Depression and Writing

I don’t know what it’s like to be normal. That’s not to say I’m not normal (although the case could be made), but I’m not sure what normal is. In speaking specifically on the subject of depression, I have periods of my life (usually lasting anywhere from 1-3 weeks) when I get very very depressed. I don’t think I suffer from clinical depression, which my wife does and it sucks. I think my depression is the normal kind, but like I said-I don’t know. Anywho…

“Blah blah blah,” you say, “Chris is depressed. Cry me a river. What does this have to do with writing or books or anything?” To which I respond, “Let me get there Grumpypants!”

When I get depressed it usually has something to do with writing. Either I’m not writing enough, or I’m getting rejected, or I feel like my writing is bad and I should just give up. Some of these things cause the depression, some just extend it. The point is though, the only way I know how to get past it is to write more. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. I tried writing more in the last two days. I’ve got a story in my head that I think will be good once it’s down on paper. I tried writing that. It didn’t help.

In fact, not only did it not help; it made me feel worse. The story, which I know is a good one, wasn’t working, and working on it when it wasn’t working made me feel like I was never going to be able to get anything done. I almost contemplated giving up the whole writing thing and taking a job as a security guard and working my way through the ranks until someday I could make a $50,000 salary and buy a Smart car. It’s not a bad life, not really.

Last night, a sentence came into my head. It’s a fun sentence. Not perfect, not fantastic, but fun. I wrote it down. Then I wrote more sentences down, and before you know it they started to make a story. I wrote out a few pages, then I felt sleepy so I went to bed. But now I’m feeling less depressed. Writing is a strange demon that way.

I don’t have much of a point with this post. It’s really more of a “This is what’s been happening in my life.” than, “I know what I’m talking about.” I wonder though if other writers feel the same way. Do they worry about their writing the same way I do, or is it just a thing they do? In other words, Am I normal? I think I am, but then again I don’t know what the hell that words means anyway.

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4 responses to “Depression and Writing

  1. Yep. and you don’t even need to be a writer to have that intermittent depression. Life just gives it to us, free gratis. I like that as you waded through, you finally found some inspiration. Big Smiles!!!

    Don’t give up. Even if you take a day job as a security guard. Keep writing, you will find venues, magazines, etc to contribute to. Join a theater group and write skits- make lots of blog comments – there are so many ways to keep your writing skills pertinent…

    Love you! It is August you know; everyone is depressed in August. Hearts-

    • I actually wrote up a new story tonight, which I’ll post up here soon. Depression seems to be a natural part of life, and I can accept that, but it’s still no fun. Thanks for the encouragement. Love you too!

      • There is always a real reason for the depression. Whether it is part of some cycle or whether there is another life event – or, non-event (disappointment, worry) causing the depression, it is very real. Mental and physical. So recognizing it and saying hello, I hope your visit is brief, is a worthwhile action.

        Most of the time we have to take our life events in a serious attitude, and depression is included. However, realizing our own powerlessness (actually a good reason for the depression) also frees us to enjoy a bit of whimsy, dark humor, wry wit, etc. Remember all of the famous creative geniuses who are remembered partly for their depressions. I think that’s only because they are famous. All of us have the depression; not all of us have the genius or the fame.

        Smiles, hugs and love!!!! We look forward to your story-

  2. Pingback: Shhhh, Excuses and A Poem | Lunatic or Genius?

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