Creative depression

5 min readSep 2, 2023

I started this blog over two years ago with the idea of contributing something each month. Now I find I’ve only written three this year.

The trouble is I really don’t know how best to deploy my time. Weighing the risks of investing in any one direction means I end up compromising by doing nothing in particular.

Maybe I need to read more, because I haven’t read enough to justify writing.

Maybe I should write more creative stuff, because going back to study costs. A lot.

But maybe I’m no writer, and I’m best off finding my feet in academics.

Or maybe I end up staying right where I am. Maybe I find another profession or work my way up the one I’m currently in.

And maybe what I’m really doing is sitting on the couch letting myself get easily distracted by housework and daytime television.

But this is far from uncommon for anyone.

Finding the way out of the darkness.

Lately I’ve been focusing on trying to do something different, which is work from the passion, and not to spend all my time in planning.

This is good for just getting ideas out there and jazzing myself up.

But does it work?

Not exactly. It’s increased my excitement but not my productivity.

But without knowing what to be productive in, I’m unable to capitalise on any one interest entirely, without feeling I should be somewhere else.

Constant dissatisfaction.

More of a roadblock than anything else is the constant dissatisfaction with the way I’m doing things. I’ll get the creative buzz sometimes, but if I don’t feel it, I’ll begin to doubt.

And after a week of work, feeling buzzed about anything can be hard.

Balancing the two.

The best outcome is a balance of love and discipline. Waiting for lightning to strike means spending hours sitting around and then finding you’ve been struck whilst waiting in line for the men’s room, or worse, at work.

Sitting down to type and avoiding distractions is the best option. I’ve recently decided to delete all my social media accounts for that reason. If I haven’t got an excuse, I should be doing something.

Living life also.

That said, I also live with my wonderful partner and have to factor time in for other people and simple plain living. Sometimes that means being with other people and being comfortable that it’s not productive.

It’s not time wasted but time spent with others. You can’t have the others without the time.

I also want to keep being inspired by reading and keep my fitness up — all worthwhile pursuits.

Should I stay or should I go?

From wanting to do a PhD straight out of university, I’ve since spent almost two years working odd jobs whilst looking, a further year retraining and just over two years in marketing.

Weeks go by without anything moving. I’m now securely employed and with a good group of people.

This has shifted my priorities a lot, to the point where the place I’m at now, and the life I’m living, is worth protecting. So even if I shift on, I don’t have the same desperate need to get somewhere that no job and a space in a small cupboard-shaped apartment inspired three years ago.


The important thing for me is I do something. It may be wrong, it may feel wrong, but I try to tell myself it made sense in that moment. Like all my other decisions.

And I shift. I’ll do something else in a day and then try something else next week.

Time-wise it’s not the best. It means at 27 I’m still not published and may never be. My PhD application has been shelved whilst I decide what I want to do. This makes me very sad, seeing the time pass without any result, knowing that at the end of the week I have many more hurdles to jump through.

But, on the bright side, I contribute my bit to the workforce and in turn get enough money to do things I like.

It may not be the best trade off imaginable, but it’s something.

Overcoming create depression.

It’s hard when anyone feels like spinning their wheels, especially when the feeling of accomplishing something is fleeting.

But the main thing is to keep the love for creativity. Without it creativity becomes its very opposite, a chore, and striving for it loses meaning.

Of course, things could be better. But they’re not, and obsessing over it will only make being creative less fun.

So that’s where I’m at. Barely moving, trying to juggle many things, with two many dusty roads I can’t see clearly.

I’m trying, at the very least, to keep my mind active and not worry if it doesn’t translate into anything. We all die anywhere. Success is dying having had the most amount of fun.

But for all that, it’s hard to realise that and not expect more from yourself. Even when expecting more doesn’t necessarily make sense.

Why else be creative? For the sake of proving a point or expressing an idea? Or for the sake of doing something that truely makes you content.

Which matters the most?




A literary student by nature (and training), with a splash of ad experience, I’m setting out to make passion my career — reading, writing and SF.