Conquering the Myths of the Writing Life

Hamed Masoumi / Flickr
Hamed Masoumi / Flickr

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?

Read Milliken’s entire essay at Glimmer Train: A Weapon or a Crutch

Also this month at Glimmer Train:

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