The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path Through Depression by Eric Maisel, a psychologist and creativity coach who specifically addresses creative types and often writers in particular.
Oh. I guess I AM talking books. Or book. Oh well.
I'm still very early on in the book, but it's intriguing in that it posits writers and artists and other creatives often have a specific source for their depression that others may not: for those whose lives and psyches are intimately tied up with the creation of things new and meaningful, depression can result from more existential sources, a "crisis of meaning," as the author puts it. If you feel like what you're creating isn't meaningful, for instance, or you're not sure how to create something real (or even cope) when the world feels meaningless or difficult, then you're having a meaning crisis. We as artists, Maisel says, will feel more empowered if we are able to step back a bit, and embrace our role as creators of meaning rather than trying to find or receive meaning from somewhere "out there."
A few other recommendations in this vein:
- Writing Yoga by Bruce Black (of the lovely Wordswimmer blog)
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- What It Is and Picture This by Lynda Barry
Know of any others I should read? Eric Maisel actually has written a TON of books, and if I enjoy this one, I plan to explore those.