Some days are diamonds some days are stones
Sometimes the hard times won’t leave me alone
Sometimes a cold wind blows a chill in my bones
Some days are diamonds some days are stones.
I don’t know about you, but there are times when this song of John Denver’s —
Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stones) — just pops into my head.
Usually it’s when I’m having a bad day and my writing isn’t going well. Maybe I didn’t sleep well and I’m feeling sluggish. Or maybe I’ve hit a knotty problem in something I’m working on and I can’t figure out how to unravel it. Or maybe I just feel dull and uninspired. You know the feeling: nothing seems to be working and you’re feeling down in the dumps and unmotivated.
There was a time when having a day like this would really make me feel discouraged and like giving up. But gradually, I’ve come to realize that there really is an ebb and flow to my creative output. Often, a really strong work session when everything seems to be going well and I feel really productive — a “diamond” day — is followed by one where everything seems to fall apart. It’s as if I have to decompress after having a really dynamic day by having one that’s slow and lower in energy.
Knowing that this seems to be my pattern has been very helpful. I’ve learned to enjoy those really productive sessions, but not let myself sink too low when a “stone” day hits me. Over time, I’ve gotten better at riding those rough days out and just accepting the fact that when I’m having one, I’m simply not going to have much forward motion for the moment. But that’s OK. Tomorrow’s another day — maybe it’ll be a diamond! You know what else I’ve learned? Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward.
How about you? Any strategies you can share about getting through a down day or making it more productive?