Writing not just about, but WITH mental health issues

This is Mental Health Awareness Week as the media have been screaming out at us. How do you feel about the fact that mental health has been, up until recently, swept under social carpets and is now just emerging from the dustpans as an “OK” subject to talk about?

writers and mental health

As a writer, when you start scratching the surface of your own mental health you are likely to find a few worrying things lurking there.

Not for me to slag off science, PC commentators, Royal Family members and all the others who are hopping up on to the mental health bandwagons. No, bitchy though I am, these people are doing a great job in de-horrifying our views of mental health problems.

Writers and other creatives are almost expected to be a “bit loopy”

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Writing about Notre Dame – now that the fire’s out

If you were affected by the fire in Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral earlier this week, you might find this poem (not humorous this time) interesting as it looks at some of the controversy that now surrounds the whole repair issue.

Poem about Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame’s religion hurts.

Notre Dame:
Now that the fire’s out,
have we lit another one – or more?

Notre Dame, you icon, you
So many centuries now burned
History can’t know what to do
Now the flames have left you spurned.

Didn’t take long for the trolls
To smear and slag you off that day
Just minutes while your carcass falls
While modern bitterness held sway. [Read more…]

CV-Résumé writing for job candidates on the autism spectrum

by John Stuart

Please welcome John Stuart who is writing on behalf of CV Nation, a company that specialises in preparing job-winning CVs / résumés. John approached me and asked what HTWB readers might find useful in addition to what we already have here in terms of CV / résumé / job application and other job search writing advice.

CVs and resumes fr autistics

It’s up to you to show employers that you are the best person for the job. Not despite your autism, but because of it.

Given that Aspergers / high functioning autism is taking on such a vibrant and well-deservedly prominent role in our business world now, we need to think creatively to help people on “The Spectrum” to attain the high levels of success they deserve through the job application process. John has some useful suggestions…

Autism is not a negative: employers are realising this more and more

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The journaling journey: writing for life?

Being a former copywriter whose words were driven purely by the client’s marketing needs, telling me to journal – write down whatever comes into my head – would have given me writer’s agoraphobia bad enough to make me lock myself in the ladies’ room.

It makes my mind hop back a good few years to the first day at art school when our copywriting lecturer boomed out “anyone who has their own writing voice can leave the room now.” No free-flowing journaling for us, then.

Writing and journaling

Probably the most famous journal of all in the last century: the diary of Anne Frank in WWII. Could journaling have helped her get through her terrible nightmare? It may have: we can only hope it did.

At a business networking event the other day I asked everyone what they’d like me to write about this time and several voices piped up: journaling. Although of course I had read about it in Ali Moore’s excellent book, “Reconnect Your Life,” another bell started ringing.

Wait a minute … there’s something familiar about this journaling

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Grand National special: writing into (and out of) the Jeremy Vine Show…

I will never be asked on to the BBC (UK) radio programme, “The Jeremy Vine Show,” again.

Grand National article on How To Write Better 2019

My kind of Grand National … where the fences are a little smaller. And so are the “horses…”

Note to non-Brits: Jeremy Vine is a perfectly nice guy who does a great radio show here in the UK. He is also one of the patrons of a local charity I support here in my home town of Milton Keynes, England, called Ride High. So he’s an extra-nice guy.

Once upon a time Jeremy’s researchers thought they’d found the perfect cannon fodder: me

This was because I had written an article on the Grand National Horse race (the 2019 version of which takes place today near Liverpool, England) about the high number of equine casualties arising during the race where horses were maimed and sometimes killed. In 2011, in particular, there was really high casualty rate and coming up to the 2012 race, I let rip. (See below for the actual article I wrote.)

Ring… ring…how to terrify an interviewee so creating some real radio entertainment!!!

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Punctuation: praise it or punch it on the nose?

Are you a slave to proper punctuation? Or is punctuation a slave to you?

Being a pro writer and author and all that, I have given dozens (literally) of traditional editors self-induced alopaecia after reading my book manuscripts. Why? Because I don’t stick to punctuation rules.

Article on punctuation

Punctuation rules: should they be relaxed? Now there’s a puzzle

Being a North American, too, I use punctuation that spans the Atlantic giving the grammar police on both shores the desire to stab me with a red pencil.

And you know what? I don’t care.

Don’t forget that I am a former copywriter, and copywriters are notorious for flipping the bird at conventional grammar, punctuation and even syntax sometimes in order to create an effect.

Ridiculously bad punctuation: not what we’re talking about

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