The Bipolar Writer Needs Your Help!

As some of you know (and others don’t) I am ready to publish my memoir! Seriously. I have edited and moved chapters around, and I honestly believe that I prepared for this next step. I have a great cover and manuscript. The issue? Do I self-publish or try to find a publisher?

I have done a lot of research, and I found a company to publish the physical copy of my book. I have watched endless videos on self-publishing on Amazon and other online self-publications. What is right? What is wrong?

I want to do this right because this is my first official novel (and though its non-fiction and I consider myself a fiction novelist) this is important to my brand and me. My memoir The Bipolar Writer is so important to me, so I want to do this right and not rush into something I will regret. I will admit that I am apprehensive about where to go. I thought self-publishing was the right path, but I have doubts. I am turning to my family (YOU) for any advice you can give me.

James

unsplash-logoRémi Walle

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Influences in Writing from The Bipolar Writer

This is not a typical post from The Bipolar Writer, but I wanted to talk about something that seems to come up a lot recently–my writing influences.

The Influences in my Writing

For those that don’t know, I started working on my master’s in October. I am staying within the same area that I was working on with my bachelor’s degree–Creative Writing and English.

The beginning parts focus a lot on finding out what kind of writer I am, learning to read like a writer, and the most important the influences of my own writing. When it comes to reading books I have no specific genre that I conform to, I am happy reading anything from Modernism to Romanticism; I am a fan of literature in general. When it comes to my influences in actual writing I am more defined.

Perhaps the most significant influence in my writing is the works of Edgar Allan Poe (in honor of Poe I used Edgar in my pseudonym James Edgar Skye.) My favorite era in literature is Romanticism, and more specifically I am enamored by Dark Romanticism.

There is not a poem, short story or works of fiction that I am not amazed by the way that Poe writes. I consider Poe one of the most significant wordsmiths of all time. What I am always in awe when I read a piece of his writing and my favorite, of course, is The Raven. That is why as influencers come in my writing I write my fiction in darker Dark Romanticism or at least a more modern version of this sub-genre.

The other influences of my writing come from some of my favorite authors. There is Rowling, King, George R.R. Martin, and James Patterson just to name a few. I identify the most with Ernest Hemingway as a writer, and given his personal history, it makes sense, but his influence can also be found in my fictional writing. The way that Hemingway wrote in succinct and hard prose always drew me to his work, and his novels seemed to be influenced by his personal history. The Sun Also Rises to me is perhaps one of the greatest 20th-century novels to ever be written. I could say that for any of Hemingway’s literary works.

I conder myself a decent writer and I am right there when it comes to being a legit writer. I am still finding myself as a fictional writer, I have the non-fiction voice down, so I will be working towards finding my place in the writing world. I know my future is in fantasy fiction/supernatural and this certainly where my next novel is going.

What prompted this blog post is that I thought that in 2019 I would spend some time talking about writing. It was the original goal of this blog, and while I talk about it every now and writing in my life is so vital to my mental health. I am happiest when I am writing.

What are some of your writing influences? I’d like to hear from my fellow writer bloggers.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoKelly Sikkema

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unsplash-logoMikhail Pavstyuk

The Bipolar Writer is Back

aaron-mello-142044-unsplashAn Update on my Writing Projects

It feels terrific to be back.

I am writing again. I took about two weeks of no writing because my creative side was not blending into my regular life. For a while, my mind lost in the darkness, and I was on the fringes of depression. I felt alone. That is normal.

I did come up with a few more chapters for my memoir, I am not sure if they will make the final draft (I am focusing next week on getting my book on Amazon), but when I go to print I could use those chapters. I have a great cover artist, cover design, and some fantastic chapters. I am ready for the future.

I am also working towards (in my next master’s program class) a new book concept over the next ten weeks. My hope is to ready to start writing chapters in two months seem very hopeful. I am also going to try and finish the novel version of my screenplay.

*On a side note: If anyone knows someone in the movie business– agents, managers, or production companies; let me know. I am selling three different screenplays.

It feels excellent to be back on track and with the next week off from my school work, and I am ready to refocus on the blog.

Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Aaron Mello

HB Mertz

In a Blink of an Eye…

I am in awe, and a few days late.

I have been busy, and all of sudden I look up and my blog has grown both in contributor bloggers and followers. I smile every day by those who take a moment in their busy lives to come to this blog and leave comments, likes, and views.

Never in a thousand years could I ever think when I started this blog in September 2017 that The Bipolar Writer blog would get to 6,000 plus followers. Yet, here we are, and if you are reading this blog post, there is a good chance that you a part of my growing community of like-minded mental health advocates and bloggers.

I am genuinely honored daily by the people making connections to my blog through my own writings and my growing number of contributor bloggers who now call The Bipolar Writer blog a part of their life.

I have shared the stories of others in the mental illness community, and as the blog has grown, I have been able to share so much of myself— something I never thought possible two years ago.

6,000 and growing!

I am so happy that I made the decision to start this blog and I look forward to the continuous growth of this blog. We are all on a rollercoaster that can only go up. So let’s continue the conversation.

Let us end the stigma surrounding mental illness together!

Always keep Fighting.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoLoïc Fürhoff

Goals in Mental Health Recovery

Yesterday I introduced a new series on the blog. My real life journal entries during some of my toughest times. My Mental Illness Journal. Today I want to talk about goals in mental health recovery.

What Are Your Mental Health Recovery Goals?

In the life with a mental illness, it can seem difficult to set realistic goals. Its roots are in the fears that come with recovery. In my own life, being Bipolar means the constant ups and downs affect my everyday. When you add more things like social anxiety and dealing with insomnia, it can be constant chaos. So goals can feel impossible most days.

Even with everything that comes with your mental illness, it is important to make goals. Setting life goals is an important part of your mental health wellness and recovery.

There are things that you can ask yourself that can be quite helpful in figuring out your goals.

What motivates me?

For me five years ago I knew I had to go back to school. I always considered myself a writer, but I need to refine my skills. I knew if I went back to school It works to keep me motivated from week to week, and it has done that in my life. As I near the end of my Bachelor’s degree my motivation is even clearer to go beyond and start my Master’s Program. It has been a tough journey of ups and downs but the motivation has always been there to succeed. It drives me.

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Writing is what gets me up each day and thought it wasn’t always so, it has been for the last two years why I wake up each day. It motivates me to write my memoir, this blog, and to always be looking for my next writing project. I write for me first, and second to share my life. What motivates me is ending the stigma surrounding mental illness.

What would I do more of if I was able?

This is the hardest question to answer, what would I do more if I was able? It’s tough because if you have ever been in the darkness that comes with depression for a long period, it may seem impossible to believe that you can do more. We have all been there, including yours truly. But, it is an important to find what is the one thing you could do more of, and for me, it was writing.

What do I want in life?

It is important to know what you want out of this life. To get to the point of starting the journey of real recovery this question seems important. I would even go further and ask what you want in this life outside of your mental illness? Find what makes you happy. We are already not normal people those of with a mental illness. So, don’t worry if what you want out of life isn’t normal. If your goal right now is to get better beyond your mental illness then that should be the goal.

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Where do I want my life to go?

For me, this question was never simple. It took me writing my screenplay starting in 2016 and ending in 2017 to find my focus. When I started this blog near the end of last year, it helped me focus on where I wanted my life to go. I want to share my story with the world through my memoir and this blog. I have done a good job so far.

What brings me joy?

This is simple and it will be very important to know moving forward. I know what brings me joy. Writing, listening to good music, sharing my experiences, and reading a good book. It might surprise you that the things that help you on your mental health recovery are the things that bring you joy.

What I did is something I would recommend to all. Five years ago I answered each of these questions so that I could find my goals in my mental health recovery. I found one thing was constant when answering these questions, it still is. My need to write. It took me a while to get to this place, but I know who I am now. A writer that writes first for me and second for my people. All the other things like selling my screenplay and self-publishing my memoir are just the results of working on my mental health goals.

Mental health recovery is never straightforward. There will be plenty of bumps along the way. Peaks and valleys. Its how you deal with it that will help aid you. Find your place in the world because even with a mental illness, you always have a real place in society.

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What are your mental health recovery goals? I challenge each of my fellow bloggers to share within their own blog.

Always keep fighting.

J.E. Skye

 

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoKelli Stirrett

unsplash-logoGarrhet Sampson

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unsplash-logoAndrej Lišakov

Day 16: My Motivation of 2018 – So Far

My Motivation of 2018

It’s been a great start to my year. I am working towards small and big goals. Each day I get a chance to check off things on my list when things get done. It makes me feel good. It’s the little things in life.

My first week of school was good. It got through some early worries and though statistics can be overwhelming at times, it’s a learning process. But its something I can continue to work on. t’s only one math class I have to take for my degree, might as well soak up as much as I can. My literature class is great. I get to read short stories of amazing authors and write about it? That is the best thing a writer can do.

Last year was a tough time for me, my anxiety was out of control and I would end up in the hospital by early February. I thought for while last month that I was heading down that path again, but I have gotten back on track.

It’s the right combination of staying busy and the right dosage of Ativan each day.

I am looking toward the future, even as I continue to write my memoir. Every day is another opportunity for me to continue to work on my social anxiety and my mental health. My blog posts help me keep busy. It’s a place where I can write my thoughts. Each day I get a better understand the intricate nature of my social anxiety.

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My motivations are my big goals. Finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in a few months, and starting my Masters are the biggest goals. My school work takes up a good part of my day, but scheduling my work has made me efficient. Finishing my memoir and selling my screenplay are other top goals at this moment.

 I am learning patience in all things out of my control. I am waiting for the results of the screenplay competition I entered in December. (I get the results next month.) I am waiting for an agency to pick me up, and I make sure to send out query letters each day. It’s a daily grind but considering that I am writing more each day, my struggles of 2017 seem worth it. I found myself at the end of last year, and never looked back.

My smaller goals are making my blog reach one person a day. That’s it. Share my experiences with Bipolar and help fellow bloggers grow in their own writing. I am always moving forward every day. Trying to stay afloat in this world. It’s pure focus and keeping my state of mind in the right place that keeps me motivated. I am smiling more because I am happy.

I have projects on the horizon. Freelance work. It’s going to be an expensive year, I can tell already. So I fill my day. I write new chapters in my memoir each day. I edit and proofread during the week. I make everyday count and give my self a break when things are overwhelming.

The greatest motivation is staying the course and keeping my faith. Everything I have learned in the past year has made me a stronger person. I am in such a good place. I feel good. I know I will have days where things might seem out of control. Anxiety can be hard and anything in my life can trigger a depression cycle.

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When that happens I can write about it and move on. Its great to be on track every day. To have the motivation to leave the comfort of my bed and start a small journey every day. It serves the larger journey well.

What are some of your own motivations this year?

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

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unsplash-logoJordan Whitfield

unsplash-logoIan Schneider

Freelance Work

I don’t often talk about the writing side but when I do it’s a big thing.

Going to school is not cheap. Neither is everything else that comes with the writing life. As I move closer to completing the first draft of The Bipolar Writer Memoir, I am thinking about the possibility of self-publishing. I have done my research and I know the costs of such a venture.

That leads me to look for freelancing work wherever I can in this world. I have already started to pick up local work. I am on Upwork. I put ad‘s on craigslist with some good and bad experiences. I thought something today. I have a blog. Why not reach out to those that need help here on my blog—for a price. That is what freelance work is, moving from project to project.

So what am I offering?

I can help with creating a blog from the start. My blog is my own it took me while to make everything right the way I like it. The content is all mine. I have experience in growing my brand without much help. It’s been a learning procsss for me, but hey I have skills. If you want to pay me to help you create a new blog site, I am here.

I can help write original content for you blog under any peramiters. I have already done a couple of these types of jobs and I create my own content on blog daily. I can research like there is no tomorrow for those of you that need that for your content I’m your guy. If you need someone to edit and proofread your blog posts before you go live, I can help.

Then there is the proofreading editing part of my freelance skills. I am an English major nearing the end of my Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. I minored in journalism, screenwriting, and political science. I have experience in proofreading and editing. The classes I have left are math classes and science classes. I have finished every writing class under my degree. I can help with ghostwriting or copy editing.

I do offer tutoring, but that is probably best for local work. One of my skills is researching. I am damn good at it. So if you need that, I can help.

I am not the kind of guy who charges is a lot. I am competitive with each project. I am online with PayPal so that is always a good thing.

I have a lot of things coming up this summer that I am going to need money for mosty trips. My graduation. My brothers wedding in Oregon. My annual pilgramage to Las Vegas. I would love to finally see Italy and South Korea. I have a good friend of mine in Germany. There is of course the whole student loans thing. It would be nice to pay off my interest before I start my Master’s program at the end of this summer.

I have things in play. My screenplay for one. But I need to be able to save every penny. If that means helping out people then I will do what ever it takes. I am not sure if this is even the right place to put a post such as this, but hey its my blog.

The costs of self-publishing my memoir will be high no matter how I look at it. I don’t need extra work in my life but I have to be open to all opporinites that come my way.

So if you need any type of freelance writing work, I am your blogger— or writer —James Edgar Skye.

So if your interested in any of my freelance skills email me. Let’s talk.

Contact me @ jamesedgarskye24@gmail.com

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

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A Goodbye to 2017

What a year its been for me. I have been through some of the worst anxiety and depression episodes that life can throw at me, and yet here I am. I have grown so much in the last year and for the first time in my life, I can say that I am moving forward.

I started this blog “The Bipolar Writer” back in September and the changes that I have gone through by sharing pieces of my life has been the best thing to ever happen to me. It got me writing full time again.

I have met the most amazing community on WordPress of people just like me working to tell their story.

I got to see my first screenplay Memory of Shane go from just a dream to completion this year. It’s entered in a student competition that I hope to win. Or at the very least get my name out there as an artist. My screenplay has given me new life to write the novel version of the story. Completing my screenplay opened up the possibility for me to share my own experiences, and it became my blog.

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I finally found my courage in writing my blog to finally start to write my memoir, which also titled “The Bipolar Writer.” I am nearing a real first draft. It has been real to share my journey here with The Bipolar Writer blog and I am looking forward to sharing all of my stories.

I have found how therapeutic writing can really be.

I am closer to my goal of finishing my degree, and I have just a few more months before this dream becomes a real reality. It has been a journey the last few years to get this close. There were so many times that I thought it might not happen even in 2017. At one point took a semester off in the Spring of this year, and I almost didn’t go back. But I keep working towards my goals and I persevered.

It wasn’t always good this year. The stress and pressure of completing my screenplay (which I did) landed me in the hospital in February with really bad bleeding ulcers. Since then my issues with my stomach have gotten better and worse. It will be something to work towards in the new year in getting healthier.

2017 was the year of anxiety for me. I can’t count how many panic attacks have been the result of my anxiety levels reaching unimaginable heights. Since the first of January, I have been dealing with the severity of not really understanding the triggers of my social anxiety. I have over the past four months had a better understanding but I have a long way to go.

It amazes me in 2017 how many times I said my last panic attack was the worst one ever.

I said this at least ten different times this year. I finally, over the last month, got the first real change in my Ativan dosage and my anxiety is still there but the panic attacks have been fewer. That is a win in my book.

Where did 2017 really go? I honestly have no idea sometimes. It seems as if it was the longest year ever and at the same time, it went by so fast. It is always an amazing feeling to be through another year. Even though there were plenty of bad days, the successful days outweigh any negatives in my life.

I will write about my goals for 2018 in another post, but I have come so far. This blog means the world to me.

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The people that comment and give me hope or advice every day mean the world to me. The connections I have made and the people that have given me their life stories to share on my blog are my reason to keep writing. It has helped me become a better writer, and at the same time, I have learned that every mental illness journey has its unique qualities.

I am going to miss 2017 because it was another year of growth. I got to my much important ten-year anniversary since my first suicide and diagnosis. I have written more this year than any year of my life. I can share my daily struggles with my fellow bloggers and get the real insight into how to better myself.

I have already said this, but I want to thank all of my fellow bloggers and followers that have made it possible for me to be a better writer and person.

So goodbye 2017. You have been an interesting year. I hope 2018 will be the best one yet.

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James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAndrew Neel

unsplash-logoBrigitte Tohm

unsplash-logoAngelo Pantazis

unsplash-logoMartin Shreder

My Fourth Honest Post

I have had a lot of time to reflect today. After last nights panic attack that almost landed me in the hospital, I spend most of the day in bed, mostly thinking about the causes of my anxiety.

It’s funny. I have been working toward so many goals this year. I started this blog because it was a requirement for a class I was taking. It was creating my writer’s platform. A place to share the parts of myself that were both as a writer and as someone with a mental illness. It has been an amazing journey for me. The people that have touched my life through their own sharing of their own stories.

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I have tried to create a blog much like what The Bipolar Writer in the past, it has become over these past few months something I have never imagined. I had no expectations that this place would become a place to really talk about mental illness, not just my own story.

I never thought I would be an advocate. I mean three years ago I thought I was done with writing. Even with working on my degree in creative writing, I always thought I would teach.

I think it was my first writing class that really restarted my love to write. My first short story I wrote early on in my college career turned out to be the difference to who I am as a writer now. It was a short story called Memory of Shane.

It would be sometime before I decided to start to take screenwriting classes. It was really just a reason to hone my craft. I had been writing a lot of short stories, I was working on an unfinished manuscript, I and thought why not try a hand in screenwriting?

In my first screenplay class, I wrote a fifteen-page short screenplay where I learned to write an entire story (three acts) from start to finish in such a short space, and it really helped me as a writer.

I decided to really give screenwriting a chance and in my next two classes, I wrote the first two acts of what became my screenplay Memory of Shane. It was the first time in my life that major parts of my life story became the inspiration to write about mental illnesses. But the story in Memory of Shane, while mirrors parts of my life, it was a fictional story.

I came up with an idea. I could really share my own story, but I was worried. My story out there in the world under my real name, it scared me to death. It was one of the reasons why when writing the third act of my screenplay that I started to design what became my pseudonym, James Edgar Skye.

When I finally finished my screenplay and editing it all this year it was time to move on. I wanted to do two things. Launch my writing career and find a place where I would feel safe writing my story so that I can write my memoir, something that I wanted to do for so many years.

The Bipolar Writer is my place to share my story. It’s been amazing how so many people have touched my life by sharing their own stories on my blog. It even gave me the inspiration to share the stories of others in feature articles. The feature articles on Morgan and Tony are just the beginning of what an I hope to be a long series.

My last thoughts today are about my memoir. It has been coming along great and I am close to a first draft. It worries me. I have shared so much on the blog and there is still more to my story. I think that’s what was worrying me last night.

The future. It’s always scared me.

Four years ago I never thought that I would be close to getting my bachelors degree.

Seven years ago I was laying in the hospital wanting to change, and here I am, doing the thing I love, writing.

It’s amazing where I have been. Last night wasn’t a step back. I won’t let it. I suffer from panic attacks and it’s a part who I am, and I am working so hard on telling my story.

So as we near closer to the end of the year I want to say that to every person who has following my blog, thank you. It is that support of everyone on my blog that has become the reason why I continue to write. I feel as if The Bipolar Writer and those who follow me are a part of my life.

I will be writing a lot over the next few weeks. In coffee shops no doubt, and I really feel like my entire story is ready to be told.

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Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoClark Tibbs

unsplash-logoErnanette Carolino

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