The idea of a pseudonym had been flitting around my brain for a long time, along with its cognate, disappearance. In the 1980s, I published some poems under a pen name in a literary magazine to see what it would feel like. It was fun. It was even a little thrilling.
Depression is a surfeit of empathy – a killing empathy – that makes depressives great friends to everyone but themselves. Having a self is a rough business, and depressives can empathize with others who have to deal with it, but not with themselves.
We are already so many things by the time we reach the middle of life that it is possible to see that really anything can happen, and that, by extension, anything is doable. I decided I’d write ‘The Calling’ as someone else. Another writer entirely, a fictional one who would be played by me.
I’d fully taken the road many people start on, but most abandon: common sense had given me a miss, and I’d become an artist.
No one is depressed when they’re asleep, which is why being in bed is such a safe place if you’re really down.
I have a strange habit of walking down streets and staring up, rather than looking at shopfronts and stuff like that.
The reason so many intelligent and creative people suffer from depression is that when you take the risk of being fully conscious, you open Pandora’s box, and you can’t close it again.
I’d had an early stint in acting school, and there was something satisfying about becoming a character, about being inside another mind that you had to create out of yourself. As I moved toward a life in writing, I found many of the things I’d learned in acting school still applied.