Secret Anguish

Secret Anguish: My Mental Health Journey

Okay so I have really been tackling editing on two books. One I think is pretty good so I’m leaving that one alone. But it’s this one about my mental health, Secret Anguish. I went through it and couldn’t imagine what I was thinking some of the chapters I had included. They just didn’t make any sense. So you know what I did, I axed those suckers right out of the book. That removed 22,000 words from my story but it had to be done. I’m down to a little over 30,000 words now. About the size of my other book.

And then I had to remove other whole pages or whole paragraphs to make sure everything lined up. But now that I’m at the end I’m realizing there is some information I could include that would go with the mental health title. So I am working on adding in some information from my therapy days while I was still in Vermont. And I thought after the move to Maine in 2011 I would add in some things from my stay in the hospital. Those are the only two things I can think of adding right now. Then I’ll probably print my book again and go over it again. Editing just never ends it seems like.

Speaking of editing, do you have a certain way that you edit your work? I really don’t at least nothing methodical. Do you use any books to help you on your way? I have one book but I haven’t read it all yet. There are several articles out there than can help you too if you need help.

Here is one website that will help with editing:

https://www.lisatener.com/2012/02/how-to-edit-a-nonfiction-book-one-step-at-a-time/

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Uncategorized

Taking a Writing Break? Harder Than I Thought

Okay so I said I was going to take a break from writing, but that is proving harder that I thought. I was talking with another author friend, Heather Montford, she suggested I try doing writing prompts instead of trying to write a whole novel while watching my son.

So I did it. This morning i looked up writing prompt sites and found one at Writer’s Digest’s website. I worked on the very first prompt they gave and I found it so freeing to still write even if I may not use what I’m writing. And I’m keeping my writing muscles exercised. I think by doing these prompts and reading, I’ll be in good shape.

Another lesson learned, don’t throw away the advice of a good friend! You never know where it will lead you.

Do you have a favorite writing prompt site, or book? Let me know in the comments.

Have a great day.

Writing Updates

Break

I hate to say it but I have decided to take a break from writing and concentrate on my family. It’s just been hard trying to find time to write or edit my work when my time has been demanded by other means. I’m still here however and I will be reading up on the writing world and I’ll share what I find interesting so please don’t think I have stop blogging.

Thank you all for your support. You have been a loyal group and I pray you will still hang in there while I go through this lull. I am always here if  you have something you want to talk about just feel free to leave a comment or email me at jisoucie@hotmail.com.

General Updates

Reports Coming In

So far I have reports from two readers coming in do I have some corrections to make. It’s just a matter of finding time to work on getting those corrections into the computer. I’m watching my son full time now so that will be difficult.

I have some good results coming in as far as results are concerned. I definitely think they will make my book better. My friend Heather and my mother-in-law both went through my book for me and I think they did an excellent job.

I have been working on the book while I can and making all sorts of improvements. More improvements are yet to come.

Uncategorized

Beta Readers

Well I did it. I wrote a book about a month ago with the help of Camp NaNo and I just finished typing up the corrections I had from editing. And I sent my book off to three beta readers. I’m just trying to be patient while I wait for them to receive the file and then read it. Just so curious as to what they will think.

Something else I have gotten into thinking about is setting a more rigid writing schedule and adding goals. You see basically I don’t have a writing schedule which is why I don’t have a whole lot of books published. Part of it is a confidence thing too. So I’m reading at http://www.magnoliamedianetwork.com/use-smart-goals-to-get-your-book-done/

So I’m not setting goals just yet. I want to read more at this latest website and maybe check out a few others. Just thinking about setting goals for writing more has me nervous. You’re probably wondering why and I’m not sure. I want to write more on my next book but I don’t have a story about it yet. I guess I’m waiting on feedback for my first book back to see what I should do.

Do you set goals to help you overcome procrastination? What do you do to keep yourself writing? I’d love to hear from you so please leave comments or write to me at jisoucie@hotmail.com.

General Updates, Memoir, Mental health, Sackets Saga Book 1, Writing Updates

Update

Lately, I have been working on Sackets Harbor Saga Book 1. I don’t have a title for the book yet, but I know it will come.

The story I was working on about my mental health really turned out to be article length after I scrapped most of the idea I had. So no book there like I was hoping.

But I am happy to be working on Book 1 in a series. This is based in historical Sackets Harbor, NY. I went to school there and know the history pretty well so thought I would write a story based in that area but in a different time period. So that is what I have been working on as I can. I have been struggling emotionally for several days and just started a new medication. I only hope it helps and that I’ll be able to do more writing in the morning.

What have you been working on lately? Making any progress?

Please let me know in the comments.

Creativity

STOP! Let Creativity In

I have been having an awful time getting creative and so I did some searches on You Tube and around the net about letting creativity in. Here is one article I came across. WARNING: The author swears several times. Hopefully you can overlook that. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/10/02/25-ways-to-get-your-creative-groove-back-as-a-writer/

He has some good points in there and some things I already do. But something I’ve realized is that I have been struggling with anxiety when it comes to writing. I haven’t understood why when I used to love writing so much. Just at some point there was anxiety, or maybe the anxiety just happened to sneak it’s way in just as I was writing. Because there are points during the day I do just fine writing and then later in the day I get anxious and then I struggle to think straight and need a break, maybe even a nap to “reset” my brain.

You see, I get up at 5:30 in the morning…or rather that’s when my alarm goes off. I wake up anywhere between 2AM – 4AM and I usually take a nap when I put my son down for his name between noon and 1PM. But when I’m hypomanic forget it, I can’t sleep. I make it to dinner but around 6-7PM I’m yawning and can barely stay awake. Yes, I’m in bed that early. I miss out on the evening with my family, but I’m hoping another trip to my doctor’s office I can get something to help me sleep. That would help.

Something I have to realize as well is that I have fibromyalgia on top of having a mental illness so I also have to deal with fibro fog. Here are some websites I’ve visited:
http://www.cfidsselfhelp.org/library/lifting-fog-treating-cognitive-problems

https://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-and-fatigue#1

So I have been learning to do meditation before I sit down to write. I also pray as my faith is deeply rooted in who I am. While I’m writing I also remind myself that I’m writing for the FUN of it and not to worry about the publishing aspects yet.
A very important thing I am learning is to write when there isn’t a lot going on, no kids screaming for me, chores are done or can wait, and the best times for me are in the morning. So figuring out a schedule and meditating have really helped get me into a relaxed state and my creativity has been so much better for it.

Stress and really pushing myself to work as fast as I could in the short few hours I have to write just put too much stress on me as well as gave me anxiety and I mentally shut down. I wasn’t able to get anything done.

What do you do when you find you’re struggling with your creativity?

Writers With Depression

Writers With Depression: Yes, I’m One of Them

It has been a few months since I have posted anything. I try not to get down on myself for not being able to keep up with this blog, with my writing, or just life in general. You see, I suffer from major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and general anxiety disorder. It’s been difficult for me to write every day. I’m just getting back into it and I’m working on a book about my experience with depression and anxiety.

It has been years since I’ve been where I am now. I have tried so many medications and been hospitalized multiple times. All of which never really helped me. So ECT, or shock therapy was suggested so I tried that but had to stop because it was causing issues with my memory. I did start to feel better after the treatment so I was bummed thinking ECT was it. That there was nothing more and I was just going to have to live with severe depression somehow. I didn’t want to remain in the dark pit where I was thinking suicidal and homicidal thoughts that I struggled to control. I started cutting myself which is something I have never done before. I now have scars on my left arm that I am not proud of.

But then ketamine treatments were suggested. “Why not? I don’t have anything to lose.” I didn’t feel I did. I’ve tried everything else and I wanted to get better for my family. I wanted to enjoy them. I wanted to know what it was like to enjoy time with them, especially my two kids.

So I went in to have the ketamine treatment which is given through IV. It takes forty minutes for the total infusion and wow! I understand why people like this stuff. It made me feel like my body was numb to the point I couldn’t feel myself breathe or feel my lips move when I talked. I saw things that were quite psychedelic and everything I heard was distorted. This was my first “trip”. And to think I would have to go through more of these treatments as there are four treatments to start with.  But each time I went the side effects lessened. AND…guess what? I started to feel better and my in laws said they finally got to know who their son married after twelve years of my being in a depression. I had energy and was thinking clearly and yes, I was enjoying life and wow! I knew what it was like to actually enjoy everything I was doing.

With ketamine treatments I can have them every three months. But at one month out from my last treatment, I noticed I started to feel down more and more often. The ketamines were not last three months. I was sinking again. I was so scared but I kept my faith and prayed a lot. Not to mention cried a lot when I prayed. I just did not want to go back down into a dark depressive whole.

But on January 15, 2018 I started my second round of ketamine infusions.  This time around it’s going to be different. I’m going to get two treatments, then wait two weeks; have two more treatments, wait two weeks, and then have the last two treatments and then wait three months. By doing this the doctor is hoping the ketamines will last longer. But at my next appointment which is coming up on the 31st, I have to have a meeting with the doctor as she wants to know how well the ketamines are working. To be honest I can’t imagine not having the ketamines. I think it would give me wicked anxiety if she stopped the treatments to try something else. I don’t think that is going to happen so I’m going to just not think about that. lol.

Seriously though. This is what I have been going through and I have been trying to find my creativity throughout this whole thing. I think I’m just so down on myself for having a mental illness and what I have to keep going through and what I’m putting my family through that I just shut everything else off, like my creativity. So now I am working on getting that back. My current project is a book about my experiences with mental health and the experimental treatments. I have been struggling with even getting the first chapter done. But I’m not going to stop. I have to keep going. I don’t like quitting things.

If you have a mental illness and are working on a book, are you struggling as I am? Or is your writing going okay?

 

Mental Illness and Creativity

Mental Illness & Creativity

Some people think that those with mental illness have this great ability to be creative. Well, I am someone with a mental illness and I can tell you I actually have a hard time being creative. It’s like in my depressed moods all I want to do is stare at a wall or sleep. The last thing I want to do is try to write a story whether fiction or nonfiction. I just lay on the couch having no energy and no motivation.

When I’m hypomanic my mind is so scattered, going from one idea to the next. Whatever I’d write probably wouldn’t make much sense, especially since I don’t sleep much. But this is just me.

I swear having a mental illness makes it harder for me to think, to bring my creativity out. I don’t know that having a mental illness can actually make it harder to be creative. This is just my own person thought because I know I love to write but lately have been having such a hard time getting into my creative flow.

Do any of you notice that having a mental illness makes it harder to be creative? What do you think about my statement?

Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Writing Challenge, Writing Updates

Writing for Kids

Okay. So I have been told time and again that I should write children’s stories.

There’s just one problem. I haven’t been reading children’s books to know what’s out there even how to go about writing one.

So if you read children’s stories from like grade 5 or 6 on  up to young adult please leave the name of the author or authors you most enjoy and I’ll be happy to check them out.

I’m very excited to be venturing into this area of writing so I can’t wait to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment or send an email to jisoucie@hotmail.com

Let me know where your emailing from. I’m curious to see where in the world my readers are located.

So send me your requests today! I can’t wait!