This is hardly a revelation, but many of the most creative minds the world has produced suffered from mental health issues to some degree or another. From Pablo Picasso to Charles Dickens, the struggle against the mind is intertwined with the creation of art.
That’s not really what I want to talk about.
What I want to talk about is why I’ve seemingly abandoned this blog, despite its one-time popularity and my commitment to writing. You see, from hundreds of posts in 2012 when I started to only 30 so far this year, my participation in this blog has dwindled, but it isn’t because I’ve been more depressed, or less committed to writing.
It’s because I’ve been medicated.
I suffer from bipolar disorder, which comes with periods of crushing depression, alternated with periods of (for me) hypomania – not quite the euphoric, top-of-the-world feeling of some sufferers, but rather a sense of needing to be prolific, to be productive, to get things done.
Back in 2012, when I first started blogging (also, as it happens, when I started work on The Redemption of Erâth), I was completely unmedicated. And looking back, I think I was going through a long, drawn-out manic phase. I would blog three to four times a week, write for hours a day, and wrote a complete first draft in three months (by contrast, the most recent book in the series, Ancients & Death, took over a year to write).
This period of productivity came with its downsides, too; I became distant from my family, using my writing as an excuse to ignore them and sit in my office for hours, sometimes days, at a time. That wasn’t fair to them. I focused so heavily on my writing that all else – my life, my job – became secondary.
But then something happened. Around 2013 or 2014 (I can’t remember exactly), I went to my doctor and asked for help. I couldn’t handle the depression and the mania anymore. And since then, on and off, I’ve been on a variety of medications, some of which are helpful and others that I had to leave well alone. And one of the things that this medication has done is keep me on a flat, level plane.
That’s okay – it’s what they’re supposed to do. But it has hindered my creativity … to an extent. Whilst I’m not usually cripplingly depressed, nor do I have any real manic phases, which leads to the problem: sometimes I just don’t do anything.
I want to blog regularly. I want to pick back up on my Thought of the Week posts, and others. But the motivation is hard to come by. It isn’t depression – it’s just a lack of desire.
In the meantime, I have done work; I wrote and released my young adult book 22 Scars, and I’ve been working hard at editing and finalizing Ancients & Death. And now, it’s ready for release.
With the book writing a little more out of the way (I’ll probably pick up on the sequel to Ancients & Death sometime in the new year), maybe I can focus back on blogging a bit more. I’d certainly like to revitalize this page. And who knows? Maybe I’ll make some new friends again!
The Redemption of Erâth: Ancients & Death (Vol. III) is available for pre-order, and will be released on Sunday, November 4th.