An Exercise to Exorcise Personal Demons

Pretty much this entire year, thus far, I have been struggling with depression.  I’m doing better now, but I had to shed a lot of responsibilities that I had over committed myself to in order to get there.  That’s another story, and I won’t bore you with it here  🙂

  But, during all this, I wasn’t writing.  Wasn’t doing research, wasn’t brainstorming, wasn’t journaling, wasn’t working on my story – nada.  The only writing I was actually able to make myself do was the few blog posts I had committed to doing – like this one. That’s it.  This was not helping my depression either because I felt guilty I wasn’t working and I felt, acutely, the loss of my creativity.

I was talking to a friend (thank you, Wendy), who had just come out of some rough times herself and is also a writer.  What she had done and suggested I do was to listen to a dark song and write a character sketch for an antagonist with no intent to necessarily use the character.  Just to get dark feelings out.  Any song that took me to a dark place would do.   It took me a few songs and I had to get some suggestions, but I found one (Closer by Nine Inch Nails – the uncensored version – if you’re curious) that was sufficiently dark to me.  So, I listened to it a few times and started writing this antagonist.

What happened half way through was that I could see all the potential for a story using this character.  When I finished with him, I started sketching out the hero and heroine (I write romance – remember).  Already, I was feeling better and inspired.  Then I started writing some rough plot points, followed by the intro to the story.


And now, I’m writing.  It worked.  I hadn’t done any writing in months and through one cool exercise, I was back.  It is such a relief to be feeling more like myself and being creative.  So, I would suggest this exercise to anyone who needs to shake off some darkness from within.

How do you get through rough times when you’re struggling to create?



One response on “An Exercise to Exorcise Personal Demons

  1. KylieQ

    I feel for you, Clancy. It’s so hard to find the energy to be creative – or to even care about being creative – when you have something going on that leaves you feeling constantly drained. Hang in there.

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