Sadness, unhappiness, sorrow, woe, melancholy, out-of-sorts, low spirits, gloom, dejection, or the blahs are all words we use to describe those "secret sorrows" that eat at us and keep us from writing. When those sorrows get to heavy to lift then it is easy to sink into depression. Extremely prolific and creative authors such as Mark Twain, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and even Emily Dickinson all struggled with depression in one way or another. Some psychologists believe there is a link between that writing creativity and mental illness.
Whether their belief is true or not, we writers do face isolation and a feeling of inadequacies as we rewrite and revise dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Creativity is expensive in personal and emotional terms. The cost is measured in the emotional highs or lows of sharing our imagination or original ideas with others. If they are accepted, then WOOHOO! If they are rejected, then BOOHOO! Writing is a roller coaster. So how can we snap out of it, and increase our emotional stability so that we feel free to share our imagination and creativity? Here are a couple of tips:
- Embrace your emotions-creative people are usually hyper sensitive that's why writers can become part of the book they are writing or get lost in their characters
- Learn how to self-regulate by pausing, or taking a few moments doing something you love, when you feel that secret sorrow creeping into your thoughts.
- Change the way you think--this is called cognitive re-framing. Simply put, it means trying to to take things personally. If you are looking at how that sorrow affected you, try to change the way you look at what happened. Maybe instead of being upset over a rejection (or many rejections), you can be proud that you completed another manuscript. It's not just "Look at the bright side", it's concentrate on your accomplishment