Hello all, and welcome to this week’s article for FanFiAddict’s series on Neurodivergence in Fiction. I cannot understate how appreciative I am for the overwhelming amount of support and enthusiasm I have seen for this series of mine; thank you! For the next several months we will be bringing you a guest post every Wednesday from a neurodivergent author. This will hopefully highlight some of the challenges that come with writing for a largely neurotypical audience, while also giving valuable insight to the craft itself and providing a window into the neurodivergent experience — at least through the lens of fiction.
This week, we are joined by Luke Tarzian. In typical Luke fashion, he has brought us something a little different, a little darker, but something extremely powerful nonetheless.
As always, if you need to catch up on any articles, check out the landing page for the series here.
And, without further ado, here’s the article.
Sometimes we unwittingly seek misery to feel alive—to remind us we’re alive. At least, that’s the way it works for me whether I fucking want it to or not. I am Depression; sometimes I get high as fuck on the most illogical of anxieties. It’s a bit of a vicious circle, and I often times have trouble figuring out just where the hell it starts.
Depression just is, but it’s exacerbated by anxiety, and boy do I have a lot of that. Social. Professional. Often times the two go hand-in-hand. I overthink everything; I ruminate more than is healthy. Did I say something wrong? Did my joke come across? Am I a good writer? Jesus fuck, why did I think this was a good idea? Hey, I’m sorry if… I’m sorry about… Fuck. No one likes you. Yeah, people are busy and responses aren’t instant, that’s logical, but you’re also a self-righteous, self-important fuck. Your humor sucks and everyone knows the self-deprivation is a shitty attempt to self-brand.
Look. That guy—that dude above? Fuck him. You have issues—everyone does. But you’re trying. You always try, and no one can take that from you. We all have our deficits, we all have our strengths.
Right. I know. But what if—?
Why the fuck?
Triple A—Anticipate, Agonize, Accept. Anticipate your current and your imminent failures; agonize over them; accept yourself for the failure that you are.
Hey, look, a dog. Gonna tell my wife—
But what if I’m annoying her?
Rewind. Four years ago. You just bought a house. Three bedrooms. You have your own office. But wait—fuck. You’re going to have kids one day, and then you’ll have to turn the guest room into the nursery, and you’ll have to turn the office into the guest room, so—fuck it. Let’s just move our desk into the master bedroom so we don’t have to worry about that later.
Now you don’t have an office. Where the fuck are you going to work in peace? Shit.
Stop. Make too many covers for your book. Change them. Agonize over the inconsistency and the myriad “editions” no on goodreads; why the fuck can’t you delete old covers?
Stupid author. Stupid OCD.
Commence a week of ruminating on the changes.
Fuck, I write slow. I’m inconsistent. I have a million things to my agenda but if I don’t put something out this year then people will forget about me, about my books—
Beyond exhausted. Losing sleep.
Repeat steps one through five, where every the hell they start, whatever the hell they are.
Hey, sorry I’m depressed. I’ll try to be happier so you don’t ignore…me.
Fee that needle in your skin. The adrenaline manifested by the anticipation of clarity.
Sorry. I’ve been busy. I’ve been dealing with my own depression.
Yeah. I get it. Totally understand. I’ve been going through a lot of that myself. I’m doing better, thanks, and I’m glad to hear you are as well.
Fine. Give me the syringe.
About the Author
LUKE TARZIAN was born in Bucharest, Romania. His parents made the extremely poor choice of adopting him less than six months into his life. As such, he’s resided primarily in the United States and currently lives in California with his wife and their twin daughters. Somehow, they tolerate him.
Unfortunately, he can also be found online and, to the dismay of his clients, also functions as a cover artist for independent authors.
Author Website: https://luketarzian.com
Cover Artist Website: https://tarzianbookdesign.com