Friday, January 6, 2012

Sad and Depressed

I have a confession to make.  I haven't written anything this past week.  Well, no fiction, anyway.  I've been taking some down-time, and doing nothing of consequence.  It's a horrible waste of time, and I can't say it recharges my batteries, as I seem to feel more drained after fiddling around with non-writing activities than when I'm producing something.

I wrote a column years ago, explaining how our little distractions and wasted time really isn't a waste at all, and that still holds true for the most part.  However, my current lack of productivity is troubling.  It doesn't seem to be preparing me for bigger and better things.  Instead, it's becoming a rut which I'm loathe to get out of.  Maybe I've gotten one too many rejection letters, or seen my bank account drop precipitously, and I'm left saying "what's the point?"  Doom and gloom set in, and nobody wants to read about that.

My unshakable foundation is cracked.  It has been for years, though I often throw a coat of paint on it and pretend I'm fine.  The scourge of depression isn't something that is conducive to book sales, and when nobody really gives a damn why say anything?  Really, I'm sure most readers will run screaming from this post right now, uninterested in sharing such sad emotions.

I am a tortured artist who toils in obscurity, blessed with creative talent that should be the envy of the entertainment industry, but like so many others I'm marginalized.  On occasion I've joked about being a Van Gogh of words with two ears and a sobriety complex, though fortunately I haven't the temperament to go the way Vincent did.  I'm too stubborn and spiteful for suicide, so there's no need to call 911.  But where I don't have nihilistic tendencies, I do have "screw it" days, where I just don't care to do much of anything.  I lose the will to do what I should, for what's the point of writing when nobody's going to read it, or pay for it?  When I get tired and cease to profit from the work either mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or monetarily, I give up, if only for a while.

Plenty of writers go through this sort of thing.  It is one of the hazards of the freelance life, and it's the dark side of the curse that plagues those born to do what we do.  Nobody in their right mind would choose this path; it has to be fated.  Damn, I should've been a physicist!

So, here's to feeling better in the coming days, and maybe producing some literature again.  If you'd like to help, maybe say something to let me know I'm not just talking to myself.

This seems appropriate.

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