The internet is full of inspirational quotes. Everywhere you turn, they’re there. They drive me mad. Most of them mean nothing. And the more they are shared, and all too frequently in memes with bad spelling and grammar, the more they lose their appeal, agreed?
So, last year, one day when I had seen one too many of these awful quotations, I snapped. I decided there and then that I would create some of my own.
And all of the quotes would be from Sylvia Plath.
The American poet and author is not-so-widely quoted on the internet, but some of her prose is out there. So, I decided that in February, the month that Plath took her own life in, in 1963, I’d start my Sylvia Plath month.
Primarily on Instagram, linking back to this blog, using the hashtag #29daysofplath, you can join in. Regram the image, post the link to the blog, or post your own ‘Plathism’.
It might seem a bit strange, creating motivational memes with quotes from someone who killed herself aged just 30, but it’s how you interpret these quotes.
I’m not the biggest Sylvia Plath fan in the world, I haven’t even read all of her work. But I wanted to expose these pointless, clichéd, internet motivators, and create something that I felt meant more, and had more feeling. And, I find from personal experience, sometimes only the darkest words can really help.
When I was just 21, I suffered from depression. It was reactive depression, to a traumatic event in my life, and it was the first of a few similar episodes that would follow over the years.
When you are depressed, in my experience, you try to understand it, to make head or tail of it, to work out why you feel this way. To do this, I turned to books. I remembered that I had read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath when I was at school, and rediscovered Sylvia’s novel, based on her own experiences with depression.
Through reading all of this fiction, I found a better understanding of how I felt, and, most importantly, the realisation that I wasn’t in as dark a place as many of these authors. (Elizabeth Wurtzel Prozac Nation, Susanna Kaysen Girl, Interrupted, Sue Read Only For A Fortnight, and Janice Galloway The Trick Is To Keep Breathing to name a few).
This helped me force myself out of the depression I was in (with time, counselling, and, in later years, medication, as well – depression isn’t that easy to shake off).
So, the idea is this. I’m creating lovely memes with Sylvia Plath quotes, and my own little designs. One a day. For a month.
Every Sylvia Plath quote I will share this month means something to me, and I’ll explain it right here in the daily blog post.