I’m Still Here – Truly Inspired #14

11cm3kTruly Inspired Series

1] Blog Name

I’m Still Here – A Survivor’s Guide to Living with PTSD

2] Genre

The genre is about living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); a mental illness and the things that I do to help me be a survivor, instead of a sufferer.

3] Blog Age

My blog will be three years old on August 20th, 2018

3] At what age did you start to write and what was your motivation for doing so?

I started writing when I was pre-teen but for the most part, it was just journaling. Then when I was thirteen, I started writing poetry but life kind of got in the way and I didn’t start writing again until the day I started my blog. Strangely enough, I haven’t written any poetry in decades.

4] Does writing/creativity come naturally to you or do you struggle to invent something inspirational each day/week/month?

I think writing/creativity comes naturally to me, so no, I don’t struggle to invent something. I write about the day to day struggles I have living with PTSD and the stigma around mental illness/s, and quite honestly, the stigma and ignorance make it easy to come up with a weekly topic.

5] How prolific are you in your craft?

I’m going to toot my own horn here and say, yes, I think I’m very prolific in my craft. I’ve written over a hundred blogs since I started my website/blog; 2 ½ years ago, and my blogs range from around 300 words to as many as 1400 words. During the first year, I felt like I was writing solely for myself and I only averaged 30-50 page views per month.

Now, almost three years later, people are checking my site the day before I usually post my weekly blog hoping I’ve posted it early. Sometimes I do put it up early, depending on what I have going on, so it’s warranted and currently, I’m averaging 600 page views per month.

6] Are your writings displayed elsewhere or just WordPress? If so where?

I have a lot of trouble concentrating and I’m easily triggered, so when I looked into starting a website, I took these things into consideration. Most of my readers are people with PTSD and a lot of our symptoms are the same. I figured if I created my site easy for me to navigate, it would help others and decided to keep it simple. I didn’t want advertisements going on in the background because I find it extremely difficult to concentrate on what I’m trying to read with all those distractions, so I subscribed to Squarespace, instead of WordPress. It’s not free, but I have complete control on what you see or don’t see on my website. You can also find my writings at The MightyConsumer Health Digest and The Adventures of Doodlepip with the K9 Interview of my service dog Laddie.

7] Do you ever suffer from writers/creators block? How do you combat it?

Not really. Living with a mental illness has all kinds of challenges, specifically the way someone like me is treated, so it’s easy to find something to write about.

Sometimes, so much has occurred to me, or the people around me, that I have so much material, I can’t decide what to write about! But when the masses are behaving, I fall back on a list of ideas/thoughts which is added to on a weekly basis.

8] What is your preferred creative expressive form? [Writing/photography/poetry/artistry/illustration/design/musical composition]

Writing is my preferred creative expressive form because I’ve been told I’m good at it, and honestly, I really enjoy writing. However, I’d love to learn how to play the guitar and write music because that way I could work, and get myself out of my head at the same time.

9] How do you arrive at your decision to write/create/invent about what you have chosen as a subject for the piece/s?

I live in my head, so it’s easy! There are so many thoughts going on in my head, that all I need to do, is sit down and start writing and the words just spew out.

Sometimes when I start writing, I end up triggering myself and the topic I thought I wanted to write about before I sat down, turns into something completely different, but for the most part, I write about things that have rocked my world during that week, whether it’s bad or good.

10] Do you need an ambiance to work with, such as music, quiet, scented candles, yoga, exercise, reading, film or something else?

Complete quiet, well, except for music!

Honestly! I can’t write if you’re talking to me, or the T.V. is on because I have so many triggers and if I hear certain words, like shooting, terrorist, attack, or stabbing, you’ve completely lost me. Shit, I’ve lost me, and it can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of days to get me back on track!

Music is my ambiance and the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is turn some on and it plays in the background all day. I’ve found a radio station that only seems to focus on the news before I get up in the morning, and late in the day, so it’s easy to avoid things that make it impossible for me to concentrate, or be creative.

11] What helps you to create your content? [People/conversation/family/health/magazines/newspapers/controversy/funny moments/life experiences]

For the most part life’s experiences and the way that people treat me and other people living with disabilities helps me to create my content. In fact, the stigma gives me a continuous stream of issues to write about.

12] Is your content driven by your journey or your story, or by the journeys and stories of others?

I’m sure you’ve already deduced that my content is driven by my journey, but I do have a page where I share the journeys of other people and their struggles with mental illness.

13] Are there any specific things which enable your creative juices to flow more steadily? [Overtired/insomnia/mental health/eating/drinking/smoking/surrounded by colour/abstract thoughts and thinking]

No. In fact, my creative juices tend to keep me awake, so I keep a recorder beside my bed so that I can record any thoughts that are bouncing off the walls of my noggin and keeping me from a night of slumber. I used to write them down, but my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, and recording my thoughts makes sure I’m not missing anything.

14] How long from start to finish would/can your content take you to complete?

Sometimes I can create a blog in a couple of hours, but for the most part, it takes at least half a day. I want the content to be informative, as well as the truth, and nothing but the truth, so I spend quite a bit of time doing research on each topic before I write about it.

15] Are you pleased with your finished pieces? How do you feel when you receive acknowledgement from another?

I’m never pleased with my finished pieces, ever! I think it’s because I could never do anything right growing up, but who knows? Honestly, I’m my biggest critic! In fact, if I read a blog after I’ve written it, but before it’s been posted, I will change it – it’s that simple. I’m not sure why, but I will change it. There isn’t anything wrong with what I’ve written, and a lot of the time, my editor will change it back to how it was originally. So, what I’ve learned to do is write what I write, have it edited and wait until I’ve posted it to read it. So far, I’ve found that it’s the only way to do it, but hopefully, over time, I will learn to believe in my work.

It’s hard when people acknowledge my work, especially when they compliment me, but I’m getting there – slowly, but surely.

Finally, what advice would you award writers or creators looking to express themselves and to then display their works to the world?

Honestly, I would say if you want to write, write!

Try not to worry about whether anyone is going to read it, because there’s a possibility no one will, especially in the beginning. Furthermore, try not to gauge your success on how many people are reading your blog, because it might discourage you and you might find yourself giving up the fight and you may even stop writing. Keep in mind that if you stop, it’s going to be hard to get your message out there. More importantly, writing down the incessant buzzing that’s going on in your noggin, gets it out of your head and that’s half the battle on the road to recovery!

My genuine thanks to Davina for taking the time to answer the Truly Inspired questionnaire, but more so for sharing her story in part to use here. To use one of her quotes – advice – “Honestly, I would say if you want to write, write!”

That’s basically it, practice makes perfect, but also, you won’t know and don’t know until you try.

1x8ulo

If any would like to participate in the Truly Inspired series – please drop me an email at aguycalledbloke63@gmail.com and l will gladly write you up and share your visions. I would genuinely love to hear from more of you, so don’t be shy, come on, step forward – have a try.

 

 

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