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The Novelist and Depression – Dealing with the Downside

DepressionWe fiction writers are sensitive people – we live on our emotions. We create characters and, if we want to make them to be real for our readers, we see the world through their eyes. We put our protagonist through all kinds of misery. One problem after another. If we didn’t there would be no story. The more we experience our character’s pain, the better the writing will be. We train ourselves to feel the grief, the despair, the anguish. Is it any wonder that we fall victim to a certain level of despondency when life hands us a bad deal? Life is never fair. I like to claim that I’m a glass half full person, trying to see the best side and count my many blessings, but there are times when I don’t succeed.

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The Reviewer From Hell

book-reviewNot so long ago, writing magazines and blogs were full of articles about how to cope with rejection. Stories abounded about well-known writers who had to submit their now best-seller works tens of times to agents and publishers before they were finally accepted. I seem to remember a tale about one eminent novelist who actually papered at least one wall of his study with his rejection slips. Such stories were a great consolation to struggling writers trying to attract an agent or publisher. The so-called good rejection – one where the agent had sent not the customary slip or standard rejection letter but had actually bothered to write a personal note gave essential encouragement to carry on. Most of the advice to suffering writers centred around keeping in mind that the rejections were never personal – that it was the novel not the person that was being rejected. Continue reading