Blogger Recognition Award #awards #amwriting


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Thanks to Sascha Darlington for nominating me for this award. I think we both have only recently began following each other and I’m pretty obsessed with her short stories about Clare, Damien, and Dominic already. She writes them according to whatever the prompt is that day for each story. It’s a complicated love triangle for Clare. 

Check-out this recent piece here. I garuntee you’ll want to go back and read up on what happened before.  

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THE RULES FOR THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

For all the nominees for this award, here are the rules, if you choose to accept:
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1. Write a post to show your award.

2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

3. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

4.Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.

5. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to them

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WHY I STARTED BLOGGING:

Well I’ve explained before, but not sure where. I was sick in 2008 to 2009. After a brief psychotic episode I had a depressive episode. I never had a psychosis again but the depressive episode meant I developed difficulties reading and writing (cognitive skills were impaired). I had to build both skills back up.

 I’m an English Major from back in 2007. I wrote well and wanted my talent back. I started the blog to improve my writing, editing, and reading skills and to write about my ongoing mental illness — depression with severe fatigue. 

I have worked so much on my writing, especially writing more creatively. I took writing courses online from WordPress and from certain extension programs at several universities. I have done years of Flashfiction and started writing poetry about a year or two after first blogging. Poetry is something I’ve wrote since I was small. I started learning and practicing different forms of poetry (sonnets, Tankas, Cinquins, Laurenells etc.) and doing not only free verse (which comes fluidly for me) but metered and rhymed poetry on my blog.

In January last year I began focusing even more on fiction and poetry so I could submit my work to different literary websites, magazines, and do guest blog posts; I continue doing this. I finished the first draft of a novel which took years to get past chapter four and now I haven’t had time to work on the second draft of late past chapter seven. 

I also occasionally blog nonfiction about movies, books, music, current events, beauty, fashion, or maybe a certain experience or memory. My blog has evolved a lot over almost five-years. My writing is much improved and I’m so grateful that as well as being able to write well, I read well too. I read books on writing, romance, adventure, fantasy, and the enjoyable books published by my Blogger friends along with reading many blogs whenever I’m able. 

Blogs are fluid things and they become whatever you’re focusing on at a certain time or place in your life. That’s my opinion 😉.
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MY ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS:

When you start blogging, pick a theme that looks professional (easy to read from and visually pleasing) and ensure you complete putting together your blog as much as you’re able including contact page, about you, and any social media links, so your content will be automatically shared to Twitter for instance. You can put links to other social networking sites on the sidebars of your blog such as a directly to your writer/blogger Facebook Page or Instagram page on your blog. 

My most hated thing to do on a blog is to have to search all over for a ‘Follow Me’ button. Put that at the top of your page and the bottom. You want people to follow you even on a whim so make it easy for them to do this. Also, when you’ve started posting, make sure we can see your other posts which are relatable or recent on the bottom of your blog or side – somewhere. If I like a blog, I want to read more. Also, pop-ups are annoying and unneccesary. 

As for writing, don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and in your writing. Honesty and authenticity shows through and is attractive to readers who seek to relate. Edit well but remember you can always edit more after you post –happens to me all the time. 

Cutting your word count and doing Flashfiction is a great way to learn how to edit well and make each sentence count. Do prompts and challenges and write everyday, even if you don’t post on your blog. Keep your anonymity if you like, but I have found with blogging, through writing more personal pieces, you can help many people through their challenges in life with your own.

Make it a habit to follow and read other bloggers. WordPress is an awesome community and it helps everyone and their writing to comment on their pieces and in return make friends and gain followers. You can even reblog posts you love or Press them as a new post, share them via social networking, email, or print them out. Allow your readers to have these options as well, when they read your blog. 

Also, be kind in your comments. Concustructive criticism is helpful for many but it doesn’t always come across as positive. So be careful how and when you use it and with whom. 

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BLOGS I NOMINATE:

If you want it the Award is yours! 


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Writing 101: Day 8 – Dear ” I.”


Prompt: Write a letter. 

Dear I:

It is difficult for me to write this letter. I’m sure to you it doesn’t make sense why I’m writing it. But the reason is you are a piece of my history. You are apart of that point in my life when I was changing from an ignorant and carefree twenty-three-year-old, to a woman who experiences illness everyday. I wanted to apologize for how I acted back then and let myself move on. 

To start with, I did have a thing for you when I first came to work. I just thought you were the hottest guy I’d ever seen and that you were genuinely nice. I think you were aware I harboured a thing for you but I wish you would have just told me you didn’t like me that way, or that it wasn’t appropriate because we worked together. You should have said something. You were older and had more experience. You shouldn’t have led me on. And yes, I should have accepted your uninterested attitude sooner.

In 2008, when you went away on vacation, I finally got over you. And I felt fine in September, October, and most of November. But my situation went awry with my health in November. I didn’t understand it but I was beginning to have a psychotic episode. So, when a person said something, I would hear an echo after their voice, and the echoe was usually mean words about me. I didn’t know what was occurring. I knew something was off in those echoes but I didn’t even know what a psychotic episode was.

So, if at the end of November and December, I was acting abnormally, being inappropriate, and emotional it wasn’t my fault. Because I had liked you earlier, and because your office was right below reception, where I was working some of the time, I thought I was hearing you say mean words about me. I didn’t understand why you were treating me that way. I wasn’t myself.

As December went on, I would have good days where everything was normal and then a bad day. But I couldn’t stop crying or concentrate on work. On December twenty-third I left work for good. I went into hospital shortly after. I was in hospital three weeks and they gave me a medication that stopped my delusions completely. I remember how still and silent everything finally was, the first time I took a certain medication. 

My parents told me later, that our boss was trying to figure out what triggered my episode. You had showed L something I wrote you that was probably hard to understand. My parents said you told L you wanted nothing to do with me. I thought I must have been really sick for you to react so unkindly. I’m better from psychosis, and I have never had a psychotic episode since that time in 2008. If I did, I’d know what to look out for now to get help sooner. 

I do have depression that has caused chronic fatigue. And constant fatigue is the worse part of it. I’m out of shape and can barely work out due to fatigue. I can only concentrate so long and physically I’m always limited for other activities. But I have almost completed a Certificate in Residential Design. I am too sick to work so blogging and taking one class at a time are what I do. I’m applying for an MFA in Creative Writing for 2017. 

 I’m sorry for how I acted back when I was sick. I just wanted to apologize and explain what happened. I hope you don’t think badly of people who have mental illnesses. Often, we just need understanding and a bit of help to get going back in the right direction in life. When I was having psychosis, that was my first experience with mental illness. I wish I could have controlled my actions better, but I didn’t have that control. 

I hope your life is going well and I wish you only the best. Thanks for giving me a piece of your time.

Regards,

Amanda

Writing 101 – A Loss Of One’s Self


20140625-224220-81740472.jpgHow would you describe yourself to the people around you? Would you give a physical description, talk about the things you are good at, and describe your internal qualities? What if suddenly, the idea of who you thought yourself was, disappeared and what you were left with was some broken version of yourself, a shadow that you didn’t know and you weren’t sure how you had become the way you were.

That’s how it felt for me when I became very ill at the age of 23 years. It began with some very bad days in the office, days I could barely get through because I just didn’t have the energy. I would leave the gym at the end of the day dragging my feet and barely able to make it home on the bus. Then I began to cry, little things would bother me and I couldn’t concentrate on work just as I used to be able to do. Then something even stranger happened people began to say extremely rude comments to me almost as an after thought. They would tell me whatever they had to tel tell me ‘ Photocopy this for me…” then something very mean. This was particularly the case with certain people. Then I had trouble sleeping, I would lie awake all night, I began to lose weight, and I didn’t feel much like eating.

www.eastsidefriendsofseniors.com
http://www.eastsidefriendsofseniors.com

What I didn’t understand then, was that this was the beginning of a psychotic episode. To this day my doctors and I don’t know why I had it but I have never quite healed from it. Everything became so bad that I couldn’t work, I had a break down. Then I would sit at home and the thoughts in my head would go round and round and I began to hear more voices not just after comments people made to me but from the Television or Radio, from my dog. When these thoughts became nearly suicidal, I went into hospital at the Royal Alex and it was awful being there and hearing things. But one day my doctor started giving me this anti-psychotic drug called Invega and the voices stopped. What remained after my psychosis had passed was the shell of a person. A person it took me at least 3 years to get back and still even today I realize I will never be the same person I was before my unexplained psychosis.

After the psychosis followed a mini-depression. I could barely read after that and I had so much trouble filling out the application for long-term disability because my writing was very shaky and looked more like a grade 4 student’s writing then someone who had recently gotten their BA in English with a 3.7 average.

I was slow to heal. At first I could only go out for 1/2 hour before returning home exhausted. I still needed to sleep a great deal of the day and I had the sharpest burning pain in my shoulders and neck. I felt entirely lost. The conversation of my friends was too fast for me. I couldn’t go to 3/4 of the events we had planned because I didn’t have the energy. I had gone from 160lbs, a healthy weight for me, to 143 lbs, I weight I hadn’t weighed since I was 15 years old and as skinny as you could get. Soon the effects of the medication set in and my weight sky rocketed to 175 lbs. I was uncomfortable in my new fatter body and I didn’t like it. I did not have the energy to do exercise or barely more than a walk or a Pilates 20 minute DVD.

And to tell you the truth, somethings I have just never recovered from. It is 6 years later and I still have trouble concentrating and paying

www.telegraph.co.uk
http://www.telegraph.co.uk

attention. I have days where I can get much done and days where I can’t get anything done. My doctor’s and I are pretty sure I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after the Psychosis and I have dealt with that constantly. The other possibility is since we have most likely determined my psychosis occurred because I was so depressed, is that I have chronic fatigue from depression. But most signs point to the syndrome.

In these past years I have seem my friends develop careers, make many new friends, and start families. In many ways I feel left behind, that my path changed course and I don’t know why. And I don’t why what I have won’t heal. For me this is the biggest personal sense of loss I have felt in a long time because it as if somewhere in these past 6 years, I have lost myself, my dreams, my goals, and I’m not sure what the future holds. I just take things days by day because that’s how I can get through it.