Returning to my writing practice


It’s been a long time since my writing has been regular here. Priorities keep leaning heavier towards my nonprofit work, which is so rewarding it never feels like work. And I do my best to strike a balance between work, family, and taking good care of myself. Lately my self-care routine involves a lot of bubble baths and reading, while my writing practice has pretty much been non-existent.

But I need that to change. I want to get back into writing. I want to find my voice again.

Over the past two years I’ve found a way to make physical exercise part of my daily schedule. For the most part, I’d say 6 days out of the week, I find the time to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise. The trick was to make working out a priority, and for me, to be able to check some type of box to show that I’d completed it. I took up space on our family chalkboard wall in the kitchen, and wrote out a calendar each month. Then each day I completed my workout, I’d check it off. Finding that motivation – being able to mark off a workout – worked for me. After a few months, exercising each day became second nature. Now I even crave a workout most days. It’s odd how that works.

I’d like to get to that point with writing. If anyone has any tips out there, I’d love to hear them. Sometimes my brain says, “Ah, just wait for that inspiration.” But when month after month passes, and inspiration hasn’t hit, it’s apparent that I need to find a better way.

I like prompts sometimes, but not all the time. I do like the challenge of having written every day, so maybe I’ll try that and then make a commitment to myself to share at least a piece a week here on the blog.

A writing class to kick me into gear

This past weekend I attended, thanks to the persistent encouragement from a dear friend, a writing workshop by The Op-Ed Project. It was fantastic. Sure, I was overwhelmed and intimidated at times (the room was full of brilliant, accomplished, outspoken women and men), but the atmosphere bubbled with encouragement and support.

I hesitated to speak up at first, but found some confidence after the first major exercise of the day where we learned the importance of recognizing our area of expertise and how to back that up with our credentials. Sounds so obvious, but as a group it took us some time to master this simple first step. Once we were able to articulate our area of knowledge, the rest of the course flew by. We learned every facet of building our argument, how to address critics, utilizing news hooks, and pitching. Anyone with an idea to change the world needs to take this course.

I met such incredible people. Each is working to use his or her voice to change the conversation surrounding the topic they are most passionate about. The energy in the room was inspiring and motivating. We can’t wait to see each other succeed.

My goal after taking this course is to pitch a piece in the next two weeks. I have more specific goals but want to keep them to myself for now. I feel confident I’ll be able to do this having taken the Op-Ed “Write to Change the World” course. Now, it’s a matter of carving out the time.

* If you’re interested in a $50 discount to the Op-Ed Project’s “Write to Change the World” workshop, shoot me an email and I’ll send you the code. They have them all over the US – San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago and more. But hurry because the discount is only available through today (Monday, February 6th).


  1. Hi! I’m wondering if anyone out there has heard of and/or tried TMS therapy; thoughts, results, etc.
    Hope everyone is making it a great day!!

    • Andrea C Gallagher says:

      Yes, I’ve heard of this TMS therapy. My doc said it’s great for treating Aspbergers, depression and demwntia-related issues.

      • Andrea C Gallagher says:


      • Hi Andrea! I am on medication for depression and Lamictol for Bi-Polar II.
        I actually heard about TMS therapy from a recent episode of TV show called “Chicago Med”, where a physician with Aspergers was experimenting with TMS, but the show also mentioned the therapy was used for depression and BIPOLAR, so I’ve researched it online.

    • Also, if you have or are currently receiving TMS therapy, is it covered by your insurance?

      • Andrea C Gallagher says:

        Let me check…to see if TMS therapy is covered by insurance. I have not personally received TMS therapy. But i think it’s worth looking into Maureen.😉

        • Andrea C Gallagher says:

          I just checked.. Not sure where you live;- but Dr.Attia in Gaithersburg, md accepts insurance & It looks like a lot of other places do as well. Yay! You could make an appt for a consult to check it out sista! Im cheering for you! Andrea

    • Maureen, I have bipolar 1 and received TMS treatments last winter to help with depression that was so dark and persistent that I was willing to do ECT. Luckily, I found out about TMS, which is non-invasive and does not have side effects.
      I still struggle every day, but I have not experienced paralyzing, all consuming depression since TMS.
      It is covered by insurance and I highly recommend it.

  2. Andrea C Gallagher says:

    Hi- my name is Andrea Gallagher. I am living well with type 1 Bipolar disorder. I am a 41 yr old, thriving, content, healthy full- time wife, mom, & a PT teacher. Daily, I still battle the demons related to my BP such as: ocd/ perfectionism, social anxiety, paranoia, auditory/visual processing challenges, bittnerness/resentment/anger/sadness- that it’s difficult for me to feel normal each moment that I choose to breathe. But when I embrace my mind’s rewarding and deep pockets of reality…I always find Bipolar Beauty.

  3. Andrea C Gallagher says:

    Dear Jennifer Marshall. Thank you for existing– Love your fellow BP1 mom…kicking BPOlar’s Ass! As far as I’m concerned you and I have already “Beaten Bipolar!” Because in this race towards Mental health-we’re always one step ahead of the BP symptoms so therfore-, we’very already won.

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