Down in the Dumps

I started to write this post yesterday, but I was so down on myself that it sounded like a pity party.  Today I’m in a much better place.  Why do I get so down on myself?  Depression is a hard thing to come out of.  It seems like when I most need companionship and support, I shut down and shut people out of my life.  If you are dealing with depression or having thoughts of harming yourself, please seek help.  It’s so difficult to reach out when you feel like the world is collapsing on you or you’re drowning in self loathing.  But medication and therapy do work.  You just have to give them time.

Writing helps with depression, but yesterday no words would come.  Writing can be cathartic, but it can also be lonely.  There’s not much reward or feedback and the constant rejection hurts.  I know that rejections are not personal and I should take it as a chance to grow and learn.  But knowing and doing are two different things.  Not much else to add today.  Just a reminder to add balance to your life.  Write, but also go out in the sunshine and interact with the real people.  The ones in your head don’t always make for the best company.

Back in the Saddle

Sorry for the hiatus, it’s been a bad few weeks.  My Crohn’s is acting up again, but I think that I’ve about got it under control.  When I’m able, I’ve done a lot of editing.  I’ve sent out about 20 or 30 query letters on WITHIN and have yet to hear anything except form rejections.  I’ve grown a tougher skin for rejections these days, but it gets very discouraging to not  ever get any feedback.

I believe the problem stems from my query letter.  That is the first thing agents look at and if it is not well written, concise, and does not summarize your story and make it sound interesting, you’re going straight into the slush pile.  This past February I was able to attend a Writing Conference in Seattle.  Chuck Sambuchino was the speaker and I felt like I got a lot out of it.  I often read his blogs on Writer’s Digest, and recently noticed that he was editing query letters.  I contacted him and sent him my letter.  I was very pleased with his edits.  Now my letter is tighter and less vague.

There are so many wonderful resources for writers these days.  Writer’s Digest has answers to almost any question about writing that you might have.  They list new agents looking for queries.  There are also quite a few apps and programs that help you to research, outline, and write your work.  Hemingway is an editing app that helps make your writing more concise.  Spice is a wonderful thesaurus app that gives you access not only different words, but tells shows literary quotes using the word you are looking up.  Werdsmith sets alarms to remind you to write and is nice for notes when you are out and about and have an idea.   There are so many more, but these are my favorite.

What apps or technology do you use in your writing?  I’d love to hear!