Is there such a thing as a happy writer? A creative person who doesn’t have a secret torment? An authorial genius absent of anxiety?
Fiction writer Douglas W. Millikin offers an honest and insightful essay about the biggest myths writers face about their profession, such as:
- Real writers must constantly and everyday be writing
- Depression is a muse
- Writers take to the bottle
Milliken himself has anxiety disorders that he’s seeking treatment for. While it pushed him forward at first, eventually it became destructive. He writes:
Angst-fueled ambition ceased to be a motivator. Instead of spurring me on, it wore me down. The more anxious I became, the less I wrote. The less I wrote, the more I drank. The more I drank, the deeper I sank into my depression and anxiety. And even as apparent as this self-destructive cycle was, justifying my actions came easily because there were the admirable precedents of addicts and suicides abounding on all sides. … I was buying into my mythologies, and getting exactly what I paid for. So how long do you have to tell yourself the same bogus story before you finally correct the narrative?
Also this month at Glimmer Train: