As I am currently too overwhelmed with college work to pick up a book, it’s a bit strange that I’m doing a ‘currently reading’ tag. This tag was created by Charly Reynhorse over on YouTube.
Many writers (and creative people in general) struggle with mental illness, myself included. And it’s not as charming or helpful or inspiring for our work as some people try to make it seem. At the very least, writers are often stereotyped to be depressed. And I’m not joking when I say that there are people out there in the world who believe that creatives have to be mentally ill in order to create some kind of art. My opinion, in one word, is just… no.
Writing while being mentally ill (from my experience) is occasionally borderline impossible. On a good day, it can be incredibly difficult. It’s not fun and it makes you feel like quitting or missing out on opportunities or not enjoy something that you truly love. It’s a fight to keep going, and sometimes you just need support. Being stigmatised or told you’re ‘broken’ or that you should be mentally ill because you’re a creative are some of the worst and least helpful things.
So, from the experience of a writer with a mental illness, here are some things I do to keep me writing.
I have been writing seriously for eleven years. I’ve been writing novels for only five years, and I self-published my debut novel less than two years ago. I still have a lot to learn about being a writer and being an author. I still feel like a little kid sat at my dad’s giant computer and mashing the keyboard until a story appeared on Notepad.
But I’ve made progress from those days eleven years ago. And I’ve done a lot of things that I know have helped me get here.
So, here are five things I do to become a better writer.
When it comes to hyped YA books, I usually run from them in fear because I think they won’t live up to the expectations. I’m the kind of person who is extremely cautious of overhyped books and craves smaller elusive titles. I mean, I want to read all the books so I read them eventually, it just takes me a while.
I’ve read some hyped books that aren’t that great, to be honest. But there’s some that I’m in love with. Here’s a list of those books.
Unrelated to the rest of this review: I don’t know why I didn’t connect Kendare Blake, author of Three Dark Crowns, to Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood (one of my favourite books) until now. I think it’s because the book themes and plots and her writing style seems to be completely different in both. And that’s sad because I loved Anna and Girl of Nightmares but didn’t really like this book.
I don’t really have much to say on the book as a whole, so I’m just going to focus on the characters and their individual storylines.
This is one of those books where I originally didn’t want it. As much as I loved Caraval and wanted more of that magical world, I kind of felt that it was good enough to standalone, and I was afraid that a sequel would be a let-down. But this is also one of those rare books where I loved the sequel so much more than the first book.
I’m currently trying to review every single book I’ve read this year but months after I read them, so I apologise in advance if half the stuff I write is a) inaccurate, or b) potentially not even about this book. My brain doesn’t work sometimes.
I got this book because reading Rick Riordan’s books gave me an obsession with Greek mythology and this is a new take on the Iliad, an epic poem about some of the significant events of the Trojan War. As this is arguably one of the most important/iconic events in Greek history, learning more about it felt like a good place to start.
Spoiler alert: this book broke me.