Calliope Writing

Mental Illness: My Brain Demons Want Me to Fail
July 25, 2016, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Books, inspiration, Music, Reading | Tags: , , ,

Let’s be gritty, raw, and real for a change. I always try to approach this blog with lightheartedness and wit (and I rarely talk about anything terribly personal), but today, I’d like to be brutally honest.

My Mental Illness

For the past two and a half years, I’ve struggled with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, both of which can be overwhelming, confusing, frustrating, and debilitating.

Chances are, some of you reading also have a demon in your brain – be it in the form of depression, anxiety, or another mental illness. After all, in 2014, it was estimated that approximately 18% of the United States adult population had one or more mental illnesses.

I’m finally on the upswing (thank whatever god(s) you believe in), but I think it’s time to add my voice to the others who have spoken out about their own personal demons.

My Support

Instead of starting out with how terrible my own experience with mental illness is, I’d like to focus on some of the things that helped (and are still helping) me get through it.

1. Books – The ultimate escape. HEX, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and Geek Love, just to name a few.


2. TMS – Transcranial magnetic stimulation. The TMS team of doctors and nurses at MUSC will always have a special place in my heart.

3. My husband – He has been there with me every step of the way, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

4. Music – There are some songs that just move me. Below is a playlist containing some of them.


5. Therapy – Art therapy, EMDR, CBT…it has all played a part in helping me get where I am.

6. Gardening – I have become a full-blown gardening addict. And I’m not ashamed of it! Growing plants from tiny seeds has given me the ultimate way to reconnect with nature.


7. Incredibly understanding employers, past and present – I can’t say enough about the kickass people at Palmetto Publishing Group and Media Shower.

So this is me, raw and unfiltered.

I may always try to put on a happy face on here, but the truth is: that happy face is, more often than not, cracked porcelain.

I don’t share this for pity. Instead, I share this so that if any of you are going through a particularly hellish period in your life, you will know two things: you can get through it and you are not alone.

Three-Day Three Quotes Challenge – Day 2
December 8, 2015, 10:52 am
Filed under: Music, Quotes | Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to Day 2 of the Three-Day Three Quotes Challenge! If you missed Day 1, check it out here.

Now on to today’s quotes.

oscar wilde quote


modest mouse quote


david bowie quote

Now I’m going to jam out to some Modest Mouse. Make today an AWESOME DAY!

Dig Those Tunes and Inspire Those Words

music quote 1

I don’t think any writer could deny the impact music can have on his or her work.

The Romance with Music Begins…

In high school, I wrote a novel (don’t get excited–it wasn’t a New York Times bestseller), and I always had a certain type of music playing while I wrote it.

A sampling:

What can I say? It was the ’90s, and The Crow was the best movie of all time (and, arguably, still is). And the book I wrote involved devils, angels, romance, and hell. I may have been sixteen, but I was convinced I had the soul of a much older and wiser woman.

Oh, teenagers.

…And the Love for Music Continues…

In college, I wrote a semi-autobiographical story and incorporated music throughout the text. You’ll see what I mean best by reading the opening paragraph:

Elton John’s “Rocket Man” is screaming in my ears, and while Elton ponders raising children on Mars, I consider a more dire issue. I’m having an affair with my drug dealer. Or, more accurately, the drugs he provides.

Did I say it was autobiographical? Kidding. Totally kidding.

Anyway, here’s a sampling of the music featured in my never-seeing-the-light-of-day story:

…And My Affair with Music Obviously Continues…

Now, I have a ridiculous amount of music I turn to when I write, and it goes beyond The Crow soundtrack and Elton John.

Music Post Question

I’m so glad you asked.

Here are a few playlists I turn to when getting ready to face the dreaded blank Word document. I hope you find a few songs you love–and that get you writing.

music quote 2

Tired of Talking Music?

Fine! Here’s some cool stuff I’ve come across over the past couple of weeks:

  • Someone has breathed fun into the dictionary and thesaurus with visuwords. Only visit if you’re ready to spend precious time playing around.
  • Writing the first draft is often the most difficult part of creating a finished work. Thankfully, Lara from write, edit, repeat has some tips on how to get it done like a boss.
  • “I love to read books, but I could never be a writer,” you say? WRONG! Daniel A. Roberts talks about the process of turning from reader into writer on A Writer’s Path.
  • The Kardashians threw a Great Gatsby-themed party. And they don’t seem to know why that’s silly. (I hope this is the only time I mention the word Kardashian on this blog.)
  • Having a hard time getting published? Buzzfeed has an informative guide on how to get your story or poem in a literary magazine. I’ll let you know if their advice works.
  • These major publishers are accepting unsolicited manuscripts (What what???).
  • Finally, check out “23 Ways to Uncover Your Inner Creative Badass” by Glory Begin. Good, good stuff.

Have any go-to artists or albums that you put on when it’s time to put pen to paper? Share them below–I’m always looking for killer music.

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