Sam Twyford-Moore on sadness, madness and creativity
Many of you may already have seen it, but if not you could do a lot worse than to head over to The Rumpus and check out Sam Twyford-Moore’s piece about writing and depression, ‘Don’t Get Me Down’. I don’t want to preempt what Sam has to say in the piece, but I will say that I think it’s both a brave piece and an intelligent one, and that I suspect a lot of it will ring true for many readers.
The piece is doubly interesting to me because Sam talks at some length about my own essay about depression and creativity, ‘Never Real and Always True’, which was published in Griffith Review last year. I’m not in a hurry to revisit the territory or the times that piece explores, but I will say how moved I’ve been by the number of people who, like Sam, have written to say the piece has helped them or spoke to them in some way: it’s not often as a writer you get to feel you’ve really touched people but with this piece I know I did, and that’s a wonderful feeling.
It’s also sort of exciting to find myself in dialogue in this way with Sam, who’s someone I don’t know well, but have a lot of time for. I’ve not read a lot of his fiction but I like what I’ve read, and as I said in my piece about literary magazines for the ALR last year, it’s difficult not to be impressed by what he’s done with the literary journal he founded a couple of years back, Cutwater. It probably makes me sound old to say this, but Sam – along with other younger writers like Rebecca Giggs, Sam Cooney and Jessica Au – makes me really excited about the future of writing: they seem not just to be a group of genuinely new voices, but to be negotiating a moment of profound cultural transformation with energy and aplomb.