Announcing A Writer’s Path Writers Club: Creating Benefits For Writers

How exciting for you!

A Writer's Path

I’m happy to announce our new initiative: A Writer’s Path Writers Club.

After looking at the writing market for years, I noticed a need for a Writers Club of this kind. Sure, there are Facebook groups, writers groups, etc., but there aren’t many associations that are more than just a gathering of writers.

I wanted to create a club where the sole purpose of it is to solve headaches for writers. Here are some of the headaches I’m looking to solve:

View original post 358 more words

Advertisements

Working Hard? Maybe. But try harder.

Hey guys,

I hope your all living safe and well! Today I want to discuss a MAHOOSIVE problem when concerning mental health issues in today’s world. It’s the whole issue where people think you’ve not been working hard for what you get. Effectively suggesting you should be able to cope and work super hard like everyone else.

To start my thoughts on this, I want you to ask yourself: what do you consider as ‘working hard’?

Does working hard mean working a large amount of hours in the week (and if so, how many…)? Does it mean not getting any holidays? Does it mean getting a certain amount of words written in a day? Does it mean physical work or mental? Does it mean working a lot without great remuneration? Does it mean building a sweat whilst doing it? Does it mean emotionally draining you to the point you cannot mentally cope with any more? Does it mean succeeding in something whilst coping with other external factors?

Well, my thoughts are these: ‘working hard’ is a myth people use to degrade other people’s efforts who they believe is less than them.

But this is a big problem most people with mental illness will face at least once in their life time. And I’m here to tell you, your opinions on what ‘working hard’ is, can seriously affect a person. I know people without mental health issues also face this problem, when you’ve been working hard but your friends or family haven’t seen it or don’t understand it. They then tell you that you should be doing what they do because that is considered working hard to them. They might well be working hard, but it doesn’t mean to say that what you’re doing is any less trying or emotional.

The effects of this kind of stigma/ignorance can be mentally destructive for both those with and without mental health issues, but for someone with them that is likely trying really damn hard to even do the things you’d consider everyday and normal, it can be disastrous, even life threatening.

It sounds stupid doesn’t, something as little as your opinion on what ‘working hard’ is, effecting others to the point they could potentially hurt themselves over it. But it does. It’s not stupid. It happens every single day. But people still aren’t seeing the connection to what they’ve said about a person being lazy or less than them has, to someone committing suicide.

It’s really not that hard to understand, but people drop these nasty little comments into conversations all the time. Some people even kid themselves into thinking they are trying to help the person do better for themselves. But you’re not, your only making them feel even less adequate.

Things people say:

  1. Why don’t you just do what I do, if I can do it, why can’t you?
  2. I never see you doing any work, what do you even do with your time?
  3. All your problems come down to the fact you’re not working hard enough, your just lazy.
  4. Why don’t you bother trying?
  5. Their’s nothing wrong with you. Just get on with it.

1..First of all, not everyone is the same. Some people can’t do what you do, you know why? THEY AREN’T YOU.

2..How much work they do isn’t really up to you to decide, you may not see them do anything, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t. Just skip straight to ‘What have you been up to?’

3..Again you have no idea how hard a person is working. So just shut your mouth.

4..I actually have an answer to this one. Why would anyone bother trying if all their going to receive are comments about how even then, they aren’t trying. I know I wouldn’t bother.

5..I can’t believe I even have to talk about that last one, but it’s necessary. UNLESS YOU ARE A PSYCHIC, YOU HAVE NO IDEA IF THEIRS SOMETHING WRONG WITH SOMEONE. Not even doctors always get this one right, so who the hell do you think you are to know whether someones ill and trying or not. Simple answer to this is, just don’t say it, don’t even think it. But if you can’t help yourself from thinking it, keep your ignorant opinion to yourself. We have enough negativity to deal with, most of us are in denial of our problems anyway, so don’t make it harder for those people with a mental illness to come to terms with it.

That one silly little opinion can make someone feel so small, so worthless. What is more important to you, your opinion on whether someone is working hard enough or the mental stability of the person your saying it to?

So yeah, next time when your thinking of saying something along those lines…don’t. It’s not hard.

If we can start changing this idea, and really think about what we’re saying, maybe fewer people in the world would die from crippling emotional pain, caused by other people’s ignorance.

Well, I feel better for letting that time bomb off. Thanks for reading and remember, don’t be a twat.

Best,

Lauren_V

 

 

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo…naughty Darkling turd

510lLMQr12L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

Hey guys!

It’s been a while since I last wrote a book review. I’ve been a bit ill lately and so got waylaid somewhat. But after not being able to read a book for quite a while, I think I might be back on track, and what better way to start than with a new author to me such as Bardugo. As I say, I haven’t read any of Bardugo’s new stuff yet and I’m aware she’s just brought out a new novel called ‘The Language of Thorns’. All amazing things to look out for. But for this review, I’ll be talking about the first novel of her Grisha trilogy: Shadow and Bone.

It was released in 2012, so one of her earliest novels, and if I’m honest…you can tell. The plot surrounds young orphan Alina Starkov who has been enlisted in Ravkas army as a map cartographer. Bland and useless, she has always envied the beautiful Grisha, magical wielding soldiers of Ravka, able to manipulate different elements. But this all changes on a trip she undertakes with the army across the unsea, a dark evil place separating Ravka’s land. It’s here, when under attack by flying monsters named the Volcra, she discovers she too is a Grisha, able to wield sunlight of all things. This is a gift long thought dead, and the only magical element able to destroy the dreaded unsea. She is quickly taken from her oldest friend Mal and enlisted in the Grisha army where she begins to train and expand her gift under the watching eye of ‘The Darkling’, second only in power to the King. The Darkling is the leader of the Grisha, specially gifted with darkness, some might say the opposite of Alinas gift. All seems well at first as he tricks her into believing she is there to help them destroy the unsea, but Alina later learns all is not well and he in fact intends to use her gifts for much darker purposes.

The general idea is fantastic, a whole new world to delve into. And I like the idea of snooty Grishas looking down on their non-magical counterparts, much like the rich and the poor in our current world. But unfortunately, the novel lacks depth of surroundings. Even the characters seem a little un-characterized, all blending into one in many respects. Bardugo has however built her world relatively well considering it’s one of her earliest attempts at writing. I’ve often noticed that world building is a talent that often starts to really shine after a few attempts. But Bardugo has built quite a cool back story and current day setting for the reader to delve into which is quite hard to complete in the first novel of a series. I have no doubts that the characterization will go much further in the second one (Siege and Storm), as the Darkling further shows his true colours. By the end of the novel, Alina is starting to become a much stronger character. At first she seems quite whimsical and unable to carry her role as lead character. But nearer the end of the novel, she’s starting to show signs of a complicated character with real human emotion and difficulties. Something I look forward to reading more of in the novel to come.

Overall, a good read. Not the best read I’ve ever read in the YA fantasy genre, but definitely not the worst. I am looking forward to reading the second and third, so that’s something.

Love

Lauren_V

A thousand sins and an apology

So I haven’t written on here for a while…but considering the amount of content I have on my blog, my mental health rants appear to be the most popular…god knows why. I part think it’s because people are just nosy, but I don’t mind. But here we are again, one more for you all. Now this isn’t quite the mental health post in the normal sense but it is a piece of my mind none the less.

Since the ripe old age of 11, I have been going to counselors, therapists, mental health nurses, Psychologists, family therapists, doctors, brain injury specialists, post-traumatic stress therapists, brain surgeons and witch doctors. Every single one has told me to write it down. Write what you feel down. Rip it up. Throw it away. Keep it. Show it. Talk about it. And not once have I listened. Because when the red rage comes and the dark descends, I do not want to write it down. I do not want to talk about it. I want to scream it out or drown it in liquor. Fortunately, the red rage is not inside me and the darkness has not descended yet, I can feel it coming, but right now I am the calm before the storm. There is never a time where my true feelings and emotions are more clear. It’s like looking in a still pool and seeing the clearest reflection. It’s strange really because this state of being always comes before the roaring waves of emotion. I think it does anyway.

But this time, I’m writing it down. Yes, the countless and nameless amounts of therapists. You won. I’m finally doing it. You probably didn’t mean me to make it public, but I’m often rash and reckless. So it’s happening and I can see you all now shaking your heads at me, and it’s because of that, that I am even more determined to do it. F*** it let’s push those buttons.

“If your going to walk on thin ice, then you may aswell dance.” – Unknown

But as my title suggests, I’m not actually here to anger people. I’m here to say a few things that I have never said before. I’m sure you all have those things you’d wish you’d said to people. Those words that were on the tip of your tongue but you never spat out. No matter how much it hurt to keep them in. No matter how much it was right to do so. And for most people, you will forget those things. Those words will slide away and become nothing more than an old scar on your tongue. Dust on the wind. But for me, I remember them. They still bug me, 15 years on they still bug me. I remember them. I remember it all, as though it was yesterday.

Most are apologies, things I wish I’d said. Things I wish I could’ve explained. Things I wish you could understand. So here I will list it all. I will put the first letter of the name I am thinking. The participants of this will likely never read it, and if they do, here it is. Here is what it was. Here is my apology, for my one thousand sins, and my one thousand cuts.

To A, 2006-2009: We should never have been friends. You already had a best friend in R. And S. You didn’t need me. And when you figured that out, I was so sad. You told everyone I bullied you, that I was being horrible to you, it was a way of getting me out of your life, proving to R that you weren’t really my friend. Everyone thought I was the bully because I was tall and you were small. Of course they believed you. But I thank you for your apology three years later. It was sincere. But it was too late.

To J, 2004-2011: We were friends for so long. You were my sister. I was there when your father died. I was sad because you were sad. I cried because you were sad. When you found a new group of friends, I was so angry. I said some hurtful things. Not because I hated you, but because I felt I’d lost family. And you retaliated by being cruel too. I was so upset. I blamed myself, I shouldn’t have been angry. We were both at fault. I still wonder how you’re doing, and I hope you’re well and that you still ride your horses. And maybe think of me occasionally, and smile about those two kids in my garden, pretending to be ponies.

To E, 2009-2011: You were an utter b*tch. I don’t forget. You tried to reconnect with me not long ago. When all your ‘friends’ realized you were a spineless coward. I wish you well, but I still hate you.

To B, 2009-2013: For you B, I have only to say I hope you keep yourself safe. That is all I wish. You, like me have a calling for life-threatening situations. We have both seen the white clinical walls of multiple Psych wards. I stayed away from you because I saw myself, and I saw my end. We would have been poisonous to each other if we had stayed friends. And I didn’t want to make things worse for you. But know that you do deserve more, and you must forgive yourself for the errors you have made. We all make them, small and big. We are only human. And you deserve much more, if only you will allow yourself.

To L, 2014-2015: This is a hard one. A really difficult one. We were not friends long. But you meant a lot. You were with me when I lost him. You bought me flowers and pomegranate fruit because they are ‘the fruits of happiness’. But I scared you with my insanity, I was young. You couldn’t cope with it for long. And when you found that guy, it was an excuse to not see me anymore. I was so angry. I lashed out at you. I couldn’t stop messaging, I was so mad. I thought you understood me. I didn’t know you actually detested all the nights out we had, the laughs and the jokes. That was why I was sad, I realized you didn’t care at all. I brought you out of your depression and taught you how to live again. But you couldn’t do that for me, you didn’t want to try. I’m sorry I was so mad at you, I shouldn’t have been, you only wanted peace and quiet. A happy life. And you deserved it. I should never have been angry with you for that.

To E, 2014-current: There is so much you need to say to me. I know there is. You spilled some of it when you were drunk recently. I know you are angry. I understand some of it, and some not so much. But know I have always cared for you. You once made me feel very beautiful, and I don’t forget that. Even if you now call me Jabbas Wife and ‘Filth’ whatever that is. I hope one day you decide to talk to me about it. Because I can guarantee my answers are going to be far different to what you expect. You might even like some of them. At the end of the day, part of me loves you. I know it’s fucked up, but it always has and likely always will.  P.S, I still have your lighter. P.P.S I know you are not a kid. Your eyes are that of an old man. That is why it all happened, if I thought you were a kid, it would not have.

To A, 2014-current: I have so much to say and yet nothing at all. I don’t want to lose you again. But I am still angry. I don’t mean to be, but the blow you dealt changed me in so many ways. I am bitter and bruised from what we were and what we are now not. You owe me nothing and I owe you even less. And yet it is still there. That irritating calm I feel when you are near. The love. I cannot hate you. I will never hate you. I only hate me, for not being able to let go. But I guess that’s me and you have to deal with that.

To K, 2014-2016: I still don’t know why we are not friends anymore. I have blamed E for quite a while, but I realize that is unlikely to have been the cause. I doubt she would have said anything nasty in truth. I would one day like to know why we aren’t friends anymore, perhaps there is a good reason for it, who knows. But I did value your friendship. I want you to know that. And I wish we could have spoken about it.

To E, 2009-2016: This is a really hard one for me, it still feels so fresh. And to be honest, I still don’t know what I think about it all entirely. I guess I expected more is all. We’d been friends so long. We were both writers at heart. You are not a bad person. In honesty, I have never thought you a bad person. You were what I made you. When we first met, you were so quiet, so timid. I made you into my own image. I should not have been surprised that you turned around and bit me on the ass, with a bit of E flair though. You took the people I thought were my friends, they are your friends now, I guess they were never really mine. You told me he had hurt you, and I want you to know I got on a train straight away to see you, to be there for YOU. We went to the pub, sure. But I could’ve gone to the pub in London, I didn’t need to come to Dorset for that. I came for you. To help you. I thought it would help to get you out of the house, get you back into the swing of things, remember you had friends and fun times still to live. I’m sorry you thought I just wanted a friend to go to the pub with, that wasn’t what I meant at all. And I was so angry at you for the exaggeration of truth. I realize now you were probably just confused. You didn’t really understand or know what you felt about the situation. You just needed a friend. And I got angry at you because I felt that you had lied on purpose, to hurt me, because you knew my history. You knew it would trigger a response. But in reality, you probably didn’t realize. It’s not an excuse, but I had just lost one best friend and my beloved pet wolf who meant a lot to me. My emotions were all over the place, I was scared, angry, confused, exhausted, lonely and sad. I know I scared you that night I got really drunk. I don’t blame you, I would have been too. One thing that has always been clear to me, those that I care about most, I tend to lash out at. I don’t know why, I hate it I truly do, and I am still working on it. My love always comes out in anger, it doesn’t mean I hate you, it means I care too much. I wanted to help you, I wanted you to understand why saying things like that could really affect people so that you never did it again, I didn’t want to push you away. I wanted to help you understand, but it came out in anger and poison. I ended up in hospital that night because I knew what I had done, that I had lost a great friend and it was entirely my fault. I do not blame you for that. I hope you are happy nowadays. You look really beautiful and have really come into your own. You should be proud of yourself. You deserve happiness. I hope that one day, we will pass each other in the street and be able to smile, maybe even nod. I know this is not quite what you thought I would say, and I smile knowing I gave you one more shock to the system.

To L, a few days ago: I am sorry. It’s irrational maybe, but I felt betrayed. I have a habit of reflecting people, reflecting their emotions and thoughts. You always felt like you had to defend yourself for being friends with E. And I reflected it, I always felt like I had to be defensive of not being friends with E. The way I see the situation is entirely different to how you have explained how you see it. And I am sorry, but I cannot change how I feel about that. However I am sorry for the verbal diarrhea I recently spit to you on Instagram. I got to a point where I felt so hurt, and it turned to anger as it often does when about people I care about. I shouldn’t have told you that truth in that way. And it is a truth. It was never supposed to be uttered, it has been so many years. But in honesty I feel a little lighter knowing you and J both know. Even if you don’t believe it, that’s okay, I needed to say it anyway. I really do wish the best for you, you have worked so hard for happiness and you couldn’t deserve it more.

I think that’s it. Strange. It does actually feel better writing it all out. Did the doctors actually get it right for once? Did they actually say something useful? Well blow my socks. I wonder how many of you have read all of this like some kind of sit-com, trying to guess who each one is. Really no one will understand it except the people it involves. A pointless post if ever there was one, but it feels good anyway, so I don’t care. I will write one soon that makes more sense. But for now, this is all you’re getting. My one thousand cuts.

LVN

P.S I had to put on my war face to write and post this. Metaphors mean a lot to me.

 

An ode to writing

My art is not in colours

Nor is it humble melody

I cannot hold a starlit note

Or dance a prance to set you free

 

But my art can capture oceans

And stars amongst the sky

It burns away the pain

It’s with you till you die

 

With ink and paper I stay true

A little note from me to you

Well placed words and a bleeding heart

My bitter sweet art will tear you apart

 

LVN

Book Review- All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

screenshot-www.instagram.com-2017-06-27-14-47-48

SPOILER ALERT- References to the plot that cannot be unread.

I have read an uncountable amount of novels in my 22 years, and in that vast selection, one can find a rather varied range of literature surrounding mental illness and suicide. If you are new to my blog, then you  won’t be aware of my own debilitating mental  illness. But it is because of my own experience with Borderline Personality Disorder and my mothers experience with Bipolar disorder that I am so intrigued by the troubled mind and the literature that can come from it. Something I undoubtedly do when reading these types of novels is compare my own experiences and emotions with the main characters that possess the mental health problems. I am constantly in search of a novel with a protagonist/antagonist that feels and sounds like myself. All The Bright Places‘ Theodore Finch is by far the closest I’ve come to a reflection of myself, and because of this, it is now in my top five favorite novels of all time.

The story surrounds seventeen year old’s Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. Although they had previously never really crossed paths at school, they meet quite unexpectedly on the top of their school bell tower, both in the mood to jump. Violet is suffering the horrendous grief of losing her sister in a car accident less than a year previously and Theodore is both suffering and enjoying the strange places a mentally ill mind can take you. After Finch saves Violet from becoming another suicide victim, they strike up a chaotic and often beautiful friendship which later becomes more romantic in nature. The more time Violet spends with Finch, the more she starts to see the world through his eyes, taking another brave step each day. It soon becomes apparent that Finch is saving Violet from herself, re-awakening her will to live, meanwhile suffering the blows of his own abusive father and neglectful mother. As time passes, Violet starts to see that she is not the only one in need of saving, but is clueless on how to stop Finch burning himself on his own fiery soul. In the end we as a reader realize that Finch’s story is not going to go on as long as Violets and it does eventually come to a watery end, leaving Violet once more alone in the world, now missing the two people she loved the most.

All The Bright Places is written in two points of view, Finch’s perspective and Violets. In my opinion, Finch’s is by far the most intriguing. His view upon the world is far different to that of Violets who still lives a relatively normal existence. But in comparison, shows up just how different Finch’s mind really is and in turn, reminds me of how different my own thought processes can be to that of other individuals. Finch has a unique perspective on the world which is both gothic and inspiring. He sees and understands all that is bad and cruel within the world, but because of this, has a better understanding and penchant for all that is good. He lives to experience the world in all its chaotic wonders. Violet is drawn to him because of his ability to feel, the way he is in touch with himself and the things around him. This novel is written in such a way that it is both brutal and honest. Jennifer Niven has not written this novel with judgement in her tone, only honesty and understanding. She highlights the good, the bad and the ugly sides of life living with or beside someone with mental illness, something many authors neglect to do, often creating only one perception of this life. I recommend anyone that lives with a person with mental illness to read this novel, if for nothing other than trying to understand the thought process of someone like us. It may be hard for someone who has the illness discussed in the novel (Bipolar) or of similar symptoms to read, I myself have felt my mood deplete somewhat at the realization of what could’ve been and what is lost in the death of a person similar to me. But for those with simply curious minds, this is the novel for you, to see and understand a whole new perspective on the world.

 

 

 

 

By Lauren Victoria Noding