This post is going to diverge from the norm, because I thought I'd talk about how writing has impacted on my life. Which I suppose comes pretty close to rambling about my life - but it relates to writing, so I don't think I'm breaking my self imposed rules.
I've been writing since I was little girl, so it's always been something I've done. This is not about a timeline. It's about - as the title suggests - the way writing helped with a very black period in my life.
2001 was a very bad year for me. I lost my mother - aged 49 - in the January and my father - aged 54in the July - both of long term illnesses. I'd been caring for them since the early 1990s so my response was to promptly have a nervous breakdown.
It was a very black period that I don't remember much about. I remember 9/11 because it was shocking enough to pierce the haze, and I remember writing. I remember writing a lot. It was totally unpublishable crap and had nothing to do with my situation and illness, but it helped. I think that even though it apparently had nothing to do with anything it helped purge my emotions.
I honestly think that without the outlet of writing I wouldn't be coming up on five years in my current job. I might even still be on the long term sick. I mean, yes, Cognitive Behavorial Therapy helped a lot. Even the meds I was on for a while helped. But I think the writing got me to the point where I realised I had to go looking for the other help if that makes sense.
And I think it's writing that's helping keep me sane as well. When I get stressed I write frenetically and I don't feel as stressed when I'm done. Sometimes I think I could slip back into the pit even now without an outlet.
Now, as I say, I've always written. It's fun I love it. I'm not saying I write to stay sane. I've always written, and I'm sure I'd still be writing even if I hadn't had my breakdown.
I think that it's because I love it that it helps me stay sane.
On an unrelated note I'm going to buy a couple of useful looking history books when I get paid. Would people be interested in reviews of them as well as writing books and novels? If I do review them it'll be on Wednesday intersperced with the Writing Book ones, since I'll be reviewing their use as references for writers.