Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breakable Me

So, the title of this post is based on this song by Ingrid Michaelson: 

... and from the first time I heard it, it made me think of days and moments like today when you recognize you're fragile in so many ways.  You don't feel badass or even sturdy--you feel breakable--like your skin is actually egg shells instead of a coat.  

Right now that feeling is based on a lot of things.  I'm very stressed out.  Spring and fall are hard for me.  The season changes bring allergies and time adjustments and the rain--which means less Vitamin D. I also have a lot of strange memories that get to me.  In the spring, it's when B was diagnosed... and a few other unpleasant memories.  In fall, I had a really bad October four years ago when I was trying to get on medication for my OCD.  Every October since then I've felt haunted by those days.  It's silly to let dates and seasons depress me, but I never claimed to not be silly.  I know it's common in some with OCD to have these emotional connections to dates.  Some of January, March 8th, most of May, the time changes, October 31st... they're fragile times.  They've kept a piece of me that I can't seem to get back. 

Then, there are my kids.  T is having more bad days than good days lately. He's been struggling with manic violence again, and his school life seems to bounce between okay and upsetting.  B is doing well in school, but she is spending a lot of time distracted and in her own little origami world when home.  They're both fragile in their own ways.  I want to protect them while not sheltering them and this strange balance is killing me each year.  They have to adapt to a hostile world, but watching it and allowing it... is very hard.  I have to deal with their parent-teacher conferences in two weeks, and I just found out my husband has been tapped for a business trip for then.  He'll also be missing their annual church program.  The timing isn't his fault and not within his control... but it's lousy.

There is also the revision I've been working on with Secrets of Skin and Stone.  I've skipped around burn-out with this one.  I also did a few more revisions this year on other manuscripts--revisions that will need to be revisited.  Usually my revisions have felt more successful than these ones.  Maybe with a little more guidance or some perspective I'll be able to figure out where I went wrong, but... *sighs*  When you've done a lot of revision, it's a bit of a blow to your self esteem as a writer.  I never feel like my first draft is fantastic, but having to rework a manuscript over and over and over peels off those layers of self confidence. There's some point where the fragile being inside you just wants to whisper "am I good enough yet?"  That point was a month and a half ago. Sarah is going over my latest revision now, and I might have another round yet. 

Is it really any wonder I feel breakable?  Maybe other people handle it better.  Maybe they don't.  I just feel so fragile. 

So, I thought I would write and submit to this anthology: http://www.entangledinromance.com/2011/10/03/call-for-subs-superhero-anthology/  Working on a new WIP has felt really good actually.  It felt like magic and everything I love about writing.  It was beautiful and perfect... until I had to show other people.  Then, I got worried and fragile again.  Now, I just need to revise it before November 1st.  There's just one problem... there isn't enough time to just set it aside and come back to it myself in a few months and do most of the revision without help. I've used line-edit or intense betas in the past, but that was when I had some sort of shell.  I've got nothing now.  I write to escape from stress.  Right now, both my worlds feel like they're under attack.  It's got me thinking maybe I can't do this.  Maybe I can't make that deadline without pushing myself too much. 

I feel so fragile and breakable. I hate it.  I hate it so much.  I want to have that thick skin and pretend that nothing hurts and nothing matters, but I don't... I don't have that. 

How do you handle the days like this?  And what would you do about the anthology and revising something that you just want to pretend doesn't need to be revised? 

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.


  1. Sending along a big, big hug!

  2. I've always wished to have your way with words. This post, I've been trying to write my version of it, but it never would have sounded as beautiful as yours.

    These days my days sound like your days. Feeling fragile, almost shattered. I don't have a thick skin. I wish I did. But I don't. So I don't have any advice. All I can say is I'm there, with you. My problems aren't your problems but even with all our differences, I'm here for you.

    I think you've inspired me to write such a post. If only I had the courage to post it online.

  3. Having work critiqued is ALWAYS hard. And even when you *know* intellectually that it will make your work better, it hurts to see it in front of you in notes and red lines. ALWAYS. For every one. *squishy hugs*

  4. I know exactly how you feel. I've been feeling very breakable (and discouraged about edits) myself lately.

    *hugs Wendy* *gently*