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

On Writing

As usual I had other ideas about what I was going to write about today, but when I sat down to write none of those ideas spoke to me. So here I am, writing off the cuff as one might say. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write, until I just started to do it just now.

I’ve been struggling with my writing lately. I’ve been struggling with a lot of things. I know it is a part of the process and I’m trying to be okay with that. I don’t want to stop grieving for my Brother, because that is how I feel. I am sad. I am beyond sad and nothing is going to change that. At the same time, I hate when my sadness makes me unable to achieve my goals, and that is what is happening. So now I’m just getting mad at myself for being sad, but being sad is what I want to be. It is a fun cycle I have going on in my mind.

I’ve tried to break the cycle, at least with my writing. I’ve tried starting a new project since the current one held no draw for me. That didn’t work. I thought about past projects that maybe I could take a look at and breathe new life into. That didn’t work either. So I’ve gone back to the original project that I was working on and have started to edit the first 52 pages that I have written. It is sort of working. I get about a page done every day, not because I can’t do more, or because it takes me that long. Nope, it is because I can’t stand to look at my writing for more than 20 minutes.

I had the thought, briefly, that maybe I just wasn’t supposed to write any more, but I quickly was able to pull out my ‘Depression Lies’ list in my Bullet Journal to remind myself that isn’t true. I’m just depressed. So I will keep editing, maybe by the time I’m done I’ll feel like writing, maybe not. Maybe when I finish I’ll have to edit another project. I don’t know. What I do know is as long as I keep sitting down to try to write, edit, or whatever it is I do when I open up the document, then I am working towards my goal. Slowly, sure, but I’m still working towards it. I can’t do much more than that can I?

I think I might start reading On Writing again, it is one of my favorite books to inspire me to write, and re-motivate myself in general. I’m thinking that would be a step in the right direction to get myself back on track. And if that doesn’t work, that is fine. I’ve got plenty of projects that need to be edited. Even if that is all I do all year, at least I haven’t given up.