Recognizable Emotional Valleys

There is inevitably a point during pre-orders when Howard and I do the math to compare orders received vs. expected expenses then discover that it isn’t enough. We know that the pre-orders are barely begun, that we still have time, but it is still frightening. It reminds us that everything we have is a gift and that perhaps we should be working harder to earn it. So we make plans to work harder and to spend less.

Any time I go on a trip I spend some time convinced that the whole thing is a bad idea. Usually this hits a day or two before departure when I still have a big list of things I intended to do before leaving, but when I can see that I simply don’t have the time or energy to accomplish all of them.

Toward the end of the school year I experience an emotional lull when I can’t pull together the emotional energy to maintain the structure to support school work. We end up having lots of last-minute scrambles to get things done. My brain also coasts back over the entire year and informs me exactly how I could have done all of it better.

When I release my work in a form where people can pay money for it, and then very few do, it can be hard to remember that the blockbuster model is not the only road to success.

I finally find the right conjunction of time and emotional energy to send out a pile of queries on Stepping Stones. Immediately after, my brain begins to do damage control on the expected rejections. I become convinced that all the effort is pointless because the book will never sell anyway, and if it did sell the money offered would be so small that it would make no dent in our finances at all.

All of these emotional valleys are familiar to me. I’ve been in them before. I will be again. The good news is that the familiarity helps me to know that I’m not stuck in them. I’ll climb out. The bad news is when all of them strike simultaneously at 11 pm on the same evening. I feel quite accomplished that I was able to spectate the experience and identify all the threads instead of turning into a whimpering huddle under the covers.

Now it is morning and I’ve got my hiking shoes on, because the best way for me to get out of these valleys is to start walking.