Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Friday, January 15, 2010

What do you do when you're blue?

Fellow writers(and anybody else who cares to comment:


I recently went through a very bad period, that had to do with some personal things I won't go into here.  I am working my way through these things at present, but while I was "actively" going through them, I felt very, very bad indeed.  I felt bad enough so that I got, I think, on average, about four hours of sleep, among other things.  It also affected my writing in some ways, though I never actually stopped writing during this period.  But I was unable to really do much for very long, and though I have committed to doing some critiques for some other writers I know, I haven't yet started on those(fellow writers, don't worry, though, I haven't forgotten your critiques; it's just been hard to squeeze the time to do them, but I will, I hope, get to them by tomorrow!).  I also found myself unable to concentrate and kept making mistakes of various kinds that I ordinarily don't make.  I should also mention that I went through a period of major depression a few years ago, and depression runs in certain members of my family.  I will also mention that I don't like to think about that episode even now, and while my personal stuff that happened just recently wasn't as bad, it was bad enough.  The only thing I can say for this is, thanks to having gone through my depressive episode, I did learn ways to handle other "bad stuff" that comes my way.  One of them was, that doing my writing saved me from feeling even worse than I ended up feeling.  Which is why I plunged myself into writing over the last week or ten days. 


Which leads me to the question I'm throwing out at all of you out there:  What do you do when bad stuff happens?  How do you handle it?  Does it affect your writing?  I'm curious, because writers are all supposed to be tortured souls anyway. Not all of them are, of course, but still. . . . And besides, I could learn something useful for the next time something blows my way.


So thanks in advance for all your replies,

Anne G


Brian said...

I have learned to 'let it pass.' Unlike you, I do stop writing when I'm really bad, because in effect my brain freezes. Some times I think I shall never write again, and I don't even care. I have learned that these phases eventually pass and I feel OK again.

I have been told that one of the bad things about depression is that the creative side is one of the last functions to restore.

Nanina said...

As someone who has suffered frequent bouts of depression and tours of the wild side, I can understand how disruptive upsets are not only to work and writing, but basic daily living. Over the years I have learned to give in. Fighting against and cajoling myself to press on with commitments and obligations has backfired. If I admit I just can't work or function, often the downtime I permit myself becomes more healing than struggling through the crisis. I don't feel like I've overcome adversity by slogging on. I feel exhausted and less able to cope. By giving in and feeling miserable for a time I not only recover faster, but I find I have more strength and often more creative, better coping skills for facing the outside world.