The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

He Said I was Depressed...

Anyone who has read these notes for the last year knows that I've been under tremendous pressure, connected with family emergency, and a move that turned life upside-down.
Despite this, within one 13-month period I'm releasing four new novels (THE MOON MAZE GAME, DEVIL'S WAKE, SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST, and DOMINO FALLS) an e-book novella (THE SECRET OF BLACK SHIP ISLAND), two short stories, and wrote the best screen play of my life. The external stress has been very real, but when you are balanced, stress pushes, drives, and motivates you, rather than crushes you.

On one of my blogs, a reader speculated that, based on some of my comments I seemed depressed. And that might have been true. Looking back, it seems like I was a man fighting his way through a tunnel, making whatever moves I could, focusing on what I COULD do, and allowing the things I could NOT do to devil me.

Well, no more. I can feel it. The stress crushed me down to a core that would move no further, and that part of me, a purer part than any construct my ego could manufacture, is taking control.

And everything is good. It feels...different. As if I can't quite go back to who I was. And that is fine.

The first thing is to look at my work, and teaching (which are quite intertwined) and extract from them only those actions and attitudes which remained positive and productive, no matter what.

Here's one that applies across the board:

Re-write your goals every day. I re-write the top ten goals for the year, WITHOUT looking back at the previous days' writings. This forces me to think hard, and also reveals which goals I can remember most easily--these tend to be the ones in greatest alignment with my values and beliefs. The last two or so can be like pulling teeth. Invariably they are important, but some part of me doesn't have the same level of comfortable faith with them. In other words, my difficulty remembering them reveals where there is work to be done. Try this, and see which of your goals are easy to believe and remember...and which ones are a struggle.

More later...

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