I’m a bipolar writer. This is not news to anyone. As a person with bipolar disorder, I naturally have good days and bad days. Specifically, I naturally have average days and horrifically depressed days. And it impresses people that the Bipolar Burble blog manages to stay running through it all. Every week I get one or two posts up no matter what.
So people have asked me, how the heck do you do that? How do you keep a (popular) bipolar blog going through the depressed times?
Have Bipolar Blog Articles in the Hopper – Plan for Bipolar Depression
One technique that’s easy to implement is simply to write what you plan on posting ahead of time. When you feel good – write – and write a lot. Write more than you need so that when things all fall apart, you have something from the good times to spread around through the depressed times.
This comes down to planning for your depression. Rather than denying that it will ever happen again, admit that yes, bipolar depression happens, and you should plan for it and not let it drown you completely when it appears.
Use the Bipolar Depression
I actually can write when I’m depressed – but it’s usually pretty depressing stuff. That’s okay though, see, I write a bipolar blog and people expect that sort of thing here. Use your depression to gain insight into bipolar disorder and into depression. Use what you’re feeling as inspiration for a blog post. When you can’t stop crying all day – use it and talk about how many Kleenex boxes you’ve had to buy. When you can’t get up to get your kids off to school write about the stress that bipolar depression places on a marriage. When you only leave your bed to feed your cats, talk about how pets are one of the things that can keep people with bipolar disorder going. Or remark on the nature of pain, sadness, pajamas or whatever works for you at the time.
I know it may seem a little cold, but if you’re a writer, then write it out. It’s what we do. (You can always temper it before posting if you need to.)
Make a Writing Schedule, but Know When to Break It
Try to make sure you have a certain amount of content coming out – whatever works for you. (For the most successful blogs I would say four articles a week (Monday-Thursday) but who the heck has time for that?) And try to promise yourself that even if it’s something short, even if it’s just a comment on something you read on the Huffington Post, you will write something.
Of course also don’t use this schedule to beat yourself up. Beating yourself up about not sticking to a writing schedule will not help your bipolar depression.
But I Can’t Write During a Depression!
Okay, I get it, sometimes you just can’t write and sometimes there are no articles left from the good times. If this happens to you, then find something easy to write about (like a book review, for example, or talk about a blog article that someone else wrote) or write about the fact that you can’t write during a bipolar depression. Talk about what that does to you. Talk about why you can’t write. The fact that you can’t write is part of the experience of being a writer with bipolar disorder and you are allowed to talk about that. And most of your audience will get it because most of them have been in a place where they can’t keep their lives going during a bipolar depression too.
Bipolar Depression – Suck it Up
Now, I’m not telling you to suck it up, but I’m saying that’s what I do. I suck it up. I say to myself, “self, I know you want to overdose on those pills in the corner of the room but that has no bearing on the fact that you have two articles to write today so shut the hell up and just do it.”
I’m not saying you should be that mean to yourself, but I’m saying that I am. It’s just what works for me. You don’t have to do it.
Be Proud of Your Bipolar Blog
And when it comes down to it, be proud of what you can do when you can do it. You’ve accomplished more than many who haven’t yet even been able to begin the process. So you haven’t posted in a while – no problem – there’s always tomorrow for that. Be proud of the people that you help with your words because those people don’t care about your writing schedule, they only care that you have written.