This morning I had a productive and encouraging book coaching session with Aaron J. Smith of AaronJSmithWriter.com. With his help, I’m rewriting my previously self-published work, Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health.
The current working title of the revised memoir is Bipolar Thoughts (or My Bipolar Thoughts – which do you prefer?).
Today we worked on my introductory piece, “My Mental Health Journey,” which chronicles my story of living with depression and bipolar disorder from age eighteen to now. This 5300-word narrative combines and expands on my previously written long-form pieces.
Following the narrative, I’ve organized my writing into sections containing short-form pieces that convey my thoughts. The section themes are Bipolar Thoughts, Write with Purpose, Advocate, and Caretake.
Organizing my short-form content into these sections overwhelmed me. But, I chipped away at it over time and got it done.
When I first published my book, I cut and pasted content from my blog. Though I knew it was duplicative and needed rewriting, I found the prospect of a major overhaul daunting, overwhelming, paralyzing.
Aaron has been a HUGE help in breaking down the tasks at hand.
My next step (my homework before our next session) is to write a compelling conclusion to “My Mental Health Journey” about why my story matters to me and how it matters to share it with you, my readers.
After that, we will edit the short pieces.
Public Speaking Gig
Writing the conclusion to my “My Mental Health Journey” will have to wait until next week, for this Friday I was invited to speak at a downtown Los Angeles high school mental health assembly.
My first public speaking gig as an individual independent of any major health non-profit!
The speech is scheduled to be 25-minutes long. That’s a LONG speech! I’ve spoken for NAMI Orange County (NAMIOC.org) and for the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF.org), but never by myself in front of an auditorium and never for 25-minutes straight.
Assuming the principal’s approval pending a background check, I’ll be hard at work this week on the speech. My plan is to repurpose “My Mental Health Journey” into speaking points.
Knowing that doing so will be stressful and overstimulating, likely triggering hypomanic symptoms, I made a reservation at a nearby hotel the night before the speech.
At first, I thought of asking a friend if I could stay with her the night before the event, then I realized that doing so would overstimulate and exhaust me even more.
Socializing gets me going in a bad way. I ramp up. I get overexcited, anxious, irritable. I speak faster, filling the air with more and more words. My thoughts race. I can’t concentrate. My mind stops, free falls, unable to find what it’s looking for. It’s exhausting.
The night and early morning before I speak, I need no distractions or stressors. Not only must I avoid social stressors, but I must also avoid the stress of driving in Los Angeles gridlock. I need peace and quiet.
Wish me luck! I welcome your prayers and positive energy as I prepare for the speech.