I’ve hinted a bit lately on Twitter and in other posts that I was working on some exciting things. My plans are still in the works, but I felt at this point I should probably start putting it all out there and making it a reality. Everyone knows, once you tell someone your goals you are more likely to stick with them for fear of public failure. Or, at least that is how it works for me.
There are so many things going on in my brain right now that it is actually difficult to get it all out and onto this screen without just becoming a jumbled mess of words that make sense to no one but myself, so stick with me here. I’m really trying.
I have been working on plans for 2018. I’ve told myself that it has to be a better year than 2017. I honestly can’t handle any more bad, not like I’ve had the last year. Not at all if I can help it, but I realize that is probably not possible.
In my planning I’ve decided a few things about myself and the direction that I want my life to take. I’ve already put some of my plan into motion already. That is, I’ve gotten approved to volunteer weekly at my local Public Library. It may not seem like much to some of you, but books are a huge part of my life. Without them I may not have made it this far into adulthood. I’m unsure I would have even survived adolescence. I start my actual volunteering in January due to some family events I have planned out of state, but I feel it is a great way to start the new year anyway.
Beyond the Library I decided on a few other things. First being this is the year I finally put myself out there with my writing. And I mean really out there. So far I have a Patreon set up which I am officially putting out in the world for you all to view and hopefully it will really help.
I have also decided this is the year to get myself into Freelancing. I know it won’t be easy. I know it is going to be hard as hell actually, but I’m determined and somehow I will figure it out and I will succeed. Even if it takes me all year. With that said, if anyone has suggestions or is looking for someone to guest blog- shoot me an email!
Can there be more? Oh yes, of course there can. It is me after all and if there is one thing I do it is set up millions of goals for myself. Some days having an obsessive personality and Manic episodes can really get yourself into more than you expected. Today may end up being one of those days, but I won’t dwell on that, not yet anyway.
I finally have an idea for a novel. One that I want more than anything to see finished. So this year I plan to write it. I’m starting my goal with just a first draft, but in reality I’d love to see myself editing a second or final draft by the end of the year. Or if I could have that part done by November for NaNoWriMo that’d be great. I would hate to have to work on a second project for a month while I’m still in the middle of the first one. Speaking of NaNoWriMo- another goal is to participate, and win, both Camp NaNos and NaNoWriMo (April, July, & November). I also hope to continue working on the poetry collection that I started a few months ago entitled “I’m Not Afraid of Dying” and has a large focus on the last year of my life recovering from the loss of my brother. Sure a major underlying theme is loss, but it isn’t all about death. It has been difficult to work on but I do hope to have a final draft of the Chapbook by the end of the year as well.
This past year didn’t go well for me. I struggled to survive and was just barely able to do that. The one thing I did have that worked for me, when I used it, was my Bullet Journal. This year I decided to make a digital one so that I could save paper, update it wherever I am, not have to try and draw, and so I could share with others if they were interested in making a copy of it for themselves. It is basic and bare bones, but if you would like a copy of it, it is yours. I hope you are able to take the base and add into it all the things you need to keep yourself on track for the year. Do make sure you make a copy of it before you start trying to edit and make it your own. You will not be able to edit the Template, which is why you need a copy. 2018 BuJo Template
I hope that everyone is as excited as I am for all the new things that you plan to do with your life and your new year. I am forever trying to improve myself, live as my truest self, and to just be happy (that one can be difficult with Type 2 Bipolar).
As always I love comments, emails, Tweets, whatever form of communication you want so keep it coming!
In my last post I talked about how I was going to commit. I was really going to get things done. I didn’t. I don’t even think I made it past that post. Then I disappeared- which is common for me, for those of you that don’t know me personally.
My disappearing isn’t the reason I’m writing here though. So I’m not going to bother getting into it. I honestly don’t know the reason that I’m writing here. I haven’t figured it out, even though I’ve already started writing….
I guess I will just jump back in after my break at full speed. NaNoWriMo starts on the first of November. I was going to participate, then I wasn’t, now I think I am. I haven’t really been working on any kind of novel. I’ve been focusing more on poetry, when I actually spent any time writing that is. I do want to participate though. I just have to figure out exactly what project I want to work on.
I’ve got two ideas in my head you see. One that would be something anyone who knows me would easily expect me to write. It follows along the lines of my personality and would shock no one that it is more Sci-Fi than anything. The other though, it would be more general. No Fantasy. No Sci-Fi. Something that is a bit less expected.
I have no idea which route I want to go, but will attempt to write a bit of both and see what one really speaks to me. And I’ll go with whatever one pulls me more. And the other will just have to wait until next year I guess!
I’m worried about trying to write either one of them as I usually get frustrated with myself quickly when I’m trying to write a novel, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep trying. I know that I’ve got it in me somewhere to write something that is more than poetry. So I just have to keep at it.
That is how life is right? Just keep trying? My depressive episodes of my Bipolar are more consistent these days and I have a hard time getting myself out of bed for work in the morning (which is sad because I work from home). I have a hard time doing anything to be fair, but when my brief Manic episodes kick in I’m really able to get things done. That is just how it is with Biploar, but I’m trying to still get work done even when I don’t feel like I can. Today is one of those days. All I want to do right now is get under a blanket and hide for the day, but I can’t, because I have responsibilities and I have things that must be done, bills that must be paid. I’m lucky that I do work from home because I’m not sure that I could get up and go to a brick & mortar job like many people do. I applaud anyone that works like that, because I can’t.
But no one wants to hear about that. Or so my brain tells me, so I’m going to try to push through it even though I know it will never end or go away. I’m going to try to keep trying.
That is all I have for today. If you use the NaNoWriMo website let me know, we can be buddies. Maybe you could be the difference in my motivation! Good luck to anyone who is participating.
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!
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.
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)
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
I’m in a really odd place in my life right now. I’ve just started playing D&D, a lot. I would say on average I play 3-4 days a week in a mixture of Homebrew and Adventurers League. With my anxiety medication actually working it makes it easier to go out and be semi social, even if I am pretending to be someone else while I’m there.
This is great for me on many levels. A big one being I’m actually getting out of my house, and for those of you who don’t know me, that doesn’t happen often. It is also fuel for my imagination, which is always helpful considering my imagination is what keeps me going most days.
All is not great though. I have noticed, with my new schedule that I’m missing out on a lot of things. Sleep being a big one, but my writing is also suffering. I am still working on figuring out a way to fit it all in, but I’m getting there. I’m forcing myself to get up in the morning, which currently is hit or miss for me as mornings are not my favorite thing, but hey, at least I’m trying right!
I won’t be successfully completing Camp NaNo this month, but that’s okay. What this non-writing time has provided to me is a ton of ideas and an almost endless supply of even more ideas. That to me, is far more important. The words will come eventually, I don’t have to rush them. I don’t have any kind of deadlines anyway. Writing is just what I love, I don’t have to rush for anyone. I write for myself.
That is all for now. Maybe I’ll have something more thought provoking next week.