Happy Valentine’s Day!

The EVOLVE Empire warriors special forces division is taking a much needed break from the War in Resolution Galaxy after getting burned out on too much multitasking. They are on furlough at the planet Seductious Scrumptiousionus for the long Valentine’s Day weekend (Monday off for President’s Day – yes, they still celebrate it in space, even if not from the U.S., any excuse for a day off is acceptable).

Some may think that depression is too “depressing” of a topic for Valentine’s Day. But I think it is the best because it is one of the holidays where many people experience depression, right up there with Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And, what better way to care for your heart than to give yourself more tools to deal with those inevitable times during the writer’s life that get you down.

I always create my topics for the weekly update based on our conversations on Twitter or on my website. So, today I am providing a few good resources about creativity and depression, which often seem to be close companions on the writer’s path.

Before I begin, I must stress that most often, there is a physical dimension to depression and it is always a good idea to be checked by a medical doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of depression. **(also read below)

Eric Maisel is one of my favorite writers and creativity coaches. He has written books on various aspects of the writer’s life, including dealing with depression.  I like the approach he takes in, The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path Through Depression. He teaches us how to deal with a “meaning crisis,” when the meaning we create in our lives just leaks out. I highly recommend this book to all writers and artist’s.

The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path Through Depression, by Eric Maisel begins,

Meaning is our territory, and casualties on the battlefield of meaning are our subjects.  Depression in creative people is essentially a meaning problem and must be handled by a meaning expert: you.  Right now you may not consider yourself a meaning expert or even understand the phrase. But as you read along, you will come to understand what a meaning expert is, what she does, and why you must become one.

To be more accurate about it, you will want to become a meta-meaning expert. Your job isn’t to find one particular meaning and adopt it as your way of life but rather to learn about the vagaries of meaning, about how meaning comes and goes, about what sustains meaning, and why meaning sometimes vanishes.  The, when you feel yourself becoming depressed, you will know to say, “Must be a meaning crisis!” You will know what to do next to plug up the hole through which meaning is escaping.  Even the greatest meaning expert can’t keep meaning from leaking out and draining away, but you can learn how to restore meaning and recover from meaning crises.

Here is an interview with Eric Maisel about this book, Eric Maisel’s “Van Gogh Blues” Explores Connection and Meaning-making as Treatments for Depression

Ideas For Dealing With Depression & Our Creativity

There is so much in the blogsphere about dealing with depression. Your best source is to talk to a qualified professional if you have concerns. If you want resources for dealing with occassional mild depression as it relates to the creative life, here are a couple good places to start.

Depression and Creativity – Here is a collection of good articles, links and interviews compiled by Douglas Eby at Talent Development Resources. This website has many resources for those pursuing a creative life and advanced personal development. I found this site about a year ago and continually return.  Douglas Eby wrote a good overview of depression and creativity called, Making Good Use of Depression with several good links.

Here are a couple of interesting articles in the Depression and Creativity section at the Talent Development Resources site:

The Experience of Darkness and Hope, is about Andrew Solomon, novelist, journalist and historian who was featured in the PBS documentary, Depression: Out of the Shadows.

Borchard and Beyond Blue – Creativity and Mood Disorders Therese J. Borchard is the author of the blog “Beyond Blue” on Beliefnet.com, which is featured regularly on The Huffington Post and was voted by PsychCentral.com as one of the top 10 depression blogs.

Friday Check-In

Happy Valentine’s Day to the #WriterlbsOff community. It is time for the Friday check-in on Twitter or in the comments below. I hope you had a good week, but if not, let us know that too. We are all here for each other and I greatly appreciate our supportive community. Follow the comments and write to each other – it’s just more fun as a conversation!

NOTE

**There are medical conditions that could be causing depression and you should see a qualified medical doctor to rule those out. And, if your symptoms of depression are severe, you must see a doctor. I am not offering medical advice on my site and never will. I am offering resources and links for educational purposes only.