So, the question put forward this week: how do you keep writing when your life is in a downward spiral?
It's interesting, because for me, that downward spiral was exactly what got me on track with my writing.
So, in 2007 I was in a state. I hated my job deeply, and it was negatively impacting literally everything else in my life: health, weight, marriage, you name it.
At that time, I had that thing I had been talking about. You all know "that thing"-- that book project that you've been talking about forever, and you've written up character descriptions and worldbuilding information and you maybe have even written a little bit of, but... it's not going anywhere.
Back then, I would go days in a row where I couldn't even muster up the energy to open up the file, let alone actually write.
Finally I said to myself, "You're 34 years old, and what are you doing with yourself? Working this terrible job for terrible people, and hating everything. You keep saying you want to write books but are you? No, you aren't, and you need to."
So I did something possibly ill-advised, but what turned out to be for the best: I just plain quit. My wife was, at first, livid, but after a while we talked it over and restructured our lives with the idea that I was really going to do this, no matter what.
A couple months later, I finished that thing. Mind you, IT IS TERRIBLE, but it was done.
A year after that, I wrote the first draft of what would be The Thorn of Dentonhill. And then kept at it, more and more, to reach where we are now: with an eighth book coming out next week.
Sometimes, you've got to uses that downward spiral to figure out just what matters, and then use it to slingshot yourself back upwards.