Been having a few days off from working on my memoir. Mainly because I had a mood crash. I'm trying to avoid talking too much about detail about my mental health on this blog, although I still have struggles, whether I say something, or not. My primary diagnoses are bipolar disorder (type 1) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and I see them as medical conditions, not my entire identity. One of the reasons I moved away from my advocacy as Bipolar Courage, is that I wanted to focus more on my other passionate hobbies, especially to do with creative expression.
One of the great things about being an independent 'indie' author, is that I can choose my own publication date. With flexibility to move things around, if I need to.
I had therapy today (for PTSD). My clinicial psychologist asked, 'Why September?' as that's the month I'm aiming for. In this blog post, I'll give a few reasons why, with a little context.
A very talented artist friend asked me if I'd intended for my fire goddess painting to be named 'Devine' rather than 'Divine.' I actually checked back and her name is definitely 'Devine.' She's mentioned in my memoir, now in the polishing stages.
I don't want to drastically alter the manuscript, so I've been writing some blog posts with additional linked information, for those interested in my creative process.
The memoir I'm currently finalising, is probably way more accurate than a typical memoir, as I've spent a lot of time cross-checking my journals, vlog etc. I decided to cross-check about the origins of why I chose 'Devine.'
I was editing a bit of my memoir, Bipolar Courage: Are you sure you're not autistic? The story is written and I'm two-thirds of the way through, polishing it, best I can. I was quite amused at my own writing, which I cross-checked with a video, as I wasn't sure if I'd lip-synched or sang along to a song. I laughed when I watched some of it back.
I've been working on a memoir the past 18 months or so. I'm up to the final editing and proof-reading stages. I feel a bit worried I have broken lots of rules of grammar but then I think, 'Stuff it!' There are too many grammar snobs out there, hung up on rules, yet write boring stories.
I've just had a chat to a friend who has taught English and German for years. She said that a lot of people, including American writers, are being more flexible about grammar these days. Overly formal grammar can sound stuffy and take away from the essense of the story and expression.
Listening to music while I'm doing the final editing of my manuscript. Music helps me to stay focused, to process and helps buffer the difficult themes. I have just edited a very triggering chapter halfway through my memoir, Bipolar Courage: are you sure you're not autistic? Triggering as it has themes like suicide (which I haven't detailed here).
A song came on that I don't recall hearing before, 'Private Emotion,' by Ricky Martin featuring Meja. I listened to it several times while working on this chapter plus this little snippet in a blog post. This book is my most emotionally vulnerable yet, about an intense connection and occasional clashes with an autistic man, Maxwell. Then, I listened to 'Fly Away' by Lenny Kravitz.
I want to say upfront that I believe in ethics with writing, which includes disguising people, so they aren't easily recognisable to the general public. The challenge I have with the memoir I am currently finalising, is that some might have a guess at who the characters are, as it involved social media. Hence, I have filtered certain stuff out, including obvious identifying features. This is so I can tell my story, while also respecting others privacy.
I usually only write about people, if they had an impact on me in some way. Either I really liked them or they were highly irritating (some people are in both categories).
I'm having a bit of time out from working on my memoir, as I'm burnt out out with it at the moment. The main reason my book projects take so long, is that I need lots of breaks after intense sessions of working on them.
In my last blog post, I wrote about brats. I had a therapy session with a clinicial psychologist today and I mentioned how I observed the brat to be a role played in a dynamic where one didn't get enough healthy attention as a child. It can be a situation where a sibling needed more attention. My psychologist said it can go two ways. The brat or the perfect child.
I was the perfect child. I see this as a role. I'll try explain a little more.
I tend to write a blog post when there's something I want to expand on a little but not include in my current book projects. But I may revisit the themes later. I can touch-type reasonably well, a skill I learnt as teenager. My hand writing is usually very messy and I tend to journal more in my own form of shorthand and loose mindmaps.
The topic for this blog post is bullies and brats. Just to get some ideas out that are going through my head, so that I can get back to focussing on my current book project. Linked to my memoir but this is not directly going into my memoir, as I want to focus on the storyline.
I was writing a blog post about 'textationships' or virtual, text-based relationships. I wrote this section, then decided to put it into its own blog post, as I'd gone off on a tangent. Tangents is part of my creative process.
It's not possible to write memoir without other people being mentioned in it. Otherwise, memoirs would be a very self-indulgent and quite boring account, unless they stay vague and superficial. Or else go off into fantasyland, which then makes it more likely to go into fiction territory.
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not an expert by profession and her opinions should not be taken as expert advice.