Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Write Stuff [27] - Depression and Grief and Procrastination, oh my!

Write Stuff  is based on the Wannabe Writers meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it.

I use this meme to talk about the ups and downs of writing, what I'm working on, and, in November, to chronicle my NaNoWriMo journey.

My self-imposed deadline on draft 4 of my current project is coming up next week. I'm not going to make it. I'll set myself a new deadline and try again. But why did I let this one come and go? There are a couple reasons, but the biggest is one I don't talk about very often here: my depression.

When I say depression, I mean an all encompassing darkness that suffocates my entire life. I went from feeling numb to feeling like my brain was overburdened with random thoughts and worry, and when that happened, I could do little more than stare at the television. When my anxiety became too much for me to even do that, I hid myself from the world in my bed. I lost interest in everything. I had thoughts of self-harm and emotional meltdowns. I decided to have my medication dosage doubled. It took a few weeks for it to kick in. I finally started to feel better.

Then Father's Day arrived. I wasn't prepared for the emotional turmoil that day would put me through. The turmoil continued until the anniversary of of my dad's death, vacillating between anger and tears and more numbness. Grief is an entirely different animal than depression, attacking different parts of me for different reasons, but experiencing them together for an extended period of time was harrowing. Then the evening of the anniversary, July 4th, I sat down at my computer and wrote 12 pages. It was like my entire being had been dreading the day, and then when I had survived it, my brain gained some freedom.
I've been working on my draft since then, which has only been about 20 days. So, yeah, I'm not going to make my deadline, but in the last three weeks I've written 28 pages. That's something at least. I'm going to take my victories where I can get them. I still have to deal with my depression and grief when it flares up, but I'm out of the darkest part of the woods for now. I still don't feel great, but right now my biggest obstacle is choosing writing over procrastination (and yes, this post could be considered procrastination).

I like ending these with a little snippet of my project, so since this post is kind of bittersweet, I decided to share the end of my first chapter because it has the same tone. My main character, Lotte, is arranging things in her new room.

How do you deal with your emotions when they get in the way of your creativity? Have you had any recent victories?

Let me know in the comments! ^_^


  1. *hugs* I deal with moments where I just can't focus, whether it's because of something upsetting or just distractions of things I think I "need" to be doing. I just have to start kicking myself eventually and remind myself that I WANT to be a writer, I WANT to be a published author. I also have a few friends that are good at cheering me up and giving me motivational tips and words to keep me pressing forward. When things get in the way, you just have to take them as they come and keep trying. There will be delays, there will always be delays, but whenever you can make progress, even if it's a little bit, that's a wonderful thing. :) Hang in there and keep going! You're doing great. :)

  2. *hugs*
    Usually around "that time of the month" I used to get depressed and hate everything and be convinced I'm a horrible writer and I should just give up and go live in a hobbit hole somewhere.

    Now that I've had a baby, it seems to have screwed up my hormones so it can happen pretty much any time and I'll spend several days thinking I'm a terrible writer AND mother and a million other reasons why I am never "good enough" at anything, ever. Then it will ease up for a few days. Then it will come back for a while. Definitely not fun.

    I really haven't been able to write much of anything in a long time either. That feeling of "I'm the worst writer to ever write anything" would keep rearing up and I'd close out my word processor and go watch silly cat videos or something.

    I had a good day yesterday where I actually got my act together, sent two queries on my current, finished novel, and wrote several pages on my new novel I just started. (And went to bed still wanting to write more.) So hopefully, like you, this means I'm coming out of the worst of the bad stuff.

    Hang in there! Love ya lots!


Thank you for reading!