Almost a year since an update. That’s gotta be some sort of record, eh?
Things have been a bit weird lately, and not always in a good way.
I haven’t been in the best head space lately. I haven’t had the time to write like I should. When I do have a minute, I usually work on a bit of fiction… I’m horribly behind on about ten different projects and, if you’re waiting for one or more of them, I apologize.
On the bright side, I’ve recently learned (well, re-learned) an important lesson.
For the last few months, I’ve been dealing with some fairly serious depression. That’s not really anything new; I’ve had issues with depression and anxiety for much of my life. And yes, I’ve done all the things a person is supposed to do… the therapy, the medication, etc. Sometimes – hell, many times, I suppose – that stuff works for people. It’s never done much for me, I’m afraid.
What *did* help, more than any sort of therapy or medication, anyway, was meditation. At least until recently.
In the last few months, meditation wasn’t doing so hot anymore. Maybe because, for depression and stuff, I’d always relied on mindfulness meditation… and being mindful was only making me realize just how miserable I really felt.
So, yeah, I was starting to get a little worried. Here I was, trying to build a ladder to climb out of the hole I was in and all of a sudden I find my tools broken and unusable. It was tough to imagine things getting much worse. Then I remembered what happened the last time I’d felt so low… When things had been hopeless, I wrote. I hadn’t felt like writing. In fact, I had been dealing with chronic back pain that made sitting and focusing on anything difficult, but it didn’t matter.
That’s how Randall Lee came to be. Out of necessity. I didn’t know how to live, and neither did he. So, together, we figured it out.
Changes was (and still is) the fastest book I’ve written. The first draft was finished in under three months.
I’m pretty sure it saved my life. No, not pretty sure. I know
And I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, even though I’m sure I probably do. The act of writing, of creating something, brought me back to who I was, outside of the pain and despair I was feeling.
I had to remember that recently with everything that’s going on now, because I have to tell you, that hole was feeling mighty deep…
So just the other day, I sat and I wrote. Not a lot. I think over the course of 90 minutes or so I probably wrote a page and a half. Was it good? Probably not. Did it somehow address the way I was feeling so I could work out my problems on the page? Not at all.
But I felt, and continue to feel, better.
It’s not all rainbows and puppy dogs or anything, but it’s something. The hole isn’t so deep anymore. Or maybe it is. Maybe it is, but I’ve found an elevator that I’d forgotten was there.
I didn’t intend to come on here today and whine about my own problems. Hell, look at the world… Look at Paris and Beirut, look at Syria… There is so much darkness, so much pain…
But y’know what? Whether it’s just me and my piddly-ass problems or it’s the whole world, I know one thing for sure: Art saves. When it seems like there’s nothing else out there for you, when it feels like you’re dying and you can’t find a way out, you can *make* a way out. You can create something when it feels like there’s nothing but destruction all around you.
Write something. A poem, a story, anything. Draw, paint, sculpt, dance. I don’t know what floats your boat. Hell, maybe you don’t either.
But it’s time to find out.
Because what the world needs now isn’t a really great hedge fund manager or a charismatic politician. It doesn’t need dogma and division and hate. The world needs art.
And that means that it needs you, too.
So get to work, and I promise to do the same.