Things Fall Apart; The Author Cannot Hold

Well, hello there, Internet.

I am sure it has not gone unnoticed that I have fallen into a black hole of radio silence the likes of which I have not indulged in since, well, before I started blogging in the first place.

YOU GUYS. THIS JUST IN, HOT OFF THE PRESSES: DEPRESSION IS NOT AWESOME.

I’ll try to thumbnail this as best I can: I’ve been depressive all my life. And for the last eight years I have run as far as I can as fast as I can as hard as I can, using myself up on every level in order to make it as a writer, in order to get out of the morass I’d made of my life in my early twenties, in order to get to Maine and get to self-sufficient and in general get to where I am now. I have had to face up to the fact that energy, my energy, is actually finite.

In short: you know how you guys keep asking me how I write so many books and blog and write articles and go on tour for months and make circuses and cook and knit and raise a billion animals? And I always answer “Badly,” and everyone laughs? The answer is badly, it has always been badly, and I only held it all together by sheer force of will, desire to do what I do forever, a fair amount of good Puritan shame at not Accomplishing Everything At The Same Time All the Time and must be Perfect Provider and Perfect Housewife Both At Once, and the energy that comes from being young and driven and compulsive in one’s work habits.

After all, if you can work so hard you lose sight of everything else in the world and pitch yourself face-first into an exhaustive breakdown, anything less than that is slacking, right? Well. Quite so. 2012 was meant to be a year of mostly rest and then touring like a mad Wheeler for the autumn and winter. Instead I was sick for the first four months of the year, which put every single other thing on my schedule back four months and left me no time to recover from the craziness of 2011. And then I spent the summer in Europe (poor me, I know, but it was mostly working) and had a bare breath of being home before a tour that ran six weeks and god knows how many cities and just took everything out of me.

Tours are magic, tours are a gift from the publishing gods these days, tours give so much beauty and love. Some truly, truly amazing things have happened to me in the last few months. Holy shit you guys, I was in Time Magazine. Twice. But touring takes a level of social energy that borders on a superpower. And it takes time to recharge. And I haven’t had a moment to recharge in two years.

And I am writing the third Fairyland novel. When a novel is going well, I am Chipper and Glee and Want to Talk to Everyone. When it isn’t, I can’t bear any kind of communication that isn’t between me and the book. I think this book and I are finally starting to get along, and my chest is starting to feel less heavy about anything involving typing.

I have neglected this blog and the Internet and the world most heinously. I am going to try to be better, without hurting myself. That’s probably a good mantra for the year. But I knew my depression was a horse of a different color this time because I stopped blogging. I’ve blogged for twelve years, no matter how dire anything was. I stopped playing video games. I stopped knitting. I stopped all the things that brought me pleasure because experiencing pleasure caused me so much anxiety I couldn’t even face it.

This is personal stuff, I know. I’m talking about it because I know so many people suffer from depression and it’s not talked about and especially not talked about if you are an Type A Over-Accomplisher Semi-Semi-Public Figure. So I’m saying: I’ve been in a dark place. Exhaustion and sickness and hitting the energy wall and Overly Dramatic Life Things I won’t get into. I’ve sought medication for depression for the first time; it didn’t go so well and I’m debating whether to pursue that course further. At least I’m home for awhile. Catching up on everything I’ve let slide. And making fiction again.

But I’m trying to come out. It’s not a popping out of the ground with YMCA arms thing. It’s a process. And step one is coming out of online hiding.

So hi. It’s been awhile.

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