From The Paint Bucket Of Emotions: Sadness/Depressed

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Your humble host

We’ve talked about writing emotions lately, and here’s a blog post I found (I read a LOT of blogs) from somebody who is sad and depressed/fighting depression. He/she has good days and bad days but I did not reprint the name here only because I don’t know the writer well and I certainly don’t want to be insulting by saying “Hey, can I use your post to show writers what sadness and depression look like?”

 That said, look at the heartfelt, pained words. I believe we choose different sentence lengths and describe things very differently when we are sad or depressed, so you can employ that tactic in your writing when a character is in that state – and depression might not be the exact trait you need, but sadness is a lighter shade of this, and your characters may need to be sad. They may need to be depressed over a breakup.

 See what you get from this. For me, it puts you right into the state of mind of the blogger (who is not a writer, so don’t pick at it from a literary standpoint).


I feel useless today

This might sound like whining, but it is an honest look into my mind today.

I feel useless and meaningless today. I’m finding that my motivation suffers a lot during these moments.  I have yard work to do, some winterizing projects that need to get done, and other things I could do.  But I can tell you, the mere fact that all these kinds of things do is remind me how far I am from fulfilling endeavors. I’ve tried, but I can’t find the necessary enjoyment that I once had for these things.

So, today, I feel useless.

I began working out again, but I’ll be honest, I’m only three visits to the gym into this and I feel so tired, achy and sore from my last visit. I would like nothing more than a masseuse to rub me down all over. I’m in need of getting into shape and eating better and living an overall healthy lifestyle, but seeing how I have not lost any weight this week – not one pound, I feel discouraged. I’m now feeling like the effort isn’t going to give me the satisfaction with myself that I so desire.

I feel useless today.

Drinking is almost a filler in my rather boring and mundane days.  There is nothing gripping me with excitement; nothing that has me thinking that I would rather do this or that. I’m feeling like this need to stop drinking is so important, but I feel like I will be giving up the one thing I have been looking forward to doing.

I feel useless today.

I simply am tired. I’m again facing that overwhelming urge to just have a “Fuck it” attitude and not give a shit about anything, anyone but myself.  And I feel incredibly guilty for feeling this way. I don’t understand how I can take care of myself, as well as meet all of the obligations I feel I have. Hell, even some of the obligations I have towards myself, somehow feel like they are in the way of me finding happiness.

I feel useless today.

I have decided I won’t be facing things so forcefully anymore. I’ve decided that sometimes I just need to let these things run their course. Today is one of those days.

I feel useless, but I’m not going to fight it.


Honestly, it’s a little tough to read. I feel for the person.

As an exercise, take out “I” and insert your character’s name and put in lines about what your character might be sad about. See how much it changes things.

Have YOU ever had a character you needed to show as sad or depressed? Share a story segment to show us!


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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

20 thoughts on “From The Paint Bucket Of Emotions: Sadness/Depressed

  1. Thank you for tackling a subject which is everyday for me, depression, BPD and FND and Dyspraxa make life so very difficult. Sometimes when others see the icing sugar sparkling on the cake all you can see is dust and you try and try to see the sparkle but you just cant. However, on the plus side it makes us as writers able to escape into our works and that is the real tonic.

    1. I’m gonna have to look up some of those letters. BPD = Bipolar disorder? That’s as far as I feel safe guessing.

      As writers we should use a range of emotions in our stories – or be able to. Not every reader comes to the story armed with the knowledge of certain kinds of emotional pain like depression, and it’s our job to get them there. Yes we’ve all been sad, but there’s dropped my ice cream cone sad and my girlfriend broke up with me sad and the loss of a child sad; in our stories, we are usually talking about something more than an ice cream cone.

      1. You are correct on the BPD, except now they like to call Borderline Personality Disorder, they love changing the names. FND is Functional Neurological Disorder which Ive had since birth, pretty much means that my synapses fire differently from other folks. The pain receptors are garbled and dont send the right messages. Dyspraxia, is also a from birth thing. Clumsiness, tripping over my own feet a lot, seeing patterns which others dont, I`m luck that my dyslexia that comes with this is mild, oh and plus I cant tell left from right. The driving lessons were hysterical lol.

  2. I’m quite unsettled that anyone feels that they can write from the perspective of someone going through this situation…not least because some who are use their blogs as a release, a vent, an expression of who they are though often don’t understand the how’s and why’s of how they are on any given day. I read the blog of someone who writes beyond my understanding, my comprehension, with immense courage and honesty deserving every ounce of compassion and respect I can give. Never would I contemplate the impossibility of writing as if I had an inkling of what it is to live on the knife edge that is her day. Eric

    1. I’m not trying to say I understand what that person is going through, I’m saying in our stories our characters will have highs and lows and if the story is good usually the low is pretty dramatic. This gives you an example of somebody in real life trying to tell you how that feels.

  3. This is a powerful post. I have been there more than once (and might end up going there again, who knows?).
    Speaking from that stand point, I feel the writer has a courage and a perspective to write how they feel and it is raw. However at no time did they try and shift the blame onto someone or something else; they also had a resolve that this was how it was today and they could perceive there might be an end to this interlude. In this respect there is a type of uplift to the post, while there are examples which only have a bleakness to them.
    It is a difficult task to take the decision as to display this when you are not the writer. When I read this it came across to me as a type of documentary; the writer had put this out into the public domain and once it is out there, providing the sharing is done in a sympathetic and balanced manner there is a measure of justification in passing the writing on.
    Personally I would rather someone write about the cruel landscapes of depression having read or seen the nature of the suffering rather than someone who makes it all up, based on their own imaginings (which are usually very inaccurate).
    It is my opinion you did the right thing. Thank you.
    It is my belief the writer has a true courage ( bears repeating). Best wishes to them.

    1. I read several of the blogger’s posts and he/she has good days and bad days, but this was obviously a tough day. In it, I saw that pain, and I said, “We try to write emotions but HERE are the real, raw emotions, pouring out from this person’s soul, and if you ever want to know what that’s like, here it is.” I don’t want to feel that way and I don’t want the blogger to feel that way but when we have a character who IS feeling that way, THIS is what they are feeling. Do you kill,someone in your story? Then somewhere there’s a person mourning for them, and maybe this is how they feel. Or somebody who got cheated on or broke up with somebody. You can’t be afraid to look if the author was brave enough to put it into the public domain, but you don’t have to like it. Those words are supposed to evoke a reaction, as is your writing. Use the pain expressed to be a better writer.

  4. Dear Dan,

    Thanks very much for your post of today. I can relate to some of the feelings expressed, as I think most everyone can and as well as some of the emotions reading that evokes. I’ll stop right there, because if I elaborate it will sound like a testimonial, but I feel very much for the person that wrote it. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Oh, we authors can be a slightly manic depressive bunch, but I know what you mean. Yeah, the person who wrote it is a survivor and the internet is full of people sharing emotions. We as writers can benefit from them sharing that with us – the full spectrum of emotions, not just the nice ones.

  5. I think a lot of what we write is things we’ve all known up to a point, but the character in the book takes them further. So although it can be hard to imagine, there’s a generally a basis to work from. After that, it depends how important it is to the story to go into depth and detail. There are some areas or experiences I wouldn’t feel comfortable tackling, but on the whole life deals us enough good and bad to make a decent go at accentuating what we know already.

  6. You’re welcome, Dan! A couple of questions, while I’m here – did your anthology idea move forward? And, um… I got your newsletter fine, but should I have received your promotion book already or not?

    1. The anthology thing is still a go but went on hold while I launched the newsletter and started folding in the edits for the backlog of books I’ve written that I need to publish. Stay tuned, it’s gonna happen – as is the video discussion sessions.

      The newsletter launch went VERY well, and yes, original subscribers should have been offered a link to download the book in their confirmation email (and now also the additional ten tips). If you are having problems, check your confirmation email again. If that doesn’t work, you can unsubscribe and resubscribe, which will generate another confirmation email automatically, and the link is in there with a picture of the book. (I’d unsubscribe you but MailChimp won’t let me add you back if I take you out.)

      If all else fails, click the Contact Me button and let me know it didn’t work. I’ll send you a PDF.

      So far we’ve had just a few people not get their book, and most of that was my fault! Sorry! Never did this before!

  7. One of the reasons I keep my blog quasi-anonymous is so I can be real with my feelings. If I knew people who read it, I’d risk not letting them in and censoring myself….

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