A Writer’s Depression

Writers have been known to have trouble with depression and yes, suicide. I think it comes with the territory. We are melancholy people to begin with, though I have to say I do have my giddy moments. But everything has a melancholy twist to it. The ying and yang of life.  The light and dark. I used to dwell much more in the light of life, and my writing reflected that, but as time goes by, I grow up, and write more, the dark has a way of infiltrating.  While I hate to admit that at times I get depressed, it’s a fact of life. From the self doubt that comes with the whole writing thing, to just general depression in life. Not enough to go and end anything, gads I’m not that desperate, and I am not mocking people that are. It is a very serious thing.

I hate to sound like one of those people that thinks they know everything, but I really do think writers struggle with the down moments in life more than other people. Maybe it’s all the thoughts jumbled together. Maybe it’s how we look at life. But there is something to be said for true writers having the down times.

For me, I can definitely say that is my issue.  It doesn’t help that my muse is 19 time zones away and it feels like a solar system or two in distance. It doesn’t help that I’m a woman and well, women always have those down times of the month. Mix that with cold weather, the frustration of where to submit one’s work, and the self doubt that “my work isn’t good enough to ever be published…”

Portrait of Virginia Woolf by George Charles B...

Portrait of Virginia Woolf by George Charles Beresford

Heck, just writing about being depressed is depressing, but come, we all know it happens. I actually started thinking about it because of a post Nathan Bransford did a couple years ago. It was more the suicide thing, but still it applies. See here  Writers and Suicide.

That being said, I’m not going to say that all depression is a bad thing due to the fact that I feel depressed writers write the most amazing things. Would Keats have written half his poetry if he had been with Fannie? And they were a happy couple with money and no worries?  I doubt it.  Granted, Virginia Woolf is another story.  And Ernest Hemingway had a medical condition. So I give him some leeway.

I have written four or five poems in the last week. I’m horrible depressed, but it’s doable. And if I can type out poetry because of that, well, so be it. My forms of depression are usually short lived. Thankfully. Usually donating blood helps. I actually have one of the genes that is related to why Hemingway killed himself.  Hemochromatosis is a disorder where your body stores too much iron in every part of your body. Including the brain. And iron oxidizes. Just think of your brain on a rusty nail. No, I do not have hemochromatosis, but Mr. B does, and I happen to carry the one gene that tends to make one absorb and store too much iron. Hence why I donate blood at least 4 times a year. And it helps, but that doesn’t take into consideration my general nature. And that I’m a woman.  Getting the picture?

So, once my muse is back stateside and I can actually feel like I can contact him….. the damn man….. and physiological things level out, I should be fine. For now, the depressing poetry shall continue… I just can’t seem to write light things. I am not Tyler Knott Gregson.  Yes, I am using his name all the time, but I keep reading his book. Sorry, but it’s just too perfect. And sometimes way too cheery, but I can always use cheery.

Kate

 

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2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Depression

  1. Some writers. Some people.
    I know a lot of depressed people. I know a lot of writers. If you drew a Venn diagram the intersection wouldn’t be huge. Of the suicides/attempted suicides I’ve known, none have been writers. Still, I always recommend people who are depressed should write for the catharsis of of, and the ability to analyze the thought process later.

    It helps to develop wellness strategies. Exercise helps promote endorphins. Walking in pine forests helps (something about a chemical in pine resin that helps human brain chemistry). Sitting under a SAD light helps. Medications can help some people, though it often takes some experimentation to get the right mix.

    And being able to just ‘be’ without being judged helps. Like Eeyore got to hang out with Winnie the Pooh, and no one told him to lighten up. 🙂

    Take care. Write lots. Breathe.

    • Writing is an amazing catharsis to being down. I will totally agree with you. I did not know that about walking in pine forests, but since I live in the mountains, perfect. No, walking is actually a really good way to work things out. I actually walked in the sun a mile and a half to town today, and it felt great.

      I love that about Eeyore and that is so true. Sometimes not being judged is helpful. I don’t think my family quite gets it, but well.

      Thank you much for the wishes. Breathing is good. 🙂 And you are sweet to comment.

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