Tips for writing your complex story. Bipolar, personality, identity – part 1

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My name is Xanthe Wyse.
My current main diagnoses are bipolar 1 disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Clincians would likely say my mood is a bit elevated in this video (hence the going off on tangents a lot etc before finished saying what had popped into my head, before started saying something else). This tends to happen when I am under stress, doing a lot of processing (currently have a deadline over my head for my written submissions for a court appeal against an ACC decision).

I choose not to make my diagnoses into my entire identity, as I am a complex person. Same goes for other things that people often make into identity, such as sexuality.

A viewer related to my video about how I created a hypersexual alter ego which was opposite to myself to that point. Their story sounds interesting so I suggested writing about it. Their question was how do I get started with writing?

This video is about some tips from a self-published author. I chose to self-publish mainly because I didn’t want my voice altered, I didn’t want deadlines, could publish when I was ready. More control over the process.

Writing is a great way to slow down the though process somewhat to process complex themes. I write most fluently when in a slightly elevated state. When too elevated (mania), I see lots of metaphor and symbolism but I become inherent to others. It’s still good to capture themes though (eg colourful mindmaps, visual mind map paintings etc) to sort out what is the most important things I wish to communicate. Then go back later when less elevated to write things out.

A written blog is a good way to get started with writing – can be anonymous if you wish. Doing a vlog was way outside my comfort zone but I’m now comfortable with it. I was initially anxious about being criticised for the way I express myself (have often been criticised for my communication difficulties).

Tips for writing:
– start anywhere
– it’s okay to write scenes out of sequence (I usually typed separate sequence).
– parts that you want to use can be timelined later into chapters
– the first draft is not usually published. May go through many rewrites.
– when not in a writing mode, can still work on a significant project with journalling (I often do colourful messy mindmaps), do other linked creative things like paint, make a sculpture (messy is okay), destroy a symbolic object. It’s all part of processing.
– doing a vlog is putting oneself out there more, so need a degree of self-awareness and to be able to cope with the criticism
– be aware a book will be criticised. Every form of creative/artistic expression is. A few trusted people read as I went and gave feedback.
– be sure to have lots of self-care between bursts of working on a project (rest, eat, walking etc).

last bit of this video cut off, so will upload separately.

I have used 3 different approaches for writing my books. Two are complete, a second memoir is in progress. There is no one right way to do it.

By: Bipolar Courage
Title: Tips for writing your complex story. Bipolar, personality, identity – part 1
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