Mental health, Writing Updates

Writing and Depression

I haven’t been writing for a few days. I must admit that depression has rolled in and I don’t feel like doing anything. I struggle to think straight or care about anything. I’m really indifferent, or numb to what goes on around me, or what I do during the day. I could stare at a wall or just sleep all day and it wouldn’t matter to me.

But there is a part of me that is still thinking about writing. Even thought during a depression I struggle to physically write, my mind is still working on projects, or trying to at least. This is when my depression hits its deeper levels.

There are times I’m depressed but not deeply, so I can still function enough to write something. Those are the days I go easy on myself when I do decide to write and just try to get something down. I don’t force myself to do a lot because I know it won’t take much to make my depression worse.

Writing and depression…how do I make it work? Well, it’s tough. When depression is bad and I am so exhausted I just sleep or stare at the TV I don’t bother to write on those days. I have to wait for the depression to abate a little to a point where I have more energy and more clarity of though and then I sit myself down at the computer and type out a blog post, or try something that isn’t so labor intensive. Then on days where I’m feeling really good, I’ll dive right into my latest project. It’s about working with my body and its illness and trying to make things work. So I have to really be receptive to how I feel, which I’ve been told that I am anyway so it works out.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I’m happy to hear from my readers. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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Reflections of the Heart, Secret Anguish

And Around We Go!

Just last week I wrote a post about shutting down work on my second book Secret Anguish. Well, there have been a change of plans, which I didn’t foresee.

Just yesterday morning I heard back from a literary agent I contacted just last month, and they want to see the first three chapters and a synopsis for Reflections of the Heart (my first book). So what does this have to do with Secret Anguish? Well, I kind of mentioned that I was working on a second book in my query letter, so now I’m like, “Well, what if they want to see work on the second book too?”

And I kept praying about Secret Anguish and if God really wants me to work on this book or not. I keep feeling a draw to write it no matter how difficult it may be emotionally. (I’ll still have to keep a close eye on my mental health.) And I have a LOT of work to do on it. I’m still in the phase of gathering my sources.

So this whole literary agent contacting me asking to see more of one book, has really motivated me to move forward with another book.

We never know just how things are going to turn out when we have several projects going. It’s just amazing how God can turn things around just when you think you’re done with a project, he says, “No, you’re not finished. I need you to work on this and finish it.”

So here I go. I’ve sent off the email to the literary agent with what she’s asked to see. And I’m back hard at work, on Secret Anguish.

I hear my son in his room. He’s up so I must go for now.

Take care and God bless!

Memoir, Mental health

Behind the Writer

I’m sitting here in my office with the pellet stove roaring away. It’s comfortably warm in this room, but inside me is a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. You see, I’m not just a writer. First and foremost I am a child of God and I suffer from PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. Why am I telling you this? Because I am going to be making blog posts about mental illness that will relate to my upcoming book about my journey through mental illness. And because I’m not afraid to admit that I have a mental illness.

Sometimes, I think that having a mental illness can make us more creative individuals because we look for creative ways to work out the pain that is deep inside. So deep it stays well hidden until we are alone and then we can contain it no longer.

Open the flood gates. Our emotions either come out as a trickle or a roar whether through tears, or through creative means. Or both.

So now you know more about me. But you’ll learn even more as I go along. 😉

A Daughter's Reflection

A DAUGHTER’S REFLECTION – REWRITE

Today is a good day for writing, I think. I am working on a memoir I started in my late teens but never fully developed because I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to go with it.

A Daughter’s Reflection is my account, as a teenager, of having a mother who was ill with cancer, and having to take care of her for several months both day and night. The book consists of several journal entries. I don’t think I had ever kept a journal until that year. I know, I know. A teenage girl without a journal. Strange, right? I just had never thought of writing until that year when so much was happening and becoming overwhelming I needed a someone to talk to when no one else was around and a place to vet everything. A notebook became that place and God was that person I talked to.

This book will serve to relate my story as a teenager going through grief, depression, anxiety, and a sense of loss, not just in losing a loved one, but not knowing where I stood in the world, you know, where I belonged. In my story you will see changes of the teenager I was while caring for my mother, then through depression, anxiety and loss of self, and then through finding myself in Christ.

I have written a new preface and reorganized the chapters. I have to go through them for some editing. After that, I will need to determine the last chapter or two of the book. I am hoping to have this book out by summer time. I am aiming before that. I will keep everyone updated as I go along. God bless.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 25 of August Camp NaNo – Late Evening

 

It has been a busy day around home today…planting eight pink lady apple trees all grown from seed, watering them, tending the vegetable garden, cooking dinner, having a bath, then Bible study with my husband and father in law and so on. It was a great day with beautiful warm weather with a refreshing breath of wind. What an awesome day God has given us here and now, after having a glass of Sangria for the first time, I am feeling relaxed, all be it a little sleepy, but I am finally able to sit down and work on my story again.

How far I will get depends on my ability to keep my eyelids open. lol. That should be job in itself. But I will belt out some words no matter what. Don’t think I’d be able to sleep well knowing I didn’t at least write SOMETHING today…er…this evening.

So I will go for now and continue working on chapter three. I made a great dent in the chapter last night so I hope to make a bigger dent in it tonight. Curious to see how far I will go.

**God, please help me with this endevour and to succeed at my goal, Amen.**

Here goes!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 25 of Camp NaNo – Early Morning

 

It’s just after 1:40AM when I’m writing this. I have been working on my book for a couple of hours, trying not to be distracted by other things. It’s VERY hard to do some times. When I started writing I had, 26,892 words and at quitting time I had 29,376 for a total of 2,484 words written this time. Now I just need to update the Camp NaNo site with my new word count.

I am working on chapter three right now and I so wanted to finish it tonight…er….this morning, however, when the screen starts to get fuzzy even though you’re wearing your glasses and your stomach starts to get upset and you can’t stop yawning, I’m guessing those are VERY good indicators it’s time to stop pushing myself into the feeling sick territory and go to bed.

I need to get my mind of depression and find something happy to think about before bed. Hope I can do that, but I have a feeling after my head hits the pillow I’ll be out.

I feel great after my accomplishment and getting further in this book and I pray all you other NaNoers are making progress as well. If not, don’t give up. Writing isn’t always an easy thing to do. I had a hard time starting earlier on the 24th but by late that evening everything just began to flow. Strange how that happens. You just never know when the time is going to be right for your those words to fly from your brain to the keyboard.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Never give up hope…at least not so early in the fight.” ~ Rayden, Mortal Kombat Annihilation

Miss watching that movie! Sorry. I had better get to bed before I start rambling some more. Night all and many blessing for another day! 🙂

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 24 for August Camp NaNo 2012

 

It’s after 10PM on the east coast and I have the opportunity to work on my memoir about depression, what caused it, and how I came out of it with God‘s help.

The desire to write, to tell my story is there, but also lingering within me is fear. Fear of going back to those places that caused such pain and sadness. It is hard to write about one’s experiences in relation to hard times especially losing not only one loved one, but several. I sit here with a need to tell my story believing what I say may help someone out there, but also that writing it out may be therapy for me, and praise to God who helped me through that valley to the mountain top so to speak.

But how to get through those moments that make you want to cry…or just push the book off somewhere else and find something else to work on. Just because I don’t feel depressed, doesn’t mean that the pain of losing someone is gone. It’s still there and I believe that is what is causing me to struggle on with this book. I believe that God puts struggles in our path for a reason and that is to help us grow to become stronger for whatever purpose He may have for us. Since I believe this, and since I believe that with God I have nothing to fear, I must practice what I believe and press on.

So currently, my book stands at 26,892 words. I will now end this post and work more on my book and write another post before I hit the sack and let you all know how I have done. But first, a little prayer to God to help me with this journey.

Back later!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNo Day #23

 

Here I am on the 23rd of Camp NaNo. It’s just after midnight here on the east coast of the U.S. My mind things of the story I should be writing, but my stomach is yelling it’s monstrous voice to feed it, and my eyes and mind are screaming “Let me sleep, PLEASE!” Oh, what to do  in moments like these, knowing you must press on to meet that deadline? Knowing the next chapter you are about to write is going to be hard, but knowing it will lead to a published work someday that will prayerfully help at least one person in the world.

My desire and my heart want to continue on, but I am afraid I must call it a night. Get a snack to quiet the beast in my gut and close my eyes to end the constant straining to keep them open and rest my mind so that tomorrow…or should I say later today…I’ll be able to do more writing and make more progress on my book than before.

Ah, sleep is a friend and I know I must relinquish to it. But it is hard when the words come and with them feelings and dialogue…all plays in the sleeping mind, waiting, wanting, yearning to be written for other eyes to see. By I must quiet the mind with prayer and let God take over my sleepy body and ease me into a restful sleep.

Camp NaNo day #23 continues….much later today. 🙂 Night all!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

21st Day of August Camp NaNo

 

I haven’t done ANY writing on my book today. Spent about four hours working on my cooking and catering course through the Stratford Career Institute while my 3 yr old daughter did her “school work” on abcmouse.com. We just signed her up today and started her on the preschool level. I gave her several chances to take a break but she loved it so much she didn’t want to quit! lol. So I just finished my school work and took my second exam and got a 95! Yea!

But anyway, back to my Camp NaNo story. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it is about my story on depression and how I got through it…however, I have  an idea for another book has been really working in my head. I keep trying to push it away. I’ll have to save it for the November NaNo.

So tonight, while my husband works on writing a computer program for me, I’ll be working beside him on my Camp NaNo story for this month. Only have a little over 26,000 words. Not sure if I’ll make the goal, but I’m dang well gonna try. Thing is writing about depression and things that cause it is hard. Brings back some emotions so I’ll have to do a little at a time and then have a “happier” break before bed like watching some comedy or something

Well, the dinner bell is ringing folks so I best go and get the hubby and daughter some dinner and get myself some while I’m at it. Then we’ll tend the garden, get the daughter to bed and then it is writing time!!! Or…that’s that plan..but we all know plans can change, don’t we? lol

See later my friends. I will be back later tonight with another report on my progress. Cheers!

~Janis~