The Chair

It should be telling that I’ve been staring at this draft post for a few days. As I’ve noted in earlier posts, coming back from a break can be harder than keeping momentum going. The key, of course, is just taking the plunge and breaking the anxiety cycle that is keeping you out of the chair.

I’m welcoming myself back to my blog, first, by providing an update on the past month:

I finished my rough draft of Drawful the Awful-

-but there’s a lot more work to be done. Once I set my mind to smoothing out the world of my story, its unique laws, and what exists beyond the edges of the map, I had opened a Pandora’s box of sorts. It’s been a little overwhelming, but I’m making progress.

I’m starting small, focusing tightly on the story at hand and the space it occupies, and defining the world its in within this context first. I’ve also been working a lot more closely with my illustrator on this one since Drawful will be the first book I’ve written to include interior art for each of the 7 chapters in addition to the usual cover art. Melissa has been a great collaborator because her thirst for details to properly characterize visually is helping me consider a lot of the realities of my characters and the world in which they live and exist within.

I wrote more important words than any of the ones I blog about here-

-because I officiated another wedding for friends at the end of July. It’s a tremendous honor, given my honor of words and writing to be the one to write and speak words that commemorate and pronounce something as profound as marriage.

The usual battle-

I’ve written at length about the kind of battle it can be dealing with chronic depression, and how as much I have the rhythm of being bipolar down to something of a science, it’s not perfect. I got bucked off the horse by a solid wave of it, and let personal doubt get the better of me and keep me down for a while, then the shame of that doubt kept me there and was keeping me there.

I hope people understand then when I talk about discipline and getting in the chair to produce work, and to simplify the equation as much as possible, I’m not speaking just from a “art is beautiful” romanticism. I’m speaking from a place of survival.

At its most base and raw nature, my art is why I’m alive. It’s why I keep on. That isn’t me trying to trump up my work to be something I think will change the world, or the future- that’s me finding something that is entirely in my control that is a reason to face another day.

I got back in the chair, because ultimately I don’t want that depression monster to win. Not producing and not working on my art is allowing that demon to win. It got a few hits in, but I’m still standing. I’m moving forward. I can’t beat myself up for lost time, but I can put the time in that I do have. I can move forward.

All that dour gravitas aside, let’s end on a lighter note, because we’re talking about a comedic fairy tale spoof…

I am so excited for Drawful the Awful and you should be too!

As I said, I met with my illustrator and we reviewed her character designs and the early sketches for the chapter illustrations. She has a great sense of the characters and is bringing a style to the work and the book that I am already in love with.

I’ll have more posts to come on some reflection regarding editing, but for now, this update is: I’m back in the chair and we’re moving forward.

Author: Y. Balloo

Amateur novelist / Work in progress.

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