The Blues

"Me and you are subject to
 The blues now and then..."

As Neil Diamond wrote in 'Song Sung Blue' -
everybody knows one.

Being down is a normal part of human experience at times. And January has a tendency to make it more so [for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere in particular.]

Long nights, short days and cold can trigger SAD  [Seasonal Affective Disorder] in some people - and even the most cheerful of us can do without wet grey days.

How can we tackle this?

Lots of creative people choose to run or walk the blues away. It's an oldie but a goodie - fresh air and exercise really does work for many people.

You might want a more practical outfit!
Now it may be your blues are a reaction to more specific events - such as rejection of your work. Here are a few ideas:
  • find friends to discuss it with - you are not on your own
  • read supportive articles
  • pause to get your mojo back
  • see it from their point of view 
  • nurture your creativity - let it be the source of your self-worth
Don't let rejections put you off. I had 90 before Varjak Paw was published. Just keep writing & trying to improve. You'll get there.

What if it's more deep-rooted? What if, like me, you suffer from bouts of depression? First off, we're in good company:
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • William Blake
  • Agatha Christie
  • Emily Dickinson...
The full list is long, full of immensely creative people - and has no shame attached. No-one blames someone having recurrent asthma attacks - illness that affects our mental health is no different.

Secondly - get help. Seriously.

Thirdly - if you wonder if someone else feels this way:

Creative Suggestions

  • Can one of your characters deal with the blues?
  • It could be in themselves - or helping a friend.
  • How might they cope - or not?
  • Music, dance, laughter are antidotes throughout history - will they work for that person?
  • Will they hide their condition - or seek help?
  • Does someone else help them?
Fun with a friend can be just the thing!

by  K. M. Lockwood - who posts on her blog from time to time,  often tweets from her garret, and writes and colours-in.


  1. Thank you, Philippa - it's always good to know we're not alone in the downs, as well as the ups :-)

    1. My pleasure. Did you know it's 'Blue Monday ' today?

  2. Yes, welcome to Blue Monday. Although it might be called that because it's so blimmin cold this morning!

    Thanks for your thoughts, Philippa. Depression is such a grinding, hopeless slog that I think you can only really understand it if you've been through it. And I agree about using it as creative fuel - after my period of depression, I wrote a whole book inspired by it!

  3. Thank you very much for this. I will bookmark this post. It s a really hard subject, and I think it can be v difficult for us to recognise it in ourselves. I am even finding it hard to write this comment, which is thought provoking for me in itself. It is helpful to see it in relation to creativity - I am sure that it is true that it is a flip side to a certain type of sensitivity that writers and artists and musicians etc share.

  4. I know I'm a SAD, but think my current weepiness is more down to my feeling so wretched physically (cold, cough, achey etc). Normally I'm a glass-half-full girl - at least outwardly. Sharing with friends should be helpful but often makes you feel worse if you feel you're being judged. I do agree that creativity and depression are often intertwined, but hadn't thought about writing it into a character before. My writing buddy, Annie Try, does this brilliantly in her book Out of Silence (not yet published).

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  6. Really good and useful post Philippa - I don't know where to begin on this topic. My solution is always to do something often unwritingy but really I should tap into the angst and write
    it out but that's scary.


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