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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.



  1. Great, upbeat advice, Jeff. :-) And I think I'll have some lemonade as well.

  2. I'm critiquing your manuscript right now for the Vermont MFA retreat. You are a wonderful writer!