Screenwriting and depression
Hey, Fus. Where ya been? It’s a fair question. I haven’t been on here in almost a month. Truth is I fell into a bit of a well and it took awhile to climb out. I was depressed. And that caused me to stop writing. Which depressed me more.
At first I was just taking some time off because I was hunting for an agent/manager. I’ve been writing like a madman but it’s all for naught if I don’t get it into people’s hands to read. I was lucky enough to get some feedback from a manager and a working screenwriter. But that’s all I got. And then, when I should have gotten back to work, I didn’t. I can’t explain it. I kept waiting for the inspiration, the passion to return. But it never did.
I wasn’t a zombie. I went to work, made jokes, lived life; but I wasn’t myself. This, my friends, was my depression. Perhaps mild when compared with others, but depression all the same.
So how did I occupy my time? I obsessed over a new email address for a month – finally changing it, twice. I watched a lot of 60 Minutes and House. I started painting, took a boxing class, learned to make bread, started drinking scotch, played a lot of Madden. I did a lot of stuff; none of which was helpful to my career. I wanted to get back to work but it seemed like such a distant thing.
I suppose I’ve had seasonal depression before – when I lived on the east coast. But this was summer in southern California.
And then the epiphany came.
My entire life I’ve been plotting, working, writing, scheming. Passionate. Motivated. And suddenly I wasn’t reading any books, or writing any blogs or screenplays. I wasn’t pushing myself to work harder and be better. I didn’t want to make myself better. I wanted to be told I’m okay. Which is a primal thing. Everybody needs a little pat on the back now and again. But being okay would mean nothing needs to change. And there is no stasis in life. Things are always changing. Stasis is death.
When depression hits you’ve got to find a way to power through and keep working. There’s only so much life to go around.
So it’s back to the factory for me. I’m writing this blog. I’m reading a book on playwriting. And I’m rewriting my script again.
And if that doesn’t work, I’m taking some drugs.