Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blues and Blahs

Last week, Trace had a post up about depression and how it affects writers. She left off with the questions But how does a writer work through depression? Are you one who can put everything out of your mind and just plow on? Or do you struggle to focus and get the words down?

For me, I write better when I have just a healthy bit of depression. That might sound like a contradiction, to say a healthy bit, but there’s depression that’s debilitating and there’s just a bit of depression that sharpens the senses, otherwise known as Sandra’s Hypersensitive Mode.

The thing is, I’ve always been inclined to think that my emotions translate through into the writing to some degree. With more experience you can deal with that, but I do find I write better when I’m a bit down. Of course, when you write dark stuff it’s probably understandable. I can vent the emotion into the page and that works for me. I can write when I’m happy, I just usually have to make myself miserable in the process.

What I have a terrible time dealing with is when things are just blah. Blah is when I feel nothing in particular. There’s no oomph, no spark, no motivation.

For me, I find the blahs are much worse than the blues. Then again, I’m not one to run lukewarm. I’d rather be in tears or jumping up and down for joy.

Today, I feel a bit spent. We’re scrambling on the last of this issue of Spinetingler. Heaven help me if I forgot anything I promised to do for anyone – a distinct possibility. I feel like my brain was sucked out my nose and spit up on a sidewalk like so much discarded phlegm for people to step on and then curse over.

What about you guys? How much does your mood affect what you do? Or am I the only crazy one?

If I was clever and witty…

Invasion of the Panty Snatchers would have potential. I mean, there’s weird and then there’s weird, and stealing underwear from apartment laundry rooms is definitely weird.

This strikes me as another one of the things that would be hard to sell realistically in a crime fiction novel. It ranks right up there with the guy with the mannequin fetish, and he’s got company.


JamesO said...

Bollocks! Blogger just ate my comment.

The Horse Doctor had some of her underwear stolen from the washing line in the back garden when we lived in Aberdeen (now there's a case for Logan McRae!) Some weeks later, the police caught the fetishistic thief and the Horse Doctor had to go to the station to identify her knickers. Once the trial was over and the man was safely behind bars, she was asked if she wanted her undies back. Unsurprisingly she said no.

I hate the blah days, also sometimes known as 'meh'. No enthusiasm even for a good bout of depressive moping, just a feeling of can't be bothered. The only thing you can do is wait for it to pass. At least that's worked for me so far.

Now let's see if blogger's still being pissy.

Jersey Jack said...

I've learned to write very early in the morning, almost in a semi-dream state, expressly to avoid moods and life's daily concerns. For me, it's important to write every day, and this is the way I found to best accomplish that.

As for the rest of your blog, I have to admit it can be a little embarrassing being a male of this species. That sex drive that nature gave us can really manifest itself in strange ways. I have two writer friends who are also emergency room nurses, and the stories they tell of guys coming in attached to all kinds of stuff...well, it's ugly. How come we never read about women doing stupid stuff like this?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yeah, blogger's being a pest today James.

Wow - I don't blame THD at all for not wanting her underwear back. I mean.. yuck.

Fortunately for me, my moods are like the weather. Wait five minutes, it'll change. Well, okay, not that bad. But I do find listening to music helps.

JJ, I like to write early as well. I'm going to try to get back to that, actually.

"How come we never read about women doing stupid stuff like this?"

You really want me to answer? Okay, seriously, I don't know. I could speculate, but I'd be more interested in hearing what others think about that.

Steve Allan said...

Interesting topic. See, I just received some of the worst news possible involving a member of my family a few hours ago and I am completely depressed at the moment, and the only thing I want to do, besides being with my family is write. I want to go home, shut the door and poind on the fucking keyboard until I have to buy a new one. Thank god I write crime fiction so I can go beat up on some poor fictional characters.

Steve Allan said...

Or I may just go home and watch Happy Feet with my kids.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Steve, I'm sorry to hear about the news. You're in my thoughts.

I haven't seen Happy Feet. I don't recommend Little Miss Sunshine for the family though.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to the constantly shifting moods and energy levels. Writing first thing in the morning is the best for me too cause I'm kind of in a dream and just letting it flow. Music helps too when I'm trying to get into a mood.