I'll be the first to admit that I'm moody. It comes with having a mood disorder, and maybe even being artistically inclined. But mostly the first. I'm surrounded by friends with similar illnesses and tendencies in my life, and I see them struggling and I just want to hug them (and sometimes shake them). And I know they often feel that way about me, too.
Writing and creating art are wonderful jobs when you're doing them. But when you're not, they can be very frustrating and extremely stressful. You get a handful of people asking what your real job is: mothering, teaching, working at a library, IT technician? They treat your talent as a hobby. And you sort of understand why, but it's maddening. You want to say, "Yeah, I make no fucking money at that, but it's still my job. Lots of important jobs are underpaid, but they're still jobs."
Or you get frustrated by the rejections piling up. That poetry anthology that you just knew you were going to get into, sends you a "Thank-you but" email. That publisher you love tells you you're not the right fit. That agent, and that agent, and that agent, says the same. "You're untested," "new," or "too much like" something else. But you worked countless hours on your craft and you just want a break, a positive note.
Then there's the marketing, and even big authors have to do that. But you're doing it wrong, or you think you are. You started off hounding people, then realized your friend list grew smaller. Okay, that's not the way. "Make connections" they say. So you try, but it takes up a lot of your writing time and writing makes you happy, and talking to others stresses you out. So you're doing the blogging and the tweeting and the connecting but you feel a little hollow.
So what? What now?
Take a break.
Take a week off where you write, or think or breathe. Your sanity is important. Don't call a lot of attention to it; don't make a big scene. Just walk. No one needs to know you're feeling like a bomb ready to burst. Go quietly and calmly into a week or so of peace.
And here's the important part: come back. All vacations must end. Or they would not be vacations. Get some peace, then keep it up. Write, connect, relate, repeat. This is your craft, and maybe someday it will be a job that actually pays. But becoming a tender mass ready to explode will not help you get there faster. Like with most things, time and patience and consistency helps. And a long walk in between never hurts. Be good to yourself, and you will be better for others.
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.