1. What helped you find the impetus to start your blog?
I started writing my blog to help me relieve some of the pain, stress, and guilt from everything I have been through in my life up until now. I didn't even originally plan on publicizing it. I had always wanted to be a writer, but I gave up on that dream a long time ago. When I started to let people read it, I gained confidence from all of the people that were telling me how it good it was. Once I made it public, the response was overwhelming. I starting writing for me. I kept writing for me, and everyone that was learning from it.
2. Over the last two years, what's kept you motivated to continue writing and posting to your blog?
Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, suicide--all of these issues are widely misunderstood. Once I realized I was reaching people, I knew that I needed to keep going. It was scary because a lot of people didn't know that I had this disorder, and I didn't know what they would say or do. However, the outpouring of support was amazing. It feels incredible to know that you’ve helped someone.
3. What was the process like of shifting from writing a blog to writing a book?
It was difficult. I wanted the book to read like a journal, which is why all of the chapters are dated. I wasn't sure I wanted all of these stories out there for the world to see, but since it had been my dream since childhood, I had to go forward. I can't even count the number of times I had to edit, rewrite, or eliminate chapters. Sometimes it was too overwhelming to be reliving all of these painful experiences over and over. I'm just glad I made it through.
4. How has it helped you to connect with others through your writing?
I think my other responses covered this. :)
5. What would you say to other people who are dealing with bipolar illness, depression, or other illnesses that cab make it hard for them to be able to write and create?
I would say, take it slow. Don't get down on yourself if you don't write a major best seller the first time you sit down to write. There are days when I can't write either. I don't get down on myself because I know that there will be a day when I can. I try to avoid deadlines and such. I hate setting myself up to fail. With the feeling of failure comes tremendous feelings of depression, and that's what we’re all trying to avoid. You may find that you're second guessing yourself, predicting that you won't be able to do it. If you're feeling like that I say, sit down in front of the computer or with a pad and paper and just see what happens. You may be amazed at what happens. Be nice to yourself. It's OK not to be perfect.