Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab



Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Tips For When Reading Makes You Too Depressed To Write...?


I'm not feeling too great right now.

I suppose feverishly job-hunting would make anybody feel poopy, but it's not just about that. It's about me trying to get my novel in some sort of readable mostly-finished shape, but it's running through my fingers like sand. That's pretty sad. =(

In terms of reading, I started off the year well. I read intensely. I DID finish The Fellowship of The Ring, with the aid of lemon biscuits and chocolate. In fact, I'm 2 books ahead of schedule according to Goodreads. But I stopped reading at the end of last week and I haven't been able to pick up a book since because I don't want to be reading. I want to be writing.

Every book I read, every blog post I read, even when I read my to-do list, all I can think about is how much I want to finish OOTD/ Karalan's Legacy and move on to my next novel. It's driving me a little bit insane and making me feel very depressed. (Not that I wasn't previously depressed about other things. I already had a history of it.) As a reader-writer, I often read a book and think one of 3 things:

1 - This is incredible. I want to learn to write like that!
2 - This is awful. I can do better than that.
3 - This is phenomenal and I'll never be able to write like that. I might as well give up now.

The third can be very debilitating, no? Therefore, I had to take a break from reading. Whenever I'm not thinking about writing, I'm sitting down and writing. And as I write, I just think about how impossible it seems to achieve this one goal that has ended up meaning so much to me.


How to solve this problem?
I have no idea. I do not have the answers. But here's what I'm gonna do anyway.

1. Put aside my fantasy books. Pick up a children's book, something light-hearted and hilarious (Lemony Snicket, preferably) and take a holiday from the headache.

2. Schedule 2 posts and take a one week blogging break. I need to be away from the blogosphere. That's depressing me too.

3. Set small writing goals. Make a list of ALL the things I need to do before the story is done. Then do not add to that list, only allow myself to tick off what's been achieved. In theory, it should work. But then, you know me. (Right? o_O No? O_O Who are you?)

4. Eat food. Lots of food.

5. Continue drawing as therapy. Fantasy and fashion illustration always gets my spirits up.


Ashana Lian .

I'm taking a one week break from... everything. I'll catch-up on the blogs I'm following as soon as I'm back! I'll also be taking a break from my 2015 Reading Challenges. Any newcomers during that time - please join in!

Do you ever feel too down to read, or to write? How do you pull yourself out? Please share your tips, and as always thank you for reading.

17 comments:

  1. I find it incredibly hard to read anything others have written while I'm writing any project of significant length because of the time it takes away from my writing. When I used to write fiction, I would experience the same thing you described (mostly thinking "OMG, this is SO LAME! I can't believe this got published." LOL) And then I'd get irritated at the fact that I was wasting time reading garbage when I should be writing that much better story I believed I could write. That was when I resolved to never read others' works while working on a piece unless I was using it for research. Even now that I write mostly technical material, web content, and nonfiction, I still wait and read other things AFTER I'm finished writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeahh, I see what you mean. I like it when well-written books make me feel inspired to improve my own art, but it's true that some awful books just make me think 'What on earth..?' Usually if they're that awful, I don't even think about whether or not I can do better because I'm so annoyed I wasted the time reading it.

      I think that may be a good tip - to wait until after writing. The only thing is, reading is a primary hobby of mine and I mainly write fantasy novels, which can take a long time. With an annual goal of 52 books per year, I feel anxious when I start to fall behind! Still, I'm going (to try, LOL) to take a small break so I can get myself together. Thank you for commenting!

      Delete
  2. Yes, omg, yes I get this a lot. I actually think this is why I quit reading fantasy a few years back (I've started up again, tho) because I wrote so much fantasy and mine SUCKED compared to amazing authors. I knoooow you don't like Sarah J Maas, but I got SUCH a bout of "i suck at writing" after I read Crown of Midnight. :( It's depressing and sometimes it's hard to look past that to the inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get you. When I read The Name Of The Wind, for the whole book I was so overjoyed and excited because it was such a great read. Then afterwards I just... *slump.* =( I don't think Sarah J. Maas is a bad writer, I just didn't like her plot weaving and her characterisation. I can see why the people who love her books and aspire to write like her might feel dejected.

      I guess in that case, then, Mz Rawce's suggestion above is a pretty good idea.

      Delete
  3. I totally know this feeling. It's super depressing for me when that happens because normally I'm bubbling with ideas. I actually had a really bad slump once where I didn't write for over two months, a very long time for me, which means that nowadays I try and deal with this feeling before it lasts more than a few days. Some things I like to do is to make sure I get enough sleep, because being tired often affects the way I feel about my writing. Or I talk to someone about my book and get enthused about it again. Or, sometimes I just have to make myself power through. Often, when I power through, I discover that it was a certain scene or a chapter or something like that which has really got me depressed, and when I get past that, things start to get easier. Hopefully taking a break from blogging and from reading will help you out of your slump though. It's never a nice feeling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two months!! I've had a slump last almost as long. It's truly awful. It makes me feel loopy. Interesting you should mention sleep - I've had sleeping problems for a long time, but now I have a lot of trouble getting out of bed. I end up oversleeping and when I get up I feel like crap. I think I'll start taking iron supplements again.

      I like your suggestion about powering through, because usually it is one particular bit. What I did as a temporary solution was simply work on a different chapter. Bt I'll have to tackle the tough one sooner or later. Thanks so much for your suggestions, Imogen.

      Delete
  4. I totally get your feeling. I don't think there's truly any long-term remedy. The thing is to let the negative feeling pass. I find that when I'm frustrated with something, forgetting about it for one or two weeks clears my head. Maybe try to not think about your book for a while, and then try to work on it once again. I think you'll be more motivated afterward. When I'm depressed about something I also like to read books from the Gossip Girl series. I don't know if you've ever tried them. They're simple, fun and a bit over the top. There are the type of book that capture your attention without actually making you think. You could try one of those. Or you could simply forget about anything writing related for a while and watch TV shows you enjoy and draw instead of reading books. In any case, I hope taking a break from blogging will make you feel better :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll give it a try. Often with me, when something bothers me that much, I can't stop thinking about it. Last time I tried to take a "break", it was on my mind the whole time and I got so agitated, I ended it early.

      Ohh I know what you mean. My friend calls them something like... your Light-hearted Bitchiness book? Her LHBbook is 'It Girl'. Mine is 'Confessions of a Backup Dancer'. I haven't tried Gossip Girl but I might. I don't know what it is about these dramatic fictional girls in these books that cheer us up! I loved all of your suggestions Sarah. Thanks a million!

      Delete
    2. I don't know either! But still, it works, lol!

      Delete
  5. First of all: the new header looks brilliant. Heck the new look is freakin' cool! I like the tips you put down, I think if I was stuck in a rut like that I would make a list of tips and start on them too. I hope they help you! The writing bug has truly hit, hasn't it? Ah, I hate it when that happens and life just gets in the way. Grrr. Awaiting your return though! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it! (Secret from me to you... I don't like it. =/ ) It's not even the FINISHED look, I whipped it up using MS Word shapes because the original revamped header is taking so long. Crazy. It's Feb already. Thanks! I think they are helping already.

      The writing bug is certainly making me feel lousy. I think this is my first time saying this on the blog (officially or unofficially) but I've actually begun a new novel! =O One that isn't so complicated. Phew. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  6. Hope you feel better soon! I know how you feel and I'm sending you my best wishes. I hope you are able to feel better soon:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kat! Much appreciated :3 *virtualhug*

      Delete
  7. Hey Ashana! Hope the new novel is going good - I've nominated you for the Liebster Award:
    https://allthingswordy.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/the-liebster-award-dearest-sweetest-kindest/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi again girly. It's going pretty darned well actually, if I do say so... I've made a Pinterest board for it.

      Ooo muchas gracias! I haven't gotten one for this blog before, I think. I'll get round to that as fast as humanly bloggerly possible.

      Delete
  8. I get this post so badly. I actually used to write, but read so much that I kind of convinced myself I could never write anything worthy of letting others read, It's terrible and I no longer write fiction any more. I'm sad blogging is getting you down though, although I completely understand as I felt the same very recently and think I still do. I hope you take some time for yourself and start to feel better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, Charneeell! =( I have a friend who feels the same. I think it's hard to tell at this point whether procrastination or just the fact that she was out of practice was getting her down, or simply the fact that she's realised it's not what she wants to do anymore. I think that you should stick to doing whatever gets your spirits up. =]

      Not entirely sure why I write then, based on that principle. Novel writing drives me insane. I still love it though, goodness knows why. =/ Thanks! I did take some time, and I think I'm ready to start back again. It's tricky to figure out how to progress forward when I'm worrying all the time and all the different things I'm writing stresses me out. >.< Oh well. It'll get better. Thanks for visiting!

      Delete

Thanks for dropping by! Ashana Lian always replies to comments and if you leave a link, she'll visit your blog or website. Don't be shy!

Popular Posts