Does anyone slip into depression while not working on a book? I hate to be my own spokesperson. Nevertheless, there is work of considerable merit in my cabinets. I think about death too much. I think of the negative response to words I write on Facebook. I think of the positive responses. I have thousands of pages typed and handwritten. These pages need to go somewhere. It is the day of asking. Perhaps many of us modeled our writing lives on the legendary figures of the past. Today it seems the multitude of trained and in-training and experimenting and conventional writers and all those writers who would be writers mock our highest efforts. People doubt that any of our efforts amount to achievement. I can sleep, my greatest blessing. Depression is no good response to ceasing to write. What is to write if our efforts are zero? We are phenomenal. Legendary figures of the past worked in movements. Are we a movement? Are we talented enough to be in movements? Are we enlightening, entertaining, instructive? Are we approaching the writing of our times, writing that is necessary because it includes us?
Talented enough to be in movements???????????????
It is depressing to not be writing a book. Sometimes it is depressing to be writing a book. Words mediate between thought and act. Is the act when they appear on the page? When neurons move in the mind of the reader? When she resolves to change her life? It is no matter. Whatever happens happens. We can't not write.
Ann, the state of mind you describe is not uncommon. My thought on this is that the desire to write is not necessarily the same as the desire to be read. I can only speak personally, but I consider myself my own best reader. Reading and revising my own work gives me great satisfaction. Despite a sign of appreciation from other(s) being obviously a boost. But I ask you, is the quantum of appreciators the significant factor? If it is, then the tendency towards depression might be greater, wherever the paucity of the quantum. I suppose in all of this one must defensively rationalise in order to remain sane. Borges once said he wrote for himself and his friends. It was easy to say as he'd won a planet full of readers. Nevertheless his throwaway comment has some validity. After all, plumbers make more money that writers, and everyday celebs have more fame.
Write for yourself, Ann. Listen to Eamon. He is a wise man. Write for yourself or write for no one.
I fall into an awful funk between chapter, Ann. In fact, almost immediately after finishing one, I start wondering if I can do another.
Keep writing, Ann. Keep writing.
Write on, Ann. It's our collective private Idaho.
Ann, I agree with Eamon, Chris, Matt, Gary and Sam. It's become essential for me, but there are bumps. I agonize over the lack of inspiration, desire or mood. Something always seems to come up, maybe not the best, but at least the "flow" is still there. Keep writing.
I think you should bake a cake, write a short story, peel an orange and drink a glass of rum.
We're not the ones who can say what our writings mean to and for others. I like what Sam wrote above. It's good advice. You are a very fine writer, with a very sharp mind, so I have no doubt you will find your way forward again. I think it's in our nature to question ourselves and to sometimes get depressed over the answers, but you must widen your scope. Writing is central to you, and you want it to matter. Well, it does. First to you, and then to others, if you are lucky. But most writers will tell you, they would still write even if no one were listening. Why? Because you don't write for awards, you write because it is who you are, because you have to, because to not write is to deny yourself the true knowledge of you. I'm probably not saying this very well, but depression is depression, it is real, it must be worked through, or managed, along with everything else in our lives. It's a bummer for sure. But you are way more than your depression. You are the fabulous Ann Bogle! And that's twenty-four seven.
Darryl, glad you got what I meant.
It is lovely to be seen and it is sometimes hard to be seen. Writing is an act of trying to see something that nobody else but you can see so that others can see it, too, through your writing. So when I’m not writing, I am not trying to see what only I can see. The same goes for musing, observing, thinking, loving and hating. It is both fortunate and tragic. Fortunate, because the terrible burden of being the only one of your kind is spread thinly over everything that we do like a blanket of snow. Tragic, because as soon as you get into your own unique body and mind, you are as lonely as the loneliest sun in the farthest galaxy. This is a magnificent choice to make.
Gorgeous thoughts and urgings are put forth in these replies. SO I WILL.
I received an email from one of our publishers urging me to send a book submission. So I will.
That's great news about the submission request. Do it, Ann.