Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Seven - Has Anyone Seen My Brain?

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Seven – Has Anyone Seen My Brain?

I have been playing with what to write for days, literal days. I even started writing a post yesterday only for it to stop flowing through my fingertips. I just couldn’t write. For the past few days, my brain has been as useful as fluff.

On some days, I can get things done but others it just seems like my creativity has just taken a running jump and left me. It’s strange, I don’t know who I am really without being able to write. Normally it’s second nature to me, it’s how I make sense of things.

My guess is that while we’re seeing amazing things coming from creatives there are also times when they struggle – like I am now. I thought I’d write blogs upon blogs, my novel might get a good chunk written – maybe I’d create videos too! While I’ve blogged more than normal, that’s about it.

I know that a big chunk of it is that my mental health has struggled. Anxiety has been buzzing in the background and distracting me so much from my own creativity. It’s different when I’m working, for some reason I can still do that but my own stuff has struggled for a few days. I’m hoping it finds its way back

Is there a point to this post? I don’t know, I guess I just wanted to write something to try and get back into the mojo I haven’t had for a few days. Also, to see if any of you have felt the same.

Anyone else?

Celebrating World Book Day With Viking Books!

Celebrating World Book Day With Viking Books!

A very happy World Book Day to you! My feeds have been filled with pictures adorable kids dressed up as their favourite character from a book, some people have decorated potatoes which is now a thing. It’s just great to see kids getting excited about books and reading.

Back in January I received an email asking if I’d like to team up with Viking Books on World Book Day for a craft project. Now, I’m not the most crafty person (it seems to have skipped me) but I do like a chance to get creative.

So, what was the challenge?

I was gifted a box full of goodies including craft supplies, old book pages, a frame and a copy of Book Art by Claire Youngs to give me some inspiration.

As a brief I was told to get creative and show a book that inspired me, one I couldn’t stop thinking about. The first one that came to mind was Harry Potter but then I had another idea…

My Piece

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath had a big impact on me when I was studying at university. I could really identify with the main character, Esther, her worries, concerns and thoughts.

One of my favourite quotes also came from that book “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” There are also so many great quotes I could list but it’s a book that speaks to me and that quote in particular reminds me to take a minute when it all gets too much.

How Can You Get Involved?

So, I took quite an easy approach BUT there are some really great ideas in the book that I’m going to try later on. Pick up an old book and get creative or maybe pick one up cheap at a car boot sale or jumble sale.

Thank you to Viking Books for sending me the materials and book in exchange for this post.

Blogging Struggles

Hellooooooo blogging friends!

Let’s be real here, trying to write a blog regularly can be damn hard work. This isn’t a post to complain with a ‘woe is me’ attitude. But, it is one that’s going to be pretty damn honest.

I’ve honestly felt so unmotivated. While there are pages of ideas for posts I’m kind of deflated. While everyone gets like this and, real talk, it can feel incredibly frustrating to be blogging for years and then see newbie bloggers getting great sponsorships and collabs. There’s no shade in that but it can really make you question yourself and your blog.

So, I thought, why not write a blog about not being able to write a blog. There we go. What an idea! I guess, part of this is me forcing myself to write and publish something no matter how I feel about it and, quite frankly, getting over myself and this writing thing. The only way I’m going to get out of this damned slump is by writing myself out of it.

I’m fully aware this has become a storytime/pep talk for myself/ word vomit situation and you know what? I’m okay with that. I’m okay proving that I’m not a perfect blogger, I’m just doing the best I can with what I’ve got.

Taking Medication Doesn't Make You Less Creative

Taking Medication Doesn’t Make You Less Creative

This is a lot of debate around medication for Mental Health. I’m a proud taker of Citalopram, it’s something that keeps me healthy and that’s that. There’s an idea that having a mental illness makes you more creative – I’m not sure that is exactly true. But why is this coming up? 

Recently, Kanye West went on a Tweeting spree, within his many, many he states  ‘You don’t make runaway on medication’ and he was ‘six months off medication’. I was pretty worried after reading this. 

While medication is 100% someone’s choice, the idea that you can’t be creative and well frustrates me. For many people, medication saves lives every single day- just like insulin does for a diabetic. The idea that your creativity, your creative worth is tied to you being mentally ill is sad. 

Everyone deserves to feel well and the problem when you are mentally ill it can make you feel that either you are not worthy of feeling better or that you are not ill – you are fantastic, you have every single idea and why would you want to slow down…before you crash.

It is true that beautiful things can come out of these times we’ve seen Art and Music and ideas born from mania but it’s not sustainable. Living in that way is not sustainable and more than anything it worries me that people will think it is, especially those in mania. 

Taking medication doesn’t make you less creative. There are medications that don’t work and can make you feel worse BUT there are a lot you can try while you find one that works for you and makes you feel like yourself. 

I hope that Kanye can get the help that he needs. Mental illness is hard to deal with and I cannot imagine what it is like in the spotlight. Do I agree with the things he does and says all of the time? No, but he’s human and I do have compassion for others. 

It goes without saying that I’m not a medical professional – if you want to change/come off your medication please, please talk to a doctor before doing so. It can be incredibly dangerous to go cold turkey on these meds. 

Take care of yourself and those around you. 

 

I’m in a Funk

Blerghh. That’s not a normal start to a blog post, is it? Recently I’ve been sitting at my laptop trying to write, well, anything and not being happy with the result. I’ve attempted blog posts, non-fiction book ideas, fictional book ideas and I’ve just felt really ‘meh’ about it. The thing is it doesn’t just cover my writing. In general, I’ve been in an odd fidgety mood where I just can’t seem to feel good about what I’m doing.

I wrote a little while ago about what’s been up with me and got a lovely response from so many people, so thank you. I’ve been trying to get myself out of this mindset and pinpoint if there’s anything in particular, but I’m coming up with nothing. That was until I spoke to a friend of mine and found out she had quite a few of the same feelings.

Now, we’ve been friends since we were 11 years old and we have drastically different lives but we still had these feelings of not quite knowing what we’re doing and feeling like we’re not doing enough or what we should be for our lives. I’m going to throw it out there and say I’m not the only 20 something that feels like that at the moment.

There’s so much uncertainty about everything that even the smallest things can feel like they’re a huge deal. Take blogging for example. Logically I know that if I only post twice a week no one is going to die. It’s not a life or death situation but the thought still fills me with panic. Am I where I should be with my blog? Why am I not getting as many views as XX? Am I doing enough on my own social media? The list goes on.

We all know we’re not supposed to compare ourselves but, let’s be honest, we all do. My friend has two kids under 10 and worries about career stuff. I have started in my career and worry about having a family in the future. I guess it doesn’t matter where you are, you’re still going to worry about something and feel that you’re not doing it right.

Have any of my fellow bloggers been stuck in this funk before? What did you do to get out of it? Let me know in the comments below!

My Myers Briggs Test Results!

Recently, I retook the Myers Briggs personality test. I’d taken it before when I was at university but knew that some people changed over time, however, I’m still the same, an INFJ. This test is by far the most detailed and correct personality test I’ve ever taken you can take it here.

So, what’s INFJ and how does it relate to me?

INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging. This is also known as a rare personality type. Most people who know me will be surprised to know I’m an introvert but I definitely am. I love staying at home at the weekend and being with a small group of people rather than a huge party! I also trust my gut in situations, showing intuition. Additionally, in terms of feeling, I am known to feel deeply and care, even more, this can make some situations tricky. Judging, according to others, refers to wanting order and structure which…I might be partial to.

You really agree with this?

Now I get it, can these things really work? I’ve taken this so many times since uni and it sticks. I was surprised because it’s really like me in a specific way, so yeah, I think it can work. Only if you’re honest though.

What jobs do INFJs normally go into? 

The general consensus is that we fit best into creative jobs or those that can help people. Some that have been mentioned are Writer *cough*, Counsellor, Professor,  Designer or Scientist. We are dreamers, which definitely helps.

Who else has this personality? 

Now I can’t say I’ve tracked down these people and made them take the test but people seem to agree that the following are, or have been, INFJs.

  • Carrie Fisher (long live our Princess)
  • Oprah
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Lady Gaga
  • Adam Sandler
  • Martin Luther King
  • Prince

 

What do you think about this personality test? Have you taken it? Let me know if you have and what you are in the comments below! All of the full information is here from the website where I took my test!

 

 

 

 

So far, so good

I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t too keen on 2016. Now I know that the clock wasn’t going to strike 12 and my life was going to change but I was wary about it. That said we’re a week into 2016 and so far, so good. I can’t say that I’ve done anything spectacular and I haven’t had a lot of sleep but that’s ok. I’ve spent the beginning of this year how I mean to go on, looking after myself. My only regret so far is that I haven’t been able to go to the gym yet because I had my implant put in Tuesday and it’s still sore, but hopefully I’ll go next Tuesday morning and start my routine again.

I have had a first good week though

  • I’ve got stuff done that I needed to get on with.
  • I’ve lost a stone so far and I’m closer to my goal weight for my height
  • I’ve had a lot of good ideas for creative stuff, I mean they usually come to me at 1am but ideas are ideas.
  • I got my implant redone on my own (braveness points up)
  • I’ve become obsessed with to do lists – not even sorry
  • I went on my first double date! Ali and I went to a local Italian restaurant with Ben and Abbie before chilling with drinks at home
  • I got a first on my Creative Project! I was absolutely dreading getting the mark for this back after having to completely rewrite my piece of creative writing it in a week but I did it and managed a first, a great confidence boost.

All in all 2016 is doing well so far and I’m hoping that it gets even better. I really want to work with my mentor how how I’m going to handle all the changes too and feel a little bit more in control and not let my anxiety and depression take over.

 

Something a little different – sharing some poetry

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I wanted to share something a little different with you all today. I’ve been thinking of ways to make the blog a little more interesting and I have a lot of blogs planned out for you all! For today I’d like to share one of my poems I wrote a few years ago!

Heartbreak

I am falling apart

Pieces and pieces of this tough old heart

I know again that it will start

I will move on but for now I need to mend a broken, broken heart.

As always let me know what you think 🙂

How blogging has changed my life

I wanted to start this blog saying thank you to Jenny in Neverland and her blog which inspired me to write this.

My Career ideas 

I’d never really thought about blogging in this way but as soon as I sat down I realised that it’s one of the biggest parts of my life and it really has changed me and my opportunities. Before I started the blog I had absolutely no idea of what I could do as a job. I definitely still want to do the whole lecture thing and that’s the main aim but it’s five years away and even if I get the grants and financial help I know that I can’t just do nothing in the time that I’m studying. My blog started my spark for social media and marketing so professionally, it really kick started an idea for a possible career if I decide not to do my PhD.

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My Confidence 

It’s no secret that through school I had a massive confidence drop, I didn’t feel confident with myself, I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to do. So when I started to get likes, people reading what I’d written and being told that they enjoy it. I might not be getting 10,000 views but the views I do get make me feel good about myself and that I’m doing something worth doing. If I’m having a bad day, one of your comments can make all the difference.

Connecting with people 

Like I just said, talking to people online can really change my day. I’ve ‘met’ some great people through blogging, people who understand some of the things I struggle with. I’ve spoken to some amazing authors too, I’ve received notes, preview books and other things from truly nice people.

KATIE

I got to talk to Katie Piper  on Twitter, one of my absolute idols

Trying to make a difference and sharing my experience

I write about mental health because I want people to understand and be educated. I know that education is power and the only way that we can possibly end the stigma that people who have a mental health condition face. If I can help one person or educate another then I’ve achieved something that I’m proud of.

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Something to get out of bed for and a positive way to let everything out 

Depression doesn’t choose the days you have nothing to do to hit you with it’s worst, it’s fun like that. Some days the whole struggling to get out of bed thing rears it’s ugly head and I just don’t see the point. I do struggle like loads of other people in the world but the blog gives me a way to express myself in a positive way. It lets me talk to other people and I get encouragement too. I can use it to look at how far I’ve come too, one of my favourite things to do on New Years Eve.

I have a way of looking back at my uni days, I won’t forget

And if that’s not a good enough reason I don’t know what is. 1907515_10206793085448473_2364060322551983456_n

I’d love to hear your responses so make sure to tag me if you want to write about how blogging has changed YOUR life. Also give Jenny a follow too, because her blog is awesome!

Why do I blog? Two years on and what started it all.

For the last few days I’ve been spending my time with some great students. These guys are around 16/17, just finished their first year of college or sixth form and are thinking about going to university and we got to show them around, take them to taster lectures and answer any questions that they had. So I loved working with these guys and they asked some great questions, one of which really got me thinking. Why do I blog?

Ah! Why do I blog? I really had to think so I just kind of went through the last few years and realised that it might be an idea to share it with you guys. SO first blog, my first blog was about books surprise, surprise.Basically my Mum was always nagging me to get rid of some books every time I bought new ones, so as a reason to keep them I set out to review as many as possible and fell in love with it. I done that weekly for about two years until I realised that I wanted to write about my experiences of uni.

I wanted to create a second blog for a while and played around with ideas and themes while I was 18 until I realised what wanted to read. I wanted to read about people like me. People who had no idea about uni, started completely clueless and to tell the truth about what it was really like. Around the same time I finally got a mental health diagnoses and I was passionate about including that too. So this blog was born on the 1st September 2013 (although it’s changed names several times before I realised my own name was pretty awesome).

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The beautiful picture of a very fresh faced looking me the week I got into university, aww. 

I knew what I wasn’t your typical student, at the time I didn’t really go out drinking, I was in a long term relationship and I had terrible Anxiety and Depression related issues. BUT! I knew I wanted to write almost every day about my experiences and my life so that others could find it and have a reference point and someone to ask questions too.

My reasons have evolved over the years such as: 

– I love to write every day, it keeps me constantly thinking and in practice

– Mental health is important and needs as much help as possible to beat the stigma 

– You don’t get a manual on how to be a student…so you might as well have some true experiences 

– I love talking to people! I have some great friends online now, like Caitlin, Alwyn Ash and so many more! 

– I had no idea what uni was about and was fed up of generic guides which were all positive! 

– I absolutely love it 

So why do I blog? For so many different reasons but mostly because I genuinely enjoy it. I’ve had people be SO impressed with the fact that I write nearly every day, but I just see that as normal. It’s not a diary (there would be a lot of swearing if it was) but it’s just me being able to reflect and share that with you all.

So I’m nearly two year in now and I love it. I plan to carry on this blog for as long as I possibly can really. I also want it to get better! I have already started my weekly book reviews, a few opinion pieces and I will be starting more top 10 and uni advice blogs! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and if you’re even slightly considering creating your own blog, go and do it! Why not! Drop me a comment with your blogs below and I will try to follow as many as possible.

Thanks for reading guys and check back in tomorrow for a new book review! Also can I please say thank you SO much to everyone who has followed me, I now have 600 followers! I want to get to 1000 by Christmas and who knows I might do some kind of prize…ohhhhhhh!