My Theme Song This Past Week

I discovered Against the Current a while ago (thanks, Pandora!) and now that things seem to be turning around, their song Comeback Kid resonates on a whole new level. Especially this part:

You got this subtle kind of way about you that pulls me under but I won’t drown.
It’s gonna take a whole lot more than that to ever bring me down.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Still Here.

flynn hi

Yup, I’m still here. Been dealing with crappy issues over the past months, so I haven’t been doing much of note. I’m on a self-imposed writing hiatus until the new year. Hoping the break does me good.

But you can’t turn off a writer’s brain, so my hiatus hasn’t stopped me from brainstorming about Narrator and other projects. Specifically a paranormal police procedural series I want to do after Narrator. (The Supernatural-inspired one mentioned here. Figured out how to serialize it. BTW, that anthology never went anywhere because of aforementioned crappy issues.)

Anyway, this is where I send out a call for reading recommendations! I want to read paranormal police procedurals to see a) what’s been done, and b) how other authors did it.

What’s a paranormal police procedural? Think iZombie. Assistant ME who’s a zombie and uses her zombie powers to help a police detective solve murders. I’m looking for that kind of thing, not private investigator stuff. (So no Dresden Files. I’ve already read some of those, not what I want.)

So: who has suggestions? I will give you virtual chocolate chip cookies. Not actual chocolate chip cookies, I hate baking. I could buy you cookies, I suppose…maybe if I really liked what you suggested…


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Writing on a Depression Seesaw

A_dog_plays_on_a_seesaw_with_children_in_Scotland,Back from Hawaii and the jet lag is kicking my butt. I was awake in the 1:30 to 4 am range, woke up at 9, meant to sleep in a little longer…and next thing I know it’s 1 pm. Whoops.

What’s really annoying, however, is this writing seesaw I seem to be on. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ve seen this for yourself. I’ll have an amazingly awesome day, like when I wrote a little over 2,500 words, followed by an absolute crap day where I write 0 words (and maybe throw out what I did write yesterday, so now it’s going into the negative).

And it’s not just about word count, or progress. My mood is significantly better on a good writing day. And my mood gets flushed down the toilet on a bad writing day. But saying it like that confuses the cause and effect: my mood dictates how I write. Sure, how I write feeds back into my mood, but it starts with mood.

So it takes twice as long to get anything done, because I can’t get anything done on a bad day. I just sit around and watch Netflix. And the bad days are way worse after getting seesaw’d from a good day, because I want to keep writing and keep up my momentum, but I’ve just plunged from one extreme to the other.

And since I’m writing this on a bad day (Sunday), that’s about all I’ve got. I’m just hoping that Monday will be a good day.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Writing with Depression

Depression-depression-18086997-394-500You’re probably familiar with the old cliché of the writer consumed by depression and drowning his sorrows in alcohol and drugs. If you’re not, do a quick Google search, and you’ll have reading material for a lifetime.

I’m not going to bother re-hashing the obvious link between writers and depression. I honestly don’t care about why this link exists. I just want you to understand that when I say I’ve been suffering from depression these last two months, I am only one of many in a long-standing tradition.

These past two months are the worst I’ve felt in years. To be frank, “felt” doesn’t even really apply here. Numbness has been my constant companion. I’ve been cut off from my emotions, my ability to care about even the most basic things, and — worst of all — my writing.

For instance, a few weeks ago I discovered that one of my roommates had accidentally left the oven on when they left the house. Under normal circumstances, I would have been furious. I do not want to come home and find my house in flames, thank you very much. But thanks to my depression, I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t get upset. I could say the words, but there was no emotion behind them.

It’s a scary feeling, believe me.

And then for the writing, it wasn’t anything like my experiences with writer’s block. My mind wasn’t blank. I knew where I wanted to take my story — I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t physically pick up a pen or type the keys to tell that story. It was like my limbs had refused to cooperate. Forget every motivational quote you’ve ever heard — they don’t do crap in the face of depression.

Depression on its own sucks. But wanting to write and not being able to? It’s crushing. I would just stare at the blank page or blinking cursor and crumble inside.

And if that wasn’t enough, my inability to write would feed back into my mood, sinking me lower and lower until I was just a sobbing mess.

This week I’ve finally been able to try new medicines (since my current one just stopped working for some reason). They must be doing something, because I was finally able to write on Saturday. It was very slow-going, like I had to dredge up every word from the bottom of a very deep well. But my story is moving again, and that has helped my mood more than I can say.

I’m not out of the sinkhole yet, but I’m making progress. And I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take that small step forward.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.