Home > Life, Work-related, Writing and Poetry > Challenge End—Let Down Syndrome

Challenge End—Let Down Syndrome

Writer's Stop

Writer's Stop (Photo credit: Stephh922)

Any time I complete a challenge of whatever type, a few hours later I feel a restlessness begin somewhere near my feet, which works its way upward until my fingers itch. I call it my Let Down Syndrome. I’ve known spouses of PhD candidates who talked about the Syndrome when the candidate finished with the orals and Dissertation Defense then knew that the work had come to an end.

The spouses spoke of the restlessness that took over; the depression that claimed their loved ones. When questioned, each said much the same thing; the project of the candidate’s  life was over. The candidate had no reason/purpose left to claim his/her time, thoughts, and aspirations. The dream had come true, and he/she was left to find a new one, a bigger one, to take the degree’s place.

The let down for me–and for others, apparently, given the number of posts on some of their sites this morning—comes from not being constantly pushed by outside forces to produce at a specific rate of completion. The sense of anticipation of the next prompt, the next task, is dulled and then gone.

A hole opened up for some of us today; a hole comprised of the nothingness surrounding our days in the month ahead. There were suddenly no challenges to overcome, no tasks to complete, no sense of purpose to our days.

Oh, I know, we’re all writers/poets who are accustomed to having our days spent shuffling words and phrases around a screen until they actually take on meaning. I get that, but there’s no implied thrill to simply doing what we do every day. The thrill was in knowing we were going beyond our usual capabilities. It was the Dare factor.

I suppose that’s why one writer within our Platform Challenge group of 100+ souls declared a new challenge just for us. A little challenge with just enough pressure attached to keep us striving. She called it the Submit-One-Piece-A-Day Challenge.

Oh, yeah, like I can do that. I thought I was doing good trying to get one piece a week sent out. But NOOOO, she had to go with an even bigger assumption of our talents. And before I  realized what my hands were doing, they had typed “Yeah, I can do that!”

Yep! I’d gone and done it. I’d plucked that glove from the ground, waved it in the air above the heads of my fellow writers, and accepted the most insane challenge I’ve seen in years.

Am I willing to renege on my acceptance? Not on your life! I said it, and I’ll stand by it; even as I prepare two guest blogs, one interview, several platform tweakings, and try to get a cookbook closer to completion. It’s going to be a busy month.

Therefore, for this month, I’ll be talking about all sorts of things. I’ll be posting at least one interview, hopefully two. I hope to have a couple of guest blogs from other writers on as yet unknown topics, and who knows what kind of mischief I might devise for your reading pleasure. I’ll also try to post each day what I’m submitting for that day.

There you have it; the rundown for the month of May. Just to verify the reason my hands went postal on that challenge acceptance; I have to wind down gradually. Withdrawal from such activity isn’t good for me. It’s a curse. What can I say? I hate Let Down Syndrome and refuse to bow to it.


  1. meredith
    May 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    … and before beginning a new challenge? Breathe with actual delight~

    • claudsy
      May 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      You have that right, Meredith. Panting, however, is frowned upon.

  2. meredith
    May 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    chuckle. all the more reason to do so. I laugh because I understand, exactly. I have to practice non-time with writing, and it’s a discipline, itself. we’re funny creatures, aren’t we?

    • claudsy
      May 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      There used to be a time when I could write with my eyes closed with the best of them. Now, not so much. I actually have to sit in a chair and type those little letter things into the computer. Takes up so much time doing it that way.

      Have a great week, Meredith.

  3. May 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Mm, this is how I felt after Nano 2011. I still haven’t totally recovered. lol Even though there are zillions of ideas (FinishYear by Jon Acuff, NaNoWriYe, etc.), it’s just not the same. And I’m a TERRIBLE self-motivator! lol

    • claudsy
      May 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      I try to remind myself that this happens to a lot of people, but ego gets in the way sometimes and says something like, “Oh yeah, well let’s see if they…” See what I mean.

      There’s always a sense of personal let-down for me because I have lost the extra incentive. I hate having to dredge up my own. It’s always easier to use someone else’s incentive.

      We’ll muddle through, though. This new challenge I’ve picked up will carry me onward and hopefully create a habit that I’ve been trying for a year to stick in place.

      Thanks, Liz, for the reblog and for the comment.

      • May 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

        “I took a walk along the less traveled road.
        I walked till tired…found a place, rested and waited…
        I waited till darkness fell…still no one followed along.”

        Hi Claudette…did you get this?

      • claudsy
        May 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        Oh, I got it, in so many ways. Thanks, Jack. Remember, one can only follow someone who leaves tracks.

        I also like this little verse. It says so much in so few words.

  4. May 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Reblogged this on Hectic November and commented:
    I really like this, and I think we can all relate. Here’s to self-motivation!! ~Liz~

    • claudsy
      May 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      I’m so glad that it held something you could use, Liz. Thank you.

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