Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Writing 101: Depression

Doctors sometimes lose patients in the operating room, and it's hard on them. Counselors absorb other people’s problems, and listen to terrible tales of trauma. Actors tap into their deepest emotions and recall their most painful memories, all for the sake of the performance. Writing is one of those jobs that can get you down sometimes, like these others. It's important to keep the business of writing in perspective. This is how you will avoid depression. 


No, I Reject You

If I saved every single rejection letter I've ever received, I would probably have to move from my home to save space for the storage. I've been fired from more writing jobs than most people have ever had. And I've received some comments from real readers that made me want to set something on fire. Like maybe my laptop.

Writing can be a bit depressing like this. 




You pour your heart out to a blank page. You put yourself on it, embed your personality deeply into every word. You polish it and perfect it. You clean it up and market pretty. You read it to yourself, and you picture all the moments that you put into your writing. You create something out of nothing, like a real artist. And then, someone comes along and they stomp all over it. Welcome to writing.

So, are you depressed yet?

As a writer, your success and failure is determined by how other people receive your work. This is stressful. It is very easy to become saddened by rejection or negative reviews. You may, from time to time, feel depressed. And as a writer, there's a good way for you to deal with that: write about it.

If you're struggling with your career, you're in a unique position to be qualified to write about a character who is struggling career-wise. Does something sad happen to a character of yours? You have firsthand knowledge of writing about sadness. Use your feelings to channel them into your writing. Don't let depression because of writing sink you.

Because it can. Self-doubt, second-guessing and sadness happen. But you don't want it to happen too often. Pick yourself up, and try to find a way to turn those feelings into good writing. If you feel too sad too often, you may need to take a few extra steps.

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