Writing is such an unreliable mood lifter

happy-writer.jpgThese past few weeks have taught me that by far the biggest determinant of my mood is how well the writing is going today. There’s nothing else like it. Ten terrible things can happen, but if the writing was good, then I think of it as a good day.

But for the past two days, as I’ve been in transit, I’ve allowed my writing to lag a bit, and my mood has plummeted. Then yesterday I wrote a few scenes I was only marginally satisfied with. And even though everything else in life was / is going okay, I suddenly started to feel really bad.

Anyway, the upshot here is that I’ve been a bit depressed for the past few months, but I’ve gotten used, over the past three weeks, to thinking that it’s over. But what if it’s not? Or not entirely? What if it’s merely covered up by some really good writing?

This is not a problem I’ve ever faced in the past, because usually when I feel depressed it’s impossible for me to get anywhere with my writing. I guess this is mostly something that happens when you’re in an interstitial state. Proust talks about this, with regards to love. He writes about how moods don’t switch over evenly from one state to another. Rather, the two moods interpenetrate. So one day you might be completely indifferent to your former lover, and the next day you mig be able to think only of her. So although you might be on the mend from a broken heart, the way you perceive your own moods is as a baffling mosaic.

Now that I’ve written this all out, it seems a little banal. Everybody knows that this is how emotions work. But trust me: when you read it in Proust form, it all sounds very profound.