I hope you’re all having a great day ;o) I want to thank Brenda for having me on her awesome blog to talk about something I’ve experienced a bit of… especially lately—going through the hard stuff and getting the hell through it.
I try to be a positive person and I really do believe everything happens for a reason. I’m not one to whine (at least I try not to) or talk a lot about what’s going on with me. My social presence gives off a pretty positive vibe, which is accurate. I am an optimistic person, but I’m also a realist and someone who has been through a lot. As most of us have. It’s not easy to talk about the times when we’re low, but in order to dig out of that abyss we have to believe we can.
My life has been a series of ups and downs and as beautiful as the ride has been, it got a little bumpy. I’ve believed my writing was crap. I’ve also thought it was the next big thing. I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve lost an agent, and gained a new one. I’ve been happy and I’ve been depressed, watching my life from the outside. I’ve been healthy and I’ve been sick. Right now, I’m waiting for open heart surgery, and every day I contemplate my mortality and wonder if the decision I make today will be the right one. If what I’m doing now will make things easier or more difficult in the future. It’s a lot for a person to think about and it can make our bodies act out. I’ve had several panic attacks since I’ve found out about my surgery, asking myself different questions. What will it be like at the hospital this time, what valve should I get, if I get the wrong valve will I have surgery again in six years, are my symptoms going to get so bad I can’t make it to the hospital before surgery? Or on the flip side–is my book going to get published, am I writing a good book, did I leave a best seller on the shelf? Am I doing everything I can to make my dreams come true?
It can be easy to let all that consume you, own you, be you. But positivity and a good attitude go a long way. Talking about what bothers you helps a lot too. I’m a big proponent of therapy. I have a therapist and she’s wonderful and talking to her helps me realize things about myself I didn’t know. I keep a lot bottled inside. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most writers do. Because what prompted us to write in the first place is usually something emotional, something hidden in ourselves that we wanted purged.
I truly believe that what we put out in the world matters. If we believe we can do something, we can. If we work hard, we can reach our goals. I’m going through a lot right now. My upcoming heart surgery, therapy, day job stuff, writing. But we make a choice to let something affect us. And I choose to not be a prisoner to my issues. I choose to be positive and stop believing that voice in my head that says I can’t. I am in control of what happens with me. For times that doesn’t work, and there will be, there’s no shame in getting help, either talking to someone, medication or whatever will help you get to that calm, peaceful place. Let people support you and surround yourself with positive voices.
You are a survivor. You are a warrior. We will persevere. <3
Erica M. Chapman writes YA contemporaries & thrillers at night while working for the man during the day. Her writing is represented by the lovely Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis. She’s a member of SCBWI and a lifetime Lions and Michigan football fan who loves alternative music. In addition to her blog, she contributes posts to the YA Misfits and All The Write Notes. She resides in Michigan where she sits quietly typing her next story on her macbook in a Detroit Lions Snuggie.