Post-Partum Literary Depression

by | May 28, 2014 | General | 6 comments

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica,
erotic romance, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her
husband, son, and four cats. Visit her web
, her Facebook page, and her Amazon
Author Page


I read a Facebook
post recently in which the person talked about Post-Partum Depression that
results when you finish a project such as a story or painting. You’ve given
birth to something you’ve created, and in the aftermath you feel down – PPD. He
wrote that it’s a feeling of emptiness. You don’t know what to do. You don’t
want to watch TV. You don’t want to start something new. All you feel is bored,
restless, and even a little depressed.

Has it ever happened
to you?

I recently went
through a case of PPD when I recently finished writing “Full Moon
Fever”, my (so far) unpublished m/m werewolf erotic romance novel. At
first, I was elated. I always celebrate finishing a project and getting an
acceptance. My husband and I cracked open a bottle of champagne and made
toasts. Granted, I drink champagne all the time, but this called for a new
bottle. Delirious with glee, I spent the rest of the day getting tipsy and
watching bad movies on TV.

About a day later,
the depression hit. It was as if I had come down off a great high. Crashing
describes it quite well. I missed my characters. I longed for the joy of seeing
what kind of mischief they would get into. There were plenty of things for me
to do, including writing a sequel but I felt so spent I couldn’t work on
anything, including my other works in progress.

I had to do something. Anything. This downer had
to go.

After I wallowed in
my misery for a day or two, I made a conscious decision to pull out of it. This
kind of depression isn’t like clinical depression in that I was able to pull myself out of it by
distracting myself. What worked for me may not work for you, but here’s what I
did. First of all, I got away from the computer. For several days, I took a
break from writing. I watched movies and my favorite TV shows. The kitchen got
a workout because I baked. If it’s sickeningly sweet, I’ll bake it. This is the
time I buy new plants for my container garden. If weather permits, I go for
walks on the beach. I finished “Full Moon Fever” in the dead of
winter so beach walks were out but scenic drives weren’t.

For me, the key was
getting out of my head. I needed time to recharge.

Everyone is
different. Responses varied to that Facebook post. Some people didn’t go
through PPD – they celebrated. Others always had new projects in the works so
they were working on something all the time. I’ve done that one myself, but not
always. Some edit or sleep more. Others get out into the fresh air.

Do you suffer from
Post-Partum Literary Depression? What do you do to alleviate it?

Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black's erotic fiction has been published by Cleis Press, Xcite Books, Scarlet Magazine, Circlet Press, and others. She also writes dark fiction and horror as E. A. Black. She lives in Massachusetts next to the ocean with her husband, son, and three cats. The beach calls to her and she listens.


  1. Harper Eliot

    For me this is yet another form of drop: sub-drop, con-drop, theatre-drop… in fact that last one was the worst: after directing Macbeth and completing the run I felt utterly lost. What to do with my time? My energy? Suddenly I wasn't at the heart of a project which had nourished me.

    I think for me it just takes time. I have to bring myself back; find a way to be excited about the next thing. Fortunately there always is a next thing, even if it takes a while to appear. Oh, and yes, baking really does help.


    I suffer from it too. Work is the only way I know out of it, although it's good to recharge the creative batteries.

  3. Elizabeth Black

    Good points, Harper. Especially the one about not being at the heart of a project that had nurtured you. Plus there's always the next project, as you said.

  4. Elizabeth Black

    I feel the same way, Kathleen. Work is one way out of it for me – starting a new project. The batteries need replenishing.

  5. Lisabet Sarai

    I don't feel depressed. I feel elated.

    But I do have trouble starting a new project immediately after finishing the last. I think it's laziness. I resist the notion of working that hard, AGAIN…

  6. Elizabeth Black

    Thanks, Lisabet. I heard from people who were elated upon finishing a project. They celebrated. I sometimes have difficulty starting a new project after finishing one, too, but I usually have several projects going at once. I take a few days off after finishing one. I hear you about resisting the notion to work that hard again. 😉

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt



Pin It on Pinterest