This morning I listened to an I Should Be Writing podcast this morning (I’ll admit I’ve been off the podcast wagon for a bit). I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut, and Mur produced an episode on writing after depression (it was episode 368, definitely worth a listen if you’re in the same boat).
Of all the episodes on my phone I could have listened to, this one really hit home for me. Mur talked about the election (I know, old news but bear with me) and how she felt afterward. She didn’t feel like writing and got off her schedule. She apologized, she got back in the cockpit, and she got back into it.
We All Experience This
A lot of us fall into the category of the part-time writer. We aren’t making much (if any) money at it and we’re trying really hard. In between is the day job, the commitments with family and friends, things like making dinner and doing laundry…you know, that stuff called life. And life has its ups and downs.
When we hurt or we’re down, it’s easy to put the writing or art down and say I’ll get back to it later. You do this long enough and you start to question whether you can anymore. (Sound familiar, anyone?) I know I go through this; I know other writers do as well. If you’re going through this I know it’s lonely as hell, but you’re not alone. Plenty of us go through this. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself; art will never leave you.
Getting Through It
Back when we made My DreamGirl Was A Vampire the project didn’t end well. I planned on making it my first movie for sale on Amazon, and that didn’t pan out. I almost couldn’t release it (it’s a long story I’m not going to get into here).
I was so hurt and frustrated I wrote the Craigslist ad to sell all my movie gear. I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but this was a huge black moment for me. I was ready to give up. I think I actually went on a tirade on my drive to work (in the car by myself) and shouted that I was done. The ad was written, I was going to post it.
That afternoon at dinner I had a long talk with my wife. Her advice was if this makes me happy I should continue to do it. I talked to another confidante about what went wrong, and she encouraged me to persevere. I set the ad aside and gave it some serious thought.
After some thought I decided I’d try one more project before I gave up. If that project failed I’d post the ad.
That project was Remembrance. It was my first festival success, which I followed up with In the Dark (the most successful project to date), which led me to producing the animated version of The Trip. Two projects catapulted me to the achievement of a lifelong dream. If I’d given up and sold the gear, those projects would not have happened.
At times writing will be tough. It is not easy. At times it’s lonely and success is not guaranteed. At times like these, hold on just a little longer. When the clouds clear, you’ll be glad you did.