Gray Worlds

I’m supposed to be writing.

I have a deadline. It’s not even self-imposed this time; I need to have a certain writing project complete in a certain amount of time, and it should be easy to do so.

Instead I’m sitting here staring at a screen. The worlds of brilliant color I should be creating are instead gray. My family is puttering around. My oldest son is asking me what’s wrong. I should be helping my wife if I’m not writing.

The last few days I’ve been riding high. I’ve been generally excited about things. Some things fell into place with my writing and talking to various publishers (nothing I can share publicly yet, but announcements should be coming). The writing I’m supposed to be doing was coming freely. I wove worlds vivid with hues I longed to share.

And about two hours ago, the bottom fell out.

I should have known. I should have seen it. It’s a pattern, you see.

I have depression. Continue reading “Gray Worlds”

False Dilemma

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Choose one: You can either have creativity or you can have mental health.

That’s what I wrote about a month ago. It really seemed that was the choice that was laid out before me. I had started taking medication for my depression, and my creativity faded. I’d seen it happen with others, so I wasn’t terribly surprised, but it wasn’t exactly an event I was excited about.

After that post, several friends who routinely practice their creativity wrote to me to tell me: Yes, there is creativity after depression meds, but you have to work in different ways to find it. Sometimes you have to fight for it more. It’s not gone; you just have to go hunting for it.

Wouldn’t you know it, they were right? Continue reading “False Dilemma”

Mental Health or Creativity?

What is my creativity worth?

Is it worth the lows of depression? Is it worth the dark walks? If it means being free of days unable to function, can I give up the ability to tell stories? If I give up the hollow heart, must I also give up dreamed-up skies?

Can I give up my creativity if it means giving up my depression?

Is it worth it? Continue reading “Mental Health or Creativity?”

Write Again

Sometimes the goal of a writer isn’t writing; sometimes the goal is surviving.

I was hoping that today’s post would be, “The Terrible Burden of Doing Nothing.” After literal weeks of no recharging time for this introvert, I had set aside Friday as a chance to form a little cocoon. It’d be an opportunity to read for fun or write. The only thing I had set to do today was a load of dishes and play with the kids.

Step one of that process was, of course, sleeping in. The kids didn’t have school, and I had no ministry appointments, so there was no reason I had to get up early.

For some reason, I couldn’t fall asleep until past one they night before. And then my baby daughter decided to start her screaming at 5:30. And then the tornado warning at 7:30 kinda had to get me out of bed.

Did you know that contrary to popular belief, sleep exhaustion doesn’t aid creativity? It’s true that it can cut down on inhibitions depending who you are, but writing down that stream of consciousness, at least for me, isn’t always gold fiction. Or, you know, ever. Continue reading “Write Again”

Depression Leads to New Worlds

So I’ve been having fun with depression lately. It’s one of those things that a lot of writers seem to struggle with, and I think there’s a reason.

When you have depression, you start recognizing that here is not a good place to be. It doesn’t matter if your perceptions are off or entirely accurate. It doesn’t matter if here is your own skin or your own century. As soon as here isn’t good, you start longing for there.

And that longing seeps out in words and phrases and paragraphs and… stories.

There’s this yearning for something different. And it doesn’t matter if what ink leaks onto the page paints a picture of despair or joy; it reveals that the writer wants to escape here for someplace else. It’s not that depression creates writers; it’s that depression creates this desire to be elsewhere, and that desire must flower in some way. Continue reading “Depression Leads to New Worlds”