Dealing with Depression as an Author
You think life can’t get any worse then life proves you very wrong. You find you don’t have the energy to do much of anything. You only want to sleep but when you do, you wake up feeling like you’ve been running all night. Writing, something you love, becomes a chore. You don’t want to do anything except veg out in front of a screen.
Nothing seems to be going right. For some reason, engagement on your social media accounts is in the red. You have no idea why. You didn’t change anything.
You don’t see the point in doing anything. Why would I publish another book when people aren’t reading the ones I have out?
What do you do?
Talk to someone
I have a great support system. When I’m feeling low, I talk to family or friends. It always helps. People who aren’t artists, understand depression.
If you’ve been writing for awhile, you probably know other authors. I don’t know many writers irl. Most of my writerly peeps, I met online. If you feel comfortable, talk to them. I guarantee you they’ve been where you are. They might be there right now. Don’t let the negativity isolate you. There is no light down that road. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Talking to someone could also mean writing a blog post. I often find blogging therapeutic.
Dive into the things you love
I already love reading. I’m doing it a lot more now. If I have a spare moment, I’m reading a novel or manga. Though I write dark stories, I stay away from reading them.
Horror doesn’t count. It may be dark but, for some reason, a good horror movie or TV show always makes me feel better.
Right now, I mostly read fantasy romance, fluffy stories that make me smile and laugh. Same goes for “TV” watching. I mostly watch fun shows. I’m currently bingeing some British comedies. I often binge CinemaSins or rewatch a Markiplier Let’s Play.
Once a week, if funds would allow it, I’d treat myself to a nice meal.
Despite the cold, I put on layers and went to the park to take photos. I felt so much better afterward.
Every now and then, I’d throw myself into a video game.
Write for yourself
When I was in college, I’d write my emotions into a character then write them getting out of their situation. The character always felt better in the end. I always felt better once I finished writing those stories. At the time, those stories weren’t for publishing or marketing. They were just for me.
You may not feel like writing or marketing. Do it anyway. Do not let all the work you’ve done so far go to waste. Giving up will not get you any closer to your dreams. If you feel being an author is your calling, write no matter what. Don’t focus on what’s not going right. Focus on what you can do to move forward.
When studying Literature, I noticed a pattern in a lot of classic authors. Most were a little insane, some were even drug addicts. I understand that now. Being an author is physically and emotionally draining. Sometimes you just want anything to take away the pain. Find something healthy.
How do you deal when your writing life doesn’t go the way you expected?