Sunday, December 16, 2007

Still depressed but coping; book rejection

First, there is a new post which got posted as an old one, "Writing and Personality" if you scroll down.

It's not just whining. ;-)

I wonder, can I work out my own psychology on paper or do I need a therapist? Is writing enough? I've written reams before trying to understand my melancholy, and the writing has helped somewhat with acceptance but not with the actual depression.

As in my essay, "My Struggle with Literary Narcissism," among other character defects, I am most worried about a lingering bitterness, I fear, about never getting my due. But why do I demand my due? Why should I need praise and publicity to validate my art? I used to be content just to write a good poem. Now I want it published or or praised or paid for. I don't write to be published or for contests, naturally, I write to write. But the darkness of feeling as if I got a raw deal disturbs me. "Rejoice with those who rejoice." That's hard to do when they are preferred above you and you honestly believe your work is superior. But I have been there before emotionally, rejoicing wit others instead of jealous, and hope to return there again.

This week, rather than stay at home, write and weep, I've been coming with Kathleen to town in the morning. I hang out at a coffee shop, go online at the library, exercise at the gym--somehow I manage to fill the day. And according to my rules for depression I am doing the right thing. It's better to be around people and out and about than cooped up with two cats and the two hemispheres of my brain, both pairs fighting.

I just got my first rejection for my Eliot book yesterday; it's what I expected. At least the editorial board of Mellen Press gave it a good read. I'm thinking that self-publishing is the easiest way to give my work a chance out there; with the proper promotion, you can do OK. Sure, I'd feel better if some august press wanted to feature me, but the chances of that happening, though not great, can only be played out if I continue to query for years. I am on the cusp of giving in to self-publishing, however, and selling my books on demand. At least then I'll have a tangible record to hand someone and prove I'm a writer, avoiding that embarrassing question about vanity press. But hey, Whitman did it, and others.

Having completed all my past writing projects except for my theological tome, "In Search of the Spirit," it's time to look forward to a new subject. And I think it's time to give in to my friends and few fans, who always find my life more interesting than my writing, what they're always asking me for. Yes, I'm talking autobiography, the memoir of a manic-depressive doctor and poet, both in hospital and jail and out. It's been done by Mark Vonnegut and Kay Jamison, but no matter; in an age of inauthenticity the audience still craves the authentic, the personal, for their vicarious delectation.

I'm about out of time at the library computer. This is my 399th post on this blog. Amazing. And since I installed the site meter sometime in 2006, over 20,000 have come this way. I'm grateful to be heard. This blog has proven to be more of a comfort to me than I imagined. I wanted to show off my writing, especially humorous essays here, but ended up in the confessional mode because of my disease. Whether a fortuitous change or not, it is what it is and I yam what I yam-- "I'm Craigie the mental man!"

3 Kilorats and fragile,



  1. Masale.Wallah1:04 PM PST

    Missed the last few posts and am sorry to learn that you're feeling depressed again!

  2. love your blog...please do keep writing. i am a writer too who suffers from depression. don't let the rejection notices get you too down...every famous writer starts off that way.

  3. Anonymous11:36 AM PST

    RAchael Your eldest, who is actually the youngest, and only girl in a pack of four boys has sent you an e-mail.

  4. Thanks, all, and welcome, Merelyme. Every encouragement helps!


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