3 Ways to Save Yourself From the ‘Depressed Creative’ Cliché

Are all writers doomed to suffer?

Olivia Petris
Feb 14 · 5 min read
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

“I write best when I am either falling in love, or falling apart.” — Rudy Francisco

1. Have a life outside of writing

According to Happify, only about 40% of our happiness levels are determined by ourselves. Ipso facto, external sources are responsible for 60% of how we feel — a frankly depressing statistic.

  • Attended a virtual slam poetry live-stream every week: I’m not much of a poet — but this was single-handled one of the best things I did in lockdown. It introduced me to a new way of expression I’d never seen before.
  • Learned a new programming language through Udemy: My day job is being a programmer: I’m a writer by night. But I’d never explored web development before, and learning to create actual, beautiful websites flicked my creative switch.

2. Keep a gratitude journal

This one is a bit of a cliché, but that makes it no less useful for keeping your mental health in check. According to a study conducted way back in 2006, writing in a journal every day is as effective as behavioural therapy in preventing episodes of depression.

  • Who are you most grateful for in life? If you could thank them to their faces, what would you say to them?
  • List three things about your health or appearance that you’re grateful for. This one can be hard if you’re particularly self-conscious. But everyone is capable of saying “I’m grateful my body hasn’t deteriorated since yesterday.”
  • Be grateful for what money you have, no matter how small. Remind yourself that you are likely more stable than a lot of the worldwide population
  • Every day, I thank the world that I am literate. I can read; I can write. It is the greatest gift I have been, or ever will be, given.

3. Do not sacrifice financial stability for the sake of writing

“If money didn't exist, would you still chase your dreams?”

— Unknown

“Follow your dreams” is a phrase tossed around everywhere these days. And whilst it’s true having ambitions is healthy, don’t sacrifice a good, stable life in the process of following your dreams — especially writing ones.

Takeaways

There’s no way of controlling every aspect of your life — sometimes, life just happens, and your mental health can deteriorate with the ups and downs. But try filling your time with non-writing hobbies by meeting new people and learning new skills. Save as much money as you can whilst doing it so that when the time comes for you to pursue your writing dream, you’re prepared and secure.

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Olivia Petris

Written by

Novelist, computer scientist and cockapoo owner. When I'm not on the computer, you will find me in the back of a bookshop that nobody's heard of.

The Brave Writer

The next generation of writers breaking barriers together.

Olivia Petris

Written by

Novelist, computer scientist and cockapoo owner. When I'm not on the computer, you will find me in the back of a bookshop that nobody's heard of.

The Brave Writer

The next generation of writers breaking barriers together.

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