Not only is it time for the Insecure Writers Support Group again, it’s time for me to sink into that depression known as September Blues.

It creeps on through August:  my book needs editing…, my book needs a rewrite… , my book is rubbish… and before I know it I’m in complete melt-down.  This year it is compounded by not only getting The Perihelix ready, but also doing a story for the BookElves Anthology for which, quite rightly, my writing buddy made some heavy rewriting suggestions.  I know she’s right.  I knew it wasn’t good enough.  I pretty much know how to fix it. I’ve even fixed half of it.  She gave me some great suggestions for the ending.  Trouble is, it’s not the story I wanted to write.  It would be better if I just did it.  Especially as her ideas are really good.  But… I open the file, I look at it for a while, I solve a Sudoku puzzle or two, I reread the bits I’m happy with, and then… I go and make a cup of coffee, and check out whether I’ve got any instant gratification available in the form of cheese with any type of bread product.  Preferably toasted.

And then I get depressed because I’m putting on weight and I really should get more exercise, and the nights are drawing in and the winter will soon be here and…..

Last year I finally admitted to someone that I get depressed.  Not down for a day or so, down for months, usually for about three years every seven years.  She said she did too; and she never admitted it to anyone in case they stopped her fixing it for herself.  We are both masters at disguising it.  We appear cheerful, competent, confident and able to cope with everything.  Then we go home and, at the worst stages, we cry.  And at that point, we accept we’re actually properly depressed, and we also start to come out of it.

This year I’m fighting a rearguard action by acknowledging now, that these things are triggers – autumn, the weight-gain spiral, and uncertainty over my value as a writer (which my head rapidly translates into value as a human being).

I know I’m not alone, and this is why I joined the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.

Thank you for listening, and now I will hold onto the sides of the pit and pull myself out of it.

Practical tip: there are no bread products in the house, and I am going to put on my shoes and go for a walk.  Right now.  Oh, hang on, right after it stops raining…  Meanwhile, I’ll write that ending.  Or do a blog post.

Do visit some of the other Insecure Writers who post on the first Wednesday of the month – or sign up and do the same yourself – at this website:

P.S. I’ve done the rewrite now, and I’m really happy with it.  It’s good to have writing buddies!

September Blues #IWSG
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16 thoughts on “September Blues #IWSG

  • 2 September, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Dang, I meant to join the IWSG this month, since I’ve been more or less stuck for the last 6 months, accomplishing little and wondering why not! I sympathize about the depression. I have had a great deal less of that sort of thing since moving to California 25 years ago. Seattle winters, which are a lot like English winters, dragged me down.

    You are an amazing writer and an amazing human being! I have spoken, and it is so! 😀

    • 2 September, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca. I felt a lot better for writing the post. Acknowledging it is a good thing, and thanks for your support 🙂

  • 2 September, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Depression is bad. Depression as we move towards Winter and during Winter is especially bad.Some suggest getting a sun lamp for this period. Talking about it instead of bottling it up shows just what a well known ( and felt) illness it is and that it helps to share it.
    I’m always here
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • 2 September, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks, David. It is incredibly common, but goodness knows I have less to feel down about than some. The light becomes an issue for me around late October, usually, but these cool cloudy days haven’t helped. Thanks for your support – in every way. Hugs.

  • 2 September, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about your depression, Jemima. It’s a very real thing, and I suffered from it at one time. If you can, you should find a professional to talk to – I did and it helped a lot. As for the weight gain, join me on my cruise. I’ve gained back a lot of what I lost last year and am going back on my diet with the firm determination to keep it off this time. It’s really tough.
    September can be a gorgeous month, so why not get out and enjoy the colors and the weather? Also there are lights you can get especially for your problem – you turn them on and sit there early in the day and they lighten your mood.
    I’m just full of all sorts of information, useless and not!
    Believe in yourself! You are a powerhouse!
    How are all your furry friends doing?

    • 2 September, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks, Noelle! There’s all those strong women we keep writing about, too! Such tough role models 🙂

      I am keeping myself ‘up’ at present, despite lots of potential things going on. Check out the furries on George’s Guinea Pig World 🙂

  • 2 September, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Depression is a heavy burden and it seems a good number of writers fall to it, usually in cycles. I do, too, but I’ve gotten better as I’ve grown older. And it helps to have a wonderful young son that brightens my day every day.

    • 2 September, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      That’s good to know. Thanks for your kind words, Christine.

  • 2 September, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Jemima!

    First of all, thank you for visiting my blog this morning.

    I understand the depression. It’s easy to fall into it at all times of the year but it does make since that you (and others) would have a rough go between summer and fall. There’s a tumbling that comes from the carefree days of summer into the somber, fleeting days of fall. BUT it’s very good that you acknowledge what’s going on AND that you have a friend who can help you pull through. It helps to have someone who can understand what we’re going through as long as both can commit to helping the other get through the darkness to the other side.

    Go take that walk, even in the rain. I have a bad habit of wanting to stayed holed up in the house on my off days but I find that if I just step outside, get some fresh air in, I immediately feel better.

    Nice to meet you!

    • 2 September, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks, Jen. Really appreciated 🙂

  • 2 September, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Hello Jemima. I’m sorry to hear you’re suffering with depression. I have been suffering with depression for years, and I’m now on medication. Being insecure about one’s writing doesn’t help matters. For me, breaking my rewrites into smaller jobs really helps. I tell myself that I will just do one page for the day and before I know it, I rewrote 3. Don’t pressure yourself and most of all, be kind to yourself. Any progress you make is good progress.

    Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog. It is so nice meeting you. Cheering for you.

    • 2 September, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Good point about breaking big jobs into small targets. Thanks for the reminder. Nice to meet you too 🙂

  • 3 September, 2015 at 12:58 am

    I find so many ways to procrastinate making changes. Or writing in general. I’m trying to substitute my potato chip gratification with celery. Trying 🙂

    • 3 September, 2015 at 9:55 am

      lol I’m thinking of trying gum because I don’t seem to be able to watch tv without eating. Good luck with your celery!

  • 3 September, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Last year when I was having a rough time, I had someone suggest that I had a form of seasonal depression. That’s not the term she used, but that’s pretty much what it was. Depression that coincides with a change in the season. It’s always nice to learn you’re not alone and others know how you feel. Hugs to you.

    • 3 September, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Hugs to you too, Patricia. Hope you’re over the worst of your rough time.

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