Writing Out of Necessity

A lot of artists have been known to produce their greatest works while in sadness: Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Amy Winehouse...the list is endless of depressed virtuosos and the genius that came from their depression.

I suck at creating art in sadness. I feel unmotivated to do much of anything. I have "vented" out of anger and have felt catharsis through writing, but when I'm truly sad all I really feel like doing is disappearing into a couch.

Lately, I've been on the up and up. I've been smiling more, joking more and of course, creating more. Out of happiness comes my greatest work.

The other day, a coworker asked me my hobbies, to which I replied a list of the usual: travel, beach, books and food. And then I caught myself. I forgot to mention writing and this blog, which has become a huge part of my life through the good and bad. But that is because writing is no longer a "hobby" of mine, for hobbies are less significant; thus, writing has become a necessity. Saying that I wrote during the day is like saying I ate some food. I need both for sustenance and well-being.

Whether I'm writing less when sad, or writing more when happy, the point I'm not-so-gracefully trying to make is this: writing has become a way of life. I'm happy to have come to that realization, and I'll continue to run with it...er, write with it.


  1. ashley! i love this! how you say you create your best work when you're happy. i think so many of us forget that. we dwell on our sad work and, sometimes it's fantastic, but the work we make when we're happy can be equally amazing. i was smiling the entire time. i'm so, genuinely happy you're happy. i'm grateful for you and your blog. "writing has become a necessity." perfect.

    1. Thanks Briss! I feel the same way about your blog and the ability you have to make people laugh. Sure you shouldn't have your own sitcom? ;)

  2. I find that my students need to be in the right state of mind to write. Some do their best work at the end of the day in the middle of the night. One even said he likes to be a little bit drunk when coming up with ideas.

    Which also points out a major problem in our business, about half of us (screenwriters) have addiction problems.

    I'm just happy, you write best when happy.

  3. There was a poet that once said anyone who creates work out of anger or sadness is not really as angry or sad as they make themselves out to be. Because if you were really that heartbroken, then you wouldn't find the will to eat or sleep, let alone write.

    I'm not sure I agree with that statement - the matter is subjective. But I do agree with you in that I create my best work out of happiness. That's when I feel the most motivated. I like that writing has become a necessity to you. It is to me as well. I may not be the best at it and I know that, but it makes me feel good, like I have a purpose. And with the constant writing comes improvement. I'm all for improving myself.

  4. yep. i feel the same way. if i don't write, i feel like i forgot to do something very, very important.

  5. You are a writer my dear, through and through.

    I know what you mean about not being able to create through sadness though. I just want to shove ice cream into my mouth, nevermind typing anything out or holding a pen :)

  6. I feel the same way about writing. I mean, no surprise! But, actually, I find it more difficult to write when I'm super happy. That actually happened to me recently, and for a week I didn't know what to say, but then I found my voice again in the midst of high levels of happiness.