Welcome newbie author, Sydnie Beaupré
1.What is your mental health issue?
I have an assortment of mental health issues. I have ADHD, mild depression, OCD, severe anxiety, dyscalculia, and insomnia. I think I might even have more, but I don’t feel like getting out my official diagnostics papers!
2. How long have you been writing fiction? Tell us about your career so far.
I have been writing for a good eight years, since I was very young (I am twenty years old now) but my career itself has only just begun really, as I published a fantasy novella and a short story/poetry book on Amazon about a year ago. Prior to publishing my works for Kindle, I created an account on Wattpad in 2009 to share my stories for free and people really seemed to like what I was writing. I still upload my works to Wattpad, though all of the stories there are unfinished works in progress.
3. How has mental ill health helped your writing?
You would think that with all of my mental health issues, I wouldn’t be able to get any work done- but in a way some of them have greatly impacted my writing: My ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – makes me crave stimulation and I find writing (next to reading) one of the most stimulating things out there.
My depression and anxiety have actually inspired some of my character’s feelings and reactions to things. Write what you know, right?
My OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder – targets certain things in specific and one of those things happens to be spelling and grammar. I go absolutely nuts when I spell something wrong or when I forget to place proper punctuation in a sentence. It makes me read everything through very thoroughly.
My dyscalculia – a math disability almost comparable to dyslexia but with numbers – was passed on to one of the characters of my YA Paranormal Romance, Dark One. Her name is Cara and that is the only attribute we share.
Lastly, my insomnia has given me more time to write! Most people are sleeping at three in the morning but you can usually find me happily writing away, drinking some tea.
4. And how has it not?
Sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed to do anything, let alone write. Other days I’m just too distracted by too many things, or I have a headache from trying to count all of the stairs in my apartment because the compulsion has come on and I can’t picture the numbers so I keep losing count and having to start over again. Sometimes my food touches and my whole day is ruined and I just can’t write. There have been times where I haven’t slept for days and I just feel like I can’t function properly and writing feels like a chore. Those instances are all never fun.
5. What advice do you have for other writers with mental health issues.
It is okay to acknowledge your limitations, but it is also okay to realize that you can do more than you think you can if you just put your mind and heart into it. Never give up, because though it can be hard some days – sometimes weeks at a time – you are a writer; you create whole new worlds and people, and that is amazing.
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