As a writer I am reveling in the world that has opened up to me ever since I re invented myself with a new label. I know some people are trying to move away from labels but I see both the negatives and positives of them, Creating my own new label or genre, has really given me a Sence of setting myself free and a new identity.
Truth is if I hadn’t of started my writing career marketing myself in the Lesbian Fiction Genre I probably would not be writing still.
Writing for me has become such a huge part of my everyday life. When I started therapy I experimented with writing poetry and articles as a ‘top up’ between sessions and I found doing this so helpful, such a creative awakening, such a relief. I had been living my life in a pressure cooker environment for so long and now suddenly I had a way to release the pressure and unscramble my thoughts whilst I experienced raw emotions for the first time without restriction or self medication.
My small successes so far have made me aware of lots of important issues that I feel I want to either discuss or help raise awareness of which in tern has given me inspiration to write books about many different subjects. However this does not mean I am abandoning my place as a writer who creates fiction about LGBT issues it just means I am expanding and challenging my writing capacity to hopefully reach a wider market.
I fear that mental health is still very much misunderstood and to a degree still a taboo subject. I was floored a while ago when after speaking about my writing inspirations at an event someone challenged me by saying that I shouldn’t have talked about my Mental Health on that particular event. Whilst I appreciate why someone else may not feel comfortable doing that I believe that despite all the negative aspects of living with it I also feel that so much good tha has happened to me which would not have happened if I had not opened up, accepted it and searched for happiness . Mental Health is a huge part of my life and I believe I am going through it for many reasons. Firstly being able to start to heal and become the best version of myself that I can be without denying it any longer. Secondly to have the courage and means to continue to be creative and lastly to be a positive role model for others in the shadows afraid to speak up, ask for help, and if not able to completely heal then to learn to live with it and not be over shadowed by the negative aspects of it.
I was a young disabled Lesbian growing up with a huge secret about my identity in a very narrow minded small town . I hunted out any source of coverage about the LGBTQI community and DIVA provided that for me, still does. I would look misty eyed at the glossy front cover read every article and study in detail the events and personals pages hoping to find something, just something local that existed despite knowing it would be years before I was free to actually attend any of these events just knowing they existed was a huge comfort.
In my personal experience mental health can manifest itself because a person has suppressed or been denied the opportunity to be your true self.Even though I stand by my belief that it continues in my life as a result of a traumatic injury sustained to my back causing me long term un imaginable pain. I am convinced that repressing my sexuality also contributed . I live my life balancing it between letting the pain physically and emotionally affect my ability to function. On a good day I try my best at living as much of a normal life as possible. I am blessed to be able to spend any down time writing and creating work that I hope is appreciated by the masses and helps a number of people feel stronger and feel a Sence if belonging whilst being inspired to be their authentic brilliant selves.
someone once said to me in regards to their disability “this doesn’t define me “ a sentiment I echoe my disability, my sexuality, my mental health welfare alone does not define me rather they are a few of the many pieces of the jigsaw that creates my bigger picture. I am no longer afraid ashamed or agree to be held back by any of these pieces of the puzzle , instead I wear all these labels with pride on my sleeve because I feel at times they make up some of the best of me.
whilst I am still relatively new to the level of exposure my career has given me I will keep going, keep being inspired to write until I reach a level where I feel I am at my best, like all my struggles to this day in life, I will never give up.
My advice to you would be the same…NEVER GIVE UP!