Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Bitter Truth: Writing cannot save you from yourself.

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Apr• 21•16

Bitter BrewSure it can heal some old wounds and that vast emptiness inside you that was once your marriage or your best friend who dumped you for no good reason. It can make you proud and even make your never-lavish-with-praise mother proud. It can fill you with joy and feel like the best kind of fever and the sweetest dream within dreams.

But if you’re a depressed recluse who cannot bear to throw out Pepsi bottles or newspapers, if you’re failing all your freshman year classes, or you’re so obsessed with our vapid pop culture or you’re hooked on computer games so that you scarcely have time to make a living, or you need to lose 200 pounds, well, writing cannot help all that. If you’re depressed you need help. Right now. If you’re failing you need to go to class and hand in your assignments. And consider more sleep and caffeine and less pot and beer. If you’re obsessed with all the versions of Desperate Housewives, with online gossip sites, and the Kardashians you probably don’t have much to say. You’re probably mostly paying attention to other lives, not your own. Not to mention this glorious and ailing planet. Computer games should be a hobby, not a way of life unless you’re a game designer, and then storytelling is a great asset. If you’re obese you need help because life is better when you’re healthy and not addicted to some form of soothing. Besides, obesity is a slide toward early death. I’ve known too many people who died before they wanted to and strongly suggest you take care of yourself more.

            Writing is balm, writing is joy, and writing is almost holy on a good day. But on those bad days when you feel washed up or pissed off or just disenchanted it helps to not depend on writing to make it all better. You need to make it better.

Keep writing, keep dreaming, have heart

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