I watched a video today, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter’s publication, that highlighted the personal struggles that JK Rowling endured while writing the first novel.
I knew only bits about her life, how she struggled with domestic violence and survived on government welfare, but I was completely unaware that she battled depression as well. This got me thinking, as someone who struggles with depression: how do you write when you’re down?
There are days when I can barely function as a human being, neglecting even my most basic needs. Then there are times when the pain is merely a constant, nagging companion that whispers in my ear, talking me out of making productive choices in exchange for ones that provide distractions and fleeting moments of comfort. Regardless of the kind of day, the result is often the same– a waste.
I can never seem to gain (or keep) the momentum necessary to accomplish my projects. I’ve tried a variety of approaches to combat these feelings, such as working through them, allowing myself limited indulgences, and front loading my self esteem so that when I do hit a wall, I’m not crushed by it. I can’t say I’ve found a solution that helps 100% of the time, and maybe I never will. Perhaps it takes more than a single solution to fix this problem. But, it is inspiring to know that one of the greatest authors of our time, maybe all time, managed to combat this same foe and come out on top. It gives me a little sliver of hope that I too can commit to writing despite the odds.
And who knows? Maybe that bit of hope will be what finally pushes me to the end…