This matters to me because when I don’t write, I start to feel sick. My body stiffens, my curiosity wanes, my fatigue worsens, and anxiety begins to poke a fiery hole in my chest.
Writing eases all of that. Almost any kind of writing, in fact. I have my big projects on which I want to make progress, but just putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write anything at all breaks open an invisible portal in me and cleans out what is sticky and stagnant and slowing me down.
This is a thing I know, yet I still find it difficult to write when I’m depressed or, as I have been for a year and half now, quarantined by myself with a dog and a very active brain that wants to be fed frequently. Or depressed and quarantined, which is how I spent my winter. Also, I sprained my ankle getting out of bed.
Man, you guys, writing was so hard this winter. It seemed to take all my energy to do the basics, like walk my dog and keep my home in some degree of tidiness and feed myself. And I felt like shit: heavy, tired, and questioning my worth as a human being. Oh brother.
When summer came and I could swim a little, take in some sun, walk my dog without a coat, and visit a couple vaccinated friends, things improved, and writing became easier. And it fast-forwarded my recovery from this depressive winter.
All of this is to say that Charlie Jane Anders is right, writing can help you get through tough times, and I suggest you listen to her on the Slate podcast Working. Then maybe check out her new book about writing which I just downloaded. I’m always up for some motivation.