Tag Archives: MattHaig

‘On why writing can be cathartic…’

Saturday and the first day of my weekend. But just because I’ve not been on the day job that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working… As they say, there’s no rest for the wicked. However, I do have to apologise for the delay in posting this. It has been a somewhat slightly crazy day. Nevertheless here is today’s blog entry.
They say everyone has a novel inside of them. Some untold story just waiting for the perfect moment to burst out of you. I suppose I can relate with that now.
Whether you choose to pursue that moment when it strikes and put pen to paper is up to you. Someone, (and for the life of me I can’t remember who) once told me that writing can be cathartic. At the time I don’t think I even knew what the word meant if I’m honest. I’m pretty certain I can remember going to look it up in my dictionary. The day the meaning really resonated with me was one long after my breakdown. For years I’d been writing what I like to call ‘fluff.’ I wasn’t sure if it was any good but at the time I had enjoyed it. It made the people laugh who I had shown it to and so I carried on. But it’s safe to say that after being in a dark place, I couldn’t bring myself to write anything that was remotely light hearted or funny anymore. Instead I decided one day to open up my heart and pour onto paper every thought, every emotion, every relevant memory to what I was feeling at the time.
It turns out that this would become the novel that would so consume and take over my life. I am in fact still currently working on it. I’ve finally found my voice. (For someone who was so hell bent on sticking to her rom-coms, I’ve sure surprised myself.)
I hear other authors talking about finding their niche, their style, their voice. It never occurred to me that in all my years of ‘playing’ at writing, I hadn’t actually found my own yet. I’ve felt more of a buzz, and definitely more of an emotional connection to this current story than any other I’ve ever written. Not only am I thoroughly enjoying writing it but I also don’t want it to end. Inevitably it will have to. I do plan to bite the bullet on this one and pluck up the courage to send it to some literary agents. (Watch this space!)
Why I wonder, has it taken me so long to get to this point? I can’t be sure of that but what I am sure of is that this is MY story. The one that has been burning inside of me for so long just waiting to be told. And you know what else? It has been a cathartic process. A form of therapy in itself. I’ve certainly come a long way since starting it.
Ask many successful authors, (Marian Keyes or Matt Haig for instance) and I’m sure they’ll agree with this… ‘Writing CAN make a difference to people.’ It can literally change lives. If not always the reader, then maybe the one who at the time of writing it, was at his or her wits end.
So try it. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a few words strung together barely forming a sentence. Or if it ever sees the light of day. Just go with what’s in your own heart. Because that’s where you’ll find your story. Don’t try to be anyone else and above all don’t try to write like anyone else. Just be true to yourself and the words will surely flow. You never know it might be a life changing event for you. And if you sit down to give it a go and you get nothing? Then perhaps it’s just not your time yet. But wait. Your time will come…

Hope you’ve all had a fabulous day.

J xoxo

P.s Photo today is one I took whilst on my first visit to London a few years back.

*Cathartic. Providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis: eg. Crying is a cathartic release. ( Oxford Dictionaries) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/cathartic

‘Midweek Madness’

So yesterday I gave you a little inkling that I’d had a breakdown February 2013. In actual fact today is the day in which I admit that I have a Mental Disorder which is what ultimately contributed to this. Yes it’s true. And yes I can almost sense some of you recoiling in horror as you learn the truth. But you know why you’re reacting like that? Because there’s a stigma attached to the term ‘Mental Health.’ I bet there’s even a stigma attached to the word stigma too! But there really shouldn’t be. Many famous faces fight tirelessly to campaign for Mental Health these days. Author of ‘The Humans’ Matt Haig and singer Demi Lovato to name just a couple. Just Google the term and you’ll see how many people across the world have been affected by it. Needless to say, I am not afraid to tell people now. Don’t get me wrong. I was before. And it is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done opening up to people. Even writing this is a little difficult. Knowing that in a short while, people that looked at me in one light yesterday, will now this morning see me completely differently. The truth is, it’s probably easier telling complete strangers than it is those who are closest to me. However, I do have my reasons for wanting to be this honest. Firstly, because I am tired of hiding that side of me. It felt like I had some sordid secret that I ought to be ashamed about. And secondly, because if even one person gets something positive from this, then it was definitely worthwhile. Sometimes I guess speaking out is the only way to make a difference.
For those that are unaware, there are in fact many forms of Mental Disorders. These range from anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar right up to schizophrenia. There are also many sufferers out there who are living a tortured life in silence. But they really needn’t be. There is the support out there if you seek it. I’m one of the lucky ones that after years of struggling, eventually hit rock bottom but came back fighting (with a little help of course.)
Sometimes it takes just one person to stand up for something they believe in and then with any luck, the domino effect will kick in…
Mental Health Awareness week runs from 6th-17th October
http://hlg.org.uk/index.php/news/924-mental-health-awareness-weeks-6-17th-october-2014
And World Mental Health Day is 10th October
http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/world-mental-health-day/world-mental-health-day-2014/

On a last note… I’m not entirely sure where the quote below originated from or who originally said it. There are many arguments and answers on the net. Feel free to post comments if anyone knows the definitive answer. Either way I’ve always loved the sentiment behind it.
‘Thought for the day… Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.’

Hope you all have a fab Wednesday.
J xoxo