Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Oh dear I am at a low ebb today. One of those days when I have to wonder whether in fact I have a depressive nature, as lots of writers are said to. I wrote a short flash, just 125 words, which I felt very deeply but I do wonder if it's too personal to translate effectively for others. Now I dread it being critiqued, although that is a needful process, afraid it will be met with a lukewarm pat on the head, in which case I might weep.

What a ferocious, frangible thing is a writer's ego.

I wrote a new scene for the novel which is either good or bad, I cannot judge just now. It coincides with a moment of nihilism for my heroine so perhaps it will work, since that is how I felt while writing it.

Funny how readily I accept news of other writers' struggles with depression - how "normal" it seems that they should suffer from the most appalling lows - and yet I am reluctant (to put it mildly) to name the same condition in myself. I think it's because I don't see myself in the same class as famous sufferers. It would seem almost as if I was trying to steal a badge of honour for myself; my depression must be humbler, provincial in comparison. I'm just a bit under the weather. I'll buck up soon enough.


Tania Hershman said...

Hey Sarah, I know just how you feel. I think you just need to ride it out, don't feel guilty about feeling low, don't beat yourself up about it. Just stay there for a while and gently ease yourself out of it. I also get these lows - I actually suffered from a horrible depression last week after getting great news about the flash comp. And I felt terrible about feeling depressed, I couldn't bear that I was in such a mood. No idea why. Be good to yourself.

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Tania. I'm sorry you've been low, too. Funny how it can strike at any time and without reference to external factors or, as in your case, in apparent defiance of them.

Group 8 said...

Hi Sarah
Oh, I identified with your post. Sorry to say the longer I am at this game, the more I feel like that. Eek. I think us writers are just big mounds of squashy sensitivity. A writer friend of mine says 'We have to suffer to tell stories. That's in our souls.'
And, do you really need the opinion of others on your 125 word story? If it works, it works. It sounds like you KNOW it is good. Why bring others into it? Anyway, their opinion is just that: their opinion. Often you know best what a piece is trying to do.
Love the word 'frangible'! Is that a real word?! I have to go and google it now!
Sending positive waves to you,

Group 8 said...

Just looked up frangible. Thank you for teaching me a new word!

Sarah Hilary said...

Thank you, WRW. I should say I'm sorry to hear you identified with the post but selfishly I'm a little glad not to be writing into a vacuum. I hear what you say about the 125 word flash but I don't always trust my own opinion, especially of very personal fic, worrying that it won't translate etc. If I want to send it out someplace for publishing then I feel I need to bounce it off a few readers first.

I'm glad you like the word frangible. I wish I could remember where I first read it. Lovely, isn't it?

MG said...

I also loved the word frangible and admired your knowledge of it!

As for being depressed well yeh. I can't think of another occupation which lends it to that more except possibly acting?

Not that I'm complaining - how could I? But I've glimpsed edges of it and I DO know where you're coming from.

Just to cheer you up, once you're published, to depression and anxiety you can add stress and pressure...but it's worth it. All jobs have stress and pressure. That's how you know it's your job.

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, MG. And, yes, stress and pressure. Bring it on!