Being a writer is incredibly rewarding. In my books, I am the God of Creation. I am also a spectator with absolutely no power to alter events whatsoever. My job is to follow the path to its ultimate end, that’s it; I am at the mercy of my creations. Understandably, being a writer is also its own journey. (Cue tagline).
It’s a beautiful and wonderful journey–true–but, there is one thing about being a writer that only other writers will tell you: It’s hard. This adventure is full of as many ups and downs as you can possibly imagine (literally). And sadly, it is not a roller coaster you can just opt out of; the mind doesn’t stop coming up with stories and the obsessive need to put them down doesn’t just vanish. What does seem to be inconsistent is the ability and confidence to do so. It never fails, you spend an entire day putting together a spectacular scene complete with script, staging, and wardrobe only to have it evaporate the moment you try to put pen to paper. Everything simply dissolves into a hot mess. Gone are the perfect lines you spent hours agonizing over likely never to be seen again and with them, your confidence.
Just like that, you find yourself spiraling into the abyss to be swallowed whole by the complete darkness of nothing. Writer’s depression is real and quite frankly, a bit terrifying. One minute, you are this phenomenal writer that everyone will adore and crave more of, the next big thing, then the next your left wondering why you ever believed you could write in the first place. Your characters become colorless, two dimensional puppets with no ambitious and questionable life choices that continue to fade before your very eyes. Not even your favorite scenes can bring the spark of joy back; they’re flat, lifeless, not worth the paper they’re written on. There’s only one remaining thought: It’s all trash. The exciting coaster you stepped onto willingly, is now holding you hostage as it plummets towards the ground.
We all know that the coaster will rise, but for those few moments, days, months, it doesn’t feel like it. This is the end and all of our beautiful dreams are dying. So be kind to your writer friends. Give them feedback when they ask for it and try to be detailed. Tell them what you like about their stories and why. Tell them who your favorite characters are and what else you would like to know about them. You never know, they could be adrift in a sea of night and looking to you to be their guiding star, someone to remind them that the ride is not over, that they still have more to give.
Don’t tell them to get over it or do something else if they’re so unhappy or that it will get better. Don’t tell them they don’t need anyone to vindicate them or their work. We know that our work is phenomenal, but a little vindication never hurt anyone. I apologize if this got a little dark for some of you, but the purpose of this blog besides showcasing collections is to invite you into the journey, to join the adventure. No, it’s not all pretty and yes, this happens to me as well. Being a writer may not be easy, not everyone will love or appreciate the stories I have to share, but someone will, and that’s why I write.