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

Why I Write

When I was young, say 3 or so, my Grandmother gave me the best gift that anyone has. In my 34 years on this Earth no gift has been greater or more important to me. My Grandmother taught me to read, and in turn write. She instilled in me a love of both. To this day I couldn’t be more thankful to her for that. It was from her that I learned my purpose in life. I knew that no matter what I did with my life, I would also be a writer. I may never be famous. I may never be able to buy her everything she ever wanted as a thanks, but I could still write and share with her my work when I was comfortable enough to share it with anyone. She was my first fan, and my first teacher. I will forever be in her debt for showing me the wonderful world of words.
There have been many people who have influenced my love of writing and reading since that time. School teachers who took interest in my love of books and would assign me extra reading or writing assignments to push me further. Sometimes they would just encourage me to submit my work for publication. As my family knows all too well, it didn’t always end up with the best outcome. (Think letter to the editor from 7th/8th grade.) No matter the outcome though, if it weren’t for these teachers encouraging me, I might have never made it through school with my love of books and writing still in tact. School can be hard for any child, but sometimes I wonder, from my experience, if it isn’t that much more difficult for creative children. The ones who love to read, write, draw, paint, build. They can really struggle through sitting down all day and being told they have to do one thing and one thing only. If you know a creative child, teen, or adult you must know how hard that is for them to do. So to these teachers, I am forever grateful for your guidance, kind words of encouragement, and tough love when it was required. I learned so much between extra assignments in middle school, to creative writing class, writing conferences, and just one on one critiques. You all helped me survive what was more than a difficult time for me. I am unsure if I would have ever graduated High School without you.
My Parents, though maybe not understanding what I wrote, still supported me no matter what. Did I need to be dropped off at school early on a Saturday to attend a conference? Sure, they did that. Writing was almost like playing a sport sometimes. I guess they just got lucky that it was only once or twice a year, instead of several days a week for months at a time over four years. (You’re welcome!)They also encouraged me to write, to read. They supported my addiction to paper. I guess as the Parents of a rebellious teen I’d support an addiction to books too, it could have been much worse. We fought, a lot, like most Parents and their Children, but no matter how much we did or didn’t fight with each other, they still supported this dream of mine. And that support was instrumental in me not giving up, even when things looked their darkest.
My Best Friends have been my rocks most of my life. The first when I was 13 or so and the second coming along around 17. I am lucky to have found the two of them. They were creative types like me, but not always in the same way. I could feed off their creativity and them off mine. They were support but in an unconventional way. I didn’t always need them to push me harder, instead I needed them to pull me out of my own darkness so I could focus. And that they did. My life would never have been the same without either of them being a part of it.
I’m sure there are so many others who supported me throughout the way, but these are the ones who are most important to me, and have always been at the back of my mind when I sit to write. I want to make sure when I write, that I’m doing something that would make them proud. I feel like these people helped me throughout my life to make sure that I’ve never given up on the dream of being a writer. Sure I’ve had periods of doubt, and even periods of years where I didn’t write at all. They were some of the worst years of my life and I’m glad they are over.
These people aren’t the reason I write, they are, however, the reasons I never gave up writing when I didn’t achieve my first goals (to be the youngest published novelist in the world), or when I didn’t achieve me second goals, third, fourth, and so on. They are the people who stood by me in my failures and told me how to use them to make my work better, to make my life better, and how to move forward with my dreams even when they didn’t go as planned. So no, they might not be the reason I write, but they are the reasons I’ve continued to write. That might be an even better thing to be.
The reason I write?
I don’t know if I could breathe if I were unable to write. I would be trapped in my mind with so many words to get out but no place to give them life. A life without writing, a life without reading, that is not a life I want to lead. I would be miserable and I’m already miserable enough (thanks Depression!). I write because I feel like if I don’t my fingers might fall off and my brain would turn to much out of not being used. My life couldn’t be my own without writing. Sure I can read and escape a bit, but without having my own writing in the mix I still have too much that needs to come out and be said.
Writing is what I’ve built my life around. I will probably continue to do it until the day I die. Published or not. Famous or not. I will keep going because that is who I am. It is who I want to be, and who I have always wanted to be.

Books- I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

I’ve spent a lot of time in the bookstore lately. I find it therapeutic- something about being around rows of books it just makes me feel better. I generally assume that most people feel the same way that I do about books and bookstores, but I guess maybe that isn’t the case? I don’t know really, you’ll have to fill me in!
The problem with spending so much time at the bookstore is that I also end up buying more books. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love books and I love buying books. However, I don’t always have the room and/or money for more books. Not to mention at this point my To Read list is so backed up I’m not sure I’ll ever complete it. I have made a list of the physical books that I own that I haven’t read yet (or most of them) and I am going to try to finish them before the end of the year, but this won’t start until after I’ve finished a few books I have digital that I already planned to read before moving on to anything else.
I won’t stop buying books in physical or digital format any time soon. This is something that I’m very much aware of. You can’t just tell a book addict to stop getting books. That won’t ever happen. Maybe I’ll never read them all, that is fine. They will hopefully be passed on some day to someone who will read them. That is what is important right?
I know this post is quite short, and I’m sorry. I’ve got some fun neck pain going on today and I really just don’t feel like sitting up and writing. I’m hoping that with tomorrow’s new month will come a new me, one that is more motivated to get things done. The most I can do is hope at this point.
I’m working on getting a routine in place for myself between my medication, writing, working out, reading and work I’ve got to figure out how to fit it all in. Would love to get gaming back into my life too, maybe even some Anime binge watching! Oh to dream!
Anyway, as promised, I’ll show you my books, but you better show me yours! (Sorry, not going to try to list all the digital ones)

Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge (From Tumblr Post)

So, I’ve done this before, but I’m going to do it again. One of my goals in life is to read every book on this list. I have made a spreadsheet so I can keep track of the ones I’ve read, need to read and want to read again. Feel free to make a copy for yourself if you’d like. I haven’t done anything beyond make the sheet yet, so you can’t track my progress. I will get to that this weekend when I have more free time. And once it is updated I will feel bad about nothing having read more of these, considering I am such an avid reader, but I guess that is why I want to do this right?

Maybe this is a bad weekly blog post? I don’t know, but I’m excited to read more!