Don’t Let Society Define Your Worth

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Laura Droege is such an insightful writer and prolific as well – she has written several novels and has one currently in the works. I’ve been following her blog for over a year. The one & only Kitt O’Malley referred me to Laura – that gal has good taste as many of you know.

Laura lives with bipolar disorder, but she definitely doesn’t let it define her, and I find that inspiring.¬†I was very honored Laura shared my song “More Than Bipolar”with her followers. I’d encourage you to follow her because she writes with conviction, faith and humor. Moreover, her posts will expand your knowledge of literature, even if you have a literature degree like I do! ūüôā

Speaking of literature, I’m off to the Catamaran Writing Conference on Wednesday and I’m sure I’ll return with tales to tell. Writer catfights and such. (Just kidding!) I’m scared about sharing the first chapter of my memoir Birth of a New Brain¬†with seven strangers, but I also know it’s exactly what I need to do. If the feedback gets too bad I can always burst into tears, bolt from the classroom, and scream “Die, you elitist literary snobs, die!” as I run out of the building.

It’s important to note that¬†this conference offers free coffee all day long, but there’s no chocolate to complement all that java. This is a serious problem, so I need to go buy some Dagoba milk chocolate bars and a couple other ridiculously expensive brands, as without chocolate I simply cannot write. I’m sure you understand the gravity of this situation.

Until next week, please take care everyone!
Xo,
Dyane

A heartfelt thanks & a writer’s retrospective

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For once, I’m not going to write a 1500 word-long post. ¬†(I always tell myself that I’ll lower my word count when I sit down to write, but then I wind up writing super-long posts¬†regardless. ¬†I’m going to try a little harder today. ¬†You’ll see!)

I want to thank each of you reading this post for giving your attention to my words, for your “likes”, and for your comments that I drink up like a top-shelf margarita. ¬†(How I miss those…)

I digress.

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Over the past week I’ve received warm ‘n fuzzy compliments about my blog¬†that have made me feel particularly grateful for having followers. ¬†The fact that these comments have been submitted by¬†mega-talented writers is the chocolate ganache icing on the chocolate cupcake! ūüėČ

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Growing up, I felt like a mediocre person. ¬†In the fourth grade I was tested and identified as “gifted and talented”, which sounded impressive, but once I was in the program I felt I was at the bottom of the G&T barrel.

When I applied to the University of California and a few other colleges, I had no idea what I wanted to do. ¬†My SAT scores and grades were mid-level, and I worried that I wouldn’t get accepted into any decent school. ¬†Luckily I made it into U.C. Santa Cruz, and I majored in English and American Literature. ¬†Back then, I knew in my heart I was a writer, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to¬†study the great writers with some exceptional¬†professors throughout my four years of school.

When I was twenty-six, I sold my first magazine article “Shades of Gray” about depression, women and exercise to the ¬†defunct magazine Fit. ¬†As a subscriber,¬†I loved its down-to-earth approach to fitness. ¬†At that time, I worked as an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer/class instructor at a gym. ¬†My shift was from 5:00 a.m. to noon, leaving my afternoons as the perfect window of time to write, although I was tired from getting up early and working a very physical job.

The Fit magazine publisher paid me $600 for my article, and I was so proud that I copied my paycheck and I tacked it on to the wall.  Writing that piece was a great experience in many ways.  I was highly motivated to track down different experts for interviews, such as Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison and Dr. Martha Manning, and secure quotes from them.

I became confident enough to query other publications with my article ideas, and I published pieces in a variety of local and regional magazines and newspapers.  Eventually I began working full-time for a non-profit educational organization with the State Parks, and I frequently wrote for their award-winning newsletter.

Five or six jobs, a marriage, two children, and a postpartum bipolar diagnosis later, here I am, still writing. ¬†I won’t give up.

As the book I’m¬†writing¬†is very specialized, I get dejected about finding an audience for it,¬†but my gut tells me to keep on. ¬†(Oh my God…my brain is so weird – the Brady Bunch song “Keep On Movin” just started playing in my head just now! ¬†If you want a blast from the past visit:¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUyTZlJnRns) ¬†Don’t hate me for that!

Blogging helps revitalize my brain and it inspires me with its unique give-and-take with readers.  Writing my book is different, of course.  As you can imagine (and as some of you book authors know firsthand) it can be a much lonelier endeavor than blogging.  For me, these two activities balance each other out nicely.  Every day I sit in front of the MacBook Pro, I am super-thankful I have the time and wherewithal to write.

Thanks once again, dear readers, for you inspire me. I wish each of you satisfying writing sessions, great coffee, 

and gratifying feedback!!!ImageImageImageha ha ha!