1. Hartnell
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    Hartnell Member

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    Born to write or just depressed ?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hartnell, Nov 26, 2010.

    Does anybody here feel like they were born to write or is it just me ?

    Like it is what you have always wanted to do and nothing else ?

    I am just a little confused about where I am going. You see I was bullied badly from the ages of 6 to 17 and it kind of followed me from school to school because I was a really shy kid and very ( painfully) thin. Ever since I have had absolutely no ( zero) interest in doing anything with my life just writing. I started writing when i was about 6 and have wanted to do it ever since.

    Is it normal to have no interest in any job apart from writing? I work and have done all my life but I just don't know if my desire to write is because I was born to write or because I fell in love with the idea of writing as an escape from life.

    What I am saying is,

    Was I born to write or have I been depressed all these years ? Is my desire to write just post dramatic depression . I just want to write with all my heart and soul.

    Has anybody ever wondered this also ? Does anybody else want to write and nothing else. I mentioned to one of my work colleagues that I write and just want to write and she said ( something along these lines ), " we all have dreams but dreams don't pay the rent."

    But is it a dream ? It doesn't feel like one. If feels like I have to do it. Or was I born this way. To write ?

    Sorry if this is going off topic or sounding more like it should be posted on Yahoo answers or in an agony column. But I just would like to know what you think.
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, I believe writing is a great way to release some of that tension. I belive you do have a spark of creativity. I suggest you keep tending to it until it's a raging fire by writing. Writing constantly.

    This is how I planned it: If I'm ever a published writer, I'll still keep my job. That way, I can still keep bringing money to the house if a book doesn't do as well as I had thought. Plus, I can very easily imprison myself in my own home because I'm an extreme introvert, so the job will help me go outside and interact with fellow human beings. XD

    It's actually a win-win if you think about it, being both a published writer and having a job. Either way you slice it, you're bringing money to the house. Plus, it can be used as a crutch in case one of them goes off the deep end.

    But no, you're not depressed. You want to write and you're restraining yourself, it seems like. Don't. Just keep on writing, Mr. Hartnell. :)
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally no I never wanted to be a writer. However I am also not depressed.

    I did however have a huge desire to be a forensic anthropologist from the age of six. I almost got there before illness took it away. If it is what you want to do, do it. Pursue it as a career learn about public speaking, how to market and sell your work etc Learn what is popular - what gives your work an edge.

    But don't sit there with a die for your art attitude just writing if you want it to be more than a hobby.
     
  4. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    If you want to write then do it.
    I think that it is normal, rare but normal. I myself deny the possibility of attending jobs that do not represent my interests.
    And about your colleague... I really despise such people. The live like machines and die the same.

    You have only one life that you can remember, and use it wisely. If you want to write for the rest of your life, then do it. I doubt that it is because of depression. If you do something you do not like until your death and cannot change this, then you might as well skip the suffering.
     
  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Yes yes! To Elgaisma, you listen to!

    If you want to be a writer, write. Don't sit there and let the spark die.

    And plenty of authors have put bad childhood experiences into their stories. JK Rowling based that Slytherin girl that loved Draco from a schoolgirl that bullied her as a child. The beauty of being a writer is that you can do whatever the frell you want with them.

    I remember once writing a story where a bunch of characters (based off of my school bullies) were on a planet about to explode. They were not able to make it to the last ship off...

    ...So yeah, point is, there's nothing wrong with writing and maybe you might want to do what I did also, as a way to deal with the bad memories. It helped me out a lot.
     
  6. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only want to write, and I've always felt like that. But I am realistic about it and know I will most likely need a job other than just writing.
    I don't think you're depressed, or rather just because you have this strong desire to do nothing but write doesn't mean you're depressed. Writing is probably just a way of helping with your life. I know writing has certainly helped me. I'm really shy too. The thing is, the writing jobs that'll give you enough money involves being confident so if you do just want to write and have that solely as a job then you need to tackle your shyness, and be very determined. But keep writing! :)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i do seem to have been born with a talent and penchant for wordsmithery, since it's always come easily to me, but it has nothing to do with an unhappy childhood [mine was fairly 'normal'/happy] or being depressed [though i've certainly been unhappy for various reasons, in my life]...

    i write for the same reason i breathe... because i can't not do it...
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some random thoughts based on your post:

    - It may be true that your dream of writing won't pay the rent. A whole lot of very fine accomplishments don't pay the rent - that doesn't make the accomplishment any less real. I believe that a majority of published authors make a majority of their income from something other than writing books, but that doesn't devalue their books.

    - I think that it's sadly normal for people to have little interest in their jobs. Many, perhaps most, jobs are a way to pay the rent, and little more. If you have your boring job to pay the rent, _and_ you're fascinated with and excited about your writing, you're ahead of most people.

    - Does it matter if you were born to write, or developed that desire as a result of your life experience? Yeah, the drive may come from pent-up desire for communication and creativity that had no outlet during that isolated time. Or it may be inborn. Whatever, the reason, you want to write, so I don't think that the reason matters.

    ChickenFreak
     
  9. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    I couldn't tell you what I was born with, but I was an avid reader from a very young age, and wrote a few childish stories when I was young (one was about video games in the 21st century; looking back on it and judging its accuracy with the modern gaming market, I feel like a prophet!). Writing always came easy for me, though I didn't really notice it until I got to college.

    Just do what makes you happy. If you like to sit around all day and play video games, holding a monotonous job from 9-5 every day, do it. If you like to write, meet deadlines, get rejected, get published, rinse and repeat, then do it. Just do what you like, that's all you can end up doing.

    Lots of people look to society to tell them what needs to be done. Just do what you like to do, and keep on doing it!
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    AMEN!! Too many people let society tell them what to do and they end up being miserable because *gasp* they really didn't want to do it! What makes it more tragic is that they just keep doing it anyway because otherwise it'll upset society as a whole for some reason.

    Do whatever makes you happy. I plan to live a simple life as a librarian who plays videogames and write in my personal journals on the side.

    I may never be a published writer, but it doesn't matter. I like to write private things for my own pleasure and it suits me just fine.
     
  11. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    Gawd, being a librarian sounds amazing. Either that, or I'm more of a romantic than I thought.

    Still, being around all those books, organizing them, shelving them, seeing people come in and learn from them. It makes for a pretty image.

    A shame they may be going away soon, but that's a different thread for a different day.
     
  12. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Writing as an escape from.....:

    Yes, it is possible that you choose writing as an escape from life. If it is the case, be thankful that you choose writing which can be a career, hobby, a companion in your old age etc. Think about all the horrible stuff you could have done if it wasn't for writing. And why should it matter how you started writing? If you enjoy doing it and want to keep doing it, then nobody/nothing can stop you.

    As for "dreams don't pay rent", all I can say is that 'dreams are not realized if you don't dream at all'. But yeah, it'll be wise to keep your day job until you realize your dream :)
     
  13. Hartnell
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    Hartnell Member

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    Thanks to everyone who has replied ( and especially Link the Writer :redface:), I was a bit nervous about posting this as it did sound like I was turning the forum into an agony Aunt column. But I just had to get it off my chest but really you have all been very helpful.

    I guess I may never know if I was born to be a writer or whether due to the bullying I experienced , I turned to writing as a kind of therapy. Yep, I should be thankful that I turned to writing and not anything more dangerous and bad for me. I just want to dedicate all my spare time to writing and see where it takes me. The way I see it is that even if I never get published, I will be doing the one thing that makes me feel alive, and I will always ( hopefully) have a body of work to pass on to my children's children etc !

    Maybe I do think about things way too much, that is probably my main problem. I guess there are lots of people who are not interested in their job and don't know what else they can do or want to do. I just have to try and stop feeling bad about myself, but probably that is something I have had since childhood and something I have to deal with.

    I have let society tell me what to do and that has been a problem. I now want to focus on doing the things that make me happy at the same time as trying my best to support my family. I work as a nurse and it is probably the best nursing job around, not too stressful. Even though it's niot what I want to do forever.

    Thanks again , for all your advice. I am enjoying being at this site and hope to learn more about writing and make some nice friends.

    Paul

    By the way is anyone else doing Nano this year ?
     
  14. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thought it worth mentioning that therapeutic writing and storytelling often (not always, but often) are two very different things. The stuff that flows from your fingers when you're feeling depressed may have a great impact on yourself, but few others would bear to read it. Why? Because it's often tied very deeply to the writers own private feelings and locked into circles around the writers own belly button. Therapeutic writing is in its nature self-obsessed, and as a reader it makes for really poor entertainment.

    I'm not making any accusations or presumptions against your writing -- only pointing out a trap I've seen others fall into.
     
  15. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't be sorry at all, Paul. Many of us feel like that or along those lines at times. And, no, I don't think you are depressed. It seems that you want a little validation. And our answer is an unanimous "Yes! Do it!"

    For me, personally, the idea of writing hasn't always been there. I'd say it grew in me about three years back, and once I thought out a storyline, I was hooked. I know I will write my book(s), but I also think that I need a steady income beside that. You're a step ahead of me, so I think you'll do fine. I agree with Link, too. Really, just do what makes you happy in life. Best wishes! :)
     
  16. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is a very interesting thread. :)

    For me, I've always kind of had a love-hate relationship with writing. But I've loved books from a young age, and started reading prior to starting school.
    I'm sure reading a lot, at that time, directly led me to developing an interest in writing.

    As for work, I enjoy my day job some of the time. It's not what I envisioned, or even what I studied (I studied political science), but it's a field that helps people every day and for that I see its value.

    In an ideal world, I would be a musician full-time, and write 'on the side' when I feel that way inclined.

    My goal is to get that balance a little off kilter, and find more time to do what I love. Not always easy...
     
  17. Delfia
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    Delfia New Member

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    Both.
     
  18. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    In a way, it doesn't matter the motivation if you enjoy writing. It's not different than the blues for musicians. The form of creativity, in a way, is a means to an end. Some paint, some write and some play music. I'd assert that you had the creativity all along it was a matter of how it manifested itself.

    The difficult life is a subject that filled your writing and in addition to utilizing your creativity to a healthy affect, was something that probably taught you that writing should be what you feel and not some unfelt abstract you wish to project.

    Truth of the matter is, the one bit of story writing I posted here was very much from a difficult experience so I see the value and think it's ok if what you write comes from that experience. It might well be useful to others too.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have to ditto that... it's all too true...
     
  20. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    I hate to echo what's already been said over again, but I feel the need because the number of confused writers out there is staggeringly massive. Writing makes for surprisingly good therapy, serving as a kind of voiceless confession that gets whatever's troubling you out onto a physical surface to be looked at and reflected upon. I'm no therapist, but I'd guess that the quickest and most reflective kind of therapy would be therapeutic writing.

    However, writing therapeutically is not the same thing as writing creatively, at least the majority of the time. Therapy helps you feel better about yourself and what's troubling you, and helps you grow as a person. Writing is a craft, a skill, a practice, a discipline that needs to be refined and practiced to become anything at all. Therapeutic writing delivers its catharsis right away; writing anything else takes a great deal of time and devotion, making the catharsis a long way off, but a lot more...cathartic.

    It’s also good to know that making a transition from writing therapeutically and writing creatively can be a little jarring. Not many people will care to hear/read your therapeutic writing, and your creative works may get completely rejected the first few times. Develop a rhino’s skin without shedding the flesh underneath. Be resilient against criticism and compliment alike, but accept them both.

    I’d say I hope this helps, but it sounds like you got a grip on things, so…yeah.
     
  21. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Not sure I understand the inquiry exactly, but I am both a writer & clinically depressed. So, I don't think the 2 are mutually exclusive, at least.
    But yeah, if you feel the desire to write, go for it! But, in case it doesn't turn out to be the thing that defines you, don't rely on it as such.

    At any rate, writing is a fulfilling & intellectually stimulating past-time -- so, even if that's all it is, it's no waste of time. Keep it up.
     

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