A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

StoryMill

I got the word processing/data base program StoryMill last Wednesday, nearly a week ago. For the most part, it is a great program and I've been working with it each day. So far I've divided my projects into the memoir, my "journalbook" or a collection of excerpts from my journals from 1987 to the present, and essays and article ideas, research and writing. I'm also using an older word processing program called MacJournal that is meant for journaling and blogging. The StoryMill program is divided into chapters, characters, scenes, locations and research. So I've been getting organized naming the characters in my life and the locations I've been to, doing a lot of research and beginning to write.

I have been looking for people I knew in grade school and high school on Facebook and I've been finding a lot of people, but I won't contact them until I'm further along in the memoir. Right now, I'm just testing the waters, only time will tell if I commit to these projects and actually turn them into books and saleable essays and articles. I've ordered three books on the nuts and bolts approach to freelance writing because I am clueless about how to practically try and earn money through writing. I did do some research online about freelance writing jobs and they are definitely out there, but a lot of them look like drudgery work. Right now, while I'm financially supported, I want to aim high and go for selling essays to literary magazines and/or their yearly contests or to selling articles to well established magazines. I know the likelihood is that I will get a lot of rejection letters or emails, but that is part of the process. The main thing is to do the work, send it out and be stubborn and persistent. I'm just looking to get my foot in the door and earn some extra money.

The StoryMill program allows me to jump around in time. I can write about life in grade school and then jump forward and write about my first boyfriend and then jump way back and write about my mother's childhood in The Great Depression and then jump forward again and transcribe a more recent journal. I can also do a lot of research online. I've been cutting and pasting a bunch of stuff from the internet into the research section and character section of the program, both text and photographs. It's very cool. So I'm not stuck interminably in one place, but am free to wander and collect memories. In fact, the whole process has given me access to memories I thought I had lost forever due to my illness.
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