using the following video. It’s from Forgetting Sarah Marshall; YES, I used it in my last 15 Beats post; and, YES, he swears twice (get over it):
But I think we all feel like this at one point or another—especially writers (<— probably more often than normal people)—where everything you’re doing feels like it’s pointless or for naught or just plain horrible and what were you thinking, subjecting yourself to this??
So, what do you do when you’re feeling like that? How do you get out of it?
Part of what helps me is that I’ve come to a point where I know it’s part of my process. And I know it’s something everyone feels at one time or another.
Maybe you’re going, “I never feel that way. I always know I’m awesome.” (If you are saying that, I have two words for you—and I’m not going to post them here.)
True, knowing there are going to be hours/days/weeks I’m going to feel like a hack doesn’t make me feel better instantly when I’m in that state, but I think it’s important to get to the point where you can acknowledge that it’s just a phase. Then, you can being to look yourself objectively and get over it faster.
For instance, I notice I tend to feel this way when I’m close to something: an epiphany—a creative burst—a panic attack? (<—Naw, I’ve only had one of those.)
My point? I dunno—go back to the aforementioned video!
But I’d be willing to bet this happens to others when they at the precipice of awesomeness (<—hopefully) as well. The late, great Blake Snyder might call this the “Dark Night of the Soul” beat, were your writing life a screenplay.
The question is, what makes you “Break into Three”(Act III)?
Since the rest of this post was probably very rambling and depressing, I’ll leave you with a ray of sucky sunshine from YA author Maureen Johnson: