About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bipolar Disorder, Creativity, and My Memoir

One need only do a little research to find that there is believed to be a link between bipolar disorder and creativity. As a writer with bipolar disorder, I can personally attest to this. As I've posted here before, I'm currently writing a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. It's very slow going, however, because there are naturally things that are difficult to write about. But there are also positive things, hopeful things, even funny things.

About bipolar disorder and creativity, I feel that they come from the same or a similar place. But it's not as if I have to be having an episode in order to feel creative. I feel creative all the time, and my bipolar feelings can be all over the map or sometimes (often these days) just neutral and balanced. But I don't feel as though this balance affects my creativity. In fact, during hypomanic, manic, depressive, or mixed episodes, I believe that my creativity suffers somewhat. I write, but I write less coherently, more in a mishmash style that doesn't have enough organization and focus. So being balanced is a good thing. Anyone who thinks you have to be "crazy" to write well is wrong, in my opinion. To have bipolar disorder and to have it under control seems to be the key to the success of my writing endeavors.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. My husband has bipolar and he used to be a very prolific and wildly imaginative writer, but his medications have made it nearly impossible for him to focus his creativity anymore. This is of course frustrating to him, but at the same time he is glad to have his bipolar under more control than he did before.

    I'm glad to see that you are able to continue writing with bipolar, and I wish you the best of luck with your memoir. ~hugs~

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    1. Thanks so much, Lydia! I'm so sorry that your husband has had trouble writing due to his meds. Meds can be so complicated. They help keep one balanced, which is great, but they can affect focus and productivity. I feel blessed to be able to write both with bipolar and the meds I take for it. I never take it for granted. Best wishes to you and your husband. Thanks again for your reply!

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  2. Balance does seem to be the key to most happiness. I'm happy to hear that you've found a sufficient measure of it!

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    1. Thanks, Rhea! Really, balance is important for everyone, I think, and it's what I strive for.

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  3. Interesting post. Good luck with your writing.

    Stan
    (SS Hampton, Sr., Musa author)

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