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By Heather Herrick

Last month I missed posting. I just didn’t feel my post was ready. So I’ve been working on it the whole month . . .mostly in my brain. It’s still not ready for outside readers.

Such great thoughts, insights and conversations have been happening here. But I’m having a problem. So maybe today can be about you helping me.

I’ve been feeling too sad to be funny or witty.

I am too tired to ask thoughtful questions let alone discuss answers to those questions.

I busy myself with the daily tasks of caring for my family. I’ve discovered there is always more to be done in that arena.

Since this is my current lot, when do I write? What do I write about? And how do I stop feeling so blah?

About Heather Herrick

Heather currently lives in the center of the universe (she’s not being egotistical, it’s true—ask any other New Yorker). She loves NYC, but misses the mountains of Utah where she grew up. Heather and her husband are glad that the baby from her poem now sleeps alone; baby two spoils her mama by having the cutest dimple ever, and hopefully will not become a kicker like her sister.

11 thoughts on “Blah!”

  1. Why do we feel the need to make ourselves do something that doesn't have to be done? Blah is okay. It's like counterpoint. There's purpose to the slow times, the sad times, the fuzzy-headed times. I think we're working subconsciously and we may be approaching a turning point, however small. It's good to slow down then. Besides, it's helpful to sometimes say, "Everything I do is stupid!" (though perhaps nobody else ever says that.) It's true. What we do isn't that earth-shattering, no matter what it is. My mom used to call overcast days "rabbit in a hole" days, and she would make thick soup and read a book, giggling under lap blanket. I've come to love my "rabbit in a hole" times. They work for me. Hope you find what works for you.

  2. I have felt like this for the last year! I think it is finally going away. I have come to account it to there is a time and a season for all things. I struggle with depression at times and that is how I feel. Sometimes the best writing ideas come to me as I am laying in bed trying to go to sleep. I don't know if it is just because I have no other demands on me at that time. But if I get up to write, I sacrifice the little sleep time I have. I don't do well with less sleep. When I get up to write, it is like the creativity just flows. I have to decide what is most important at the moment and accept my choice for what it is. I hope it helps you to know you are not the only one out there with this issue.

  3. I have felt that way ever since my husband started graduate school last summer. A couple of hikes have helped.

    I also think that winter is good at leading us in the tired and blue direction. With minimal vitamin D from the sun it is easy to get biologically depressed. I fight it by taking prenatal vitamins and an additional vitamin B and sometimes some Iron ever 28 to 31 days.

    Hope the metaphorical sun shines for you better soon.

  4. When I'm feeling sad and blah, it's so incredibly difficult to write, let alone something 'worthwhile' or 'worthy'.

    I'm in the throes of teaching myself that it's okay to just write a sentence or a phrase. I wrote a long email to a friend, and decided that counted as my 'writing'. As a bonus, just a phrase that I wrote in the email has been twirling in my head, so I think I'll write something more around that at some point.

    Sometimes just having words in my head is 'enough'.

    As for the sads – sometimes I let myself wallow in sadness for an hour or so (play my melancholy music, watch a sad movie), let myself 'be' sad, and it seems easier to move through it. Denying or fighting it never works really well for me.

    Of course, my ultimate suggestion would be to come to Australia – it's still really warm here, sunny and I'll help chase the sads away!

  5. My Lenten discipline this year is blogging something spiritual daily and I hit a wall last week. I decided to just take hymns I liked and analyze them, posting a YouTube video if there was one. Those have been some of the most favorited ones yet.

  6. Service is the key to getting out of the 'blahs' trust me, i now 🙂 here is a quote from Elder Cuthbert and a link to the full talk

    Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. It prompts us to consider others’ needs ahead of our own. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed.


  7. Heather, you did the perfect things: addressing the issue head on! This next exmaple betrays one of my guilty pleasures, but last week on Project Runway Allstars, Mondo was in a serious funk about his final collection, feeling like it was too much pressure. He thought that he could use some therapy, and then that was his inspiration! He used his funk to create something topical to that funk.

    Yes, I agree with others that writers (and other people who create) go through cycles of high and low productivity. It's OK. There are inventional strategies in comp/rhet theory and there are coping mechanisms from psychology. But it's also just OK to cycle low for a while. If it goes on too long, maybe try some tricks of these trades.

    My husband is super productive as a writer, and he claims his secret is to have low expectations. He just puts his butt in a chair and churns stuff out, even if its crap. He figures it's easier to edit a crappy draft. He's also much less emotional about writing than I am. I tend to get more into both highs and lows.

    Hugs to you. (Oh, and PS: I'm pretty new, so I just went to the archives and read your Marathon post from Dec. I am going through tough times right now, and that was very poignant for me. And I cried because it gave me hope. Thanks for writing that up.)

  8. I understand the blahs. Been having a lot of them the past few months. Here's to hoping spring helps.

    I'm trying to write in my journal every day, with a minimum of 5 things from the day for which I'm grateful. And I have a few friends who have agreed to let me write 'sorting stuff out' emails to them. That helps me.

  9. Oh, this is so so familiar, and I am sorry you're going through it. I have had more months than I can count in the last couple of years that have felt like this.

    Just a question…have you been evaluated for depression recently? If you're not up for professional help, there are three books I've found very helpful: Feeling Good, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, and One Thousand Gifts. They're very different, but they've helped me in separate ways. (I'm sounding a little self-helpy here, I think, but I've found that giving myself a little paradigm shift sometimes helps, and each of these books helps.)

    And how to get through the blahs and writing? I've found sometimes I can't force myself to do things (in my case, practicing) that feel like trudging through molasses, but sometimes I can. And when I can, I try not to give myself any judgment on whether or not the results are good…I'm just trying for quantity, not quality. Sometimes that helps. And when it doesn't, I try not to beat myself up about it.

  10. If you were working at things in your head, it doesn't sound like you had a shortage of good ideas. You may have felt dull and not lively at times and that is normal for all of us at times. I don't know how people find time to write when they have busy lifestyles. I am not married and other than chores and my full-time job that I work from home, I have a lot of leisure time. But I haven't even started the rough draft of a post that I have been writing in my head for at least two weeks now. I have sent out a few emails, made contacts by facebook, and made two phone calls. When I write, I like to have so much information that I'm swimming in it. I love to be engrossed in the topic or subject. It gives me something to think about. I write when I'm doing other tasks or when I am in between sleeping as it is easiest to write in the relaxed state. If only, I could just transport it to the computer from there! Is it just me, or does it seem like everything gels and has perfect transitions and then you sit to write it and struggle with the topic sentence? Even if you aren't writing much by paper, I hope you are doing good living and enjoying the poetry of life.

  11. Heather, did you see MY post this month?! I feel like this A LOT lately. I'm also like you, where I do a lot of thinking in my head before anything else gets done. I like KDA's comment, which totally reminds me of ch. 2 of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. Have you read this chapter? It's the best!!


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