Rainy Sunday Musings from a Borderline Personality Disorder Lifer

It is raining and windy here today, pretty much gale force. Level = Stay Home!

luigi after op

I’m listening to the radio, keeping an eye on Facebook, taking care of my newly-three legged cat, reading an easy book, writing my book in my head. Rainy Sundays are the best for writing. They take you under their wing and help your imagination soar, effortlessly, from one idea to the next.

be you xx Rachel

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I’m An Empty Nester Filled With Guilty Glee and Some Sadness

Today I am an ’empty-nester’ and I think that I could write about the guilty glee of this new situation. Part of me wants my boys to live with me till the day I die, so I can make them pancakes for breakky on the weekends, cook them chicken soup when they’re sick and laugh with them about the weirdness of life in general. I love my boys.

a journal mine

Today, my house is my own and I have never really lived like this before, except for a short time when I shared custody of the boys. That was not fun in any way, and all I felt was guilt and shame for getting divorced because of what it did to their lives. Now, I have my house to myself and my husband, who has decided that it’s time to go naked ’round the house, 24/7.

Today I’m in my new writing studio, the sunny back verandah room that used to be my youngest sons bedroom. I have a new novel burning its way into my consciousness, out through my fingers. I have a main character who wants her story told. I’m excited.

be you xx Rachel

Writing A Novel One Day At A Time

I’m writing my new novel, hoping that this will be the book I get published. So far, I’ve only been setting myself up to write, really; organising my initial thoughts about what my main character is like, blocking out some chapter ideas and possible directions for the flow of the story. Writing a first chapter to get the feel of the voice I’ll use.

eavesdrop 6

I am the kind of writer who doesn’t know what’s going to happen until I write it.This works very well for me, and keeps my excited about the book all the way to the last word. Sometimes it means I have to go back and rewrite entire sections of the book, because the freedom I allow myself can take me in new and completely unexpected directions. The funny thing is that when I read back over my writing, I can hardly see where I stopped one day and started the next. I find this amazing. My moods can be so radically different from even hour to hour, but my writing stays fairly well on course.

My daily task is to write 2000 words, and I aim to start writing in the morning and not stop until I have my word count. Some days it takes two hours and some days it takes much longer, but I find that if I make my goal a word count, I can distract myself very efficiently from the self questioning and doubts.

My tried and true, best ever trick to ward off what they call ‘writers block’ is to sit at my laptop and type these words; It’s really hard to write today because… and then I keep on with that, listing every single thing that is pulling at me to prevent me from writing that day.

Some days I write pages of reasons why it’s so hard to write, and other days I write just a phrase that encapsulates my not-writing mood so well, it propels me into a writing head-space. I think this habit is almost a meditation. My inner writer knows with certainty that we are sitting here to write, and write we will, so let’s get writing the story.

Of course there are times when I need to pause and reflect, ponder, muse, stare into space and let the possible paths of the story play out in my imagination. This is completely essential to the process of writing a solid first draft. Also, I keep a notebook and pen with me at all times, because thoughts will come to me at any time of the night or day, informing my choices about plot, characterization, theme. I can be having coffee with someone and they’ll say something that totally answers a question I had about the story.

A writing mentor told me years ago that I have a very organic process. This is such an awesome way of saying I do whatever I want in my process, as long as it writes the book. I’ve written a whole book sitting up in bed, a few hours each morning. That one took me 13 weeks. I wrote another book with my laptop on my lap, watching cartoons each day. That one took 9 weeks.

This book I think I’ll be writing right here, on my cheap little laptop table on wheels, in my living room, probably watching a lot of DVDs like Law and Order, Six Feet Under, and The Mentalist.

My psychiatrist encouraged me to write. Some of the most prolific writers in the world have struggled with mental illness. Writing is certainly the only thing I’ve ever found in my life that I can do, no matter where my head is at. It’s my refuge. Published or not, I’m enjoying being back in a book again. It’s such familiar territory. I’m truly looking forward to seeing what my characters do next.

be you xx Rachel

Writing Is My Happy Place, Mental Illness Or Not

Welcome to my fog-brained, spinning-headed, dizzy-lizzy Saturday! Last night I upped the new meds, as per Pdoc’s directions, and now my head is spinning again. Twirling like a top, I have to keep deleting words that I have misspelled or just written in a completely bizarre way. The only thing I can think of to compare this to is a really big dose of laughing gas at the dentist, but without the laughing. I’ve never tried illegal drugs, so I don’t have anything to compare there.

owly greenpurple

Each time you add to your meds, the side effects bloom and then, if you’re a good match, they subside to a more manageable level. You’re never truly free of the mental illness, and you’re never completely free of the side effects. You just hope you can drive a car, do something in your life that holds some meaning for you, and have relationships with the important people in your life without too much pain.

I feel like I’m made of wet sponge, my head all floppy, my arms and legs not wanting to move where I ask them. My mind is happily relaxed, free of voices except my own. I have a metallic taste in my mouth. I feel like writing.

Writing is my place of peace, joy, love, life, meaning. It’s the one thing that I can always do, no matter what my head is doing. I have a new story pushing its way out of my heart and head, through my fingers. It’s a novel, but I can’t tell you any more than that right now. To share is, sometimes, to mess with the flow, the process. I’m a head down, bum up fast writer once I have my main character.

be you xx Rachel

Head Writing & Heart Writing

Everyone has a book in them. Some writing comes from our head and some comes from our heart.

Head Writing produces information, facts, knowledge and advice.

Heart Writing produces an emotional response, feelings of connection and it can truly inspire the reader.

The best writing is what I call Hybrid Writing; a combination of Head Writing and Heart Writing.

If you’re too much in your head, you run the risk of creating cold, factual content that has little appeal to a reader.

If you write exclusively from your heart, you risk your content becoming oversentimental, overpersonalised and selfobsessed.

There is an easy way to ensure balance in your writing: Hybrid Writing. I talk about this style of writing in my Writing Workshops and Courses and in my Author Consultations. Let me know if you’re interested.

rachel