Turn to your pages when sadness rages


I can’t help it. I can’t help but feel the post-Christmas letdown.

(Flickr: himmniko)

(Flickr: himmniko)

Strangely, while I am mired in the work and preparations in the weeks leading up to the holidays, I swear that the big day cannot come soon enough.

I promise myself that I will celebrate the close of the season with a toast to good riddance.

But, then the melancholy sets in.

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As I count my blessings, think fondly on my family, enjoy my children and allow myself to sink down into a movie or great book, I begin to clutch fiercely to these special moments. And watching those moments pass makes me, well … sad.

Here is the good news — melancholy can be a powerful tool for writers.

Writers who describe themselves as mood-driven are often wildly artistic, intuitively perceptive and intensely focused on the emotions that make us human.

Those qualities create authentic characters and commanding turns of phrases that can speak to a soul or even save a life.

There are some who believe that most, if not all, writers create from this depressive state because artists feel and experience the world deeply. It’s what fuels their craft and inspires their work.

History gives us several examples of beloved writers and poets who suffered bouts of depression, including Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway.

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Indeed, the loss of their voices was immeasurable, but the literary world was better for their work.

Do you have the blues today? Do you feel compelled to journal during these times?

Allow yourself to settle into a mood of contemplation and reflection – then write.

See how deeply you can immerse yourself in those thoughts and then the pull words and emotions to the surface for a truly potent narrative, story or poem.

Good luck!

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at Learn more about her at


Kerri S. Mabee

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