Depression and the Creative Process
When I sat down in January and looked at the 2017 calendar, I’d fully expected to release the first book in the Texas Wranglers Series this week or next in honor of the beginning of baseball season.
What I hadn’t planned on was one of the worst depression cycles I’ve experienced in the past couple of years.
Anyone who’s ever struggled with depression (or anxiety) knows that it can be crippling. Simply getting out of bed feels like a major accomplishment. And taking a shower or getting dressed? That deserves a fucking parade.
But while you realize these things, a lot of the time the outside world doesn’t.
I tend to internalize my depression and anxiety, and in the process shut everyone out. I detach–there’s really no other way to describe it. I push people away and I put on a mask. Sometimes some people will pick up on something being “off,” but I’ve gotten way too good over the years at hiding what’s really going on.
Along with shutting people out, though, I shut down. Some of you are probably nodding your heads in agreement right now, thinking, “Yup” or “Preach!” And if you happen to also be a writer or other creative type, you also know that when the depression gets really bad, the creativity is the first thing to go.
So I got depressed and the words wouldn’t come.
This has only been exacerbated by the fact that I’ve felt like something with this book was working but I couldn’t figure out what. It’s only been in the past week or so that the problem clicked for me, and unfortunately that problem means extensive rewrites.
Sure, I could have forged ahead and phoned it in just for the sake of meeting a self-imposed deadline, but y’all deserve better than that. I deserve better than that.
Hell, Thomas and Lilah deserve better than that.
All that to say–depression sucks. On the other hand, y’all will have one doozy of a story to read (hopefully) soon.