Monthly Archives: January 2019

Writing a Way Forward

When I last wrote, I was desperately trying in my plucky way to hold on, to power through the deep depression that I have been in for a long time.

It didn’t work, and I continued to fall, with a plateau here, a branch there. I haven’t been this low in a while. The difference now is that I no longer have hope that someday I might feel better in any kind of sustained and sustainable way. And so I am more terrified than I have been in the past.

I have been yearning to write, because it is one of the few activities that brings a sputtering of ease, but have hesitated because:

  • There are already so many words in the world, covering this same ground with more eloquence and insight than I can muster (not that it’s a competition)
  • It’s embarrassing that I struggle given all my resources and support (even though I know mental illness strikes all kinds of people)
  • I don’t want to alarm the people who care about me (but I assure you that I am safe and reasonably functional)

Of course, I could just journal privately but blogging keeps me sort of organized and it helps me feel a little more connected. Even if bookshelves and the internet are bloated with the same stories, there always seems to be room for one more.

One challenge is that writing can also turn into a form of avoidance, especially because of my tendencies towards a kind of perfectionism. It’s not that I strive for some kind of seismic prose, but that the care I give to my words is often disproportionate to need and with diminishing returns. The output to effort ratio is way off, and that can lead to another cycle of self-recrimination.

I’d like to experiment with just doing frequent, short, unedited pieces within a 30-60 min (tops) timeframe with a focus more on raw content than overwrought craft.

Speaking of, I should probably stop here and put the laundry away. It’s hard to resist going back to check for sentence structure variety and overuse of forms of “to be” or to look up what we call it when writers overuse forms of “to be,” which I just did but nothing popped out right away so. . . onward. Or onword? Or rather offword? Heehee 🙂 See, I feel a little better already.  (Oh wait, should the w be capitalized in the title of this post???? And egads, I used the phrase kind of at least three times, twice in one paragraph!)