Feeds:
Posts
Comments

I’m taking a break from my usual blog about writing and instead I’m writing about something close to my heart. Something I’m extremely passionate about. Today I’m writing about domestic abuse. There’s a question that’s been bugging me a lot lately. Before I reveal it though, let me explain why I’m writing this.

The Australian government are working toward putting support in place for domestic abuse victims. I say good on them, abuse victims don’t deserve to be treated this way and they deserve to get away from the monster hurting them and get help to move on. However, the million dollar question bugging me, which many people seem to avoid, is this: are men victims of domestic abuse too?

What is my answer? It’s simple, I said I was passionate about it and the answer may surprise you. I mean, it seems to be a mental attitude that women stick together and stand up for each other. Apparently it’s ‘wrong’ to take sides with the man. Well, I’m different. I’m not a feminist, I believe men are often treated wrongly too.

So my answer is this: Most certainly! There are men who are victims of abuse too. I’ve read a few news articles about men who have been attacked by their female partners but they’re extremely scarce. You’ll mostly see articles about women being abused and how tragic it is. And yes it’s true, it’s extremely tragic and no one should be a victim of abuse. I take both sides but I’m here to help people see it’s not just women. The world today makes it seem as though it’s only women who are abused but that’s wrong.

Men have been victims but so many of them don’t speak up. I can’t speak for an abused man, I’ve never met one but I know they exist. I am married though and I’ve had this discussion with my husband. He said himself if he was abused by a woman he would find it extremely hard to speak up in fear of being laughed at or, worse yet, not believed. How terrible is that? Men are looked upon as strong, reliable and able to handle pretty much anything. The truth is, men have feelings too. They might show them differently to females but they still have them and they have a snapping point too.

They need as much support as female abuse victims. They need to feel that they can talk to someone and not get laughed at and they will be believed. I understand men find it difficult to talk about anything on a personal level but if they know no one would look down on them, I feel it would help them a lot.

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below. ūüôā

Yep, it’s that time again…well almost. With only a month and a bit until NaNo commences, it’s time to start planning and thinking about what you’re going to write this year.

Who else is taking part? I am, of course. And what’s even better is this year I’ve got the whole month of November off work. After being at my job for almost 10 years (31st October will be 10 years), my long service leave will become available. Perfect timing too, if you ask me.

Every year I’ve loved participating in NaNo but when I work full time, it’s always such a struggle to meet the word count. I make it nearly every year (apart from 2012 when I first commenced, that was a flop) but it’s still difficult. So I’m hoping this year will be different. I’ll get a lot more writing time and will be able to attend functions set up by the Adelaide NaNo group.

The only time I won’t get to write is at the end of November. I’ll be visiting Western Australia when my sister gets married. I may get some writing done over there but I may not. My aim is to reach 50,000 words before I leave (before the 24th November). Can I do it? Well I’m hoping so!

So who else is taking part in NaNo this year? Do you have a story in mind you want to write or rewrite? Comment below, I’m interested to read what other people are doing. ūüôā

I know I promised to blog the link to each chapter of my book¬†‚ÄėWriting Tips 101: How To Be A Good¬†Writer‚Äô but I actually forgot. Sincerest apologies!

About a month ago I posted the first lesson on Planning. The next lesson is on plots and subplots.

Check out the lesson by clicking on the below link:

https://www.wattpad.com/147026261-writing-tips-101-how-to-be-a-good-writer-plots-and

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions either post them either here or on Wattpad.

I will post the next link in a few days.

Enjoy!

This past weekend I’ve attended the online Claytons¬†Conference through Romance Writers of Australia. They always hold a face to face conference too (this year it was in Melbourne) but not everyone can attend, hence why they do an online version. It was, in my opinion, just as awesome.

Over the two days, many topics were covered. In time I’ll post reviews on all the forums but for now there was one in particular that stuck out to me…author branding. When it comes to branding, it’s basically making a name for yourself. Think Apple and you’ll know exactly what I mean. When it comes to authors think Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Terry Pratchett. Even if you haven’t read their work, you’re sure to know their name. That’s how you become a brand. People know of you.

I’ve started my branding but I’m not very well known yet. I’m a regular member on Wattpad. I have this blog, albeit it’s still not updated regularly but at least I have it. I also have an author page on Facebook and a Twitter account. So my branding is slowly coming together but there is still a lot of work to do.

If I want to really take it seriously I need to act like I’m a business. I need logos, tag lines, you name it. But I’m keen. I’m¬†really¬†keen because I’m so excited for people to read my work. One thing that was made clear was to have your brand known before your first book is published and that’s what I’m doing.

The only thing is…my name. My author name right now is Lisa Stanbridge. To me it’s boring. It doesn’t have an ‘author’ ring to it. You know what I mean? The names I¬†mentioned above are perfect examples. Some others are Harlan Coben, Sophie Kinsella and Jane Costello. They all have a ring to it. Mine doesn’t.

When question time came about at the end of the author branding topic, I posed that exact question. What do I do if I have a boring name? Bruce, the presenter, said¬†to me my biggest problem would be the¬†spelling of my name. Everyone will get it wrong, and trust me they do! They add a D after the N. Some just change the name all together. It’s very frustrating. As an example he said I could use ‘Lisa Stan’ as a name. But to me, there’s still no ring so this is where the title of my blog comes in. Pseudonyms – to use or not to use?

My answer is…there is¬†nothing¬†wrong with pseudonyms if you want to have a catchy author name. So I have made a decision. As an author I no longer want to¬†be known by my real name. So what will my pseudonym be? Well, I’m still undecided! Sorry for the let down but I promise I’ll advise as soon as I know.

Once I’ve decided, I’m going to change my¬†name on all my social media accounts to be known by that. Bruce mentioned consistency and that’s exactly what I’ll do.

So on that note I will say this: if you’re a writer and you either don’t like your name as an author name, or you just want to use a pseudonym,¬†then go ahead. You still use your real name for contacting agents and publishers but you tell them you write under a pseudonym and that will appear on any books published. So many authors do it.

I will post a proper review on this topic in a few days once I receive the information handbook from the organisers of the online conference.

For now, I shall leave you in peace. Feel free to ask any questions below. ūüôā

So today I started my new book on wattpad – ‘Writing Tips 101: How To Be A Good¬†Writer’. The first lesson is on Planning.

Check out the lesson by clicking on the below link:

http://www.wattpad.com/142439563-writing-tips-101-how-to-be-a-good-writer-planning

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions either post them either here or on Wattpad.

Enjoy!

I’m starting a new book on Wattpad called ‘Writing Tips 101: How to be A Good¬†Writer’.¬†In here I’m going to be¬†sharing what I¬†have learnt in my years¬†of writing. I’m not a professional (yet!) but I know enough that I can share with others.

Every time I post a new part with a new tip, I will post the link in a new blog so everyone on here can benefit. I am open to all questions, suggestions and comments.

I’m really excited about this. I love writing and I love helping people become better¬†writers.

Keep your eyes peeled, I will be commencing as soon as I’ve created a cover. ūüôā

I have decided it’s time to stick to what I said ages ago and write about what’s close to my heart. Today it’s depression.

I am one of the lucky few who has suffered depression and recovered. This doesn’t happen to many people. Mine was brought about by a very traumatic time in my life. I was never bad enough to be suicidal but I was surely depressed. The doctor put me on medication and the world was great again.

Then one day I thought to myself ‘do I really want to be on medication for the rest of my life?’ The resounding NO that came to me was my answer. So I did the one thing a person on medication should never do without the doctors permission. I took myself off the meds.

Usually when you’re on prescribed medication you have to wean yourself off them with the aide¬†of a doctor. Thankfully doing it the wrong way didn’t cost me but it could have. So a word of warning, always consult your doctor before doing this!

So despite recovering from depression, I still have bouts of it but I’ve learnt how to deal with it and not let it take over my life. Some days are harder than others but I try to persevere. Sadly, this is not possible for a lot of people. Sometimes depression becomes such a part of you, you lose the strength to fight. And I really do feel that if I had a different personality, I’d be one of those people. Thankfully I am an easy-going person and have a pretty high tolerance to grief and trauma. I think that trauma I went through that first gave me depression strengthened me.

Anyway, I’m not here to brag. I’m not here to say that all depressed people should ‘get over it’. I’m here to say I understand.

It’s not just because of having been through it before either. In fact, it’s because I know a lot of people who have depression. My mother, my father, my sister,¬†my two aunties, friends, many people I work with. I’m around it all the time and having suffered, I understand more than someone who hasn’t.

When you’re depressed everything is too hard. Being happy is hard, instead¬†all you can do is cry. Doing things you used to enjoy is practically impossible. Being social and going out with friends becomes a chore because you just want to lock yourself away and never show yourself again. And the sad thing is, people without depression do not understand these feelings. They think you’re being antisocial. They think you’re weak for crying too much. But do not let them get you down. If you’re ever able to get the confidence talk to them, tell them how you feel. Help them understand and see that the way you’re feeling is not voluntary. You have no control over it.

When my mother was first diagnosed, I was still in high school. In year 11 I saw her change. She was angry, she cried a lot, she yelled and screamed at me for things she had no need to be angry about. I was 17 for goodness’ sake, I had no idea what was going on. All I wanted was my mother back. She wasn’t the person I remember. We argued, my goodness how we argued. Screaming matches even, which was not like us.

Most people know what it’s like when you’re in your final years of high school. You’re under so much pressure, you’re buried under mounds of homework and you often stay up until 2am or 3am just to get it done. Add to that a mother who was in and out of hospital and had become a totally different person and let’s just say my grades suffered. I was fortunate to graduate and I only did by the skin of my teeth. I occasionally find myself wishing I could go back and do my final year but at 33, I don’t feel it’s necessary now.

Anyway, it was during year 12 (I was 18 then) when we found out Mum and clinical depression. Me and my Dad were running the house because Mum wasn’t fit to do so. She went into hospital so many times and was even on suicide watch a few times. Dad and I didn’t understand depression, we kept thinking she’d snap out of it and I’m ashamed to say there were times we told her to. Little did we know it wasn’t that easy.

I will never forget the day Mum was so suicidal I had to take her to hospital. That same day I watched as the nurses took her into the emergency area and I barely recognised my mother. She was a changed person. Then I looked through the window (I wasn’t allowed in) and saw Mum scratching her hand over and over again until it bled. She kept doing it over and over and over. I had to turn away. I couldn’t watch. I was so scared and it was then I knew I had to know more about depression. I had to help her somehow.

When I graduated from school I started researching it then a couple of years later is when I was diagnosed with it. It was only then I truly understood, even if it was to a lesser extent.

Even now, Mum hasn’t recovered but she’s more like the Mum I know than the one I didn’t. She has her days but she’s a lot better and doesn’t even have suicidal tendencies anymore. Of course it’s with the help of medication but at least she’s doing better. It took her many, many years to get this point but she’s there and we’re all just hoping she stays there. But for those that understand depression, you would know that’s not always possible.

Depression…it is debilitating without being noticeable on the outside. People think you’re a perfectly normal person but they have no idea what you’re suffering inside. They have no idea how difficult some days are. Even getting out of bed is a chore. People who haven’t suffered do not have a clue and I wish everyone would take the time out to understand it.

A girl I work with, she told me the other day that her brother tried to suicide. He cut into his thigh, down the major artery. He was found nearly an hour later, nearly dead. Surprisingly he survived but apparently when he woke, his first words were ‘I don’t want to be here’. When I heard this, my heart broke. What this man must be suffering! I don’t know him, I don’t know his past but to try and do that, something must be terribly wrong.

Then this girl said to me ‘I just don’t get it, he’s so selfish’. And you know what? She told him to stop being selfish. I was appalled. She is a perfect example of someone who doesn’t understand. Why doesn’t she ask him what he’s feeling? Why doesn’t she just talk to him and let him open up when he’s ready. Don’t tell him he’s being selfish. He doesn’t need to hear that. Be there for him, support him, help him recover, try and understand.

So, what am I trying to say here? I know I’ve babbled on a lot but as I said this topic is close to my heart. What I’m trying to say is: depression is a silent illness, don’t judge people. Yes, sadly there are people who pretend to have depression to get attention and sympathy but still, don’t judge until you know the facts because there are many people who are genuinely suffering. If you don’t understand depression, take the time out to understand it.

If you haven’t suffered it, you may not ever truly understand it but at least you’ll know the debilitating effects it can have on people.