As a manic-depressive writer, I experience modes of intense and extreme inspiration and addictive need to write. In these times my content is superb and a high volume output of words. Then I fall into acute stages of depression. Nothing feels right. I hate what I’ve written, often I will destroy it completely. You’ve heard of mad scientist syndrome; this is a mad writer’s syndrome that seems to only exist among those who are a genuine addict to their writing. Those who write as a hobby, those who write when they feel like it, they don’t grasp the concept of manic-depressive writing.
I feel a need to write, 90% of everything I see I instantly convert into some manner of fiction and apply it to a story or blog post. I absorb as I observe. When, I fall into depression, it is as much a physical lackluster indifference as it is a spiritual depravity. Depression is a brokenness of body in lethargy, of mind in apathy, and of spirit in loneliness. When we feel depressed, we feel deserted, broken, useless and dried up. There is nothing worse than feeling washed up and worthless. Depression is the road less travelled.
But, depression is a necessary element to writing. In depression I discover a depth and level of feeling that I cannot attain without falling into the pit of hopelessness. Depression is life without Christ: the eternal hope. Depression is the absence of hope, and God is the author of hope. I don’t like depression, but I need to have it to relate to those without hope. I need to feel where they are. To know how they feel, how they cope. If I can’t convince them that I know the feeling of hopelessness, why should they listen to my solution of hope in Christ.
It hurts to lose hope, to feel abandonment. But, I need to feel that to write the words of hope from that: the only escape. I’m never completely depressed, for Christ lives within me and I am never absent from His presence. I feel but a shadow of what those without the hope of Christ feel, but it is enough. Rising from depression, I write in manic again and my words are powerful and meaningful, holding the inspiration of the dark place from which I came.
The point is that sometime Christ has to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death before we can truly be effective. Depression is the road more or less travelled, but it serves a purpose. Even in the dark valleys where hope cannot be seen, we should not fear any evil, for He walks beside us. The greatest triumphs come from the darkest situations and the most hopeless trials. Trust the one who lead the way, step out in faith and watch what God will do.
Writing is a journey, it’s not always easy, it’s a rough road, but it’s a road that must be taken by a few for the sake of the world; for the sake of the one reader who may see the life giving words from one who has been to the pit and returned triumphant through Christ. I write because God made me a writer: whatever that entails I am willing to endure for the bigger picture and the bigger purpose. I am a writer.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist