Hamilton

I have been binge listening to Hamilton for several weeks now. This isn’t the first time I’ve listened to it, nor is it the first time I’ve binge listened to it, but for some reason something has really struck a chord with me on this round of binging. There is a line that comes up in several songs “Why do you write like you are running out of time?” and it hit me this morning while I was listening to the soundtrack at work- Why am I not writing like I’m running out of time? I would think that is something I should want to do, always. I do remember a time when this was the case, but for some reason I have lost it. It isn’t like I’m uninterested, or that I lack the passion. I have it. I also have depressive episodes, so it makes things harder to accomplish.
I’ve talked about this before, several times as some of you might be aware. I’m not sure how to always how to keep pushing through these kinds of things, but I am trying either way. What better way then immersion. I’ve spent several weeks doing nothing. I think it was even less than nothing if that is possible, which having lived my life for the last two weeks I know for a fact that it is, but I guess at least the end result is this, me sitting here and writing this instead of continuing to binge watch a show I’ve seen before on Netflix or spending 8 hours a day playing WoW.
Life has a way of getting away with me sometimes. I let so much of what is going on in my head dictate what my life is doing, and not in a good way. I realize that most people don’t know when I’m doing poorly. Instead of taking the time off when I need to get my mind straight I keep up appearances. I go to work and do my job and by the end of the day I’ve spent all my energy for the next week. When I’m out of work it is impossible to get that energy back, no matter how little I do. I could lay in bed and watch Netflix until the moment I’m out of work until I go to bed and guess what? I’m still not recharged when the day starts over again the next day.
I need to start taking better care of myself. I’ve heard so much from so many people about self care, and I know that is going to be different for everyone, but part of my self care involves writing. So I need to be more conscious of what I’m doing or not doing in order to keep and eye on myself and try to get myself into a good head space. There will obviously be times when this is impossible, I do have Bipolar after all, but at least being more mindful of what is going on with myself would be a good idea instead of always trying to ignore it in order to be a functioning adult, or just functioning in general. A few times in Therapy I was asked what I do when I have the kind of day where I just want to build a blanket fort and hide away all day. I didn’t even have to think about the answer. I get up and go to work because I’m required to push myself beyond my limits to pay my bills and to do what is right for my family. I’m going to try to be more aware of those days and maybe at least take it easier on myself. I’m not going to be able to change the fact that I have to get up and do what I’ve got to do, but I could at least be patient with myself while I’m trying to work my way through it.
All of this is circular thinking on my part. I’m talking about pushing myself to write, which is a way that I need to talk care of myself, but I’m also being hard on myself for not writing during a time when I know I should be easy on myself. I guess this just shows that I’ll never really be able to win this fight, but that isn’t really what I wanted to get out of writing this. What I want to be focusing on is taking care of myself. There will be days when I need to push myself in a good way, and there will be days that I need to stop beating myself up and just take it easy.
I want to assume that everyone goes through this kind of process with themselves, but I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one who doesn’t take the time or effort to take care of themselves in a proper way. So today I’m going slow, but I’m still going and that is what is important. For anyone else that is struggling like I am— be kind to yourself and take it slowly if you need it. Only push yourself when it is actually going to be helpful.
As for me: I’m going to try to get some work done this weekend!

writing

Let’s Talk Poetry

I love poetry, it is one of my favorite things to read. Give me classic poets or contemporary or anything in between I love them. I’ve been trying to read more poetry lately because I’ve had myself so far into novel land I’ve gotten out of the habit. I have a way to resolve this though! There are various places you can go to read a poem a day, but I’m a fairly busy woman, so why not have them sent to me, instead of me trying to find them?
Yes, I have a newsletter that sends me a poem a day, a podcast that reads me a poem and day, and if that weren’t enough, I have a tumblr that I follow that provides a poem a day. Sure that is a bit lazy, but it allows me to be surprised every day by what I get to read and hear. I could easily grab a book of poetry from my shelf and pick a poem, but that eliminates the chance to find new poetry that I haven’t been exposed to. I’ll add the links so if you are interested you can see what I see every day.
Exposure to new poetry is important to me. It should be important to everyone in my opinion. I’m sure there are studies that say the same thing. Instead I will include an article about poetry with the other links at the bottom of this post. I feel that everyone should be exposed to poetry, but this is more true for children. I remember some of the first poetry I ever heard as a child and I was instantly obsessed. Maybe I’m biased because I hope that the more children who read and fall in love with poetry like I did will increase my chances of having my poetry read long after I die. I know that isn’t likely, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be happy if it did happen. Though I’ll never be anywhere in the same ball park as Sylvia Plath or Emily Dickinson, but a woman can dream.
So why is poetry so important to me? Reading poetry took me away from everything that was happening in my life. Writing poetry gave me an outlet for the emotions that I was feeling. I was never comfortable sharing my feelings with others, and I’m still not. That is just who I am, but when I write poetry- I let my emotions bleed into my words, just like so many others before me have. The ability to let people feel what I’m feeling, or at least have a glimpse of my mind- that is something I wish more people could have, or do. So yeah, poetry is important to me.
This post took me two weeks to write. Why? Because I’ve been struggling to do anything. And today I’m going to write about it. So maybe you’ll get to see that glimpse in the future.

 

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day
https://www.rattle.com/
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/podcasts/series/74634/poemoftheday
http://apoemaday.tumblr.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roger-housden/importance-of-poetry_b_884319.html

Book Reviews

I’m going to keep this short. I’m not feeling motivated today and I just don’t feel like putting a ton of my energy into writing this. I’m sorry, but it is the truth. I have very little energy some days, and today is one of them. I have to save whatever energy I can just to get through the day.
I spend a good portion of my time reading. I’ll read almost anything in almost any genre. I love poetry, sci-fi, fantasy, and various comics, but I’ve been known to read much much more than that. Often when I read a new book, or even read one again I will write a review on GoodReads. I try to be honest, but also not submit any spoilers. So, that is what this is about: Book Reviews.
I’ve recently started reviewing what I read, so I can’t say my list is super long, but still at least it exists. I’ll provide a link to my reviews, if you also review books I’d love a link to yours.
I promise next week I’ll try to write something a bit better.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/21859018

It’s a Tea Kind of Day

Today I had to have tea instead of coffee. This really has no major significance other then I’ve started my day with coffee for as long as I can remember. It has me thinking about how much can change with just one slight alteration in one’s life. So today I’m trying to be mindful of what is different then normal, my mood, my motivation, anything at all. Maybe I’ll be a tea person from now on because it changes my whole day? I’m not really sure. It isn’t likely, but really who knows?
Maybe tea isn’t going to change my whole life, but the thought still remains. What could one little change in my past do to alter my entire life? What change in the history of the US, or the world do to change our current time lines? I’ve thought about this a lot recently when trying to process some stuff that happened to myself and some friends back in the day. Like if I changed one thing about the situation, what would have been different?
Dangerous lines to go down, I do realize this. The past is just that, the past, and it can not be changed, no matter how much we’d like for that to be the truth. That is, until time machines are a real thing, in which case I have a few ideas for alterations for my personal life and for that of the US and the world. I might not be a high ranking official, but I’ve got a pretty good idea on a few things that could lead us into a better life then we have now. Also- I want to be selfish for once and change some of the bad decisions I’ve made. Who wouldn’t want that?
Do you ever find yourself wondering about these things? I do it a lot. I try to incorporate that into my writing, because the choices I’ve made are what shaped me into who I am. I can’t help but wonder who I would be if things were different. It also makes me hyper focused on the decisions I make now and what the results may end up being, because I have a feeling my future self might be analyzing these moments to see where I went wrong just like I do now with my past decisions.
This is quite the rabbit hole I get myself in. You make so many decisions in your life, how do you know what ones really got you where you are? It could be something so little as what you wore that day that ended up with you on spouse number 3 10 years later. You don’t know, I don’t know. It could be anything, couldn’t it? Maybe my tea isn’t what changes my life, but maybe it is.
All I know is I currently miss the kick of my coffee. Tea is great, but it is not something that I can add espresso too and even drinking it black doesn’t make it feel strong enough, but it is yummy. So who knows, maybe I’ll get used to it!

Poetry & Writing

When I started writing as a kid, it was originally what could best be described as a short story. It was actually a quite embarrassing piece of work that followed me around for ages, but has been lost in recent years and I’m super sad about it… really. It was something along the lines of: Page 1 – What makes flowers grow? Page 2- Dirt makes flowers grow. Page 3- Water makes flowers grow— I think you get the hint by now. I mean, I was like six or seven when I wrote this, so I feel like it was pretty advanced myself! Who am I kidding, it was awful, but that really isn’t the point of what I’m getting at here.
I’ve spent the last several years straying away from my roots as a writer. I have been trying over and over unsuccessfully to write a novel. I would go from idea to idea never getting past a first draft. Often I would never even complete the first draft. I get a great idea, and for a few weeks I am obsessed. And then I’m not. The thought of trying to work on whatever story I’m doing makes me want to scream so I give up and start something new, or go through all my old scraps of ideas looking for renewed interest. I have been repeating this process on and off for the last ten years. I have recently sat myself down to try to figure out why I’m struggling with writing.
Before I had started to try to figure out this world of novel writing I would write poetry. Sometimes short prose and rarely something that could almost be considered a short story. Why had I moved on from writing that works well for me and I love doing? That is sort of easy. I thought, in order to be a “real writer” I had to be able to write a full novel. I thought there was no way I could ever make any money at all writing poetry, or anything shorter then a novel. I’ve never been one to be about the money, but some day I would love for writing of some form or another to be my “real job”.
Thinking about it all now it seems silly to me. There are plenty of amazing poets out there that I admire. Why would I think that they are not “real writers”? If I could think it about myself, then it must apply to all poets. I’ve recently even put out a request for favorite poets across Facebook and Twitter. It was amazing to see the love of poetry from my friends. It made my heart warm a little bit if I’m being honest. I don’t know why I felt the need to convince myself that the thing I loved so much wasn’t worthy and that instead I had to waste 10 years of my life trying to do something that I should have known I would never accomplish. Who knows, novel writing might be in my future, but it is not going to be anything I try again for awhile. And I’m totally okay with that.
I came across a quote today as I was sitting here writing this. It seems relevant and something that I need to often remind myself.

If you’re writing, you’re a writer.
― Alan W. Watts

At this point in my life I don’t want to waste any more time on something that isn’t making me happy. I will be going back to my roots and living my true self as a writer/poet. I will work on poetry, various kinds of short prose, short stories, and even submit articles around to see if anyone bits. If the ‘Letter to the Editor’ that I wrote in 8th grade taught me anything it is that I can argue my point and stir quite a bit of controversy in a community if I am passionate enough. I have many passions these days. I would love to make my 8th grade self proud of who I’ve become as a writer.
Do any of you have poets that you love to read (or hear in cases like Spoken Word)? I will leave this with a link to one of my favorite contemporary Spoken Word poets right now, who did a TED talk. (I am a bit obsessed with her)

Sarah Kay’s TED talk

Brief Thoughts

With all the crazy crap happening right now I wasn’t going to write anything yet. I need time for my mind to calm down and to be able to put thoughts together coherently, but then I thought, if I don’t talk about this then that makes me complacent and right now, complacency is not the route to go. I’ll keep this post short, and I don’t care if you don’t agree with me, I’m going to say this anyway.
What happened in Charlottesville is wrong. Am I surprised? Hell no. It isn’t like incidents like this are new. It isn’t like this vile hatred and racism is new. If you are shocked or saying this isn’t America then you, my friend, haven’t been paying attention. Open your eyes and look around you. Racism and violence against minorities has never gone away. Ever. Don’t try to tell me it has. It is disgusting and the fact that we are giving these (call them what they are people!) Nazis a platform to spread their hate is more disgusting.
We need to resist. We need to speak up and take action. I don’t care how small you think you are and if you think you can’t make a difference. You can. You will. Do something!

If you don’t know how to help, ask someone. I’m sure there are a million people around you who can tell you one way that you can help. Just do it. I can’t really stress it enough.
I’m not going to go further with this post. There is so much more I want to say, but like I mentioned in the start of this post, my thoughts are not coherent right now. I will writing something much more in depth in the future. For now, I just want to say this RESIST.
I will leave you with a video, and I will warn you in advance, this is rated E- for explicit, but it sums up my feelings a bit.

Painting in a Cave

My Bipolar messes with my life.

I wish I could say that I’ve got everything under control. My medication is working and I’m control my life, but that would be a lie. Sure things are better since I’ve started medication, but that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Far from it.

Medication is a balancing act. For awhile things will be fine, and then it isn’t. Once I’m on the right dosage I’m sure I’ll get evened out a bit, but for right now, I’m counting down the hours until I can meet with my Psych tomorrow to get a higher dosage of my prescription.

I didn’t want to write this to talk about my medication though, that was only a small part of what I’m struggling with. I’m so out of it I’m not writing. I’m not working out regularly. I’m eating horribly and just not taking care of myself properly. But even that isn’t what I’m really here to talk about.

I realized something with my writing. Or, at least I’m starting to realize something. I have a hard time finishing projects. I’ve always thought it was because I couldn’t keep with one project long enough or because I thought my own writing was horrible, but I’ve started to wonder if maybe the reason I am having a hard time is because I’m not relating to the characters I’m writing.

I’ve also realized I’m writing in genres that I want to read, but I’m not writing the stories that I want to read about.

These realizations, and any others that I get along the way, mean that I’ve got a lot of work to do and  I need to get my butt in gear and actually do it.

I love writing. Anyone who knows me knows this is true. It has been a dream of mine most of my life. Well, I’m getting to the point that I either need to sit down and write or stop dreaming so big. I’m not looking for fame or fortune. I’m looking to be happy, but part of being happy is getting this stuff out of my head and getting it on paper.

I have a ton of work to do. I’ve got a million habits to form. And they all start with one thing– doing the work. Some days that will be easier than others, especially considering my Bipolar and my medication, but I’ll do what needs to be done– or I will at least start trying. I was really on a role at one point, but then I wasn’t. It’s okay, progress isn’t linear, so at least I know that.

I’ve been trying to read more again too. That will help spark some more reading I think. The more I read, the more I want to write. There is a quote from Stephen King that sticks with me, and has since the first time I saw it:

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King

I believe this quote to be an ultimate truth in the world of writing. One that I need to live by, among several others, but this one currently above all. And another one about sitting down and writing….

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” -Ernest Hemingway

Yes, that is the one. I guess it is time for me to read and bleed, but please don’t quote me on that. Ever.

I’ll leave you with one last item, the one that I got my title for this post from. A song that always makes me motivated to be creative, even when I really don’t feel like it.

Another Travelin Song – Bright Eyes