Depression and Writing

Depression and writing can be tricky to discuss.

A narrative that is often heard is that depression helps fuel creative genius, and that some of the great creative geniuses led awful lives, but that was okay, because they created such great works. It’s a narrative that’s been parroted to me over and over again for years.

“Don’t worry about your depression affecting your writing, if anything it’ll improve it!” is something that a former GP once said to me!

For me, I really struggle to write when depressed. I have all these incredible ideas that I know would turn into fantastic stories, but they can’t escape the level of fogginess that engulfs my brain. I try to capture the idea on paper but it never quite translates right. All these fledgling stories are trapped and slowly are forgotten.

Some people are able to work through depression using writing rituals, or forcing themselves to write so many words or pages a day. I find when forcing myself to write that the words sound stale and awkward, like they know they’ve been forced there. Personally, the best way for me to write is by first attempting to eliminate as much stress as possible, both physically and mentally. If that means writing takes a sideline while I deal with real-life stuff, like it has most of this year so far, so be it. My creativity sparks when I am happy and healthy. It can feel like a reflection of my soul.

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One Reply to “Depression and Writing”

  1. I think the hardest part about being productive during bouts of depression is overcoming thoughts like “what’s the point,” or “why bother even trying,” which seem to pollute my creative efforts the most.

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