I love discovering new writers and re-visiting old favourites. I’m grateful to authors, bloggers, columnists, journalists, and writers for putting pen to paper, so to speak, and sharing their work.
To mark the New Year, here are 12 thought-provoking articles from 2017. These articles all resonated with me, in some way, and I find myself returning to them frequently. They’ve helped me understand the world a little better. They’ve challenged my views on certain issues. They’ve helped me come to terms with things in my own life. They’ve reminded me of the importance of words and the power of telling our stories.
2017 was a strange old year. The world continued to come apart at the seams, my health, both mental and physical, wasn’t great (again) which affected my writing and I spent a not insignificant amount of time trying to figure out how, y’know, to do life. It wasn’t all bad, mind; I wrote some stuff I am proud of, dedicated even more time to activism and met some brilliant people.
Authenticity is a word that thrown around a lot, so much so that I’m not even sure what it means anymore. Yet, if you ask what attracts me to certain bloggers and writers ‘authenticity’ is the first thing that comes to mind.
I’m drawn to bloggers whose words never feel forced, even if press samples are being featured. I’m drawn to writers whose love of writing leaps off the page or screen. I’m drawn to writers who aren’t afraid to write what hurts, even when it still hurts. I’m drawn to writers, who use writing to explore what they think, who aren’t afraid to change their minds and admit when they’re wrong. Is that authenticity? I can’t think of a better way to describe it.
I’m in a funk, have been for a while. It’s annoying, but it’ll pass. Here’s the thing about living with a mental illness though, it makes being in a funk stressful. The second guessing, the over-thinking, the ever watchful eye checking to see if my mood has turned into something other than a run of the mill funk. When is a funk no longer a funk? At what point do I really get concerned that this is an episode of depression or the beginning of a hypomanic phase? I often lack motivation before I’m suddenly full of the stuff, in the worst possible way. It has taken work, but I’m pretty in tube with my mental health and this doesn’t feel like anything than a funk. Yet, the thought is still there. This is why having a mental illness is exhausting, even when you are well you’re on the lookout for signs that you might not be. This is just a funk, I know that, but I wish it would bugger off.