I guess I don't have a lot of advice for you... you obviously know the
usual stuff, like keep plugging away at it, etc., and I know how very
hard it can be to be able to do that. You might join a writing group or
two in addition to this group though, as quite a number of people on
sf.composition, for example, talk about situations not a million miles
away from yours, including the depression, and have learned ways to get
around/through it that they might be able to recommend to you. Things
like, interview your main character, or, sometimes you find that the
book isn't going the way you subconsciously expect so it seems suddenly
far too intimidatingly impenetrable and you don't know why, but it often
turns out that just putting someone in a library instead of a cafe
somehow saves it all. The tricks are to approach it from entirely new
angles and try to startle it into revealing why it's fighting you. As to
the rest, well, a decent part-time job sure would help me, but I can't
do much, for a year now, even write, which is killing me. I can paint,
so I'm working on some children's books for a lady, but it's for the
hope of eventual royalties. That's why we can't afford RAM so that I
could start using voice recognition and work on this next !@#&* novel.
Oh yeah, about the pot--I'm glad it helps. Pity you don't live here.
Sometimes one finds that different strains are less "fuzzy" than others;
some are even considered creatively helpful. Here, if I go into a
coffeeshop and pick up a menu, I can ask them things like that, and they
will show me strains which they suggest. One can even contact the
Mediwiet program and discuss symptoms and strains with people trained to
discuss this with you. And of course doctors can prescribe it, so they'd
also have suggestions.
And about the reclusiveness--get some good books on web design, or
desktop publishing. This is now a world in which one _can_ work from
anywhere, and never have to see another soul. It sounds like you might
need somewhere really away, too, just to give yourself a break--Mexican
beaches are nice, and cheap if you have a tent, but of course I have no
idea where you are. We used to live in San Diego, so it was a matter of
a half hour and a stop at Mex-insure to be on our way to a few days'
camping in a foreign country.
> Your comment re "a tough job". Well, since leaving a good solid job
> years ago I have gone all over the place and some of the jobs I have
> ... . People in offices think they work hard, I worked in offices for
> years about after a few months in the freezer at the local meatworks
> (seasonal work, save money, quit, then write like hell) or emptying
> containers in the 30 degree Australian summer ... . Now that's hard
> Give me office work anyday, its a breeze compared to that stuff.
I have never had an office job. Over the past six years I have loaded
hundreds of massive hay bales onto tractors--at once, I mean, for
haulage to another farm--in the only blistering heat I've ever seen
here, while suffering from a low-grade fever. I mucked out stables all
day for $2.50 an hour, and worked down dangerously high strung horses. I
scrubbed toilets and kitchens and concrete warehouses. I stood outside a
pub in the pouring rain repeatedly saying, "Go in, it's happy hour! Go
in, there's football on!" The one that did my arms in, though, involved
getting to work at 5:30 a.m. and stuffing 4000 science sections into
4000 newspapers at about 30 papers a minute with periodic hauling of
high stacks of them across the room. You can't imagine how depressing it
is to do something like that for minimal pay and then find your whole
life has ground to a genuine physical halt as a result! One year of
physiotherapy, the electric pulse machine, and acupuncture now means I
can at least open a bottle of wine without crying out.
Oh look, I can make a passing nod at staying on-topic! Why does it, from
an evolutionary perspective, depress me to have a physical problem I
can't do anything about? Because, as though I could atthe moment, that
will prevent me from having an urge to ever do this to myself again.
> This mad gamble of mine better pay off!
I hope it does.
> Good luck with yours.
> John H.