Writer’s block is perhaps the worst side-effect of my depression and quite possibly the best talisman for how bad my depression is at any given time. It has been proven that a common symptom of depression is losing interest in activities that bring joy and happiness to a person. This is what is happening to me.
I always try to surround myself with activities so I can keep myself occupied. I do this so I don’t become idle and let my depression and anxiety overcome me and take control. These activities can range from coloring in a coloring book to walking/hiking to reading to doing volunteer work. Writing is an activity that ebbs and flows with my mental state and I cannot count on it to be an activity to bring me joy or to occupy my time. I hate that it is such a fickle thing simply because I love to create and writing, more than any other type of art, allows me to bring imagined worlds and people to life. I love to draw but my talent for it is dwarfed by my talent to write thus writing proves to be the better of an activity, a better escape, than drawing ever could. But when writer’s block shows its contorted face, I panic and shrivel up into a withered ball and give in to it.
Aside from the creative catharsis writing provides it is also a means of income for me. I am technically employed by the American Institute of Bisexuality to write for them. I have yet to publish an article. I sit down and try to write articles on great ideas I have in my head but as the words transcend my mind to the computer screen, the more unhappy I grow, then frustration takes over and it paralyzes me and then I’m done. I simply cannot go on. It is the most frustrating and mesmerizing thing. I have no idea how or why it happens. Furthermore, to make it even more confusing, I think about writing all the time. I have two novel-length stories I have been working on for a few years now and my input to them matters greatly on my mental state. I think about them every day, and that is not to be taken euphemistically, I really mean it when I say I think about those stories every day. I can see and hear and feel the characters and all of their emotions and their lives but I can’t get them from my brain to the computer screen. It’s such a damning feeling.
So what I am hoping for is to break this writer’s block by writing about it and giving it a middle finger and telling it to fuck off. Yes, the profanity is needed to justify how strongly I feel about it. Maybe this is the inspiration I need even though spitting out the words for this article was painful and difficult to achieve.
-Matthew A. Sandusky