Hello Dear readers! I am a bit excited today because so many great things have been happening in my life and in my career as a writer. To start with, I have had my blog and my books approved to be a part of the ‘Mental Health Writer’s Guild’ which I am hoping will allow me to reach a greater audience with my writing. I don’t have a poem today, I am going to take a short break from writing poetry because I have just put out a brand new book titled, ‘Poetry of Love Life and Hope’ and it was a bit exhausting. Anyone interested in a copy can order it from amazon.com. I should note that I have taken my eBooks off amazon.com because I felt they just weren’t getting the exposure they deserved. I have set up one book on smashwords.com (Inching Back To Sane) and made it available for just about every platform for just $3.25.
I wanted to share a bit about what has been going on with my writing. I have been doing so much. I owe a lot of the great things that have been happening to two people, my Dad and my good friend Richard Van Camp. They have been helping me, supporting me and working towards my betterment as a writer now for some time. I also have to admit I have been doing a fair bit of work on things as well. I got the news yesterday that I have been approved to take a special course to become a facilitator for a Wellness Recovery Action Plan group. I am very excited about this as it will pay a little and teach me a lot. I will be teaching people how to become more aware of themselves so they can write out a detailed plan to manage illness or addictions.
It doesn’t stop there by any means though, I have so many great things happening in my life I can barely list them all. For any writers out there I wanted to tell you a bit about this new program ‘Grammarly’ that they may have seen in commercials. It is an abosultely amazing program that is a revolution in editing software. It doesn’t just catch the odd spelling mistake, it checks punctuation, grammar, dangling particples, active or passive voice, it is a dream come true and the same night I went and looked at what it could do I purchased a full year’s membership. If there are any die-hard writers out there who are curious, I suggest they try out the free version of the software, and then possibly look at getting a one month membership and I am sure they will be very impressed. I honestly think this program is going to take my writing to a whole new level and save me a lot of money on editors.
Along with all of that I have been working as a journalist on two mental health magazines. It is pretty amazing because I love writing this blog and helping people with mental health issues and now I am able to do the same work and get paid a little for it. I am not just tooting my own horn though, I want people to understand that if they set a dream and a plan down on paper, then work towards it even just a little each day, there is no telling where that dream can take you. Some of the things you have to do is network, plan, save and invest to make your plans feasible, pay attention to your mental and physical needs, work hard towards controlling things like addictions, food, gambling and other vices, and then if you really want to have a happy life, I think it can be so important to have a spiritual outlet. I attend a Catholic Church but I also read books by the Dalai Lama and meditate. I also have many wonderful friends who have seen a generosity and stability in me that have made them want to help me and stay by my side. Things were defintely not like this forever. 15 years ago I was very mentally ill and my life seemed to be over. I had lost my best friends and my finances were a mess. To top off all of that I think in a certain way I didn’t like myself at all. Slowly, day by day, bit by bit I worked myself up and out and I know that anyone who reads these blogs can do it themselves as well. There is so much beauty and joy to be had. I don’t think I know all of the answers, but some of it can come down to going for a half hour walk every day, having a hobby you enjoy, having a pet–some little creature that couldn’t get by without you that gives you unconditional love. Planning, setting goals and challenging yourself to do just a little better, do a little more each day. Medications can be very hard to deal with, but two things happen over time: your body adapts to meds and you learn little tricks to deal with things like side effects. And of course, there is the amazing fact that medications just keep getting better.
Well Dear Readers, I hate to leave you in the middle of a talk like that, but the hour is late and I have go work very soon. As always, anyone is free to write to me or to comment, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to hear from you!