NB: Depression is a clinical condition and can be treated in many ways. If you think this might be affecting you, make an appointment with your doctor as a matter of urgency, then put the kettle on and find a pen.
We have been very lucky to work with authors who have had their fair share of difficult times…they shall remain nameless, except for Tracey West.
I say lucky, not in response to them having had a slice of darkness, but in respect of working with people who have come to realise that being depressed or deeply sad can evoke some incredibly powerful pieces of writing.
Poetry of Divorce and Diary of Divorce are two cases in point, both penned by Tracey West during and after her tumultuous divorce. Tracey hoped it would lift the spirits of readers who were struggling with their own divorce and also encourage them to tap into their darkness and write from the heart when they felt the clouds were closing in.
There are no prescriptive methods to exploring this line of advice. You don’t need to be a writer, a poet or a crafter of jaw-dropping prose, you just need to know how to hold a pen or find a keyboard.
Tracey advises you to get a cup of your favourite brew, find a reliable source of tissues and something nice to nibble if the need arises, then sit quietly (or immerse yourself in loud rock music if you prefer) then pour your heart out through your fingers.
When a spot of hindsight kicks in at some point in the future, you might look back on your piece of writing and be entirely shocked and surprised by what you produced. If your mental health and well being are back on an even keel, you might not even recognise the author!
Think of the piece as a snapshot of your life at that time, a readable photograph with a splash of creativity that you never thought you had in you.
The strange thing is it might sit in a dusty drawer for years, then it’ll suddenly surface and if you choose to share it, the words might be able to help a friend who is blighted by the same clouds that you were.
Sending love and light to all.