Monday, November 24, 2014

Coming out of a funk & celebrating Thanksgiving

I've been in a funk for the past few months and have spent most of my time sitting around making sad faces just like the little pug above.

But if you're going to get out of a funk, I'd say Thanksgiving is a great time to do it. And thanks to a great experience I had over the weekend I'm officially feeling over my funk.

I haven't written much of anything in months and had gotten to a point where I had gone from being excited about writing to deciding I couldn't stand anything I'd ever written and I'd never write again and what was I thinking starting all this anyway? I whined that I hated marketing, I hated social media, I hated my blog, and I basically hated everything. In all honesty I needed someone to do this to me:

Fortunately though I was able to snap out of my funk without having someone slap me in the face.

On Saturday I spoke to a class taught by a friend at the university where I work. The class is designed to support local authors and one of their assignments had been to read my book The Ghosts of Aquinnah. I had been excited about the class when I agreed to participate back in May but as the day drew closer I dreaded it and wished I could simply back out.

I couldn't back out though and that turned out to be a great thing as I had a wonderful time with the class. They were enthusiastic about the book and it was such a treat to hear them talk about my story and my characters and which ones they liked or disliked, etc. Some had brought their books with them for me to sign and a few told me that my book was their favorite of all they had read for the class.

I walked out of the class on cloud nine and I haven't slipped back into my funk since. When talking with the class about my books, it was easy to remember exactly why I had "started all this."

No work I've ever done has given me the sense of personal fulfillment and pure joy that writing and blogging has. I'm so fortunate to have found this outlet, however late in life I did, and I'd have to be a complete idiot to ever give it up.

I can definitely be an idiot but I don't think I'm a complete one. :D

Source: publicdomainpictures
So again, I can't think of a better time to come out of a funk than at Thanksgiving. My family and I have a lot to celebrate this year, as my mom is doing well in her cancer fight and we are cautiously optimistic. But I also want to remember how thankful I am that I started writing and blogging and became a part of such an extraordinary community.

To my American friends, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. And to everyone else, a wonderful week ahead. :)


  1. Sometimes we just need a boost like that to recharge our enthusiasm. Awesome the class liked your book so much.
    Such a funny scene from Moonstruck.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. Oh, Julie! I'm so sorry you've been going through such a bad funk, but I can also really relate to it, too. The best things us writers can hear is that people liked our book(s), they've suggested them to others to read, and they plan to buy dozens! :)
    The few times that I've spoken to classes or at library functions, etc., are the times I feel really proud of my accomplishments and, like you, at a later stage in life!
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving, and hey...if you begin to feel down again, don't be upset with yourself. We all have down times in our lives and sometimes they last too long, or if we think we are finally out of them, we sink back down into them....It happens, especially at this time of the year when we're all "supposed" to be jolly and happy, etc. Just be your sweet self! Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Excellent, Julie! So happy to hear you're feeling better. :)

  4. What a great way to get out of your funk - that class sounds like it happened at the perfect time.

    As a completely unbiased reader, I love your books. I have The Turnagain Arm on my laptop, but it won't transfer to my Kindle - grr! - so I'm taking my time to read it at the moment.

    However, I too have those feelings. I'm feeling it about my current project right now. It's stupid and rubbish, and I really should shred it and give it to some hamsters to sleep on. Today, I plan to go NO WHERE NEAR my manuscript :-)

  5. I understand your funk. I am dreading that whole process, as I have finished my novel and must now find a way to publish it. I am so glad your mom is doing well. And that is wonderful feedback about your book, Julie. Revel in that!

  6. Yep, I can totally relate to your fall into funkdom. Currently a citizen of that sucky town myself right now. But I know it usually passes. So glad you didn't back out of speaking to that class. What a great feeling to know people loved your books. :)


  7. You are not alone. Once in a while, I also feel that I'm worthless as a writer, but I always manage to motivate myself again. Doing classes or getting compliments work best :)

  8. Glad you had such a good time at the class! Seems like a good way to get out of a funk. Now if I could just figure out how to get out of mine...

  9. Hi Julie - you've got lots going on .. so it's not surprising in some ways - but am glad that commitment from May was still there .. and what a lovely reaction from the class ...

    Great that it's given you the impetus to get going again .. take care and enjoy Thanksgiving .. all the best Hilary

  10. Oh the life of a writer. Depression. I go through this too.

  11. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, Julie! Glad to hear you're coming out of your funk. :)

  12. @Alex, I totally love Moonstruck. My sister and I still quote it LOL. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

    @Becky, aww, that's so nice, thanks! Hugs back to you and Happy Thanksgiving!

    @Madeline, I really needed a kick in the pants LOL.

    @Annalisa, oh, I'm sorry about the kindle problem. And sorry you are struggling with your ms but you made me laugh about the hamster. Thanks so much.

    @Karen, thank you, I appreciate that!

    @LG, Happy Turkey Day to you as well, thanks.

    @Vanessa, definitely. Thank you!

    @Sarah, I hope you can get out of it soon. Hang in there.

    @Hilary, it really did turn out to be just what I needed. Thanks so much.

    @Shelly, yeah, I guess we all have bouts like this sometimes.

    @Cherie, thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  13. I think you know you're a real writer because you've been there hating everything about what you've written! I once heard Harlen Coben and massive selling American crime writer speak and he said every time he sits down with a new book, he hates what he writes. So a funk is no bad thing, though I'm glad you're recovering out of it and I'm thrilled to hear about your mum. I was in a similar situation last year. Wishing you the best with that and Happy Thanksgiving. x

  14. Being in a funk can be so debilitating to oneself. I have a wonderful friend who listened to me when I was going through so much with my mom (dementia) and my hubby(rheumatoid arthritis)and I was so much in a funk and she looked at me, smiled, gave me a glass of wine , shook her head and said "Oh Birgit F&#!@ off" If you have to delete that I understand. Well, needless to say that was my slap and I laughed and we hugged and had some more wine to go with my whine. I am glad to hear about your mom and this Thanksgiving and Christmas will be even more special. Never doubt your creativity as you have it! I am glad you blog about whatever interests you. It is always a pleasure to read what you have written

  15. I'm always in a funk. I should live in Funkstown, which is an actual small town in Maryland. I used to live very close to Funkstown. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.


  16. I'm so glad that you spoke to the class. It had to be such a fantastic feeling to be greeted with such enthusiasm! What a wise group of students! Great scene from Moonstruck! Thank goodness your mom is doing better. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and be proud of your amazing accomplishments, Julie!


  17. I'm happy you found your way out of your funk, and your honesty is refreshing. I'm sure those are things that many of us have felt at one time or another, but don't always admit (I know I have felt some of those exact things myself). What a gift that class was, and much less painful than a slap. :) I think doubting ourselves is in the nature of us writers. And, let's face it, sometimes social media is less than appealing, especially when we're in a not-so-social mood. Knowing that even published authors go through phases like this is helpful to those of us who also struggle with it sometimes. Jared Leto has a quote: "Never feel like you're alone. We all go through the same shit." Not very eloquent, but effective. Lol.

  18. I'm glad you were able to kick the funk. Nothing like having a bunch of readers tell you how much they enjoyed your books to restore some of that feel-good confidence.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. What a wonderful post, and I'm so happy you are coming out of the funk. (Though the pug is so adorable!) Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. :)

  20. I'm so delighted you had such a fabulous and affirming experience. If anyone deserve something positive, it's you. I hope you start writing soon and enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!! :)

  21. Hi, Julie,

    Glad you kicked the funk to the kerb. We all get a case of the blahs now and then and wonder why we bother.

    Enjoy Thanksgiving!

  22. @Rebecca, oh, that's interesting about Harlen Coben! I'm always amazed when I hear something like that about people who are so successful, although I know I shouldn't be as we're all human. Thanks so much.

    @Birgit, LOL, your story about your friend cracked me up. You're so nice, thanks!

    @Janie, LOL LOL I had no idea that was a real town! Now I want to move there. :D

    @Julie, thanks so much and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    @Julie, that's a great quote from Leto, and you're right, very effective LOL. Thanks so much.

    @Susan, it really was a great experience. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving back to you.

    @Christine, LOL, isn't he adorable? I have a pug as a neighbor and she always makes me laugh. :D

    @Lexa, that's so nice of you to say, thanks so much.

    @Joy, exactly. Thank you!

  23. Glad that you are over the funk. Happy Thanksgiving Julie!

  24. I was in a funk for awhile myself. Must have been the season. I'm glad you were given this fantastic gift. I found a way out of my funk too.

    Hugs to you and your mom. I wish you a joyous holiday!

  25. So glad you are out of your funk. What a nice opportunity to have a class read and discuss your book. What great energy to inspire an author!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. @Rachna, thank you!

    @Mary, thanks for the hugs, I am sending some back to you.

    @Mary, it really was such perfect timing. Thanks!

  27. It's really special to get that kind of feedback. I hope you stay away from the funk from now on :)

  28. First off, that sounds like an awesome class. And that's a great way to get out of a funk, seeing the effort of your work. I'm rather jealous.

    Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes!

  29. wait a minute... maybe you do need a good smack. I can do that for you! free of charge!
    but it is pretty amazing, Julie, when others help celebrate your writing and remind you why you did it in the first place. and hey, don't check the scale after you eat that may pug face it again. ha!

  30. Glad you're feeling better and broke out of the funk. ^_^ I know how you feel; I get like that sometimes too where everything seems dark and pointless, and I can't help thinking that I've failed at this writing thing. But I always find a way to pull myself out of it. Hopefully you won't fall back into your funk anytime soon, maybe ever.

  31. Julie -- You certainly brought out your support group! Just look at all the positive comments above...but I can totally understand that funk-feeling I, too, have over the holidays, telling everyone: "I vant to be aloone." (I know, cheesy, but am an old Garbo fan--besides, I have the accent!).

    Time to pull up those proverbial bootstraps - and conjure up those wispy Vineyard scenes you do so well.

    Happy WRITING!

  32. Hi Julie,

    Ah yes, the funk and the funk needs to be sent packing on a one-way ticket. I do understand, I empathise, my dear friend.

    You have gone through a transition that brings renewed hope and positive energy for that upbeat future you visualise.

    Your family celebrations will indeed be profound with the grateful blessings your feel. Happy American Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones, Julie.


  33. Yay! So glad you're feeling much improved :)

  34. I'm in a mild funk right now. Trying to write my way out of it. I'm glad you came through to the other side. And wonderful your mother is doing better.

  35. @Lynda, so far, so good. Thanks!

    @Gwen, it really was awesome, thank you.

    @Tammy, LOL I will let you know if I need another smack. :D

    @Mason, I hope not, and hope the same for you.

    @Inge, I hope so, thank you! And I use that Garbo line myself sometimes LOL.

    @Gary, thanks so much, I appreciate that.

    @Carol, :D

    @Tonja, sorry to read that - I hope your writing is just the thing to help you out of your funk. Take care!

  36. Oh Julie, you are NOT an idiot!! You've had a rough year, and the fact that you could pull yourself out of your funk is admirable and amazing. I'm so glad it happened the way it did, and brought you back to the joy of what you do! We've ALL been there. I've been in and out of one all year - but if you can just hold on and wait, there is light at the end of the tunnel :) Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome back, my friend!

  37. I've been feeling the same way as when you were in your funk. Like I couldn't write my way out of a paper bag. I'm so glad the class was such a fantastic experience for you. What an amazingly cool experience! I'm glad your back out here with us crazies.

  38. @Liz, you're so sweet, thank you so much.

    @Ava, thanks and I hope you are able to get out of your funk!

  39. I've always loved the scene from Moonstruck. How wonderful about the class. That would be a big boost. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

  40. I'm so glad you got out of your funk, Julie! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. :)


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