Writing Tips Round Up: Mental health and self-care
Take care when writing your characters into dark places.
Click here to see the full blog post
This is something that's actually been on my mind lately because of Shadows Rise. It was actually in the RAA thread that it hit me that writing Johanna was going to hit a little too close to home for me. And with how I get into my characters' heads, there actually are certain things I worry about writing.
And here's a thing... people react to and cope with things such as depression in particular ways. it's not an Universal thing by any means, it so happens that Jo copes with hers in a very similar way I did when I was younger. I even wrote a blog post in which I list some of these coping mechanisms without giving away whether they are hers or mine. The difference between one and the other is actually pretty minimal. :/
On a separate far less personal note, I found that Writer's HQ article a lot more ranty and berating than actually helpful. I mean, I know 'ranty' is sort of a humor thing people do with these list articles (I do ranty a lot when I do fan fiction commentary myself), but if you're stressing the point that this is a serious issue, you shouldn't be talking about it in that tone. shrug
Hey @Blackbird! I think it's great that you're writing some of your own coping mechanisms into Jo's character as you never know what reader it might help deal with their own bouts of depression. I liked that on your blogpost you also narrowed down a bit what might help an extrovert respond to depression... I think how introvert/extroverts react to things and the difference between them is a really interesting topic.
You know, in searching for articles about writing and mental health in general, I did find that many do approach the subject in a berating way! And I wonder whether when this tone is taken, the people ranting tend to be those who are seeing their friends or family suffer from these things rather than suffering from it themselves, and becoming angry and frustrated and protective of their loved ones. One of my family members has a condition that I find constantly misrepresented in the press and fiction, and it does make me want to rant at the world on their behalf! So I don't think it necessarily comes from a bad place... maybe just a bit misguided and people who don't fully understand the actual sufferers of it? My thoughts anyway!
I think how introvert/extroverts react to things and the difference between them is a really interesting topic.
That's the main difference between myself and Jo. She's an extrovert and I'm not. If she's going through something she wants to be around people in some way. I want to be alone because I don't want the added stress of human interaction.
As for the articles... Maybe. Possibly.
The only reason I'm harsh with this is that to me it's one thing if you have a personal blog and you want to rant and vent your frustrations there, but it's another entirely if you're writing an article people will actually go to when they're having trouble approaching a certain topic (especially if you're using the terms 'tip' or 'how to' or 'advice'). I sort of like to stress the fact everything on my blog is strictly opinion and not a how-to in any way because of this.