Mental Health Perks Of Writing Steampunk Novels

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I went through every hardship known to man when I decided to drop out of university and pursue my dreams of becoming a writer.

For one, my parents stopped giving me money. They said that they did not want to help me fulfill a “botched dream.” Although it stung to realize that my family had no plans to support my goals, it was understandable. No person in their right mind would usually stop going to school when they were only several months away from graduation.

Since I could no longer ask Mom and Dad to pay for my apartment, I had to look for menial jobs to make ends meet. I became a dishwasher, a busboy, and even a garbage collector so that the landlord would not evict me. However, Lady Luck perhaps turned her back on me because I found my door chained and my clothes thrown right outside of it after two months of being unable to pay my dues.

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Despite all that, I did not crawl back in my parents’ arms. I went from one friend’s couch to another for a couple of weeks while looking for a more stable job. The last thing that I wanted to hear was my parents saying, “We knew this would happen.”

As for my writing dreams, I already finished a fantasy novel at that point. It was about a teenage boy who found out his family had magical powers, but they decided to avoid practicing magic after an accident. I initially thought publishing companies would be fighting against each other to figure out who could publish my novel, but getting rejected by three companies made me realize that it was another fantasy.

Knowing Steampunk Subgenre

After a year of living like that and not getting anywhere close to my dreams, I started thinking of giving up. I told myself, “What’s too difficult with letting Mom and Dad talk my ear off? It’s better to do that and go back to school with a loaded wallet than to continue being practically homeless.”

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However, a day before I decided to go back to my parents’ house, I still tried to publish my fantasy novel. A friend helped me set up a meeting with an agent who supposedly had a lot of contacts. When we met at a café that afternoon, I showed him my manuscript.

After reading a couple of pages, the agent said, “Your narration skills are undoubtedly incredible, considering you have not received formal training in writing. The story flowed smoothly, too, and the characters were interesting from the beginning. But the problem is, there are already plenty of individuals aspiring to be the next J.K. Rowling or at least Rick Riordan out there. What many publishers wanted was a steampunk novel.”

The agent gave me so much to think about after our meeting. However, the biggest question was, “Am I ready to focus on a new genre?” The only thing I knew about steampunk was that it mixed futuristic technology with retro fashion. It felt daunting to write an entire novel about something that I did not consider interesting until then.

Still, because I was in a pinch, I gave it a try.

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Deciding To Write A Steampunk Novel

Writing a steampunk novel was not a smooth ride in the beginning because I was still not thinking outside the box. My editor sent back the manuscript several times for revision, and I wondered again if I should look for another dream. However, she sat me down one day and reminded me that everything was possible in steampunk, as long as there were steam and Victorian flare in the book. I went to sleep while thinking about how I could do that, and then I felt like a different person when I woke up.

I threw the manuscript in the trash and started writing a new novel about a woman who went to look for the hieroglyphs in a gyrocopter. For some reason, I found it incredibly liberating. I became a writer and a reader at the same time and enjoyed creating the book so much. I did not realize the change in my mood until the friend who let me stay on his couch while I was writing commented, “What’s new with you? You’re not gloomy anymore.”

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And he was correct – I did not feel depressed like before. My heart felt light; my head was clearer than it had been in the last few months. After a month, I finished the steampunk novel, and a publishing company picked it up in no time. I could not divulge how much I got paid for it, but let’s say that it was enough to let me relax and write without getting another job for a year. 

Coming Home

I went home to my parents after I got my first paycheck as a writer. I did not do it to boast but show them that I made something out of myself, that my dream was not as far-fetched as it seemed. I was surprised when Mom and Dad hugged me tight and said they were sorry for not supporting me. All was forgiven in the end, and I continued writing steampunk novels since then.

 

Nature Therapy:  A Secret To Mental Wellness

 

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I love mountain climbing and cliff diving as these activities enable me to feel that I am a part of the lacework of God called life, that I am not isolated from nature.  Traversing different forests allows me to have the opportunity to explore my relationship with everything that God has created that is often overlooked and ignored by many.

Continue reading Nature Therapy:  A Secret To Mental Wellness

The Effects Of Writing On One’s Mood

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The act of writing has existed thousands of years ago dating back to the Bronze Age. It started as a language form during the Sumer empire in Southern Mesopotamia. As time passed by, it evolved in many different aspects, helping humans communicate clearly and more effectively.

Writing As We Know It

As the 21st century rolled, the different forms and uses of writing and language expanded, helping people execute various tasks every day. With the Internet influencing our way of living, even our writing styles and patterns have changed. Not only did it connect people through conversations, but it also brought to life many technological advancements and helped humans be more efficient.

Without writing, many inventions would not come to exist. These include the binary language and other forms which positively impacted a lot of human lives around the world. Through writing, scientific research also became more progressive, and the use of language has been utilized in many ways, making knowledge more accessible to all.

The way we use words is not only limited in expressing, but it also helps ease different emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. Besides knowledge, writing is also scientifically proven to alleviate stress and lower down anxiety levels, making it one of the cheapest alternatives to therapy.

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Writing Therapy

There are many different ways in which writing can reduce stress and make a person happier. Not only can it help improve your mental state, but it can also make you smarter and more organized in your thoughts and ideas.

Some of the most common ways to venture into writing therapy are through keeping a diary, journaling, blogging, and writing letters. That is because “Some have found it valuable to keep journals and then go back and read them to see how far they have progressed.” Kathy Hardie-Williams, NCC, LPC, LMFT, explains. These are just a few of the ideas to express yourself through writing.

Ever wondered what other benefits come along with writing? Here is a list of the wonders, and joys writing can bring the human mind.

1. Writing helps you express your emotions.

“Our society tells us that if you talk about your issues, express your feelings, or even verbalize you have a mental health disorder, you must be “weak.”,” Ryan Parks, M.Ed, LPCC stated. Well, sometimes, there are some thoughts we are too shy to share with our loved ones no matter how much we trust them. Through writing, we can freely express those grudges and emotions without holding back anything.

2. Writing helps you remember good memories.

If you did not know yet, journaling is one of the best ways to remember good memories. You can stroll down the memory lane of the momentous events of your life and relive every feeling that you once had.

3. Writing improves self-awareness.

One of the best ways to achieve genuine happiness is by being self-aware. By writing, you can gain different perspectives through your personal and other people’s experiences. In doing so, you get to know yourself a little bit more. Self-awareness is one of the overlooked factors that contribute to overall happiness. Once you have seen the world from a different perspective, you will learn to appreciate yourself more and feel more motivated to reach your personal and professional goals. The idea supports what Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. used to say; “Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”

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Ready to get that added dose of happiness to your life? Grab that pen and some paper and start writing today!