Depression is…well…depression is a black hole. It is a black hole that sucks in any and all creativity and spits out material made up of self-doubt and worthlessness right back into your face.
It takes everything you love about what makes you feel whole, valued, and loved and twists it, morphs it, and lets it rot in the high summer sun. And all you can do is sit there and watch it slowly do so.
That’s what I’ve been experiencing as of late, at least. Close behind it all is a temporary inability to find a balance where I could feel even an ounce of hope and confidence I can pull through it. Even now, my head attempts to make this blog post writing style sound like that of infamous American writer, Ernest Hemingway. Perhaps I found too much of myself in him.
Writing through depression is the toughest battle a writer will ever face, never mind finding a willing publisher much less the battle a writer facing editing.
Even now, it’s difficult finding the words for this blog post.
It’s sporadic, it’s chaotic – it’s a mess.
Maybe that’s the beauty of it all as well. Maybe that’s where the voice of the inner demon comes out and makes itself heard. And just maybe that’s where it becomes useful when writing deep, dark scenes in a heavy-handed and mysterious young adult novel much less a chilling tale you’d find in a horror magazine.
Imagine a year from now revisiting this blog post and seeing the writer for who they really are, what they suffer from, all the while seeing what they publish are almost exclusively children’s books. What does that say about the writer? It wouldn’t say so much about the reader as it is a mere act of discovery. Do sales drop as a result because the writer is open and honest about their mental health?
What do they see when they read this horribly written blog post? I can only imagine that if you’re a millennial or Generation X you’d probably envision Johnny Depp in the movie The Secret Window. It wasn’t that bad of a movie but it’s often an image I still see for myself – what I appear as when writing deep and insightful material. Or otherwise, I suppose you could envision Ewan McGregor from Moulin Rouge: trying to write about love but never having once experienced love. It is only through lived experiences he’s able to release his full potential as a writer. It’s not to say you can’t write without first having any relative to your book lived experiences but surely it helps. At the very least, how can you expect to write within your desired genre without first experiencing other stories?
To become a better writer, a writer must read. And they must read a lot. Reading is the next best substitute for lived experiences.
Well, I have seem to gotten way off track about writing through depression.
Forcing yourself to write is counterproductive despite it being no different than writing terrible words, phrases, and sentences. The mere act of forcing yourself doesn’t release the sensation of a reward for writing through depression. It simply only takes the dark thoughts in your mind only becoming symbols and clues on the paper in front of you.
So, naturally, a writer should find a balance in their life: time dedicated to writing but never becoming too hard on themselves for not writing one day or the next.
One writer will be different from the next in what that looks like.
It’s not a competition nor is it indication of your writing ability.
That’s where I’ll leave this horrendous blog post.
Writing through depression can be excellent if you can tame that beast or demon in your head.
Keep A Writing Ritual | Honor Your Creative Highs | Let Writing Be An Outlet | Give Yourself Some Grace