Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Editor

It's fairly clear that removing half the amount of the anti-depressant I take daily is NOT working.

I am not sure what I'm going to do when I have to go completely off them. My doctor and my nurse-midwife said that I could take Zoloft with no problem (at least for the baby), but Zoloft and Effexor XR are two different kinds of drugs that work on different issues with the brain, and I don't know or think that Zoloft is going to work.

So why am I writing this is my blog about writing?

Because it's affecting my writing and my life as a playwright. Negatively.

I always wanted to keep this sort of thing out of my playwriting blog. And it has a lot to do with how my depression functions.

I don't know how it works for other people, but this is how it works for me. As writers, we are all told to not listen to 'The Editor'. You know, 'The Editor' is that little guy or girl inside us that tells us we aren't good enough, there's too many dirty dishes or too much laundry to do, and really, why are we bothering? You know, that voice? Yeah, well, my depression is 'The Editor' on full blast ALL THE TIME.

And it was 'The Editor' that always kept me from writing about this personal issue on here. 'No one wants a pity party,' he would say. 'No one wants to read your cry for help and all you REALLY want to hear is how good you are and how you will be great and blah, blah, blah. Pathetic.'

Okay, and MAYBE there is a part of me that wants encouragement because, guess what? We all need it from time to time. Sometimes we need a little validation. But this isn't a pity party. It's time for me to out this little bastard once and for all.

It might not make him shut up, but maybe tomorrow I will feel better.

The Editor is really good at freezing me up, with painful barbs and pointing out how I'm basically almost 40, trying to have a family, recently married, and really just a total loser because I'm still working in food service and still trying to get someone--ANYONE--to read my work. And The Editor is REALLY good at pointing out good news from my fellow playwright friends on facebook as further evidence of me sucking. 'Look, so-and-so got a production! So-and-so got published! So-and-so got an award! Clearly, you didn't get any of these things so you suck and you should stop writing.'

The Editor takes the form of anyone who has (inadvertently mostly) discouraged me from writing.

My mother, not long after my father passed away--she told me that my ideas were stupid and I shouldn't bother her with them (I could tell my father my ideas and he usually encouraged me). What I realized after I grew up is that my mother was ill and didn't know what she was doing.

My favorite teacher in high school, when giving me back my assignment for my creative writing class, and the note written at the end about how he couldn't care about the characters. This stopped my juvenile writing in its tracks and I turned to journalism. Eventually, and only at this teacher's funeral, did I actually forgive him (actually myself) for letting this effect me for so long.

I'm sure there are others but I can't think of any just off the top of my head.

The Editor doesn't like his dirty laundry aired. He claims it's because it will make me look like a freak, but in reality it's because exposure to the real world that spells the end for him. Or rather, at least gets him to be a bit less loud. Robs him of his megaphone.

So that's a peek behind the curtain of a depressed writer. Maybe some of you can relate. I just hope that this will make The Editor quiet down.

1 comment:

VK said...

I write best when I write what I am feeling and looks like you do too, Toni! Ignore The Editor as much as possible and never stop writing from your own experiences...especially the feelings from those experiences. I think it is what people crave to read and helps them to feel connected to this society in which the common form of socializing is through technological media. Write from the heart because the heart truly does know best! Praying for you, your husband, and your future babies! Love and miss you!!!!