Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Where is Pepper Pace?

Well, I've been gone for a while...longer than you may even realize. Physically I've been right here, but not completely. A Seal Upon Your Heart was published earlier this year but I had been writing it for nearly two years and had stopped right at the tail end of it. It took me forever just to finish that small ending.

Adaptation has been the only thing that I've actually been writing with any regularity. But then one day even that stopped. No, I don't have writers block.

For as long as I can remember I've had to deal with severe depression. Sometimes I wish that I could say that my depression is rooted in events, because than at least you can change circumstances and help your depression. My circumstances haven't always been good and perhaps I thought that was the catalyst for my state of mind. However when you feel yourself unraveling when there is money in the bank, your newest novel is in the top 100 sales and you have a wonderful boyfriend that is crazy about you, and kids well adjusted...then you can't place the blame for your depression on your 'circumstances'.

Writing was my ways to explore my mental pain or to ignore it--whichever the case might have been at the time. At times I wrote like a cutter cuts. Without writing the pressure built up inside of me until I was physically sick. I carried my laptop with me and never stayed out too long because I needed to write. I wrote in online groups--many of them. I wrote when visiting people, I even wrote while on the telephone receiving news that my father's cancer was terminal. I half listened and frantically wrote.

By the time that you were introduced to the writings of Pepper Pace I had discovered that writing novels and stories could satisfy my needs in the way that writing in online RPG groups could not. Now I could write at my own pace and I relinquished my much loved groups.

Understand that writing for me has NEVER been about becoming famous, or rich, or even popular. Don't get me wrong--I willingly accept any of that. But its not my goal, not even now. Now that I'm at my most popular as a writer I don't even write.

I do not write. Not because I'm mean and I don't want to finish the next volume of a story. I just don't write. 

Why?

Let's talk about anti-depressants. Without anti depressants I can write like a CRAZY person. See my dilemma? While on anti-depressants there are no highs and no lows. Zombie? Not quite but something more like sweet blessed evenness. Yes, I have gone through this before. Again, this is my life. I write in cycles--frantically for a while until I can write no more. It sucks to be cycling off right at the apex of my popularity but I can no more control this than I can predict the future. I do not know when its coming and I do not know when it's going to end. I don't even know IF its going to end. All I know is that I do not write when I'm in this place. 

Can I write? Yes I can. And I would if I was under contract or something similar so thankfully I never followed through with that contract with EC or I'd be twitching right now (J/K). It would just take me a very very long time because I am going to zone out and not stay on task because...again, anti depressants are not conducive to creativity.

What can you do to help me out?

Just understand. There are days when I don't want to talk and its not because I'm mean or unfriendly but because all I can do is take one step at a time. The reason that I share this is not because I feel I owe anyone an explanation, but because I know there are other people who have similar feelings. Some may think; snap out of it. But if you could you would. You would never choose to feel this way. Depression is one of those acceptable mental illnesses...but it's still mental illness and it doesn't put me in a 'happy place' to tell my fans about my own battle with it. 

Blogging

Blogging is not writing. You're creating a story and dialogue and continuity when you are writing a story. But in blogging you are just writing your random thoughts. In this way it helps and I've been blogging a lot. But not here on Writing Feedback. I feel like this blog is about my writing (or lack thereof). But I created another blog that is just my errant thoughts. It's called The Rampant Randomness of Pepper Pace aka Kim Chambers. It's like...scary Facebook. You can keep up with my ramblings there if you like. It's not always good to know whats in my head but alas, that is just honesty.

I will keep you posted here on my continued mental progress (smile).

I've heard all of these...sadly, I've been depressed a loooong time

22 comments:

  1. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you so much for opening up about such a personal struggle. I too have struggled with depression for most of my life. Your books have helped me in ways that I can’t even explain. Through some of my darkest periods your characters gave me hope. There’s no easy fix but I wish you nothing but success and enduring strength on your journey through life. You are an incredibly strong person to open up to your fans about such a painful illness. I found that writing can be therapeutic but it can also be a painfully draining process. Please take as much time as you need. I will keep you in my prayers.

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  2. Hello Pepper, I sat here reading and I wanted to cried. I understand what you going through. Please take care of yourself because your stories help me to cope with the nonsense that people would throw at me in order for them to control me(family). You have a special gift and take your time. You are the most important person in your life. Thank you Bain

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  3. I have 2 VIP in my life that have been diagnosed with depression. One who takes the meds and really is not himself and the other, well let's just say that she likes to be a free spirit. There is no magic bullet, but there is people that care and are always there to help. Take care you and defintely take the time to be and feel whole again. We have you previous blogs and stories that are always worth a second or even a third read through. You have spoken to many lives using your craft and I thank you so very much. My thoughts and prayers are with you Pep, take care. - N. London

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  4. God bless you. You are a brilliant writer because you have a brilliant mind. Your fans will wait for you, I will wait for you because you are so worth it.

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  5. You're incredibly brave and kind to share your journey - (yes, even the rocky parts) with us. You've made me cry today - not just because you're an amazing writer but because you care enough about the people that have come to care for you through your writing to give us insight to your circumstances - None of us want you to suffer. You're in my prayers.

    Sabrina

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  6. Thank you for sharing your life with us, Pepper. I've recently had a loss that has caused me to begin taking anti- depressants, though I probably should've been taking them before, but I do understand your struggles and know that while you're dealing with them you have people who are genuinely concerned about you. Take care of yourself and until you're ready I'll just keep reading your books over again! :)

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  7. I keep wanting to hit the 'Like' button whenever I read a new response to this post. In all of the years that I've been writing this blog I've shared many of my personal thoughts but I've resisted talking about my own personal problems. I'm happy that I made the decision to share my struggles. I'm going to change my anti depressants. I'm crossing my fingers that this will allow my creative juice to flow again. I'll keep you posted. It will take a while I know but I would really like to write again...

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  8. Just smile and you'll feel better. I'm bipolar (yes you doubters, there really are some of us. Try it for a while, I live in a real hell) and I here this all the time. I know what you mean about feeling flat. When I was on lithium I was that way.

    DO NOT get talked into any atypical anti-psychotics (like Geodon or Abilify). Ask your doc about TD and what the five year studies say about people like me.

    When I'm hypomanic I know exactly what you mean about "write like a crazy person", just a few more episodes and I'll finish my "short story, no,long story now, no, novella now. no, novel finally". Assuming I don't kill myself when I crash.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous. That is good advice.

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  9. Take care of you and I'll be here waiting as a fan of your wonderful writing.

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  10. Thank you You are loved You are wrapped in a big and comforting hug though you may not see
    anyone there God Bless Keep The Faith

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  11. Hey Pepper,
    I just wanted to thank you for being brave enough to share your struggles with your readers.
    I’ve suffered with depression and agoraphobia since I was eight- I remember the blessing and curses of the medication used to control my moods.

    That you managed to produce such gold in your writings while juggling manic like episodes leaves me both humbled and in awe.

    I’m not a profound writer (Duh), but as someone who struggles I know that most things read/feel hollow while the rejuvenating process is ongoing, I wanted you to know you remain in my thoughts and prayers and that each day with its triumphs and setbacks bring you closer to wellness.

    As a fan I’ll always be anticipating your next story
    As a Human I’ll be anticipating your improved health more.

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  12. Thank you, this really makes me feel good

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  13. There are times I wish I had a broken arm or leg then I could have a plaster cast or a bandage to show my hurt. But my pain is in my spirit, my mind, my soul, hidden to a world that does not always understand. It is a state of being that has been kept under wraps, not to be spoken of or when discussed not understood wherein all the bingo squares can be ticked over and over again.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. When you run, walk, stumble, fall, sit for spell, inspire, are inspired, laugh, cry, blue skies, dark clouds... it is your journey.Be.

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  14. Hi Pepper! I've never commented on a post like this, but as I read it I couldn't believe it because I go thru similar cycles. I've never been diagnosed but I know when it happens. I wrote my first novel in literally two months. Every night after work, dinner and kiddo time I would stay up until 4am sometimes. Binge writing. All my "restlessness" would pour out into the story. Now I'm working on the follow up, I've been able to take time of from working to focus on writing, and I can't write! It's not writers block, because I can force myself and have been to stay on my personal timeframe. But it's forced, and I keep thinking "WTF?" I could have written three books by now. I've slowed my social interactions to just family events. Part of me knows I need a time-out from a lot of drama and angst that came with leaving my day job, but it's still not "me".

    Thank you for sharing. I needed to see this and I'm sure this has helped others who may not be in tune with what is really happening. Take care and hope to hear more from you soon.

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  15. I believe in you and I will continue to pray for you. Thank you for all your stories that made me feel like I was right there. I love your vampire series and would like to see the final story. I believe in love and that it conquers all. So may God continue to bless you for all you do for us. Much love to YOU!!

    Your Admirer

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  16. Wow!!! you are really brave to open up and be that honest with everyone...For someone who goes through with bouts of depression also I can totally understand and relate to your situation...Thank you for your open honesty, even though hun you don't owe anyone why you are taking a break...Take the time you need for yourself and get to that place that you need to be in order to feel like your wonderful self....prayers and hugs and kisses are going out to you...I hope you feel the love....GOD BLESS

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  17. I've been a fan of yours from Liteerotica for years and feel dumb to now realize you are here! Many others are doing the same and making a name for themselves. I'm so glad that I found you again and that you made Love is Blind into a full book! Hmmm time to start collecting ;)

    Good luck in all you do

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  18. You are not alone!- Me too. I am amazed I was able to hold on to a career for twenty year. I finally understood and admitted it to myself in the last few years. I just started taking meds a year ago and oh the difference it has made. I had to get the meds changed once in the beginning but now have a regimen. We love you, have your back, and wish you well in your struggle.

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  19. Just wow!!!!!! Let me start off by saying that I'm a HUGE fan of your work. I have devoured everything I could find that you've written. I came across this blog post because like a junkie I was looking for more. I'm so glad that I found it. I always wondered how you wrote such honest, raw stories and now I know why. You come by your brutal honesty naturally. I wish more people had the courage to openly discuss and face their personal struggle the way you have. I'm related to two individuals who have struggled with depression all their lives. Ive seen how the high and low can effect your daily life, so I can only imagine how it can effect such an amazing talent like yours. I just pray that your doctor can find a good balance for you. Please continue to stay encouraged. You are one amazing lady!!!!!

    Sincerely,
    A Fan

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