Posted in about archie, artist life, depression, fear, honesty, inspiration, living life, mental health, practice, self-care, writing, writing community, writing help

when archie writes – writing depressed af

I think I’ve only spent about ten percent of my energies on writing…
The other ninety percent went to keeping my head above water.

Katherine Anne Porter

I have already answered why, as well as where, so let me unpack when I write.

I write when not too worn out by my mental illness.
I write when my chronic depression isn’t so overwhelming that I struggle to function.
I write when I can, in irregular spurts, writing through and in spite of my sickness.

I’ve struggled since early youth with depression.
I remember as early as middle-school feeling at specific times especially anti-social and mournful, without any clear reason or cause. Highschool was a hostile environment for me where I felt plagued by insecurities, actively seeking out bathroom stalls and library cubbies to hide day after day. University saw me continue to try unsuccessfully to cope with self-harming as well as self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

It was easy in my adolescence to dismiss these spells of moody ’emo’ sadness as just stereotypical teenage angst. In my twenties, however, with my depression still undiagnosed, I felt ashamed for failing to have moved past an ‘infantile’ stage of dramatic mood swings.

Not until after completing a Master’s program, surviving a series of mental breaks and acute depressive episodes, was I hospitalized and finally diagnosed. It came as a surprise that I was actually so relieved to have a name, clinical depression, to explain these problems weren’t an inherent defect of my person but symptoms of an illness.
Suddenly a light switched on for me to see that help through medication and therapy were not character weaknesses but necessary choices for my survival, demonstrations of courage in the face of social stigma.

Soon after I became a writer.

Before committing to writing as a career,
make sure you’re not simply agoraphobic or depressed.

Nell Zink

Continue reading “when archie writes – writing depressed af”

Posted in archie reads, artist life, children's fiction, fiction, habits, reading, writing

why archie reads – fiction as self help

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on Earth.

What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.

Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean;
they show us how to live and die.

Anne Lamott

I have already answered why I began writing fiction, so let me unpack why I read it too.

archie the writer in grade six

I think I have always been a bookworm.

As a child, I enjoyed reading stories of other people in other times and other places with other problems.

Why is it that we seek out more problems, about people who we don’t even know, who aren’t even alive?

Continue reading “why archie reads – fiction as self help”

Posted in about archie, artist life, blogging, children's fiction, goals, habits, life updates, living life, reading, writing

it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)

Aloha!

Thank you for clicking on over here. Welcome welcome, or welcome back.

It’s been too long since I wrote on here, and so I thought y’all deserved a brief update on my doings and my pondering and all. Continue reading “it was the best of times – if only someone told me (life update #3)”

Posted in about archie, artist life, depression, hope, inspiration, life updates, mental health, writing

why archie writes – reclaiming my life

To really answer that, to explain why I write, I have to go back a few years.

I spent most of my childhood and adolescence inside schools: Kindergarten, Primary School, Middle School, Secondary School, then university for two consecutive degrees.
During this time, I developed a wish to help – who or how, I was still unsure on that part.

After abandoning plans to become a “mad scientist”, I eventually specialized in Criminal Justice and Criminology and worked for a few years at different Legal Aid clinics.
It was an interesting time for me that afforded opportunity to work alongside inspiring people – mostly women – who mentored me about the legal system and its shortcomings at addressing the root causes of social injustices.
Still, I carried a vague aspiration to help people.

The insights from these lawyers, social workers and counsellors all likely contributed to me soon seeking out alternative ways to effect change through volunteerism and community actions (including organizing many large-scale events and demonstrations).
I was feeling more aligned with what I wanted to be doing, to be helping others.

It was in my late twenties that my life switched course.

Continue reading “why archie writes – reclaiming my life”