A little while back I wrote an entry in this journal about not feeling very good about how things were proceeding in my third book, and about a kind of depression it’s induced for me over the past couple of months. I feel like I’ve spent much of this summer banging my head against my own writing, and walking away for breaks, hoping to come back to things I’ve written and not feel an innate compulsion to bang my head against them as I’d been doing. Mostly this period of frustration has served to make me feel confused and not as confident about myself as a writer as I’d like to be. I think most writers probably go through this at various stages of development. I know it’s something that I’ve gone through at different periods of my life since I was in my late teens, always in regards to my writing. Always I’d suddenly find myself unsatisfied with what I’d been doing up to whenever one of these sorts of periods would begin, and I’d have to just sit and stew, wait things out while I let whatever issue was bothering me sort itself out in my back brain. I think it had simply been a while since I’d gone through one of these periods that I’d forgotten how full of anguish and confusion and anxiety they can be. I think I’d forgotten what these sorting-out periods even looked like. Lately, though, I’ve been a bit more at ease (not as much as I’d like to be) because what I know about these periods is that they are often the mark of a developmental phase for me, where I’m trying to figure out how to do something new or different, or how to do something I already do, but do it better. I think that’s where much of the dissatisfaction comes from, a sort of leap that’s already been made though I haven’t realized it, but I can see the gap in writing I’ve already done with whatever it is I’m figuring out how to do or do better. Usually, at a certain point, what’s bubbling in my unconscious makes its way to the surface and becomes realized in what I’m working on or begin working on at that point. And this is what has been the cause of my turmoil lately. And what I’m relearning about all this is that it hurts to learn, because when you learn something, really learn something, it sends ripples through every other thing that’s connected to it, and changes those things too. And changing, I think most of us can agree, is a difficult thing to do. In the end, though, in regards to this sort of frustrating period, I’m fine with this, because it means I’m still striving, still wanting to do better than I have been, still trying to learn how to become a better writer. I’m okay with that. As the youngest of three, and as someone who was sort of an adolescent for a lot longer than I think we’re supposed to be, I have gotten used to growing up in front of others, gotten used to other people watching me make mistakes or fall down and cry or embarrass myself somehow, usually due to lack of knowledge or experience or both, on any variety of occasions. But I haven’t let any of those humbling occurrences stop me from trying to get better, and I think they’ve made me into a person who wants to do better and learn how to do something different whenever I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve grown too comfortable. So I’m less depressed now that I’ve remembered what all this is that I’ve been going through. Now the fun part begins: the start of a new direction.