“The weak man becomes strong when he has nothing, for then only can he feel the wild, mad thrill of despair.” -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
As a writer who sometimes struggles with a mood disorder, I have mixed feelings about this quote. I think that, on some levels, this is highly accurate. It’s true that hitting rock bottom can help you see what you need to do to work your way back up from there, but I think it’s better to live a balanced life than to allow yourself to be completely overtaken by either despair or mania. That is difficult for me to achieve.
I have always had an All-Or-Nothing type personality. I either do something obsessively or not at all. That’s how I’ve always been, but that hasn’t exactly been the healthiest thing for me, or for the people with whom I share my life.
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s wonderful to be dedicated to being a writer, but you should also try to seek balance in your life. Don’t let anything be all-consuming. Take it from someone who knows; when you let things consume you, it can physically wear you down and also put immense amounts of strain on your relationships with the people closest to you.
It’s always better to try to seek balance. Don’t sacrifice your calling for the sake of the people you love, and don’t sacrifice your relationships with the people you love on the altar of your calling to write. There must be some sort of middle ground where everyone ends up happy. Balance will bring happiness to you and all those around you.