Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Black Dog Bites Again

Winston Churchill used to call his depression "the Black Dog".  A lot of writers say that they suffer from depression from time to time.  I have suffered from depression for most of my life - especially 'writers' depression.  Have you?

"I talk to God but the sky is empty".  Sylvia Plath.

You think everything is going great and then all of a sudden the 'Black Dog' appears  and bites you.  The isolation of the countryside  (I am a smallholder) and hours and hours in solitary confinement (sat in my study tapping the computer keys) all help to make the black dog manifest.  

Depression and creativity are said to be very closely linked.  I personally think its the lack of control that makes the writer so frustrated and depressed.  We're always waiting for that email, letter, blog comment,  Amazon book rating...?  The one that says:

 "We like your work".  

The one that brings home the bacon and you feel that you have provided.

There's only one way to cure the 'Black Dog blues'.

Write through it!

Thanks for reading.


  1. Dave, in my past experience, I have found that many more people write as a by-product of either clinical depression or to help them alleviate the stress of depressing situations in their lives. Writing through these things probably is the best thing to do, as it enables freedom to express emotions that may not normally be so easily reached.

    I'm afraid I can't say much more on this subject, as I was seen by some as more of a cruel 'cutter and slasher' of words when editing the precious works of others. LOL

    Writng is a career choice, like any other. If you want to succeed at making it pay, the good, bad and ugly must be factored into your plan.

    Every job has aspects to it that we may not enjoy, but we do the job we choose to do.

    Having the ability to follow it through and then keep on producing a marketable end-product is an aspect of the work that many fail to grasp in the publishing world. You are the creative design manager, the research and development manager and in charge of the production line in a factory that churns out words. And that's just the start of the process.

    In the cold, hard light of reality, you need to think of your writing as your business and plan it that way.

    Good luck with your future plans and never forget, you CAN teach an old dog, black or otherwise, new tricks. If you need to keep your word factory financed from writing trivia, one-liners or crossword puzzles, so be it - it's all writing. :)

  2. Thanks for that. I definitely think there is a link with creativity and depression. A lot of humour writers and comedians suffer from depression.

    I think indifference and rejection prevents a lot of writers from getting published or writing other books.

    Thanks for your comments.


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