distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

How to Crush the Blahs

How do I say this? I’ve been silent for a while because I haven’t had the words to talk about it… But truth is, I’ve been having a tough summer. There. I said it. Things are not all rosy and perfect after diving into writing full-time + wonderful new book deal. How is this possible? Aren’t book deals supposed to solve everything? WTH!

Joking. Really, I didn’t expect this to solve everything.

I can’t talk about what’s going on, but I do look forward to the days when I can celebrate book stuff for my new novel, as I expect to be very cheerful then and maybe you’ll like me better, but also maybe in the meantime it’s realistic to see how lots of everything else is sort of falling apart all around me even though the book stuff is going on. Maybe there’s something comforting in that?

So here is me: stressed, and worried, not feeling well, but being down and stressed and worried about the future does not help the present, you know? It only makes it harder to get beyond it. Here are two things to crush my bad mood:

I read a brilliant book. It was such a good book that it leaped over all the other books I’ve read over the years and has taken its rightful place among my lifelong favorites. I am shocked that I never read this book before—how is this possible! I loved the book so much, I immediately went out and got it for my sister for her birthday so she could read it, too:

I love this city. We came home from a short trip away the other night and it was late and we were hungry and so we stopped at a pizza place a block from our apartment. I loved that it was so close to home and open and fast and waiting for me with a fresh pie out of the oven. That slice of pizza just hit the spot, you know? It was perfection. Sometimes it’s the simple things.

Yesterday I had a terrible, horrid headache, but I’m recovering now. So if I haven’t pushed all my friends and blog readers away by my grumpy silence, do tell: How do you crush your blahs?

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19 responses to “How to Crush the Blahs”

  1. I think a good book or a good meal is great way to cheer yourself up. I’m also partial to buying myself something pretty- I have a favorite necklace that is just so fun and amazing that I put it on whenever I need a confidence boost or some cheering up.

  2. First, I approach the physical side of the blahs: I drink ice water or hot tea (depending on the season), then make myself go outside to get some sunlight. Later, the mental side: I talk to my husband; read articles about running, hiking, or travel; listen to music or podcasts; look up and stare at gorgeous photos online (landscapes do it for me). I never try to write my way out of the blahs because writing is my work. So then I’m just working more, and that makes the blahs worse.

    Hope you feel better soon, and that the things and events around you begin to help instead of hinder.

    • I like the idea of approaching both sides of the blahs with different solutions. Thanks for the advice and good wishes, Shannon!

  3. I think the Blahs are part of the cycle of life whether you are living your dream (full-time writer, published author) or not. Glad to hear you are able to find the jewels that work on dispelling them.

    Me, I try to keep stable (blood sugar, emotions, not climbing high buildings). Once I start having fake highs and the attendant lows, I get the Blahs badly. I dispel preventatively.

    • Definitely part of the cycle of life, for sure. I will try not to climb any high buildings. 🙂 Thanks so much, Charlotte.

  4. But trips to NYC aside, I think the most consistent thing to pull me out of my blahs is exercise. I’m no exercise nut, so it’s not something I do everyday–but when I feel blah, I know that a run, however short, will help–so I exercise a little more often when I’m feeling blue (if i want to drag myself out of the pit–and oftentimes, I let myself stay there a bit too long). It’s the endorphins. Though I don’t like to take the wonder out of why I love NYC so much, i secretly think that the reason NYC is so good for me is all the walking.

  5. also, omg, I’m sorry for the multiple comments. but i wanted to add: be good to yourself, Nova. this is all about trying to attain happiness, right? so, choose happiness. 🙂 if you need to, step away from the computer for half a day and just let yourself decompress and go for a walk and sleep in a bit more.

    • I love your comments! You know, you have a good point, I often get my head out of bad places when I take myself on a long walk…

      Choose happiness. I will try!

  6. For me it depends…if the blahs are primarily internal…ie, hormonal or just my own bad moods, I determinedly work my way out of them – exercise, healthy eating, making sure my sleep schedule is solid, etc. If they stem from events…ie, a parent’s illness, deaths in the family, struggles in my relationship, etc I tend to accept them as part of the life cycle and allow myself to feel however I’m feeling, while following as much of a normal life pattern as possible. I do hope things improve for you soon and, for what it is worth – I can’t imagine you ever driving anyone away!

  7. p.s. Thank you to my kind writer friends who emailed me privately to check in. This blog has really connected me with so many wonderful people. I’m so lucky. Thank you!

  8. A more shallow comment, but still applicable: HOW AWESOME IS WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED…?! I read it last fall when I was hungry for a good, strange story to lose myself in. I see it as kind of a Grey Gardens meets Lizzie Borden with a dash of Edward Scissorhands, had Eudora Welty conceived of all of those tales in the first place. (That as got to be one of the strangest analogies I have ever made.) I was so happy to see someone else had read it!!

    • So not shallow! I loved loved love love this book. I’m shocked that I spent so many years without it. (And funny too, because it’s been recommended to me over and over again… many people I know thought I would like it. I should have picked it up sooner!) So happy you loved the book, too!

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