Those who follow my other blog know I’ve recently purchased a used van that brought to my attention the clinical depression I’ve been sliding into for the past year. If you don’t follow my personal blog, now you know.
I won’t bore you with the details, but the van and the depression have brought out those age-old questions of “why me?” and “what did I do wrong?” and “God, don’t you care?” You know, the kinds of questions people normally ask after hurricanes, or cancer, or elections. My life contains so little drama, I get to ask the big questions after buying a lemon of a used vehicle.
I don’t have the answers to those questions. Turns out I never did, but until the depression, that never bothered me. I do anticipate a day when they won’t bother me again. Until then, I keep repeating “Don’t Panic” in large, friendly letters.
TT: It’s not that I don’t know the “right” answers. I have had 16+ years of formal Bible education. There just comes a time when the “right” answers don’t cut it anymore and, like Job, I want God to show up and explain Himself. I assume that’s perfectly normal, and I’ll get over that, too.
What I didn’t expect was the impact on my writing.
In the past, I’ve written to distract myself from my problems. I knew what the “correct” answers were and I wrote accordingly. Good people can do bad things and bad people can do good things, but God is ultimately in control and everything will be OK. So it is and so I have written.
Having a little trouble with that at the moment. Perhaps it was naive from the start, but I like my fiction fictional, even down to the “God is in His heaven and all’s right with the world” mindset of Me the Author.
Lately, though, not all is right with my world and God in His heaven doesn’t appear to be paying any attention whatsoever to my problems. I know that He cares; He made this abundantly, obviously clear to me. I’m just not feeling it, and it’s very hard to see how anything is ever going to be OK again.
So I as an author am left in the awkward position of writing a story where I no longer believe a happy ending is possible, let alone probable, yet I very much want it to end well. If I am the god/creator/director of my story world, how can I make it all OK? Why am I putting my characters through this? What did they do wrong? Don’t I care?
I used to wonder what happened to Douglas Adams after The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. His books got darker and darker until he finally destroyed the Earth in every possible way, dimension and timeline. I thought he’d become the parent of a teenager. I’ve since heard he was going through depression.
I am taking all of it way too seriously, I know, but if writing a novel is the outpouring of my growth as a person, my writer’s block may be a case of spiritual blockage, and it won’t end until I find an answer from God I can accept. I hope this isn’t the case. I hate leaving Caissa in her current mess. For that matter, I hate being in my current mess and a way out is not yet clear to me.
But God is in His heaven, and all is right with the world, whether I feel it or not. I will not panic.
From my keyboard to God’s ears.