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MFA in Writing at Vermont College

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I am not depressed!

I am not depressed!

There, I got that out there.  I know my last few posts have leaned toward the negative side but that does not mean I am depressed.  No mother, I am not taking medication.  No Aunt Laverne, I am not standing on the edge of a cliff.  I have merely been sitting at my writing desk trying to pound out my latest story.

I fear that negativity is a hazard of the job.

I Googled “depressed writer” and I came up with 7,170,000 hits.  That’s a lot of depression.  Seriously!



Ernest Hemingway, John Keats, Proust and Mark Twain were all rumored to have suffered from depression.  A quick search of “writers who committed suicide” yielded over 400 names including greats such as Virginia Woolf, Hunter S. Thompson and Sylvia Plath.  

There is quite a bit of internet space dedicated to why so many writers are susceptible to depression.  Theories from lack of exercise to lack of a steady income to insupportable loneliness exist.  My good friends at Quirk and Quill recently wrote a blog on just this topic.

It is true that I could stand to exercise more, that I have yet to earn a penny from writing and my wife would certainly support the fact that I spend too much time alone at the computer.  But I am not depressed.

I have made a pact to be more positive.  I even Googled ‘happy writer’ for advice. Here is what I found:

FINISH YOUR S***!                         - Chuck Wendig

Don’t quit your day job                 - Nathan Bransford


Okay, so perhaps the uplifting isn’t so uplifting after all.

My point here being… writing is full of self-doubt.  As a writer I constantly second guess what I am writing. I accept this fact.  It is what I have chosen to do.  It doesn’t mean I am moving to Key West to drink beer and sleep with cats. 


In fact, today I plan to make a large glass of lemonade, turn the baseball game on the radio and write the next chapter of my novel.  Life is pretty good if you ask me.