Journaling Your Way Out Of Mental Illness

The most common misconception about journaling is the idea of comparing it to keeping a diary. Yes, people write anything in it such as their anxiety, depression, and even happy moments. That’s because they assume that the process merely follows knowing what things to write. That the details of it should have a certain flow, and that everything about it should have to make sense. However, contrary to that belief, that’s not what journaling is all about. It does not always have to be like that. Though in most cases, it can be for some people.


The Essence Of Journaling

The reason why journaling is an excellent help for emotional and mental wellness is due to its potential use on individuals benefit. That includes having a place to vent and have the means to process through all the things that are happening in their lives. According to Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP “Scientific evidence supports that journaling provides other unexpected benefits. The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel.” It could be some memorable experience that occurs in the past, or it can be the things that are currently happening today. Journaling allows people to have a place to talk about their feelings toward the whole experience. Therefore, some individuals prefer to write it out like a story or letter form. However, some people don’t do that. Some individuals like to keep a bullet form of journaling. It has something to do with specific things that happened in their lives. There is no elaboration on such thing, but there’s a secured emotional attachment to the written subject. There are also some individuals who use journaling to track down their mood and mental health. It is like writing down two or three emotions they felt in a day. That’s because they find it necessary to note how they are doing so they can manage their improvement towards their wellness goal.


There’s entirely no limit on what people can write in a journal. The whole goal of journaling is to have a place where individuals share their thoughts, feelings, and experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s short or long, as long as there’s a full expression of what people need to vent out. Because when there is a basic tracking, and there’s a lot to share, it eventually comes out of the chest. There’s a relieving sense associated with expressing one’s emotional crisis. Another great thing about writing down what’s happening and how individuals are feeling is the power of creating solutions out of the blue. That is because when people see nothing but fears, worries, frustrations, and agitations, they become aware of finding ways to remove it from their system. As stated by Tamara Hill, MS, LPC “I often provide journaling to my own clients who find it difficult to verbalize what bothers them. The tool has proven beneficial not only to them but also to myself, as I learn a great deal about the “internal, hidden world” of the client.” That explains why some people write down their problems in a journal and immediately pay attention to upsetting themselves. With that, there comes an entirely different writing flow that takes place.

Why Some People Don’t Use It

The reason why some individuals are not into journaling is due to the pressure of telling a story. There’s a pressure of expressing one’s emotional and mental state in an accurate and detailed way. These people often focus on how things should start as well as how it should end. They don’t look into the reality that maybe they don’t have all the details of the full story of their lives. That perhaps, the things they have to write are the ones they only have to experience. As much as others see journaling’s benefit to people’s emotional and mental health, it doesn’t entirely work for everybody. Not all can benefit from it because they have different needs. Some people are not good at expressing themselves even in a written form. There are instances where thinking about previous emotions can be hard and uncomfortable to do. Most people are also not aware of what’s going on with their mental and emotional health. Therefore, it creates an issue instead of a solution.


People often forget how bad and good things are going. There’s too much of everything that not all of them can pretty much handle their own emotional and mental needs. Therefore, keeping track in a journal and jotting vital things down can help individuals stay on point with their overall dilemma. And as stated by Sharon Martin, LCSW “Journals aren’t just for teenagers trying to hide their private thoughts from their parents’ prying eyes. Journaling is a helpful therapeutic tool. It’s not going replace mental health treatment from a qualified professional, but it can be a useful addition or way to accelerate your healing.” Not only it allows focus, but it also helps in bringing clarity to one’s mental function.

Details On The 2016 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar

The 2016 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar is one of America’s longest-running photojournalism conferences up to this date. Its origin was dated from 1973. It was led by photojournalists from all over different newspapers, magazines and wire services. The members’ goal is to promote the standards of photojournalism with the use of yearly educational conferences and staging photography competitions graded by professional photographers and keen editors in the field of reporting.


Some renowned speakers in the field of photojournalism interact attentively to audience and attendees. They aim to impart their experiences in both areas of photography and journalism. Some of them are known magazine and wire service photographers, Pulitzer Prize winners, Influential directors of photography, and educators in photojournalism.

Seminar Contents

The seminar offers numerous information, advantages, and assistance to those aspiring photojournalists and its attendees. There are photography workshops that aim to help develop aspiring photographers regardless of their skill. It imparts photography techniques led by some of the most promising photojournalists. People also enjoy video workshops as well. It is for individuals who seek advancement to video editing and making skills. The talented video makers in the area of journalism make their suggestions and insights in this expertise.

There are also vendor displays in the event. There are state of the art and latest models of gears on photography and videography. People can also join the annual photography contest awards where the winners can win prizes of more than $5,000. As for the freebies, Nikon and Canon provide free checkups and cleaning services for two photography equipment per individual. There’s also a portfolio review to help everyone review their work and understand where they need improvements.


The seminar is a two-day emersion for everyone and is open for all enthusiasts and attendees. Every professional, students, enthusiasts, and teacher are there to celebrate and bond together in the event.

Tips And Tricks For The Aspiring Writer

Writing is a bit like a rollercoaster ride—full of ups and downs. One second, you could be pumping out a thousand words, and the next, you’d be struggling to write a measly sentence. Everyone in the entire family of writers deals with the problem that is the lack of motivation.

That is only one of the many problems that might hinder an aspiring writer. If you want your work to get published, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and perseverance. Whether your piece is prose, poetry, non-fiction, or any other form of written media, these tips and tricks will help you keep those words flowing.

Read, Read, Read

We have heard this many times, but only because it’s true: A good writer reads. It’s essential to read a lot because this helps writers acquire a good grasp of their chosen language. Words are what you use to entice people, so it would be wise to learn how other people do it.


And writers don’t just read within their chosen genre. They go above and beyond it so that they find the trends and patterns within their style as well as others. Ultimately, reading anything and everything helps one become a more well-rounded writer.

Know How To Get Past Your Writer’s Block

Like we said at the beginning of the article, the lack of motivation is a problem for every writer. You could have everything planned out and still struggle to put out even a single sentence. A good writer must know how to regain their motivation—and quickly!

Perhaps a break from writing will help clear your mind. On the flip side, maybe staying focused on the blank page is what’ll get the ball rolling. Of course, this will differ from case to case and writer to writer. The trick is knowing what you need when you need it.

Write As Much As You Can

Most people would tell you to write every day, but this isn’t a necessity. Writing everyday simple isn’t doable for everyone, especially those with busy schedules. What’s important is that you write when you can and make that a habit.

Set aside some time every week for your writing and stick to that schedule. Doing this ensures that you get an ample amount of practice. It also gets you accustomed to writing on set times of specific days. Getting into this routine might make it easier to pump out words.

Abide By The Rules Of Grammar

Grammar is important in any genre of writing. Misunderstandings and incomprehension are the consequence of pieces with incorrect grammar.


To minimize grammar mistakes in your work, make sure to proofread your work. Edit it ruthlessly. Read it twice—thrice if you have to—and leave no sentence unread. If you think your editing skills aren’t enough, you can make use of online grammar tools. Alternatively, you can have someone you trust do the proofreading for you.

Make Use Of Dictionaries And Thesauruses

In writing, certain sentences require specific words. Writers choose their words carefully so that they “fit” the rhythm of their piece and make the most impact on their readers. In this regard, dictionaries and thesauruses are your friends. Learn how to discern when a word “fits” a sentence or not. If it doesn’t seem to belong in the sentence, consult these books and find the word that does.

Develop Your Style

Find your voice. Every writer writes differently. Each has their own set of quirks—both good and bad. These quirks set them apart from the rest. It’s what gets the readers to remember them. Many have said that a good writer reads, but a good writer also doesn’t duplicate other writers. Develop your style and make your voice unique.

Remember Why You’re Writing

If there comes a time that you become tired, frustrated, or exasperated from writing, remember why you do it. You started writing for a reason. Perhaps you started a news blog to voice out your opinions on current events. Maybe you’re writing a story that no one has told before. Or it could be that you’re seeking to finish a scholarly article on a new topic regarding mental health.

Yes, it can be exhausting. When you feel the exhaustion, remember why you started in the first place. More often than not, reminding yourself of this is enough to keep you motivated enough to want to finish.


Writing can be difficult. Finishing a piece can even be more so. But these tips and tricks are sure to help you. But you can do it. You have to keep at it. These suggestions will not only help you finish your piece but also increase your chances of being recognized and remembered through your works.

But apart from these words of advice, always remember that to become a successful writer, you must persevere. Even when it seems unlikely that anyone will ever read your work, keep at it. With hard work and a lot of skill and perseverance, you can make it.

Good luck, aspiring writer!

Gratitude Journaling (Writing For Mental Wellness)

Gratitude is really about refocusing the way you see and think about things that surround you. According to Ada Gonzalez, LMFT, “Gratitude is a way of seeing. They would allow us to see, to notice, what we can be thankful for. Heights of joy are measured by the depths of our gratitude.” Since it is our human nature to get hooked on the negative stuff easily, many of us find it hard to commit on the positive ones. That is because the worse things in life are more impactful, stressful, and painful. All of those negative things require tons of effort and extra energy for us to be able to survive it. In some unfortunate circumstances, we forget about the many good things that still exist.


By shifting our focus towards the positive things, we aim to search for the preciousness of life. From there, it starts to change the way we approach things, the way we create decisions, the way we handle personal relationships, the way we appreciate people around us and more. And by that, we try new things that develop that positivity. In this article, we’ll focus on the importance of gratitude journaling since it’s one of the best ways to maintain mental wellness.

How To Start Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journaling is easy to do. According to Marla B. Cohen, PsyD, “Gratitude is viewed by positive psychology as one of the cornerstones of well-being, and gratitude journaling is widely considered one of the most effective happiness practices you can adopt.” Every night, you just have to list three to five things that you are thankful for each day. There are no limitations on what you want to write in your journal as long it is something that encourages happiness and fulfillment. It can be significant or even small things that perhaps created a change in that particular day. And even though you have the worst moment of your life, find at least three things that made you smile. Try hard to think about the good and positive stuff. Sometimes it could be an object that means a lot to you or could be the people that showered wonderful care and love.


Personally, it’s incredibly beneficial to write as detailed as possible with what it is that you are thankful for in that instance. So instead of writing down your gratitude on food, try at least be specific on “why” you are valuing it. You can base in on your previous encounter or other people’s experience as well. As long as it made you realize how truly grateful and how fortunate you are for having food at your table, you can deliver a proper technique in gratitude journaling.

There is no denying that not all days are the same. Sometimes, you will experience the worst of the worst. But it’s excellent to try and shift the way you think and keep your mind away from those things that mentally and emotionally hurt you. There will be a time that you won’t appreciate the simple pleasures because you’re stuck in the negative side, but always remember that nothing stays as is. Maybe you find yourself suffering today, but tomorrow you will not.


If you are attempting to create more positivity in changing your outlook, attitude, and life, writing is the best thing to do. According to Priscilla L. Rodriguez, LMFT, “I’m a huge advocate when it comes to writing in a journal as a way to manage stress and as a way to engage in gratitude. Journaling also forces you to slow down and to concentrate on what you are experiencing.” It is an incredible opportunity to enumerate the things that matter to you. By doing this, it ensures that are throwing your overall wellness into positivity.

Mental Wellness: Follow These Bipolar Blogs


 If you want to read about real-life stories of people with Bipolar disorder, then these blogs are the sites to follow:


Purple Persuasion

Charlotte Walker battled mental health problems for 25 years and created a blog called Purple Persuasion as a way to deal with her relapses and to help other people who have bipolar disorder too. According to Colleen King, LMFT, “Living with bipolar disorder can create significant challenges in just getting through each day.”


The blog offers a safe space for Charlotte and people similar to her to learn more about their mental health problems and as a way to connect with other people who have the same issues or related mental health problems.



Some of the posts in her blog include an analysis of her visits with her psychiatrists, as well as posts that other bipolar people can relate too.


Bipolar Burble

The Bipolar Burble is managed by Natasha Tracy, a social media consultant, and an award-winning writer too. Natasha has had bipolar disorder since she was 20 years old and ever since the Bipolar Burble has become a place wherein she can express her feelings about her condition as well as narrate her experiences.


The blog gives factual information based on evidence of mental illnesses. It also offers insights and details about bipolar disorder all while providing the community, which is filled with people with mental health problems. It contains posts like how to self-sooth when experiencing bipolar disorder pain.


The Bipolar Blogger Network

Back then, two friends felt like there were not enough networking options for people who are experiencing different types of bipolar disorder. As a result, they decided to create the Bipolar Blogger Network.


The Bipolar Blogger Network aims to give people with bipolar disorder a way or platform to share their experiences with the mental health issue or their stories on how their disorder affect the people around them.  However, not all can write in the blog as only bloggers with the talent and knack for writing as well as those with the disorder and experiences with the issue can only write in the blog.


Pax Nortona

Joel Gazis-Sax on the other hand, uses his blog, Pax Nortona, as a way to share his personal experiences and stories that he gains while working and traveling despite having the bipolar disorder. But Joel isn’t the only one who is responsible for the blog. His wife Lynn also helps in managing it. Together, this dream team and their cat has created an excellent blog for those with bipolar disorder.


Joel and his wife are also the co-founders of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of South Orange County. According to Danna Costa-Sahs, PsyD, “Depression is a serious mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” The blog contains posts about Joel’s stories and tips on being yourself in a world that wants you to change.


Bipolar Beat


Psych Central is a trusted website ran by mental health professionals. This independent social network for people with mental health problems or people interested in mental health also has the bipolar blog called the Bipolar Beat.


Two people who write posts in the blog are Dr. Candida Fink, a psychiatrist, and Joe Kraynak, an author. Dr. Fink is an expert pediatrician, specifically in pediatric bipolar disorder. Kraynak, on the other hand, writes about his experiences living with the mental health issue and with his partner.


Some of the articles in the blog include perspectives about bipolar drugs and weight gain, differentiating manic and hyperactive, and other tips that can help bipolar people sleep better. “Antidepressants, mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics are the most common contributors to weight gain.”, says Saundra Jain, PsyD.



With all these blogs recommended, you have a plethora of blogs that you can check out to either help with your disorder or learn more about bipolar disorder. Having bipolar disorder is difficult, but that doesn’t mean it should define you. These blogs can be one of the ways to help you beat it.

A Quick Guide to Choosing Blog Niche

Certain things are needed for you to take into consideration when it comes to creating your blog. The first thing that you have to factor in is the blog niche. It pertains merely to the specific classification that you want the blog to belong. Without determining the particular topic, it will be impossible for you to move forward with the blog creation. Once you decide the niche, it will become easier to choose the domain name for the site.

Continue reading “A Quick Guide to Choosing Blog Niche”

How to Blog to Improve Your Writing Abilities

There is hope…

Let’s be honest, the art of storytelling is dying, but at the end of that dark and dreary tunnel I can see that there is hope, and that hope is blogging. While there are plenty of blogs on the internet that include long tirades against this, that, and the other, there is a beauty that comes from the open narrative of a blog. Creating a blog for storytelling can be rewarding, liberating, and enlightening all the same. You can always get tips from writers’ groups, such as

If you’re an aspiring writer, you know that there’s always trouble when developing a story. Whether it’s a lack of character development, a poor plot, or what have you, the benefits of having a storytelling blog can help to improve your ability to tell a good story.


A Few Things First

 But before you can start slaving over the next great American novel, you must first get a few things sorted out:


Find a Website

A quick Google search for blogging websites will lead you in the right direction. Sites like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and Squarespace all offer bloggers a medium for them to express themselves and display their work.

The important thing to note is how much control each website gives you. Most of them offer users two different options: free and paid. The free options offer people the basics and simply provide them with a place to showcase their blog with very little control. The paid options, however, offer much more control as to how to the blog functions and looks.

The decision is yours as to which option you choose, but it is suggested that before you invest any of your money in a site, look hard into the differences between sites.


Find Your Voice

I believe that this is the most important aspect of blogging, even more so than gaining a large following.  If you don’t find your voice then your blog will quickly get lost in the vastness of the Internet. Your blog should be an embodiment and representation of you and your personality, so it pays to be honest on your blog. If you write your blog in a way that isn’t true to you, then the visitors of the blog will quickly notice and leave. You can’t write for someone else, and you shouldn’t let other people force your hand to write a certain way or to their liking.

Your story should be your story, and no else’s.


The Process Begins

Okay, so now that you’ve got your site up and running and you’ve found your voice, your next step is to work on your storytelling skills.

In my opinion, and this differs depending on who you’re asking, the best stories are the ones that let the reader fill in the blanks themselves. What I mean by this is that

there’s really no need to fill the page with long and daunting paragraphs that overwhelm the reader with descriptive (and often unnecessary) language.

During my tenure working with middle and high school students, I was shocked to find out that none of them read anymore, although it wasn’t that a big surprise, with technology and social media so popular these days.

And one day I asked them why they don’t read anymore, and for the most part, they all just said that it’s boring.

Fair—but not exactly true.

One kid, however, told me (and I still remember it and implement it in my own storytelling) “books just aren’t in your face anymore. They don’t tell it like it is.  People want something that moves them, whether in a good or bad way and the books we have just don’t do that. And half of the time I feel like I’m reading a textbook, not a novel.”

This kid was a piece of work, I can tell you that, but when he wasn’t strangling or tripping kids, he was very insightful.

With that being said, I feel that good storytelling stems in excitement, excitement, and nothing else because without an intrigued reader, you can kiss your dreams of success goodbye.


Parting Words

 You can take what I say and run with it or you can ignore every word I said, but at the very least, go out there and practice your writing. Because I, for one, am tired of the same old things on the Internet, and nothing beats a well-written story. So go out there and write a good story. Please—I beg you.

How to Blog to Improve Your Writing



There are countless reasons why you would want to start a blog. To some people, they enjoy the freedom of the page and feel empowered when they write out their thoughts and feelings and publish them for the world to see. Others may use their blogs to showcase their skills and use it as a portfolio. And whether it’s a blog about food, fashion, travel, nature, etc., the one thing that is universal between them all is that blogging is the perfect platform to practice your writing abilities.


The Truth

Writing is a dying art form. You can scour the Internet and find millions and millions of misspellings, comma splices, and run-on sentences. The trouble is that most people don’t even know that they’re wrong. Maybe they never learned how to write properly when they were in school, or maybe writing was never a passion for them. Whatever the reason is, the world can use more good male and female writers to put an end to all the fakes and pretenders out there claiming to be one.


It’s useful for more than just stories

Many people underestimate and don’t appreciate a person’s ability to write and most people don’t often care much for practicing and perfecting their own writing skills. But what they don’t know is those good writing abilities are one of the most useful skill sets that one can have in their arsenal, especially in the workforce. Being able to accurately articulate yourself comes in handy when applying for jobs, as having good spelling, writing, and grammar skills could be the reason why you get and keep the job over someone else.


No one wants to read a poorly-written blog

If you don’t care to improve your skills for the workplace, you can definitely help improve your abilities to increase the quality of your blog. Truth be told, most people will not come back to read your blog if the writing is drab, redundant, and poorly written. No matter what your niche of blogging is, if you want people to keep coming back (and a paycheck, if you make it big enough to earn money through your blog), you must improve your writing and storytelling abilities.

I’ve seen plenty of good blogs start off strong and build a solid following but then quickly hit rock bottom when their lack of writing skills show its ugly face. Poor spelling and grammar can take you pretty far (just check out any famous person’s twitter), but you will quickly lose your credibility once people see your lack of prowess on the page.


Benefits of having a blog

Blogs provide one with a sense of liberation. It is a platform that can be used in numerous ways, if utilized properly, it can be a very rewarding and fruitful media. The unforeseen benefit to this ongoing narrative is that it is an excellent practice for finding your voice and practicing your writing skills. No one hits it out of the park their first time at bat, so the same thing can be expected when one first starts their blog. The first blog post won’t be the best nor will it be the worst, but it will be a starting point. You will be able to look back in a couple of years and re-read your first blog post and (hopefully—because by then your writing will have improved) find all of the silly errors you made. So long as you can recognize the mistakes you’ll be all right.


Find your site

Doing a quick Google search will help you find a website to host your blog on. Some sites like Tumblr offer users a basic platform to host their blogs, whereas other sites like WordPress offer users a paid option, which gives them a lot more control over the appearance and functioning of the blog. But before you go and invest in a blog, make sure to compare the costs and benefits that come with each site; it’s your hard-earned money, after all.


Get to it

Once you’ve got your blog-situation sorted out, the next and last step is to start writing. That’s it. Writing’s a process and requires patience and a lot of effort. You know the old saying about Rome not being built in a day. Well, writing’s a lot like that, so quit reading this article and get to it.