The Waiting Place | When Creativity Doesn't Strike

My girls get on kicks with books and often ask to have the same book read to them over and over. Lately my littlest, Lyra, is into repeated readings of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

As the book moves from optimism to realism about the adventures and hurdles everyone faces in life, Seuss starts to describe a place I don’t like to be in.

It describes how life’s bumps, lumps, and slumps can turn into what he calls The Waiting Place:

I am intimately familiar with The Waiting Place and I never like it, not one little bit.

Reasons I can be in The Waiting Place:

A. I’m waiting on things beyond my control.

B. I’m in a depression.

C. Both A and B.

Here’s a diagram that depicts my creative productivity with Bipolar Disorder. As I’m either stable, or entering hypomania or mania, my creativity is pumping. When I descend into and slowly make my way out of depression, I’m unable to write, or pursue anything that requires creativity from my brain. 

Many people, not just those with Bipolar, can find themselves in The Waiting Place. I have friends right now who are:

- Waiting for a house to sell

- Waiting for election results

- Waiting for medical tests

- Waiting to hear on a job prospect

Sometimes we’re all waiting on things beyond our control. Other times we are in control, except for option ‘B,’ that pesky thing called ‘depression.’ Depression can keep me in the Waiting Place for a long time. 

Right now I’m experiencing option ‘C,’ a mixture of things I can’t control and mild depression. The mental and emotional exertion of speaking about Rebel Heart in public for the first time at the Women Who Sail Australia Gathering and then coming back and pushing hard for a week to get my manuscript sent out to an agent who requested it sent me crashing down into The Waiting Place. I’m slowly climbing up again but I’m also waiting to hear back from the agent and waiting for edits from my developmental editor. Those two waits I cannot control so as my creativity returns I plan on focusing on Project X, the Action Adventure novel, until I have more information from either agent or editor, or both!

What about you? Are you in the Waiting Place right now? For reasons A, B, or C? If you’re there, I hope your wait is not too long. 

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