Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Writing and the Great Depression...

Like many other folks out there, I’ve had my struggles with depression.

I’ve been on a positive upswing for the past few years, but these past few months have been difficult. Call it persistent feelings of frustration and hopelessness weighing me down. It’s a nuisance I really can’t afford to deal with these days—I have too much on my plate and can’t take some time to just stay on the couch for hours, which admittedly is all I feel like doing lately.

But anyway.

The most annoying part is that my writing is starting to feel the effects. It’s perfectly clear when I’m not at the top of my game mentally or even physically. I’ll go back to read what I’ve done, and I notice a lot of passive voice, excessive “wordiness”, and an overall feeling of…blah. It’s obvious to me, so it must be obvious to others, too. But the thought of going back and editing is overwhelming, too.

I’m curious how others can put aside their own “stuff” and still turn out quality work. I know lots of other writers who struggle with various conditions, and I’m amazed that they can still get it all done. I get it done, but it’s not necessarily my most stellar work.

How do you handle it? How do you continue to churn out projects when you’re simply not feeling up to it?


  1. Hi Sara, I'm so sorry to hear you struggle with depression. It must be tough! I'm not sure I have an answer to help you, except that you should give yourself a lot of credit. You have done so much with your writing, and it's all come from you. No one else could think of the words you had to say. No one else could send those queries or build those relationships with editors. It isn't easy, but you've done it! When you're feeling low, remember to be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would a dear friend. You deserve it.

    Sending you all good thoughts.

  2. Hi Sarah--Thanks for the kind words. You really made my day! I tend to be really hard on myself, so I have to remember to cut myself a break now and then. I know there are also plenty of people out there whose struggles are far worse than's really a matter of recognizing down times and dealing with them in ways that work best for each person. Thank you again for your comment :)

  3. How do I push past the 'stuff' and still turn out quality work? I can't, and I don't. I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm doing NaNo this month despite an overwhelming urge to just lie in bed and hide from the world, but you're right -- I've noticed a lot of passive voice, and the story isn't coming to life like it should. I don't know how to fix it and get back to feeling like myself again... just have to wait it out, I guess. But it's nice to know we're not alone in this, isn't it?

  4. Faith--thanks for your comments. I'm like you...waiting it out is really all I can do at this point. I don't make a big deal about my struggles with depression, considering, as I said in the post, there are so many folks who are truly, truly struggling with it far more than I ever have, but I definitely have my "overwhelmed" days. And yes, it's a very comforting feeling to know we're not alone. Best of luck to you with your NaNo efforts!