How To Find the Most Empowering Inspiration to Write

Let me tell you something about being an artist with mental illness. It is not fucking glamorous.

With my anxiety and depression, I have days where my heart is heavy and my mind is afflicted with the most destructive thoughts. Those are the very worst days.

On those days I’m not just uninspired. I am tormented. What energy I do have I put into rescuing myself from that emotional tail spin.

On those days I give up completely on writing. It’s not going to happen. I don’t have it in me.

On those days when my anxiety and depression get in the way, I don’t create anything.

If there is anything to be said about being an artist with mental illness it’s that it prevents me from doing the work that I was put on this earth to do.

Some people think that madness helped some artists create. I’m willing to bet it prevented them from creating.

Think about all those artists with mental health issues and not what they did create, but what they could have created, if they had a better handle on their depression, schizophrenia, drug and alcohol addiction, manic episodes, and bipolar disorder.

I don’t give a good goddamn what Ernest Hemingway said. I never write drunk, and neither should you. (That guy was a son of a bitch. Amazing writer and a son of a bitch. Why would anyone want to be like him?) And in those periods of clarity and balance, I use that time to dig deep and write as honestly as I can.

When I have a day that I don’t feel that way, I make damn sure that I don’t waste it. After a period of darkness, that light is the gift of life.

I don’t know what kind of demons you have, but you don’t stop writing because of them, you write in spite of them.

Every day, every moment that you can tame those demons is an absolute gift. Every day that you write in spite of them is a chance at life. It’s a chance not just for yourself to live, but for others who carry those same demons to live as well.

The power of voice has and always will be a lifeline. It creates a human connection with those who are intimate with your suffering, because no matter what your demons whisper in your ear, you are not alone.

Using your voice won’t just save your life. It will save the lives of those who feel dead inside, who’s heart hurts and who fight a secret battle that most people will never see.

Using your voice gives someone a little bit of light in a whole lot of darkness. That alone is inspiration enough.

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Al McCree says:

    Jane, As I read this post, it is clear that you are going through a tough time. Our prayers are with you. Please get help. We love you. Al

    From: WORD SAVANT Reply-To: WORD SAVANT Date: Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 7:01 AM To: Al McCree Subject: [New post] How To Find the Most Empowering Inspiration to Write

    WordPress.com wordsavant posted: “Let me tell you something about being an artist with mental illness. It is not fucking glamorous. With my anxiety and depression, I have days where my heart is heavy and my mind is afflicted with the most destructive thoughts. Those are the very worst “

    1. wordsavant says:

      Al, thanks as always for reading and for your concern. I am doing very well, and I have everything that I need. I wrote this post on behalf of those who aren’t getting treatment and don’t have the support they need. I speak openly and honestly about it, so that those who have it don’t feel alone and those who don’t have it know what it’s like. Thank you for your response. Hope all is well with you and Peg.

  2. It seems to be going around. My last two posts were about suicide, depression, and anxiety. I feel fortunate to be a writer at those times – to be able to enunciate my feelings. Somehow, it gives me more control and loosens the grip on my brain. I was explaining to a commenter that I feel somewhat of an obligation to write publicly about it, because I am capable of expressing myself when others may not be able to. Thanks for writing this post – I’m sure that it is a comfort to someone and I hope, to you as well.

    1. wordsavant says:

      Michelle, thanks for your response. My hope is always that if one person reads it (that’s right, I’m talking to you) then they know they’re not alone and that others understand what they’re going through. Sadly, suicide is a present force in public figures and people in my own community. Treating mental health before it becomes a crisis can be overlooked. It’s inspiring to hear that you are writing about it as well and bringing it into the light. Take care of yourself.

      1. Jay says:

        As a psychoanalyst I am always ready to listen many people are surprised that those who need support always find me, over coffee l listen. And I believe each of therm feels my quietly given hope to share a sense of empowering support ☕📩

  3. Very courageous sharing your thoughts and afflictions. I pray you win your battle and I hope you have many more good days than bad.

    1. wordsavant says:

      Thank you, and thanks for taking the time to read my post.

  4. TexasVelvet says:

    Writing through the darkness. Fighting to make good out of this world is a worthy fight.

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