Doing it Anyway


I wasn’t sure if I’d write today. I’ve started a new course with Rachel Thompson, Lit Mag Love, which focuses on refining your approach to publishing in literary magazines. I’ve been working on that this morning, with this blog post nagging at the back of my mind.

In the last two weeks, I’ve felt my seasonal depression creeping in. The sun takes a little longer to rise, now; the leaves have all dropped and the hillsides are bare and grey. Some mornings, there is ice on the pond near our house and the woodstove is going almost all the time. I find the days are more work. It is work just to maintain some equanimity: I feel sadness out of nowhere. I acknowledge it and I try not to let it take over my day. I focus hard on engaging with the kids, on coming to the page and writing each day, on going to the yoga class I signed up for, on reading and on stepping away from social media when it’s too much. It is real work to do each of these things.

It helps to have a name for the thing, and a box to put it in. This is seasonal. This is because there is a lack of sunlight. This is not my fault. I will do all of the things that I know might help me: vitamin D, exercise, light box therapy, maybe talk therapy.

I’ll continue to focus on my writing life. Tomorrow I have a FaceTime appointment with someone who is editing my chapbook manuscript. We’ll talk about her suggestions and my hopes for the work. Next week we’re doing another spoken word open mic at the Westminster, and I’ll read some of my new poems. Last week, in Whitehorse, I went to an art opening and poetry reading and connected a little with the very active writing community there. I’ve decided to do that as much as I’m able. Each of these things gives me a bubble of anxiety, a flutter in my tummy that suggests I don’t belong, I’m not good enough, I’m a big faker. I take a few breaths and do the thing anyway.

It’s a strange place for me to be in, and feels quite new: to be fully conscious of what’s happening internally but not to be swept up in its tide. I’m curious but also apprehensive about this new place. Can I let these feelings exist in me and still continue to do the work of living? So far, I am.

For now, the early morning fog has lifted. The sun is shining through my window, warming me. I’m off to get something to eat before the live video portion of my course begins. I hope you’re doing well with whatever life has sent your way.


5 thoughts on “Doing it Anyway”

  1. Tara, I think your writing is just fantastic. It has a natural flow like I said before. Each place on earth has its special qualities, the north is no exception . The everlasting daylight in summer to the short frustrating days of winter is what makes this place so special. Please know you are not alone with these feelings in the fall and winter and please keep writing because your writing is also very special.
    Take care, George

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So wonderful to have an active art and writing community to connect with! And more poetry readings ahead. Maybe you’ll record one and post it here, so we can see/hear you read? The days have grown darker here, but the temperature is still so warm, a long transition never to be fully realized–or so it seems. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m eager for the cold snap. The golden light though, that I’d like to keep.


    1. I hope you were able to listen to me read my newest poem on The Maynard! Next time I read in public, I’ll try to get someone to record it. I’ve also thought of doing Facebook Live readings sometime but of course I’m very nervous about that idea. I know what you mean about just wanting that change to happen already! We’ve finally gotten a big dump of snow, which helps to make things prettier, at least.


  3. I’m late to this post, but I hope your fog has lifted and the class is going great. I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of “The Five Second Rule,” which has been helping to push me toward more doing and less brooding. Then again, ’tis the season…


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