i'm a white writer. in new york. original, no? i've been blogging since october 2002. this blog picks up in october 2008, when i moved from DC to NY...(and then I moved to Maine in 2012)

Friday, September 11, 2009

What I'm Doing

For years, I've wanted to thread my experiences overcoming depression, disruption, and isolation into some sort of narrative. It's not that I think my story is that special, actually, I think my experiences are probably fairly common to those of us who came from divorced families.

When I started blogging 7 years ago, I was surprised that anyone understood what I was going through. Pretty soon I was posting a dozen times a day, a far cry from my current rate of about a dozen times a month. When my audience grew to over 1,000 hits a day, and a few agents came around, I wasn't clear on what the boundaries were, and so I did things like shut down my blog, delete posts, etc. Now that I've got things squared away, I'm blogging from a stronger place with a clear identity.

So I'm taking a stab at writing some things down informally here on my blog. I'm not thinking these specific posts will comprise a book--they're really just the beginning explorations of memories and events that were significant to me. Once I've gotten some out there, I'll be better able to decide on story and structure. But I know deep in my gut that my experiences are many people's experiences, and there's a wonderful power in shaping and sharing it.

I've tagged them all "This Is Not A Memoir." I appreciate feedback--it means a lot to know that what I'm doing here might resonate with someone. Email is great, but if you are so inclined to comment on the posts, that actually might help me show an agent or an editor the kind of interest that's out there for this.

Blogging helped me find my voice, and it helped me find people who were struggling with the same issues I was. The interaction with these countless people I've never even met has done more to shape who I've become as a person, and as a playwright, than anything else in my adult life.

In January 2007, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Baseline Disthymia, and Passive Suicidal Ideation, after decades of not knowing there was a name to the feelings I'd fought since I was four years old. Now that I've gotten help and am out of the woods, I can approach this project in a healthy way. I've never felt the need to hide any of this, and actually, starting next month, I'll be a regular contributor to RealMental.

There's just three posts so far, all from my childhood. Because it's time for a little absurdity, I'm next going to write about when my father and his third wife took me through a curse-breaking ritual with a bottle of holy water.


warriorgrrl said...

I think this is great - the more people talk about their experiences of depression the less it will be stigmatised or ignored by people with no experience or understanding of it. It's time to stop being afraid!

Major support from me for all your endeavours.

Power Spinster 2006 (?)
Lau x

derora noo said...

Thanks so much, Laura! It means a lot. :-)

I need to look back through the archives to see what year that was--I feel like maybe it was '04 or '05. Seems like a decade ago.