[Wednesday Rambling] Depression and Creativity
I’m sure many creative types have had to deal with it and I’m not really looking for a pity party kind of post so I’ll focus on how I harness my depression as part of my process–or at least how I try to.
First off, I’d like to say that I’ve not have a new story idea in months, well that’s a lie. I did write that new Tess story, but it’s not like I’m flowing over with ideas right now. My mind is too occupied being terrible to itself to come up with anything new and exciting. Part of that is that for much of the day my mind only has itself to talk to, so what else can you make conversation about with yourself than the things that makes you upset? I mean talking about things you like ends up making you angry in the end, since you can’t go do them.
But, on the same token, a mind that’s determined to be upset is the best editor you can have. If i can look at my work without the rosy glow of “this is something I’ve done” then I can tear it apart properly. I don’t remember what I meant to say here, so far gone from my mind is the plot that I only have the page to work with. I don’t remember what the protagonist looks like, I’ve long since stopped drawing and visualizing them. Thankfully I wrote so much at one point that I have enough of a back log of things to edit, I might be able to ride out my depression–but I’m not willing to take that chance.
Through the semester, I’ve torn apart two of my favorite stories and I actually got back to writing. Granted it was really just an extension of the editing, I’ve had a very hard time coming up with anything new that’s worthwhile, but as a result I’ve started world building again and that will lead to new material. I’ve started asking questions and finding answers, either in my own writing or in the writing of others. Though on one hand this had made me feel far worse as I’ve realized things about both my own style and the genres in which I write, one of which I might touch on later once I’ve done some research–wouldn’t want to sound like a clod–it has also pushed me to keep going.
Anyway, I guess the take away from this is to harness negative energy and use it to push your sub-par writing up to where you’re happy with it again–and maybe, just maybe, you’ll start to feel happier yourself.