So, I AM A WRITER…. and I am officially again being considered clinically depressed (script written and on its way). Really for me the diagnosis isn’t new or unexpected, it happens every 3-4 years because my body isn’t capable of maintaining that needed chemical balance. what is a bigger deal for me is the WHY I again find myself here and the WHAT am I going to do about it.
Which brings me to the AS A WRITER part of this post today: A few issues back the Romance Writers of America put out an issue of their Romance Writers Report with a HUGE article about how common mental illness, especially depression, is among authors and how it is speculated that because as artists we are simply more “sensitive” than most to external conflicts be they emotional, physical, physiological or chemical and that we just need to accept this about ourselves… okay YES that is how I took the article whether or not that was the intent I don’t know we all read and get thing from the reading differently (as Facebook has scientifically PROVEN without room for doubt). But here was my thing. If as artists we are so prone to depression why doesn’t it come out more in our work product? I mean it certainly might hamper our work PROGRESS, we might sit in the chair at the keyboard all day and not type three words because we don’t “FEEL” it. I am sure depression also adds to the angst we feel when a writing colleague puts out a new book or three, gets invited to be part of an anthology or series or wins an award or ranks placing, while we are still trying to get that fourth word on the page. And still we all know, through our reviews, that what we write makes others “happy” gives them joy or as one reviewer said to me about No Sugar Added it validated them as a real woman/human.
So are artists depressed people? Is it our so called sensitivity, which to me is what makes us capable of doing what we do, causing depression and other mental illness making it an inevitability among us? Are we all suffering even if we don’t know or won’t admit it (And please you do NOT have to actually answer that). And if these types of disorders (I rather dislike that word as it makes me think that some how people with them are not just as perfect as those without) are affecting us what do we need to do to make sure they do not overwhelm us to a point we start dropping off like lemmings at the cliff edge.
I know for me I am going to be put back on medications that have helped and likely be forced back into therapy because that is how the VA works (which because I then have to drive 65 miles to attend that will only add to my angst). And I know that I WILL write. Maybe not as fast or as good but I will write and I will write what I know and make my personal experiences part of a deeper story. But what else? And how do I help someone else who is in the boat with me (Carpathia not the Titanic)? What do we artists need to do, say, to help other artists know that it’s alright if they aren’t the sexy, happy, love winning HEA story they write about.
What might be ways we remind ourselves that its something we can LIVE with. That it might not go away but it can be managed and even used. Anyway, that is my I AM A WRITER post today… hope it didn’t bother anyone too much… TMI and all.