Category Archives: Articles

Article: Are you a pantser or plotter (outliner) by Teresa Smeigh


Most writers are either a pantser, which means they write by the seat of their pants or a plotter, they must have an outline to lay the whole thing out. Now there are a few people who are a combination of both and they are called plantsers.

Pantsers write one day at a time letting the story tell itself. When they start they are not sure whether it will be a novel, novella or simply a piece of flash fiction. They must be ready to scrap their work if it doesn’t work out. The pros of being a pantser mean that you can kill off a character and not have to rewrite the whole outline. The cons though mean that it is easier to get stuck since you have no plans written out to fall back on.

A plotter or planner plans their whole novel before they start writing. They methodically plan it out from start to finish. It can be scribbled on a piece of scrap paper or neatly written out. This is great for people who don’t want to go off plot because they can’t focus. They don’t want to go off their original plan. The pros are that they hardly have writer’s block. The cons though are really rough as a change in the story means rewriting the whole outline each and every time they decide to change something.

Although I am a pantser for the most part, for this memoir I am writing, I am writing an outline of sorts. I want it chronological so I have written out my table of contents and occasionally I do end up having to add chapters or move them around as my memory kicks in with another memory or I remember the actual date.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Doing Housework With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Doing Housework With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This has some great ideas.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Sharing with others the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder – An Article by Me That was Never Published


I have looked on International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) to see if I ever posted this article and I did not see it listed so I am going to post it on here as I no longer write for them and I believe it is still my work since they didn’t post it on their site that I can see. You can use the above link if you are interested in reading the Bipolar Disorder articles I wrote for them.

I don’t feel stigmatized by having Bipolar Disorder. I find it a way that I can help others. I have been through just about everything that you can experience with this disorder. I am not embarrassed and feel thankful to be able to help others.

There are times that I feel useless. I am disabled in physical ways and so I don’t work anymore. Working with my bipolar was hard, but I didn’t even realize I had a problem then. I never could focus. I was always daydreaming and my reviews always mentioned this. Since I daydreamed all my life it was just an annoyance that my bosses didn’t like and I had no idea how to stay focused. I now know that I was dissociating from my life and had to be snapped back into this world. Now that I understand, I can help others.

Another thing is self-harm. I have bit and chewed the skin off my fingers since I was a little girl. The more upset and anxious I was, the worse the biting. I now know that is a part of self-harm. Self-harm just isn’t cutting like I thought it was and I tried cutting. It didn’t give me what I needed, but tearing the skin off my fingers did. People were surprised to find out that there are many types of self-harm besides cutting. I also pick scabs on my head mostly although I do also pick at loose skin as well.

I have bipolar 1 with psychosis. I see, hear, and feel things. I find this depends on the medications I take. The medications can also affect my dreams. I have horrendous dreams. I wake up screaming. If you take medications and find that you suffer from the above-mentioned problems, perhaps you need to try another medication. At least talk it over with your psychiatrist.

Mania has a lot of behaviors that are hard to control. Spending, hypersexuality, thoughts of grandeur and even thoughts that you are Jesus or God or someone else famous. Again, talk with your psychiatrist or in the case of thinking you are someone on a grand scale perhaps your psychiatrist can help and maybe even a change in medicine is needed.

Some people can take just a mood-stabilizer (anti-psychotic) for bipolar, but for me just a mood stabilizer causes depression rather than stabilization. I must take an anti-depressant as well to boost me out of the deep, deep depression.

Suicide is a real danger with bipolar or any mental illness. Please talk it over with your psychiatrist, therapist, a suicide call line or simply go to the hospital. I have been twice. Once for attempted suicide and once for psychosis with suicidal ideations. Inpatient can be difficult, but you are safe there.

As I said I do not hesitate to talk about my bipolar, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD and Post Traumatic Syndrome. If someone needs help, I am there for them.

If you feel suicidal or even worried about mental illness being a problem for you then go see a therapist or psychiatrist for a full work up. If the suicidal thoughts are severe and you are ready to do it, please go directly to the hospital.

Your life is worth it. Everyone’s life is worth it.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

About “Tessa Can Do It! Positivity is Catching!”


As I have announced I am combining my 2 blogs into one. All of my writing will still be  part of my blogging, but it will just be on one blog. The original writer’s blog will still be there, there just won’t be any new work added to it, but there is plenty there to read and most of my life stories are actually on there under non-fiction. Another reason I wanted to have just one blog.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that “Tessa Can Do It” describes everything I write about so why have more than one blog. Plus trying to figure out what to put on which blog was becoming annoying. Whatever it is, Tessa Can Do It!

I was writing for International Bipolar Foundation, but I finally quit. They are rude, they don’t bother to answer emails. I write for them for free, but they can’t even take the time to let me know if they are interested in the article post or not. If they don’t want it I can certainly use it on my blog. Mental health is a large part of my life and I write my own posts on it besides finding info online to share about mental and physical health. I don’t need to deal with people who are as far as I am concerned, rude. They started out ok  and then started going downhill, changed staff and got worse. When you use free articles as the mainstay of your blog, you treat those people with respect. I personally am tired of it. They don’t deserve my writing. At first it stroked my ego to see my writing on what I thought was a major contender in the mental health field. Now I am tired of being treated without respect. I wrote 3 emails, same subject, several  weeks to months apart and not one of them received an answer. That is rude and non-businesslike. I don’t need the aggravation. My work is back to being my work.

They probably don’t even realize I quit since they don’t seem to bother reading their email. We had a schedule and I gave them plenty of notice that I won’t be writing for them anymore. If they don’t know it, that is their problem, not mine.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (no longer canceling this blog, just not adding new work to it, sign up for http://www.tessacandoit.com for the new posts).

I AM a writer! (first blog piece written 6/4/2012)


I am in my late 50’s right now and have been writing something ever since I was in grade school. I wrote poems and short stories and  people told me they were good. However I didn’t think of myself as a writer.

My recent research has told me that if you write, anything, you ARE a writer!

This thought was shocking to me. Me, a writer? I sure wanted to be, but how could this be?

However I spent some time to reflect on this and I believe they are right. I may not have been paid for any of my writing, but I did have a poem published in an anthology and a mention in a contest even if I didn’t become one of the top winners, I WAS mentioned. Plus I am writing all the time. So yes, I AM a writer.

This blog will be a way to post what I am up to and to capture my progress as I continue my journey of becoming a real published writer.

I have entered several contests over the years. The first time I sent a short story to a magazine I was in my teens and it was rejected. I was broken-hearted and the rejection to me was a failure. I couldn’t take it and after that no one ever saw my writing. I wrote for me only.

When I was in my 30’s I entered a contest for “Writer’s Digest” magazine. That is where I got the mention, although it wasn’t a win, it gave me just a little more confidence. I also wrote some poetry one of which was published, but in an anthology which I believe is sort of like a vanity press type of deal. But seeing it in print gave me another boost. So I have entered some of my poetry and another short story in the last 10 years. The rejection stings, but it didn’t result in the same feelings of failure. My skin is thickening.

I enter NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) every year, however I never make the full 50,000 words that are required. It doesn’t have to be a polished novel. Just write, and keep writing for a full month. After that you can edit and proofread if you want to do something with it. If you are interested just go to www.nanowrimo.org and check it out. I just found out that they are now doing it in June too. The original was in November. How about that. This is June. Maybe I should see about entering again and make it a goal to finish this time.

I know that professional writers make a time to write every day and stick to it. It takes discipline and I am sorely lacking that right now. Perhaps I can work on that discipline and make it a goal to write so much per day. Now how long should I make it. Since I am just starting out I should probably make it for about an hour to begin with. An hour is not that long.

I am researching writing prompts. I know they exist and just might be the boost I need to get started writing again.

Here’s to my brand new life, the writing life!

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

No longer writing for International Bipolar Foundation.


I wrote them a post for last February as per the new agreement. Never heard a word except to say they received it and would send me the link if published or a list of things needing changing.

A few months ago I emailed them to find out what happened to it and again last week. No answer to either email. I just emailed them a third time to resign. I am tired of rude companies and I no longer intend to let them use my talent for free. They don’t deserve it. They have people writing for them, but seem to use articles from other sites. So they can knock themselves out and I will write for my own blog and to heck with them.

It was hard finding new topics and they had a lot of volunteer writers so lots of similar posts were out there anyhow. IBPF is old news now and I just posted the l link to my first blog I wrote for them. Oh well, maybe I will delete it.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

My first blog post is up at International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) – see link below. October 2, 2015


I am so excited. Here is the link to my first blog post on International Bipolar Foundation:

http://www.ibpf.org/blog/self-harm-its-not-just-cutting

Remember now that my real name is Teresa Smeigh. Tessa is just a nickname. They have one typo and they have to add my personal blog still and it will be perfect.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).