Anxiety and Vlogging

When I was younger, Youtube was for watching funny cat videos, endless music videos (particularly by My Chemical Romance) and the occasional ‘ghost’ video.

The first Youtuber I ever got into was Shane Dawson, but these days I almost exclusively watch Dan Howell and Phil Lester. Their level of entertainment is all I really want when indulging in Youtube.

I never particularly longed to ‘broadcast myself’ although I wished to be the kind of person who could, or just be confident enough in myself to put my face in front of a camera and talk to it.

But I was recently inspired by a girl who goes by the handle ‘Borderline Amy’ who is vlogging as a way to raise mental health awareness, and show what it is like living with multiple mental health problems, as well as physical ones.

She doesn’t hide anything, and her videos are a true insight into her life, the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens. So I decided to give it a go and see how it felt.

I now have an actual Youtube channel with three videos! This might not seem like a big accomplishment, but my anxiety stops me from sharing myself with the world in the way that Youtube requires. I’ve always been much more comfortable with writing and words rather than speaking.

Reasons why I’m doing this:

  • To overcome the bit of anxiety that has stopped me doing this for years
  • To document my progress and have something to look back on
  • To raise awareness about anxiety and how it affects people
  • To be creative in a new way

I am also going to use the channel to share my poetry and love of books. I’ve recently thrown myself into the world of performance poetry and am working on my collection of poetry, so I want somewhere I can share it, and enable people to know who the person is behind the words.

I’m about to finish my MA in Magazine Journalism, and this feels like the right time to start this. So I hope you will go and watch my videos so far, and subscribe if you can, it would really mean a lot to have as much support as possible.

If you do watch any of my videos, feedback is always welcome! And if you have any suggestions of videos you’d like to see me do, then just let me know.

Visit my channel: Jade Moore
Visit Amy’s channel: Borderline Amy

One day, two magazines

March was nothing less than a strange, surreal month and one that I didn’t see coming. A lot of it is a blur, and I can’t quite believe I’ve somehow made it into April.

The month has got off to a great start, I’m feeling optimistic and (mostly) on top of things. During March, my anxiety collided with my motivation and knocked everything out of place, and it’s been a slow climb back up to where I currently am.

But today, two things happened that made me feel that things aren’t so bad after all. On the very same day, two magazines that I’ve been involved with came out.

The first is The Beestonian. For those of you who peruse my Journalism page or are generally nosey about me, then you’ll already know that I write for The Beestonian and have done for over a year. It’s a wonderful publication and I’m very lucky and proud to be a part of the team.

You can read the latest issue here: The Beestonian issue 51

I interviewed local author Stephan Collishaw about his publishing house Noir Press and his latest book The Song of the Stork.

At uni, we have been working for the past month on Queer magazine. It also came out today and you can read it here: Queer issue 1

I’m very proud of it, but even more proud of the people that worked on it and put the time and effort in to make it as good as it is.

Please check both of these magazines out!

Jade

 

 

Blackout Poetry

Last year I discovered the ‘blackout poetry‘ side of Instagram, and have had an inner desire to give it a go ever since. If you don’t know what blackout poetry is, it’s basically when you get a book (ideally falling apart, in bad condition, or a spare copy) and you take the existing words on the page to create a poem.

You choose the words that make up your poem, and you get a black pen and ‘blackout’ the remaining words. The finished product should look something like this:

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Since giving it a go I’ve concluded that it is a nice writing exercise to do if you need inspiration or you are struggling to start a poem, or start writing anything! Each page has a new set of words, and you don’t know what you’re going to get, so it’s a challenge to create something meaningful from it.

Plus, the entire time you’re doing it you’ll be thinking about words: what makes sense? Where do I want this to go? What meaning is behind the words I’m choosing and why have I chosen those specific words?

I have been trying to do a page before bed, or when I have a spare moment. I recommend it to anyone who seeks a little bit of extra inspiration when writing their poetry – and don’t worry because with this you can’t go wrong. I was surprised at what I came up with.

My blackout poems:

The impossible imagination of myself
is human.

The truth of poetry and fiction:
exquisite feeling of mind.

I exist in the present.

Affection from my own kind,
the desire to hope.
Friends lost,
the memory of their only one.

Letter –
You rejoice, my dear:
I feel delight.
Inspirited, my day dreams
are wonders of solitude.

Eternal curiosity
to conquer fear and
induce joy.

A discovery you shall reach
by reflections the heart
the mind
the soul
dream of.

You were my day and night –
my life.

My soul lifted: I became a poet.

A friend, whose tastes are like my own,
our reality is true
and magnificent.

I need a friend
to regulate my mind.

Friend:my humanity –
a person,
amiable
a favourite
amusement,
generosity –
loved.

Who else has tried blackout poetry and what do you think? Does it help to inspire you? Let me know!

Jade

Exposure

Shaking, I move away.
One step at a time, but only backwards.
I stare, then I close my eyes.
I turn away, I walk.

My mind wonders what I left behind
but I tell myself I don’t care.
I don’t care.
“What you don’t know can’t hurt you.”
I’m still believing that one.

Some things are unavoidable
no matter how hard you try.
Some things will always be there
even when you hide.

“You need exposure,” she said.
I nodded, but made myself forget.
Then there you were, looking back at me:
The eyes I avoided, the ones I refused to see.

Would the shaking have been less,
would my stomach have felt dread,
would I have seen her
and still cried
with an aching heart
if I had allowed myself exposure
from the start?

via Daily Prompt: Exposure

© Jade Moore 2017

Time Anxiety

Recently I got into a conversation about anxiety and art therapy. When I say art therapy, I’m talking mostly about adult colouring books, or creative books that try and help the owner of it reach a state of mindfulness.

I know for a fact I’m not alone when I say: art therapy makes me even more anxious.

It’s been well over a year since I’ve even attempted anything like art therapy, and I’ve decided it isn’t for me. Maybe later in life when I feel more comfortable and when I have the time to concentrate on being in the moment through art or colouring.

Time is what matters here in terms of my own anxiety. When I’m sat there colouring, or trying to be mindful, the passing of time causes me to shake and become even more anxious. Mindfulness and meditation are about being self-aware, in the moment, and still. I cannot be still, because I’ll get anxious about wasted time. Art therapy, therefore, has the opposite effect on me.

For a while, and in a lot of my blog posts, I have pointed out that I have a fascination with time: the way time works, the meaning of it, the relationship it has with anxiety…but in the past few days I have had some kind of revelation: I have time anxiety.

I didn’t know if ‘time anxiety’ was a thing, but I figured that because it plays such a huge role in my anxiety as a whole, then it must be a thing. That’s how I came across an article, aptly named ‘Time Anxiety‘. It has explained to me what I already suspected, and confirmed that I was right to suspect it. Time anxiety is most definitely a thing and I 100% have it. I get it every single day, and it isn’t helped by my bad memory (made worse by time anxiety). So again there’s a vicious cycle occurring.

I’m hyper-aware of every second of everyday. An hour is nothing, and it has got to the point where the day goes so fast. I can plan to do multiple things, and on a good day I can do a lot of them, but on a bad day it feels like no matter how many hours there are, I’m stuck, walking through thick mud, trying to do the things I need to do, trying to spend my time well, but I’m working too slow and time is going too fast.

Sometimes, my memory and concentration is so bad that I can’t concentrate long enough to even begin a task. And I’m tired, I’m so tired. And I recently learnt that lack of sleep affects memory. So yeah, my memory is pretty bad at the moment. I’m talking extremely short-term, seconds.

On Friday I was in my shorthand lesson, and I kid you not, I couldn’t retain words for more than a few seconds. I missed sentences, I lacked concentration. All day, my mind was blocked and I couldn’t think, and time was torturing me, making me more anxious, making my memory even worse. So I hope that the next day will be better, my mind will be clearer and time will be kinder. But I feel like it’s all up to chance. Like if I’m having a ‘bad memory day’ or a ‘bad anxiety day’ then there’s no escaping it. A wasted day. More wasted time.

I’m not yet sure how to defeat this kind of anxiety, or what I can do to help it, and it may be made worse my pressure and stress from my studies, but for now I just want to know if anyone else has ‘time anxiety’? If you do, or think you do, please comment! And also read the article I’ve linked to above.

Jade

 

My hopes for 2017

This year has started well mentally, probably because I’m in denial of all the things that would make my lose my mind if I focused on them. Although I have been preparing for exams, I’ve been allowing myself to concentrate more on what I want outside/alongside of my studies.

I’m going to compile a few of the things I hope to achieve over the coming year.

1. Get a desk

I’ve been a student pretty much my entire life, and this is my fourth year in university. I’m a writer, and Virginia Woolf was right that a woman needs a room of her own if she is to write, but what if that room is devoid of a desk?

The woman can still write, but she’ll be frustrated that she can’t write it on her own desk. Well, now is the time to change that! I have spent the past few days tidying my bedroom to make enough room to accommodate a desk. And the good news is…there is space!

I’ve convinced myself that although I can’t afford the £50 the desk will cost me, it’ll come out of my student loan, and the desk will help with my studies massively. So it’s a sound investment. I’ve picked out the one I want, now all I need to do is finish making space, buy the thing and then…assemble it.

Wish me luck!

2. Pass my exams

I’ve been living and breathing media law this past month, and I’m still not done revising everything! I’m trying my best to keep up with shorthand, and I’ve even made a ‘shorthand poster’ which displays all the most important word groups and jotter words.

There’s one module I’ve done a grand total of NOTHING for. But I’m sure I’m not alone on that one. But I’ve been here before, and I know that when the pressure is on, I can work hard and make sure I get what needs doing done. It’s been harder with journalism because of the nature of producing articles/features relevant to the time of the deadline, but it’s a challenge I happily accept!

If I can do as well on this course as I did on my last course, then that’s good enough for me.

Wish me even more luck!

3. Write a book

The last book I wrote was one I did for myself, and a few people have bought it, but not loads! I’ve made just under £10 from it, and I get around £2 for each sale. My main aim is simply to write books that I’m proud of, that I can look at and be happy that I created something. But I’d also like to write something people will want to read and want to buy.

I’ve already planned what my book will be, which you can read about at the bottom of my ‘current writing projects’ page. I’ll be promoting this one a lot more, and will be moving publishing platforms to a more cost-effective one!

Hopefully the book will be ready by the second half of this year, after my journalism course ends.

It will be called Skeleton with a Heart, with the subtitle ‘500 thoughts from an anxious mind’. I’ll post updates on its progress as the year goes on.

4. Read 80 books

Every year I do the Goodreads Reading Challenge, and this year I’ve set my goal for 80. I don’t know how realistic an aim it is, but if there’s anything I’m good at it is reading books. A lot of books. If you want to follow what I’m reading you can check out my bookstagram, and if you want to read all my book reviews, then check out my book blog.

I’m currently reading two books at the same time, one fiction, one non-fiction…so we’re off to a good start!

5. Read the Harry Potter series

For the past two Christmasses I’ve said I’d read Harry Potter. Because yes, I’ve never read it. Harry Potter first came to my attention via the films, so I got into those before even wanting to attempt the books. At that age, I wasn’t a big reader. I preferred reading comics, and books with plenty of illustrations. And non-fiction books with pictures.

I loved the films, and they were on TV this Christmas but I refused to watch them. I’m distancing myself from it, so that I can be re-introduced to it, and experience the books for the first time. When I finish my uni course, and it gets close to Christmas…I will be reading Harry Potter.


Five goals/hopes seems an achievable amount, and more may develop as the year passes. What are your main hopes for this year? Or choose a priority and let me know in the comments.

Jade

My Writing Journey (Part 3)

Now that we’re at the start of a new year, it seems only right to wrap up this series with the final word on my writing journey so far. But first, if you haven’t read them already, go and read Part 1 and Part 2.

So, we left with me declaring how INTENSE my journalism course is. January is probably going to be the busiest one so far. In terms of writing…my head needs to adjust to news writing and the like, and that’s what I’m struggling with the most. But it’s all about learning, and sometimes the only way is by trial and error, and all journalists had to start somewhere.

I’m still writing for The Beestonian and I’ve fallen back in love with writing in my diary. I’ve been spending a lot of time with it recently, because writing for me has for a long time been like therapy. If you know me in real life, you’ll know I’m quiet and I don’t like to talk much. That’s why I connect with writing so much, I can express myself easier.

In terms of creative writing…I’m very happy to say I have a new writing project! It has developed from what I wrote in my post Night Thoughts, and if you want to find out a little bit more about it then read my previous post to get an insight into what I’ve been scribbling about in my diary over the festive period. Or, go to my Current Writing Projects page and scroll right down to the bottom.

But to summarise, I’ve been extracting all of my thoughts, worries, musings, insanity and writing them all out in my diary. I’ve been writing them purely for myself, and to help me clear my head when I’m feeling cloudy. But after exceeding over 200, almost 300 thoughts, I realised that there’s something in what I’m writing. Something that maybe other people might like to read. So I’ve decided that I’m going to stay connected to my creative writing dreams and write this book.

If all goes to plan, I’ll have written the majority of it at least by March, and I’ll compile them all alongside studying, and by the time I finish uni, I’ll be ready to put it all into the form of a book and then have it published before the end of the year.

When I began this series of posts about my writing journey, I definitely didn’t think I’d have another book in the works by the end of it! So this is what will keep me motivated while I’m pulling my hair out trying to navigate my way around journalism.

On that note, my bookish dreams of becoming a professional reader is going well. I’ve already been sent one book by a self-published author, and I’ll be receiving another one later this week. If you want to read my book reviews, check out my book review blog for a goldmine of writing about the books I read.

To conclude – I’m in a very good place writing-wise. Now I just need to transfer that to my studies and I’ll be okay! To anyone who has read this series, thank you for sticking with me, and thank you to all those who have been reading my writing on this blog since I started it, and for giving me such lovely comments and inspiring me to keep writing.

Jade