It’s the start of a shiny new year and almost everyone is posting their hopes and goals for 2014. I did a lot of introspection in the last month, as I am wont to do when the year ends, about my writing progress. I sure fumbled a lot there towards the last quarter of the year especially, losing any momentum I had built up. The words dried up and I knew the big D was dragging me down. A bout of Depression.
Asking writers anything is going to give you completely different answers every time. Some writers write better when they are stressed or depressed or in turmoil, turning to writing as their catharsis or not even that. It’s just the way they work. Me? I am the opposite. When I am stressed or depressed, I can’t write. It’s like that part of my brain is gone. Other writers are like that too.
I know, I know. I hear a bunch of professionals saying “tough shit, little girl, you gotta write no matter what”. And that also weighs on my mind. See, for 2014, I don’t know my path for writing. I don’t know what I want to do with it anymore other than I just want to write. Do I want to keep working at getting published? Go through the whole business aspect of it that I learned so much about during the past year or just keep it as a hobby?
This year, instead of goals or resolutions, I am holding myself to a mantra instead – “write free”. I am going to write the shinies as I want to and not go crazy trying to chase market opportunities. I will publish to nothing but here on my own blog. And anything written will be for fun. I want to see if I can write while getting out of this depression, with only the humor I can do.
A word on depression, since it’s something that so many people deal with but no one speaks of it at any length. I don’t mind speaking of it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Honestly. It happens. I am no professional but I have learned to respect the chemistry of the brain. Depression can be due to brain chemistry, situational (like a divorce, losing a job), or both. I remember the first time I was depressed years ago, I was so afraid to go on medication because I had heard from so many other writers that they did not want their creativity taken away. When I mentioned that fear to my doctor, he asked me, “Well how much are you writing now?”
“Uh…none.” I had not been writing a thing. Once the medication kicked in and I started to feel better, I felt like smiling and writing again. It was great – for me. Like writing, it’s individual. Like our brains and creativity inside, it’s delicate. I will get my chemistry back in alignment. I will deal with situations through tools like private journal writing / morning pages. (If you haven’t heard of the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, her work is amazing for this sort of thing.)
Maybe by the end of this year, I will have a better idea what direction I want to go. Until then, I will be writing flash fiction and posting it here (hopefully regularly). Who knows? I could post something longer. It’s up in the air because all I hold to me now is the mantra – write free.