You know the old “write what you know” line, and the ever-popular “use your experiences in your writing” idea? Well, this post is in the same realm.
We write ourselves into our books, whether we are aware of it at the time or not. I certainly wasn’t aware when I repeatedly added strong father figures into my books – I grew up with a strong father figure that I loved and respected (and still do).
But, I discovered another thing I’ve gradually laced into my books, particularly my latest books: my struggle with depression.
It’s more prevalent with Juniper from the Stars and Bones series. The first book is out now, the second is coming in April, the third book is set for 2021, the fourth book is finished and in the hands of my publisher, the fifth book is in the revision stage, and the sixth and final book is currently a very rough draft. The point: I’ve finished the series. Juniper struggles with depression just like I do.
Guys, I wrote SIX books with this character before I realized that I’d given her my depression. SIX.
Now, Juniper and I do not have the same depression triggers, yet we handle it similarly. We mope, take long baths, and contemplate our lives and our problems until they alleviate enough to work past them.
Some people write as a sort of therapy through their troubles, and I guess I’ve done the same. I’ve struggled with depression for years, and writing has helped. It’s given me a goal, something larger than myself to strive for, and a never-ended scheme of creation. I’m always coming up with new ideas for characters, settings, and situations. There’s always another book to read to add to my imagination.
Juniper works her way out of her emotional turmoil, and so do I. Even as it returned again and again, we both work out of it – whenever I feel depressed, I know I’ll work my way out of it like I’ve done so many times, and it’s not as bad. Sometimes.
And other times that overwhelming sense of worthlessness and failure debilitates me to the point where I cry on my way home from work or in the shower or when I’m trying to fall asleep.
But I always climb out, and so does Juniper. And, oddly enough, because I know she’ll get out of anything, I can get out of anything.
So, don’t forget that even when you fall flat on your face and don’t think you can get back up, you can. You can fly, too.