As many of you may already know, I am currently working on writing my third book. While the first two were fictional and didn’t hold much truth to them in terms of the plot, there will be some drawing from my own experiences for my next novel.
One of the central themes in my next novel will be mental health – more specifically, anxiety. Since this is a main topic, I will be using some of my own experiences with anxiety to tell the story.
This isn’t necessarily easy for me and I know that for many of you, writing about your issues or struggles can be extremely difficult. While sometimes it can help one feel better, it can also bring about feelings and emotions that can be difficult to deal with. However, as many of you know, writing about your experiences, can be very beneficial to both yourself and others.
While I write about my struggles on my mental health blog and on the website, The Seeds 4 Life, I don’t always write about them in my novels and short stories. It’s not because I’m embarrassed or don’t like writing about it, I just usually write stories/novels that are in the genre of horror or fantasy. Not a lot of nonfiction plays into the plots.
So with this being a bit new to me, I’m finding that I’m exploring a lot of different feelings and emotions while writing my novel. While I have written about my experiences with anxiety in different settings, it feels slightly different drawing from my experiences for a novel. Here are some tips that I’ve come up with for doing so:
1.) Be honest – While it may be hard writing about what bothers you most, digging deep into your feelings and expressing them through writing can make both you and your work shine. Being honest also helps you connect with your readers – whether or not they’ve experienced the same things that you have.
2.) Remember, while writing, how you felt during your most difficult times – Really try to remember how it felt to go through whatever you’re writing about. If you still experience what you’re writing about, then remembering how it feels should be relatively simple. If not, try to close your eyes and go back to a time when you felt those feelings. Then, write!
3.) Try to remember that you’re safe – Writing about your struggles can be difficult. Focusing on something that makes you uneasy can be daunting. Therefore, write somewhere in which you feel safe and remind yourself that you’re okay.
I’ve learned these above tips through writing my mental health blog, articles on The Seeds 4 Life, and now through writing my newest work in progress. I understand that it might be difficult to write about your struggles, but in the end, it can prove to be extremely beneficial. However, as always, if something makes you uncomfortable, don’t feel the need to force yourself participate in whatever it may be.
I look forward to continuing to work on my novel, and eventually, sharing a bit of my experience with anxiety with you; my friends and readers.