Tag Archives: Nine Inch Nails

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?