Slowing Down



Over the past few weeks  I’ve noticed bloggers are taking hiatuses or giving up blogging.  Reasons for this include S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder), blogging burn-out, and depression to name a few.  Some bloggers disappear without any reason, of course, and I miss them.  While I hope they’ll return to posting, I completely understand the need to leave the blogosphere since I’ve done it myself.

I love blogging and the blogosphere so much that I don’t want to sever my connections, but I’ve decided to post once a week.   After speaking with my friend Kitt O’Malley, ( she suggested I blog about my progress and frustrations while writing “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Bipolar Disorder”, a book I’ve wanted to finish writing for years.  (Thanks again, Kitt, you blogger extraordinaire!)

In 2013 I submitted a book proposal to a publisher.  I was thrilled to secure a contract, and I thought that it would be my magic charm to write the rest of the book before I turned 80.  But I had to cancel the agreement due to bipolar depression that was triggered by my tapering off lithium.  As devastating as that experience was, I learned so much that it will be useful to write about it in “Birth of a New Brain”. 

Someday I’ll blog every day if I want to!  I only want to write one book – that’s plenty for me.  I’m not like my two favorite female authors, L.M. Montgomery and Madeleine L’Engle, who were amazingly prolific and wrote scads and scads of books!   (Before computers!)

I still can’t believe I used to blog every day, even when feeling under the weather (writing usually made me feel better!). Those weren’t just hundred-word posts, but 1000+ word rambles.  I wasn’t hypomanic or manic back then; if anything I was going down the opposite direction.  I don’t know how I carved out the time to write for hours every day, even on weekends and with a family.  The entire phenomenon remains an enigma to me, but that four-month-long stretch of daily writing taught me that I have the ability to be a more disciplined writer.  I need only to tap into that potential.

I haven’t been doing much “tapping” lately, and it bums me out.  There are a couple excuses:

Sickness in our household – not only mine, but my two children’s nasty bugs obliterated my writing schedule.  

Here’s my second excuse: I’ve become a social media addict.  



That’s it, but as some of you know, that’s plenty to distract anyone.  When Kitt and I had our heart-to-heart, she understood my social media plight as she too gets hooked into black holes of tweets and status updates.


Sure, I could impose upon myself a stringent rule to complete writing a certain amount of words or pages a session before I check Facebook & Twitter.  I’ve tried doing that…it hasn’t gone so well!

Kitt suggested going hardcore and turning off the internet router!  I write the book on Word so I don’t need the router on.  That’s a great idea…except my husband often works at home and he needs to use internet.

Enough of my bellyaching.  I’ll figure it out, and I’ll share how it’s going in my next post.

I hope you’ll keep following this blog.  I want to stay connected with you!  For those of you writing books, I’d love for you to comment about what helps or hinders you.  Same thing goes for social media addiction! 😉  

take care and have wonderful week!


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27 thoughts on “Slowing Down

  1. I aim for once a week for the bipolar blog. *nodnods* I tried to do it daily like my other two dailies, but it didn’t work so well.

    • Sorry to take so long to reply, Raeyn! But I know you understand! 🙂 Hope you are doing well, and I’m happy to read whatever you post, whenever that may be. I’m a loyal fan now!

  2. I tried doing daily on Crazy Good Parent, but I got overwhelmed and, yes, depressed about my getting overwhelmed and inability to push through it. It’s so timely that you should write about this. I want to focus on goals, particularly writing goals, since so many readers on CGP are also writers. Would you like to repost this on CGP this week? I’m about to put up a post about doing NaNoWriMo this month. It would be great to have another this week. You have my email if you’re interested, right?

    • Thank you, thank you for this comment!!! OF COURSE I’d love to repost it on CGP this week – woo hoo! We’ll encourage one another to focus on goals. I’ll shoot you an email about which day you’d like me to repost it later on today. I am breaking my own rule and not writing the you-know-what right now – I better go back before I spank myself! 😉

      take care, J!

    • Yes, yes, yes…I agree that once a week is plenty! It’s not like we have nothing else to do, right? 😉 Your posts are so rockin’ that they are totally worth the wait if it takes you a little longer than a week to publish them!

      (((hugs))) to you, awesome Lauren!

  3. Now, I must follow my advice to you, too! I spent the weekend on my computer ignoring my husband and son. (I may have grunted every now and then, and made some meals, and folded laundry.) Still, more hours online than off.

    • As you can see, I no longer reply to comments within a day. (My former goal!) But I know you don’t mind, & that you’d rather see me take longer to reply if that means I’m concentrating on my primary goals at hand. (Now, if I’m lounging around spooning gelato into my mouth, that’s not a good excuse! I’ve already fulfilled my gelato quota for 2015.)

      Thanks for being my partner in our crusade to cut down on our social media addiction! I’m hopeful it can be done! Moderation in all things…even, ahem, chocolate.

  4. I post a few times a month. If I force it beyond that it doesn’t feel right – like I’m faking it just to post for postings sake.

    I do about an hour of social media a day. On and off throughout the day. Mostly looking for good articles and blog posts to read.

    I’ve tried on several occasions to write books over the past several years. 4 or 5 started and only a poetry chapbook finished. So, I’ve given up on writing books. Realized its just not part of who I am and that is OK. I don’t have the perseverance for it.

    I admire those such as yourself who do, however. I enjoy your blog and hope that nasty social media never kidnaps you completely from your writing 😉

    • Dear WiL, thanks for sharing your blogging routine. I think it’s good that you post only when “the spirit moves you” rather than just doing it to do it.

      Your sweet comment about enjoying my blog made me feel great!

      I always get a lift when I see your Facebook posts/art, or read your posts.
      I’m out here cheering you on, always. :)))

  5. I might have to try turning off the internet altogether while I’m working on books. I can ignore social media as long as I have a deadline, but for my personal writing, there are no deadlines and it’s beyond difficult for me. No advice, but I snagged an idea. Thank you!

  6. A kind of seasonal disorder has been keeping me offline lately but as you’d know it’s spring down here and the problem is a different one. Bloody pollen! Whoever thought severed plant genitalia was romantic must get turned on by rashes, itching, sneezing and snot I reckon.

    But yeah, I’ve found if there’s something without a short deadline I need to achieve I’ve gotta stay away from the internet and let my e-reader batteries go flat. There’s always an excuse for reading one more short story or researching one more depression therapy or checking out one more philosophy treatise and before you know it the sun’s setting and you still haven’t started on the day’s chores, much less the project you’ve committed yourself to.

    It’s especially a problem if you’re trying to write something and have a tendency towards perfectionism. What if I don’t understand that principle as well as I thought? What if this article someone else wrote already covers everything I wanted to say? Should I take another look at this year’s Booker short list to see if there’s any good techniques I can steal?

    It’s nice to be able to stand on the shoulders of giants but the buggers grow faster than I can climb them.

    • Hello awesome rabbit whisperer. I worried that I offended you by not replying to your latest wonderful posts….I actually put them in a special folder on my desktop so I’d remember to check them out when I wasn’t sick with cold, and respond! So I beg your forgiveness! It’s great to hear from you and I’m so sorry about the evil, evil pollen!!!!!!! (Plant genitalia – I know they suck but you made me chuckle with that remark!)

      It’s weird – I mean, when I was depressed (which honestly feels like was most of my life) I wouldn’t look at *anything* online, so in a way it’s easy for me to rationalize and say “fuck the the chores! I’m making up for lost time here on the ‘net!” (yeah, it’s a sorry excuse, but that’s how this brain thinks) I wind up doing the minimum necessary each day chore-wise and I’m lucky that Craig doesn’t usually give me a hard time about any of it.

      As far as perfectionism goes, you made a good point. It sounds like you know what you’re talking about there! 😉

      Anyway, I hope your allergies get MUCH better soon! People who have never had severe allergies don’t understand how awful they truly are. I can’t remember if I told you I took some a drug for mine (Seldane, withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1998 but I don’t know why!!!!) but that was when I was living in L.A. Up here in the redwoods, my allergies aren’t so bad…..fingers & toes & eyes tightly crossed!

      hang in there! Thanks for stopping by – keep in touch, eh?
      Give my best to the bunnies! I wouldn’t say no to more pictures of them on your blog.

      • hang in there!

        Boy I wish people wouldn’t say that in the context of depression.

        I was doing a fair bit of work with black deaths in custody about a decade ago and an Aboriginal woman whose son was in prison was being interviewed on TV. The interviewer asked if she had a message for him and she said “Just hang in there”. I almost choked on my coffee.

      • Oh, don’t sweat the late replies.

        The posts and comments I care most about tend to hang around in my Inbox for a long time until I find the right headspace to answer them properly.
        It’s that perfectionism again.

      • You know, I actually meant to stop using that phrase since it almost happened to me – shame on me! And I know its gruesome history in the context of war as well. Double shame! Twice in one day I ask your forgiveness!

      • Nothing to forgive, I was being darkly ironic.
        The anecdote about the TV interview is true though and I sure hope that woman didn’t have reason to regret her words.

  7. I keep telling myself that I need to write once a week and already not be a b*tch and reply to the amazing comments of yours. Then I think it’s been so long makes no point. Then I think m a horrible person and go into depression. M going on a months vacation in December back home and m overweight and cz of that I am in deep depression and unable to write. I still somehow manage to read something you write cz you are the only writer I can read no matter what. Please keep writing. Love Ya. Sorry for disappearing like that but I know you understand!

    • Oh my goodness, sweetie – of ***course*** I understand!!!! Be gentle with your beautiful self! I’m SOOOO sorry you’re feeling down! Feel free to email me ( – I know you have it already but here it is just in case) if you ever want to just vent.

      I’m here full of love for YOU Zeph! I’ll be thinking of you a lot today. Please forgive me for not checking in – I’m so scatterbrained. That’s not an excuse, but I ask for your pardon!

      I’m so glad you wrote and I don’t care when you write; I’m not keeping tabs!!! I’m just glad you wrote!!!!

      The fact that you like what I write means the world to me. Sending you a huge hug, honey. You’ll lose the weight – don’t worry! Weight comes and goes – I’ve gone up and down 70 pounds! The depression too – it will pass. Do everything you can to take good care of yourself, okay? XOXOXOXOXOOXOXOXOXOXOXOOXOOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOX always, always

      • Oh dyane your words are amazing. That made me feel so better. Ever since i read ur reply here i feel that things are going to b better for me. I am going back home for a month in 2 weeks. Thank u so much for your amazing supprt. Love ya. Xoxoxox

  8. LOL! I love how the timing of my discoveries in your past entries fits what I’m working out. It’s been a deuce of a time balancing social media, blogging, school work, and parenting. I can’t even consider my WIP right now, which doesn’t help my mood. Anytime I think about picking it up, other stuff comes along: visiting friends fly into the state, family celebrations, house cleaning to host gatherings, etc. Everything else gets to have priority, and that’s hard, because the WIP doesn’t have a *real* deadline like that other stuff. I wish I had a magic answer to solve the problem, but then, that *is* one of the great writer’s problems, isn’t it?

    • That’s very cool that my older posts fit what you’ve been working out at present!

      You’ve been one busy bee! I’m impressed – I do *nothing* in comparison except primarily mundane activities such as laundry, dog walking (that’s not mundane – I like that one), chicken feeding, dishes, dog clean-up (No need to explain) and trying to finish my book that’s due October 1 – yes, October 1 which shall arrive in less than 3 months.


      One of the reasons I wrote my book proposal & submitted it to various publishers (and was soundly rejected, as you know) was that I wanted a deadline to force me to get it together! It happened, and that was glorious, but the deadline has haunted me every day for over a year. After I consulted with an agent and another publisher at the Catamaran Conference last summer, I even asked to extend the deadline. My kind publisher said okay, but I can’t ask again.

      Anyway, that’s my convoluted, mushy, magic answer.
      But it’s not magical!!! I’m not feeling the magic!!!!!! 😱

      • Yowza! Yes, I can see how the panic could set in. I know I’d be panicking in your shoes.

        That probably doesn’t help.
        But you know what? YOU WILL DO IT THIS TIME. Look how much you’ve written in your blog this past year? OODLES! I bet a little backreading may help you create some landmarks inside your book–you know, places you know that with a little tweaking, Post A can go here, and B here, and so on. Then it’s not so much “WRITING A BIG SCARY BOOK” as “filling the gaps.” Does that help? I’m, um, rather intimidated by the venture myself, but if ANYone can do it, it’s you, Dyane!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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