Last week was a bad week. I wrote maybe 500 words. I may have imagined them. The week before wasn’t much better with something in the neighborhood of 2-5000 words written.
What was wrong? Well on one hand I have my outside pursuits: Destiny – a video game I play with my wife and several friends; HirstArts – imagine Legos, but you literally make the blocks, glue them together, and paint them to make castles and dungeons; and just general laziness. On the other hand I really didn’t feel … I want to say ‘valued’ or maybe ‘capable’, but I think instead I’ll just let the sentence be, “I really didn’t feel.”
Was I depressed? Likely. But I have a crippling level of self-doubt and some major Imposer Syndrome going on too. Plus right now I don’t really like my job, despite loving it, the company I work for, and the people I work with. And I feel like I have no close friends, despite having many to whom I’m likely a poor friend yet they still call me friend. So yeah, depression is the most likely reason for some of my lack of writing.
I was likely on the verge of giving up, for a while.
A week or four, tops.
And then I received an email from my writing coach, Erica Wright. I met Erica through OneRoom, which I pay for so you know she’s going to be supportive. Yet it took me two days to read the email.
I was pretty sure the email would say something like, “God Damn It, Joe! Get off your fat ass and write, or I’m passing you off to someone else who doesn’t give a shit.” Instead the email basically said: “You seem to work better with word counts as a goal. I have some suggestions on the OneRoom page. Check them out and let me know how I can help.” Pretty straightforward stuff.
I still wasn’t sure the “help” on the OneRoom page wasn’t going to equate to what I feared the email might say, so I dragged my feet and waited another four days before reading. Mind you I was still in the mood to give up. For a while at least. Probably.
Erica maintained an upbeat and positive message for me, and it was exactly what I needed to hear (or read … or whatever). Suddenly I was out of my writing funk. I vowed to renew my writing over the weekend. Glory be to Erica.
During the weekend I didn’t write, but I did plan a lot. I returned to my story, and I reexamined it from the ground up. I know it has significant holes, and I know I am likely to veer from my outlined path, but damn it if I’m not happier. I feel the story again. At least for now.
I later reread Erica’s message out loud to my wife so that she might hear the gloriously uplifting message from my coach. Honestly it fell flat. It was almost as if upon sharing the message from coach to student, the potency of the message was diluted, was dissipated. A secret shared is no longer a secret. That was weird, BUT I must say, the impact of the message remains.
IF you are like me, maybe you could benefit from a writing coach. OneRoom is probably not the only player in town, but it is what I discovered. So far I’m happy with the results, as it has likely saved me from a wasted month or three. Plus my coach’s (to date) unwavering support keeps my eye on the prize more than it has ever been.
© 2016, Joseph K Little. All rights reserved.