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How Do You Write About Bipolar for 20 Years?

January 18, 2023 Natasha Tracy

I've been writing about bipolar for 20 years. Yes, this is my 20th anniversary. And since 2000, I have been writing about bipolar disorder professionally. I suppose that means I'm old. It also means that I have written a lot. I've written over 700 blog articles for HealthyPlace in the last 13 years. I've done about the same on my own blog. On top of those 1400 posts, I've written hundreds and hundreds of articles on the main part of HealthyPlace and elsewhere (not all about bipolar disorder). The grand total is unknown, but it's at least 2000, anyway. And the question I get asked a lot is, how can you write about bipolar disorder so much? How can you do that for 20 years?

Ideas for Writing About Bipolar Disorder

I think it's funny when I hear that writers run out of ideas. I never run out of ideas when it comes to writing about bipolar. I kept a list of topics beside my computer so that I could write them down every time I thought of one. The list became unmanageable because it was so long. Whenever I crossed off one idea, I'd think of two more. I never run out of ideas, but I do run out of time.

This is not to say that it's always easy to craft something on-topic. Sometimes I don't feel like writing about bipolar disorder. Sometimes I'd like to write about bunnies. Sometimes I'd like to be a barista. But that's just like everyone. Sometimes people don't want to do their job. Nevertheless, I can attest to the fact that the job always gets done. 

So the question is, how is it done? How have I been a mental health writer for 20 years?

Writing About Bipolar Disorder 20 Years Ago

When I started writing 20 years ago, I actually wrote even more. I never knew I could write, and when I discovered I could, I couldn't stop putting words together. I wrote on my blog every day -- sometimes more than once a day. I wrote 95% about bipolar disorder (and a few other personal things). Back then, every time I had a thought, down in words it went. Assuming a fairly short word count, that's about two books worth (at least) a year.

I was writing for myself, absolutely no one else, and this was a great learning experience. I recommend it highly. If you want to be a good writer, you have to write -- a lot. You have to write so much more than you think. You have to do it when you're not considering search engine optimization (SEO) or gaining audience traction. You have to do it because you feel compelled to do it. You have to do it because you're just on this side of graphomania (an intense desire, compulsion to write). It's the price you pay for getting better. And, of course, the whole time, I was researching and learning about bipolar disorder too, so I was also becoming an expert.

Writing About Bipolar Disorder 13 Years Ago

It was 13 years ago that I started writing Breaking Bipolar at HealthyPlace. I was lucky enough to be asked to blog here, and my readers here have witnessed my transition from a personal blog writer to a professional one -- and yes, it's different. While, to this day, I inject my life experiences into so much of what I write, now, I also include much of what I've learned about bipolar disorder over the years. I've gotten to a place where I'm considered a subject matter expert, and I feel quite comfortable with that title.

Tips for Writing About Bipolar Disorder Long-Term

If you want to write about bipolar disorder in the long term, consider these things when you start:

  • Write because you want to and need to. Don't do it for anyone but yourself.
  • Focus on the quality of your writing. Popularity should be a secondary consideration.
  • Focus on the content of your writing. It's what will make readers come back. Don't think about SEO. 

Once you master the above, and yes, that can take a long time, try this:

  • Start writing with best practices (like SEO) in mind.
  • Consider your readers. You need to be useful to other people and not just yourself. (And "sharing your story" isn't enough by itself. It's only part of being a writer.)
  • Consider expanding your reach by writing for another site(s). (It's about gaining traction, not making money.)
  • Learn about how to create an online platform for a writer. This includes professional social media.
  • Don't look at what other writers are doing (unless you really want to). Learn to trust your own voice and thoughts.
  • Tune into your own experiences to get ideas for what to write about. Any experience you have can be a blog post (or even a series) if you're paying attention.
  • Learn about bipolar disorder from accurate, authoritative sites (like HealthyPlace; for a more technical view, see Medscape). This can only add to what you can write about.

I don't know if just anyone can write about bipolar disorder for decades; I only know that I have, and so have others, so it's clearly possible. Start today and see where you are in a few years.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2023, January 18). How Do You Write About Bipolar for 20 Years?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2023/1/how-do-you-write-about-bipolar-for-20-years



Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Deborah
September, 20 2023 at 6:22 pm

Hi
I also have this dreaded disease. I have done crazy things. I hurt a lot of the time. But what kills me most is how my disease affected by beautiful husband and now adult children(5). One, youngest is autistic. I blame myself for this because it has been reported that bipolar may cause autism. My other children are suffering trauma and ptsd. I so often pray to G- d to forgive me my sins. I pray for my family to heal and live happy normal lives.
I am currently doing yoga and meditation- they help me get closer to my inner true self and G-d.
Do not ever lose hope. I’m 70 and I still have hope things will improve. It just takes patience and self love. Loving oneself is not selfish. It’s essential . We are all wounded human beings. But we can improve one breath, one inch, one day at a time.
🌺❤️😊🐝

Lee
April, 4 2023 at 10:08 pm

I feel i am finally losing my battle. Had this brain since i was 13. I am 42 now. It has destroyed my marriage and life. I love god but i am sad i was cursed with this brain. I take full responsibility for my actions from bipolar. My aunt died of it and my cousins. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

April, 7 2023 at 1:10 pm

Hi Lee,
I'm so sorry you feel like you're losing your battle. I know what that feels like. I know what it's like to battle for 30 years and have it be so hard. I've been cursed with a brain I hate.
Please know that there is always hope, even after all this time. What I know is that new medications are approved every day, and one of them might help you win your battle. Please try to remember that.
And please reach out. See this page for more details: https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-refer…
I know how hard life can be. I know how hard it can feel. But don't give up. Change happens every day, and it can happen for you too.
-- Natasha Tracy

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