Every now and again everything I’m trying to do catches up with me in bad ways. I’d describe the feeling that results as drowning, like waking up already underwater. The depth doesn’t have to be much but that kind of blind, breathless panic – that’s just about right.
Let’s see, there’s the writing which anyone will tell you is plenty hard enough. There’s trying to become better than you already are which, anyone but the self help guru who wants to sell you their magic twelve step program, will tell you seems damn nigh impossible till you’ve done it and come out the other side. There’s marketing, socializing and dealing with the backend that never ends. Somehow in all of that there’s the foibles of just living, court cases that pop up out of no where, utilities that need to be paid, mouths that need fed and asses that need clothed in ever larger swaths of fabric.
So what to do when you’re feeling like you’re drowning in it all? Drown.
Sorry, there is no magic bullet here. Struggling when you’re underwater and without any kind of anchor is only going to speed up the effect of drowning. So go with it. Let yourself hit the bottom so you can crawl back up out of it, one tiny task at a time. Cry, feel sorry for yourself, whine, walk away from your manuscript (resist the urge to burn it for good measure) do what ever you need to do at bottom so you can climb back up.