Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Out in the Rockies blog hop day 10.



Welcome to Michele L. Montgomery.  She's guest blogging here as part of the Out in the Rockies blog hop.  You can find the whole schedule here: Out in the Rockies Blog Hop
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered the grand prize drawing for a $120 gift card to either Amazon or ARe! 


What A Busy Year This Has Been So Far by Michele L Montgomery

 

A lot has been going on this year for me, that actually started late last year that had my emotions going haywire. I went from very low lows, to very high highs and everything in between that. When my emotions get the best of me I'm a hot mess without a sense of what focus is, never mind actually doing anything which requires my attention for more than a few minutes. I could not sit still, and do any one thing, I was doing too many things at once and none of them were getting my full attention. This included the projects I was working on. The biggest of them was a novel I had been working on since last year. I would start writing and a few minutes into it, I'd be scrambling around and end up doing three and four things at once. This was with everything, my review site, reading, cleaning, talking to people, and of all things, while I was writing.

The reason for that focus issue? Stress. When they say stress is a killer, they aren't kidding you. I had been under an ungodly amount for way too long and my body had quite enough and it was giving me warning signs for a few years that I chose to ignore. A really high stress job that I left in August of 2011 was my breaking point. When I left I thought I'd get better and I could put all my attention to what I loved to do. I figured that because writing is such a comfort to me, and it allows me to lose myself, that I'd be just fine.

Wow, was I wrong. The stress, which I had been burying for years refused to just go away, instead it needed an outlet and I began suffering anxiety and panic attacks more and more often. It got to the point that I could not grab that focus no matter what I tried. And when the writing didn't help any longer, I knew I needed help. So I got it.

Now, nothing like that cures itself overnight, but before I got the help I needed to deal with the anxiety, I had committed myself to a project that I had to have done by the time Pridefest in Denver began. I figured oh hell, that's ten months away, I can do it so I took it on. HA! I was fooling myself because wow did I struggle through that project, so much so that I had to rewrite it from start to finish because I could not connect with the characters no matter what I did. I know why I couldn't, I just refused to believe it. I didn't want to think I lost the ability to create so I kept pushing things until I had to set the project aside and let it rest and hope like hell I'd find the skill and characters to get it done. While I set that aside, and still scared that I lost my creative side, I began another project that wasn't meant to see the light of day and that actually turned out to be DAMMIT!, a novel which was released in March of this year through Seventh Window Publications and one that came to me quite unexpected.

While I was working with DAMMIT! I was also working with the next Lethal Obsession book that I, once again, could not connect with, no matter what I did. So here I sat with two novels I needed to get done and could not get there. Now, earlier in the year I wrote a short titled, “You Never Cared,” and flowed out of me in one night. I couldn't stop typing once I started, so when I ran into the issues I had with the other two stories, I began freaking out wondering what in the hell happened.

All of my focus left due to stress which then caused the panic/anxiety disorder I now have. I managed to complete DAMMIT!, X BAR, and Lethal Obsession: Deserted, (which will be released this year) done. How? I got the help I needed to find that focus which freed my mind up to be my creative self once again. I was able to once again find the characters and get their stories out. I even started a blog for the characters in the Lethal Obsession series. I also keep the review site up and running, I do a bit of promo, I help friends with beta reading their stories, I even keep myself in one place at a time until the project is completed. However, when it comes to writing I will admit, I do work on more than one story at a time and the reason for this is because there are days I can connect with certain characters from one story better than I can with others from other stories. Right now I have two shorts I need to get done, and let me say that shorts for me are hard, simply because I do connect with my characters on such a deep level that I don't know when enough is enough, or they don't. Either way it works and I'm fine with it. I remember when I wrote “You Never Cared,” and feeling Jordan's feelings, his emotions so strongly that once I was done writing it and looked up, I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I didn't even know what I had written until I went back to read it. I shocked myself. OH! And that title was picked up by a publisher and now has a new cover, added content and will be re-released July 1st.

I'm working on the Lethal Obsession series all the time, be it a scene I see, a thought that comes to me, a simple sentence one of the characters spurts out, my mind is always on those characters. They are a touchy bunch and very demanding, as well as a whole lot of fun. Honestly? I have more and more ideas for stories with them everyday, so I don't expect to see that series ending any time soon.

It's safe to say that I'm back and I've found what I've been missing. I still have those goals, those dreams, the want to, and the desire to write. I have a lot of plans for a lot of stories, and at the moment  I'm working with Seth Azzarello, on the next Lethal Obsession story that just may see a release late this year. And I have plans to work on another short, just to see if I can.

I rose above the pride I had and got the help I needed to deal with my situation and for that I am a whole hell of a lot better than I have been in a long time. I want to publicly thank Seth, Ash, Sal, Xander, Christine, Lisa, and Jeff  for being there for me when I needed an ear, a shoulder, and just plain company when I felt myself falling apart. They spent hours with me helping me find my strength, giving me a kick in the ass when I needed it, and a type of friendship that I've never had before. They believed in me when I stopped believing. They talked me through attacks, and stayed with me no matter how late it got. With each new book that is released they are my loudest cheering section and I'm proud to call them my friends. I also want to give a shout out to those of you at Facebook who keep my spirits up by supporting my writing and letting me know you do. You know who you all are.

Till the next time....CIAO'! 



Join us tomorrow at Joyfully Jay.   If you missed it, yesterday was Amara's Place.
Don't forget that every comment you leave enters you into our grand prize drawing for a $120 gift card to either Amazon or All Romance Ebooks, so please tell your friends, follow along and comment often!
Brannan

42 comments:

  1. Great post, Michele. I can relate to it all as I went through - and am still working through - anxiety issues that destroyed my creativity. Thanks for sharing this. I'm sure many other writers experience the same thing and feel they're the only ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zathyn,

      Of all you know. I love you!

      Hugs!!!

      Delete
  2. I don't think that people realize that stress can truly be debilitating to someone both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, in our society we look at someone who seeks help as weak. How untrue! I am glad that you got the help you needed and are back on the right track. I look forward to reading your book.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI, Yvette,

      You are so right in saying that. What society thinks and what is happening is two totally different things. And thank you for your support because that makes me want to go on and do my best for you.

      Hugs

      Delete
  3. I can only imagine how frustrating and scary it must have been for you to go through all that. Glad you got the help you needed and that things are back on track now. Can't wait to read more of the Lethal Obsession series! Best of luck to you on your writing and all your other projects. Take care. :)

    lkbherring64(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Lisa,

      Thank you so very much for your support! It means the world to me knowing I have someone out there waiting on those boys from the Lethal series. LOL. Deserted is with it's beta readers and off to it's publisher very soon. Carl and Brent come next.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  4. So very glad that you found your stride again after so much stress. Supportive friends really do make a difference.

    sionedkla@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kassandra,

      Thank you for coming by.. And you're so right, they do. And so do you all here.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  5. Great post. Thanks for sharing. I don't think people realize how scary and debilitating stress can be. I'm glad you found your way through it.

    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Joanne,

      Thank you for your support. That in itself is strength to me and for me.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  6. Thank you for sharing your story with us. So good to hear you came through.

    avaliereads(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much.It's good to be back.

      Hugs!

      Delete
  7. Inspiring post...stress and anxiety are really nerve-racking for someone whose livelihood relies on creativity, because it's so hard to concentrate on anything else! I'm so glad you found a way to fight back and win.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking a moment and stopping in and you are so right on it robbing me of what I needed to write. And since I'm a stubborn willed person, I was bound and determined to win that war. It's a slow win, but a win none the less.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  8. I can totaly relate to the stress issue, since I'm writing my master thesis and well time runs faster than you expect. How did you find your focus? I find myself struggling with that one.

    Jibriel.O at web dot de

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      TBH, I ended up having to take Lexapro, and it brought the anxiety down a whole lot, since it's a mental issue, and Lexapro actually helps it. I've only been talking it almost two months but wow, I'm a changed person on it. I have my focus back, my happiness, my outlook on life itself has changed for the plus. And of course, self discipline plays a part now too. But the important thing here is to realize what the cause is, see if you can eliminate it, or if it's an ongoing issue, I really recommend a Doctor visit. If it's just that paper you're working on, perhaps if you change writing environments, that may help you through that rough patch.

      Good luck with it and I wish you loads of success.

      Delete
  9. Having suffered from depression for a while now, triggered by work problems and chronic migraines - yes, stress really can make a mess of your life.
    Glad you got the help you needed & best wishes for your health & stress levels :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! It's very comforting to know none of us are alone, no matter how alone we tend to feel, we aren't. This here shows me how alone I am not.

      Delete
  10. It's very admirable that you didn't quit. You've been through a lot and come out on top. I'm happy for you and your future sucess. :)

    morris.crissy@gmail.ocm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chrissy,

      I'm still working hard but I love every second of the fight. Before? Not so much. But I did know giving up was not an option. I have too many characters in my head who demand attention. LOL.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  11. Thank you for your posting, Michele. Years ago, I went through a very bad time in a terrible job situation and stepped down from a position. Years after, I still suffered from the debilitating results from the stress, which people don't understand.
    Thanks for sharing your difficult time with us and for advising others to get help when they need it.

    Jbst
    strive4bst at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry to hear that. I fully understand on the job front. What's so sad is to hear that people are afraid to seek help because they are afraid of being viewed as weak, when that's not the case at all. Some of us were meant to thrive off stress and some of us aren't. I'm an aren't.

      And I'm okay with it. Thank you for coming by!! Your support means a lot.

      Delete
  12. Amazing and inspiring post. Stress just gets shrugged off as just a part of life so often that people don't realize how much of an affect in can have. I never realized how stressed out I was and how much it was hurting me until my situation changed and I found myself able to let go for the first time in ten years. It took me another year or so to really get stable again. Bravo on what you've accomplished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much!! I really wonder how people do it, or should I say, how they deal with it. Some people say they just never worry. I wish they'd spill the secret.

      Good for you for stabling out and your accomplishments.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  13. I have never thought of this stress that can come from writing. Thanks so much for participating in this blog tour!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Juliana,

      The type of stress I had really didn't come from writing, it was the fact that the stress I was under prevented me from connecting with my characters to write. So, it added to it. Writing is an outlet for me, and I love it. Without it, I'm sure I'd be outside everyday climbing mountains to get rid of the stress.

      Thanks for stopping in.

      Hugs!

      Delete
  14. Wow, glad to hear you are getting better. Stress and depression are awful, I know. Sometimes when the struggle to get through the day is too much and I just go back to bed. Most days are better now and the bad are fewer. Hope your good days are more and productive as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nancy,

      I really am a lot better than I was. But when it was messing with my creative side, I wasn't okay, not at all. Frustration built on top added to the stress. Horrible feeling.

      I hope you get to feeling better, hon.

      Hugs!!!

      Delete
  15. Good for you for seeking help. I had a job like that before this one - luckily I was able to switch jobs before it got too bad. But it took me MONTHS to start feeling better.

    Glad you are back to enjoying your writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Susan,

      Good for you on switching jobs! A friend of mine, about 5 or 6 yrs ago suffered a stroke due to the jobs we had. It was horrible and she's still suffering from side effects. I've learned since then that no job is worth all that.

      Thank you for your response.

      Hugs!

      Delete
  16. Thanks so much for your post Michelle. I've been there before, except my problem is that when I get too stressed, I shut down. I just stop functioning. I CAN'T function. People act like being stressed is a joke, but it can be dangerous. Thank you for sharing your story, and I'm glad everything worked out for you and that you have a good support system.

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

    P.S. I'm currently reading DAMMIT! and enjoying it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Emily,

      Thanks for stopping in! I really understand on the shutting down. I tell you, if I didn't have the support group that I do, I don't know how much I would have gotten done. Stress in a dangerous enemy.

      I'm so happy you're reading DAMMIT! Michael is my other side. I'm sure of it.

      Hugs!

      Delete
  17. Great post and thank you for sharing not a lot of people can admit that they cannot cope with the stress. I'm glad you could and did get help. I started yoga for the same reasons and medition and the excersises also helped me to keep me grouded and to deal with panic attacs and stess.

    Anastasia K

    moonsurfer123(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Anastasia,

      Thank you for reading. And I'll be the first to tell you that pride is a horrible thing sometimes. It kept me from admitting I needed help, that and my mother who insisted I was stronger than all of that. -smdh- I still can't sit long enough to do Yoga, but I'm working on just sitting and allowing myself to relax instead of going and going and going and getting nothing done or going no where.

      Panic and stress are horrible enemies.

      Hugs to you!

      Delete
  18. Interesting post. I use sport to destress but when I don't make enough time for that, I get antsy.

    lyra.lucky7ATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lyra,

      I get antsy if I can't write, and to help with my stress I've started walking more and taking "me" time out. It's working slowly.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  19. Stress can be so very overwhelming - and then when it's 'gone' somehow you still end up dealing with it. I'm so glad that you are feeling better and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your books coming along!!

    Bobbejean

    bobbejean@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do have a valid point. When it's 'gone' you still....too true. I don't know if it ever goes away, we just find a way to cope and work with it. Even the meds can't take it all away, which can be a good thing, else I'd be a bump on a log.

      Hugs!!

      Delete
  20. I'm glad you were able to get the help you needed with your stress. It is wonderful when you have a group of friends that are willing to support you and cheer you on.

    bubbliemom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are quite the woman! Im sorry your so stressed but to over come it and work with it, to achieve what your doing, you are truely amazing! Definitely someone to look up to. I understand the stress. Im glad you can work with it and have such supporting people around you. Congrats on all of your books honey! Wishing you all the best and much, much success!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm glad you're better. No job is worth harming what you love doing.

    midiamuniz@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Brannan,
    i am glad you were able to talk to some one and get the help you needed. i myself have PTSD and severe anxiety,to the point that i barely leave my home anymore. luck for me i have a wonderful support system that makes sure i get to my Doctor's appointments and take my meds and i'm better now than i was. at least i can leave the house now without breaking down and waiting rooms are not horrible.
    What i find sad is that in this day and age if you have a problem you still have to either pretend you don't or keep it as quiet as possible, unless you want to be treated like the next jack the ripper time bomb that could go off at anytime,or even worse with pity. as if you had contracted so terrible disease and they should feel sorry for you but don't let you come over or spend time with you-you could be contagious!

    When are people going to learn that this is no different than if you had a broken leg. you would have surgery to fix it,maybe a pin or 2 to hold it together,then a cast and lots of physical therapy. once the bone heals you still have to go to therapy to strengthen the muscels. NO Different , you are just strengthening your mind instead.
    Sorry for the very long rant and i really am glad your better.
    congratulations on all of the wonderful things happening in your life right now. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Tammy Ramey
    trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete