Depression After Creation.
Posted on November 2, 2012
I wasn’t even sure I was going to post today. You see, I finished something this morning – a creative work. I’ve spent the last 1 1/2 to 2 weeks working on it. Before I even began writing the piece, I spent a great deal of time thinking about it and planning it. Quite more than I normally do. So, when I finished it this morning, I felt good. For a moment. Then bad. And now worse.
You should feel good after creating something, right?
There should be a sense of accomplishment and a pat on the back and then you should move on to something else.
The sense of accomplishment that happened this morning was fleeing at best. What was more prevalent, I can now say with certainty, was the light depression that followed.
I think that’s because of what happens next…
After writing my piece, I sent it out to a few trusted friends. They are two of my regular readers. They are experienced and knowledgeable in the field. Suffice it to say, I trust their opinions. They have read things for me in the past. I am grateful and amazed and honored that anyone will read anything of mine at all. It’s not that I don’t think I’m “worth” being read. It’s more that I value my friends’ time and I’m honored that they spend a little bit of it on me. That being said, criticism is what will follow. In essence, criticism is what I’m asking for. A balanced critique is also ALWAYS the thing that makes my projects better. My drafts always improve after receiving my reader’s feedback. Then why is criticism so hard to take?
For this particular project, I really tossed around the idea. I read something from an author recently where he said, “I really stop myself from writing when I come up with an idea. I make sure I turn it around from every angle. I make sure I really know what’s happening in my story, for a long while. Even if it means I have to tape my hands down. Once I really KNOW, then I write.” That’s what I tried to do this time. So, it was a lot of pre-prep work and then writing in a sort of fury once I had it all worked out in my mind. The trouble is that no one will have the same urgency to read it, that you did to write it. So, you have to wait. Naturally, you gratefully wait and a creeping depression fills the hole.
What if it’s not good? That’s the number one thought that seeps in right now. What if other people hate it? For me, there’s this sublime moment where I’ve completed a story and I’ve read it and re-read it through several times. At that point, only one thing is assured – I kind of like it. There may be holes. Perhaps, it could be funnier, but for this moment in time – I like it. For this moment in time, I figured out the puzzle that is writing story. I will continue to like it, until someone doesn’t and then I’ll question it. Fun.
They are the necessary evil. However, I find them endlessly painful. When you write the first draft, it feels like you’ve pushed out a baby. Then your friends and readers come back with notes and it’s your turn. At that moment, it feels like you’ve been handed back your baby and now you’re forced to put it back inside you and give birth to it all over again. Except this time you have stitches criss-crossing all of your painful lady bits. Are you feckin’ kidding me? Why can’t it just come out as a feckin’ finished Academy Award winner?!! I need an epidural.
I suppose I’ve got a case of the post-partums. I’m wondering, does this happen to most writers or am I just nutty? Well, I am nutty, but tell me I’m not anyway.
Oh, and now, please enjoy my favorite depression commercial. For some reason, it makes me happy…
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