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The Opposite of Optimistic

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July 10, 2013 by kristin

It’s amazing how much hormones amplify feelings. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, everything seemed a bigger deal. I cried almost every day. I made other people cry. It was not the funnest time ever.

Now that my baby is almost 8 months old and my body is back in the swing of things, I notice a definite downturn in mood at a certain time every few weeks. Suddenly, my hope and optimism for my novel not only evaporates but INVERTS. Instead of thinking “It’s gonna happen! This last revision is the one! Just wait and see!”, I think “It’s NEVER gonna happen. My book just isn’t good enough. I’ll hear back from all these agents, and they’ll all say the same thing: Close but not quite.”

Then yesterday I heard bad news about my day job. I manage the web site for an online costume retailer, my family’s business. When we started several years ago, it was just an experiment to supplement the brick and mortar business. Now the brick and mortar is closed, and the web site IS the business, and I laid every virtual brick of it myself. Added every image, wrote every scrap of code, created and organized the thousands of pages, tweaking and tweaking over the years to make everything easy to find and interconnected.

But now I’m told our traffic has grown too big for the platform we’re using, and we have to change, or the site will just keep getting slower. It’s good that we’re growing, but all that interconnectedness, the result of YEARS of daily polishing, will have to be redone.

It’s as if someone told me I was going to have to rewrite my entire novel from scratch. In a way, it would be easier the second time around, because I’d remember the plot, remember certain phrases. But in another way, it would be harder because the spark of creation would be gone, and I’d just be going through the motions – the many, many, many, slow, slow, slow motions.

I cried on the phone with the tech guy (after yelling at him, which I apologized for). I cried some more when I told my husband about it.  I sat and stared out the window a lot. I ate fried food. I got a headache from the crying.

Just when I was feeling close to catching up on work, writing, family – having my life in order and not stressing me out – BOOM.

The rational part of me knows this will be a good change in the long run. The site will run faster; I’ll be able to add new products faster and keep the site organized more easily. But the hormonal part keeps wanting to cry over the countless hours I’ve apparently wasted and all the extra hours I’ll have to put in to get it working how it did before.

My husband said, “It just had to happen THIS week.” He knows about the hormones, oh how he knows. Bless his heart.

“Not the best timing, right?” I said, and smiled weakly through the tears.

Then I sighed and started to work.


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About Kristin

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Historical fiction writer and reader. Procrastinator. Sewist. Ally. Fan of red lipstick, rock 'n' roll, and everything vintage.

Current Work-in-Progress

The Boy in the Red Dress

When her drag queen best friend is accused of murdering a socialite, a Jazz Age Veronica Mars searches for the real killer in the seedy underbelly and glittering upper crust of 1931 New Orleans.

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