This Easter, I opened the most helpful email newsletter ever to grace my inbox. It was from Chris Brogan, who in his niche of helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses, is pretty famous. More than Internet famous, even. Every week he sends me a wise tidbit I’d never considered before.
This particular Easter was about forgiveness (a fitting Easter theme). I’ve heard his message before about how we need to learn to forgive ourselves, except for one sentence:
“I recently came out of a depression.”
What??? This bestselling author who hands out sage advice like candy gets depressed too?
Since returning from Cuba, I haven’t managed a full week where I wasn’t depressed and stressed. I received a lot of criticism that, while constructive and helpful, struck me through my soul and made me question whether I could even write a sentence. Every time I found stability, I received something else, or just plain exhausted, fell into the pits again.
Stress makes me feel like I’m not good enough. I mean, if I was, I wouldn’t be stressed, right? But as the Upside of Stress taught me, stress doesn’t mean I’m not good enough — it means I care about what I’m doing, and I’m challenging myself to grow.
And I’m not alone. Even a big (marketing) famous guy like Chris Brogan gets depressed. He has times he feels like he’s not good enough either.
So now I’m saying it to you too. This is one of the things I love about writing. Sharing my personal struggles through my characters, all the while whispering to you that if you feel the same, you’re not alone.
Like in the third book of the Snowmancer series, which I’m outlining right now. My bouts of depression have fueled the internal arcs for both Jem and the new antagonist. Hopefully I’ll learning something about this too.
I continued working with my editor on the Snowmancer sequel. Edits are taking a lot longer than I expected, but on the other side, I’m rising to the challenge, making this my best book yet and improving my writing craft. In researching the level of setting detail I need to add, I learned so much about the craziness of the real world.
Like, if there’s a fire in a spice market, the spice dust floating over the market will (likely) go up in flames and immolate everyone in the market.
On the less gruesome side, Morocco has tree-climbing goats. Picture a thorny, crooked and stunted tree, and then imagine a flock of twelve goats standing among the branches.
(And if you’re wondering how this could possibly relate to the Snowmancer world… well, it’s all in the local flavour 🙂
On the Cursed side, I’m three quarters of the way through Blood Cursed, the Blood Oath sequel. This is the part I wrote this entire series for. It’s juicy, angst-ridden and dark. It’s meant to tear your soul, as it wrenches Daniel apart. Just as I barely had a few days to breathe in stability, Daniel will only have moments of hope before those hopes are dashed. For now, at least. Daniel too will rise to the challenge, when no one ever expects him to.