Writing in My Mind
When I am experiencing the symptoms of mania, it is rarely a negative occurrence. Though I sleep only four or five hours in every twenty-four, I am alert, lively, cheerful and singularly creative. I can no more block out that need to harness beauty than I can sleep at night.
When I walk, my camera accompanies me and my eye meanders, incessantly. If the white-tailed kites are out and about, I am bound to get lucky. When I post my pictures on f/b, I can’t just slap them down and move on. There has to be some haiku. It’s lightweight, doesn’t cost a dime, and fits into my manic method of coping with my mood spectrum disorder.
Because the Giants are thriving in the playoffs, and there is a heightened awareness of all things related to them, I have been writing two or three pieces a day, and posting them with incredible results, in terms of page-views. Through the first two weeks of October, I have topped 25,000 and as the Giants keep winning, I will keep writing.
I am learning journalism on the run, having been told recently by my editor, that if I keep writing strongly-opinionated, third-person articles, my work will continue to be featured on Bleacher Report, which provides a lot of exposure. Third person? No problem. Strongly opinionated? Check.
So one track of my mind is continuously sorting and sifting that plethora of available topics, dealing with the game, players in the game, or the ramifications of the events of the game, in an effort to pin down a viable topic for expansion.
I need so very little to kick-start the process: someone dissing on a favorite player or manager; my wanting to acknowledge a superior performance, or analyzing an upcoming matchup. All I need is a subject and I can give it an audience.
When I wake up after I have had my allotment of sleep, all four hours of it, I don’t just get up and go to work. I try to return to sleep. I will work on a piece of writing in my mind, which I realize doesn’t help because it engages my mind and prevents sleep from returning, but it beats lying there stewing.
I experience these manic symptoms from February through April, and from August through October. I guess I should be grateful that I don’t experience the depressive side of my disorder, the other six months of the year.
I don’t see very much of the depressive side of me and that’s a good thing. It probably also explains why I managed to teach all of those years. Heck, most teachers are naturally manic-they have to be.
There is just too much about teaching that requires energy and a lot of it, to contemplate teaching while in a depressed state of mind.
And as far as the sleep deprivation, four hours a night sounds about right for teachers, so my illness actually complemented my vocation.
Scary thought, that.