Hiyo everyone. Today, I’ll just be making a short post about how I motivate myself to write when I’m depressed. My technique may also work on creative endeavors aside from writing, but I wouldn’t know for sure, ’cause writing is the only one I do.
As anyone who suffers from depression knows, when you’re depressed, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do anything. But, if you plan on professionally writing, it’s important that you keep writing no matter how you feel. Otherwise, your mood could end up greatly sabotaging your work by slowing you down too much. I’ve been dealing with depression for a long time (I don’t plan on explaining why, ’cause I’d rather avoid this being a mopey woe-is-me sort of post) so I’ve had to find a strategy to get around letting my depression dictate my writing schedule.
I find it helpful to remind myself why I’m writing in the first place. It stems from my love of stories. When I’m depressed, that reason seems weak and meaningless, but in my experience, the best way to get around that is to trust in the version of myself from whenever I last didn’t feel depressed. When I do that, I sort of borrow some of her determination and use that to fuel my writing, even if it does feel empty in the present. I can kind of look up to that version of me as something to strive toward. For her sake, I make myself write regardless of my feelings.
Once I get started, I find it much easier to continue writing. Since stories are something I’m passionate about, plugging away at one often revives a spark of interest. One worry I’ve had is that my work would be of a poorer quality if I write when depressed, but, actually, I don’t generally find that to be the case. In the present, I often think badly of what I’m writing, but when I go back and review it while in a better mood, it seems a lot better, and I can revise any trouble spots that may have cropped up because of my depression.
I also find it helpful to write from the perspective of one of my more upbeat characters when I’m feeling down. During the writing process, I do my best to view everything the way my viewpoint character would, so, sometimes, borrowing a cheerful character’s mind for a bit makes me feel a bit better, too. And when I do finish my writing for the day, the feeling of gratification of having gotten something done often helps my mood itself.
I guess the bottom line is that, if nothing matters, there’s nothing wrong with writing a little, even if it is futile, and, sometimes, the act of writing itself can restore some sense of purpose.
Anyway, I suppose those are just little mental tricks of mine, but I hope they’re of use to someone. For those of you who have depression, how do you cope with it? Do you have techniques that I didn’t mention? I’m eager to hear your thoughts! For now, ciao~