Monday, 25 July 2011

When the day seems dark...

We all have those days when even getting out of bed seems a bad call. When a friend having a rough time puts a weight on your soul because you feel so helpless and you know they are unhappy. When, for all the affirmations about determination and persistence, they are just empty words that have lost the positivity that first imbued them. When nothing is right and everything is wrong. Wading through treacle.

Chiming any bells? I have a friend who claims with justification that she long ago learned to love what she has because for so many years she couldn’t have what she wanted. Another friend battles constantly with her health, juggles money better than anyone I’ve ever known but still manages to find that extra something that enables her to keep going. I find these two ladies inspirational and I hope that by now, they know that.

Being prone to depression, I have learned to take notice of the ‘soul weights’, knowing that if I ignore them, I will begin descending into the pit. So, when those days come, what do I do?

First of all, hard as it is on a rainy Monday in July, I think about what is good in my life. Paul, who supports me, puts up with my flights of fancy and retains a very dry sense of humour that never fails to make me collapse with laughter. He and my friends who believe in my writing; living within ten minutes walk of the sea, Rufus, my golden retriever who always manages to lie under my desk so that it is uncomfortable to either type or write, but who sticks to me like superglue, has a tremendous sense of humor and demonstrates it every day.

But sometimes, that isn’t enough. Sometimes, I need to just recognize that it is one of those days and I would be better doing something active to get the old endorphins batting about than sitting at the desk trying to wade through the treacle. Living in a four-storey Victorian house, there is always something to do. My latest project is painting the inside of the Word Shed to make it more welcoming. Have to wait for the Garden Store to be delivered first, because, with the best will in the world, sharing a creative space with the lawn mower just doesn’t cut it. So, as today isn’t going so well on the positivity front, I shall go and look out the old cream curtains we had at the other house and prepare to make them into covers for the seat and back of the bench I am planning to buy for guest seating in the Shed.

Yes, as writers, we do try to write every day, but sometimes, it’s more than okay to give yourself a pot-luck day off and go do something active. See you later.


  1. Absolutely right, Avril. It's too easy to loose yourself in the world of your own creation and forget about you. The guilt gifted us by the organised religions that subliminally influence our thinking is too readily accepted as a cloak to hide our real feelings. Have a good day for yourself, doing what you want to do; what you really want to do. So good for the soul.

  2. I'm late coming to this but I hope your day off helped. It's all too easy to write, write, write and forget that we need to refill the well now and again.