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Writing & Depression -- by Bogna Maslanka

For the thrid year in a row I atempted NaNoWriMo. I waited up until midnight on the first night and I ended up knocking out 2,271 words. For a first day that is fantastic. I should be incredibly proud of myself, but I'm not. I'm not angry at myself nor am I frustrated with my lack progress, I'm just meh (I asked several of my online writing buddies for a legitimate word for the feeling "meh" and they came up with "lethargic" and "indifferent"). This is how depression effects me. It makes me feel bland, unmotivated and unworthy.  It's a very odd feeling to have about a hobby that you love dearly.

Depression sucks the life out of every simple task and makes things seem like advanced physics. I'm a biochemist by trade and there is little more that I loathe more than physics. Depression sucks and so does physics but depression sucks more than physics. I really wish that saying "Say strong!" or "You can beat this!" would be enough to get my fellow depressed writers to kick depression in the face. But we all know that depression doesn't work that way. I have a couple different ways that I combat my depression related procrastination. As simple as these tips are, it is easy to forgot the basics when you're in a depression brain fog.

1. Remind Yourself That Every Word Counts
Even if I only write ten words or several tweets to Mac (Head Honcho of Absolute Write) at least I've done something towards publication. I got my name out there by tweeting Mac and I wrote ten more words on a story that could be my break-out piece.You never know what one tweet or ten words will do.

2. Avoid Writing in Bed
My depression keeps me in bed. Bed is nice and warm and there are possibly fuzzy cats in it. But if I don't get my butt out of bed, I'm never going to get anything done. I've been amazed at how much more I can accomplish when I force myself to walk to four feet from my bed to my desk. Also that fuzzy meow-meow probably has a bitey end or at least mine does (see photo for reference).

3. Ask for Help from Fellow Writers
It is never a bad idea to ask for help or advice from a fellow writer. Most writers love to gush about what they write, how they write and how they battle the demons of procrastination. I have found chat rooms and Twitter to be my safe havens. They distract me just enough to forget about my depression, but don't distract me to the point that I don't do any writing. Plus you never have to say that your writing troubles are related to depression.

Chit chat with me on Twitter @BEMaslanka or on my personal blog

Posted by Bogna Maslanka 2 Dec 2012 at 04:36
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