Chalk it up to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Blame it on day after day of temperatures in the low teens. Or on too few sessions at the gym, traded for evenings spent smoothing a chapter. But this is the time of Down.

I’m happy with my life. Mostly. I love the quiet of it, the routines of it, the friends who inhabit it. I love the act of writing. But every once in a while….

Do other writers feel this? The what-the-hell-is-my-life-about blues? Those moments of stark terror when an alternate version of reality smacks us upside the head and insists upon a daylight examination of those questions usually kept safely caged in the darkest hours of night?

Sometimes I view my own life as if it were a movie attended by a harsh critic who doesn’t much like what she’s seeing. Where did the love go? What is this life lived in silence? When did the writing become the whole thing; the only thing? What happens if nobody ever reads what I write except for those few, treasured friends? When the hell did I turn into a wounded animal?

Reality and I have an uneasy truce. Reality is the mean friend who delights in undermining you at every opportunity. Reality is the lover who leaves you before daylight, with nothing to find at waking but the cold, vacated sheets. I draw the richness of the world, of the universe, to myself. But sometimes all I sense is the Empty.

I’ll get over it. My heart will come unstuck. Love is out there–and it is love for more than just the work I love to do. The day has 24 hours in it, and every one of them holds the possibility of something wonderful.

But for now. For now. As one of the characters in this current book asks himself: “When did I content with anything less than absolutely Everything?”