2016 was the year I became interested in and engaged with mental health awareness. 2017 will be the year that I use my blog, Unapologetically Written, to promote mental health awareness, well-being, self-care, and healing. The more I attempted to promote mental well-being, self-care and awareness, the more I realized that there aren't very many safe spaces online that promote healing or productive self-care. Typically, I see websites that focus on promoting awareness and healing through empowerment, and those are perfectly fine, but I rarely see productive self-care being promoted. What do I mean by productive self-care? I mean the type of self-care that not only distracts but inspires, heals but channels. I don't promote self-care as the sole method of healing, but I do promote self-care as a personal, secondary method of healing. Professional help is always the best option for those who need it, but self-care is a good way to personally manage mental illness, trauma, or even just bad days. However, most of the self-care that I see is all about bubble baths, hot drinks, and nights in with Netflix. Of course, these are completely okay ways to practice self-care, but there's so much more that can be done. I know there are days where those are the most we're willing or able to do, but on other days, I'd like to challenge everyone to be practice productive self-care. For me, this means doing something that allows us to channel our trauma, pain, and negative energy into a productive outlet. Being a lover of literature, I've taken a step towards promoting literature as a means of healing.
As I've already stated, my reasons for creating Unapologetically Written are because of the apparent lack of space for discussing, healing, and practicing productive self-care and because of my desire to promote mental health awareness and well-being. However, I have another reason: to promote living life unapologetically. All too often I see people apologize for their mental illness, trauma, insecurities, "baggage" and all the things that make them who they are. Sure, I don't think anyone wants to live with the grief that comes with these things, and we all want to heal, but we should never apologize for any of them. Whether we like it or not, they're a part of us. We are who we are, and that's what makes us literature, stories, histories and art. We should live unapologetically because the things we so often apologize for are the things that have made us what we are, shaped us into art, written the stories of our lives. We should all be unapologetically written.
This blog combines three of my passions: writing, personal healing,
and mental health awareness. The idea to create Unapologetically Written
came to me when I began to notice a lack of space on the internet for
this type of self-care. Sure, there are plenty of blogs and websites
dedicated to mental health, healing, and writing, but they’re all
separate! I have yet to see any space online that combines mental
wellness with anything else, any outside hobby, interest, or activity
that can serve as a means of healing. Self-care doesn’t always take the
form of cozy bubble baths, meditation, or spending time alone. Often
times doing something to escape, something like enjoying literature,
coding, writing, or engaging with others, can be the best way to heal.
Of course, this method isn’t for everyone, as not everyone enjoys the
same things, but I would like for Unapologetically Written to become a
safe space and help to create a community for everyone, nerds,
book-lovers, introverts, extroverts, members of the LGBT+ community, and
While the main focus of Unapologetically Written is mental health awareness and healing through hobbies (like reading, gaming, and other things that I personally enjoy), community, and discussion, not all of the content will focus on mental illness, and not all of the content will use a hobby lens. There are so many things in life that can cause emotional and mental trauma, and my goal is to create a space that will allow everyone to heal. Some of the topics that will be addressed will be mental health, physical and emotional abuse, rape and sexual assault, trauma and PTSD, divorce and family issues, LGBTQIA+ and coming out, family, friend, and relationship issues, disabilities and chronic illness and pain, school and bullying, sex, kinks, and kink shaming, racism, sexism, and prejudice, misogyny, and anything else that our growing community may feel needs to be addressed. I hope that by talking about these things that many of us are afraid to talk about, I can create a space in which we feel comfortable talking about them. My hope is that by encouraging discussion about these issues, I can help others feel at peace with the things they may have experienced, and I can help them to find an escape or a method of coping with the trauma that stems from these issues.
When I first started Unapologetically Written, my main focus was healing through literature. As I’ve seen our community grow, I’ve changed and expanded my focus to include much more. Before going any further, however, I would like to define what literature means to me and why I initially chose it to be the focus of my blog. Of course there’s the standard definition of literature that simply sees the term as a reference to a written work. However, literature means much more to me, and Unapologetically Written will always use my definition when referring to literature. To me, literature is anything that tells a story or a history. This includes books, movies, TV shows, comics, art, and so much more. It also includes you and me. We are all literature because we are all stories and histories and art. Since, by my definition, we are all literature, this blog will focus on healing through standard literature as well as through one another.
I currently post longer, meaningful content on Wednesdays and writing prompts on Saturdays! The type of content that will be posted (for now—there will be more later!) is:
- Reviews (books, movies, shows, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc.)
- Typically my reviews will answer these questions: Is this helpful? What issue does it address? How does it address this issue? How does this help us heal? Is this personal or community-based?
- I’m always taking requests for things to review! I’ll post requests from time to time, but I’m always accepting them!
- Personal experiences and advice
- I will ask for questions that will be answered in future posts. This will be a bit like an advice column, but it won’t be as regular as an advice column would be. I will also be providing some of my own personal stories and experiences with different issues in an attempt to connect with all of you.
- Community-building content
- I’d love for this to be a way for us to connect and form a community, so I’ll be posting questions, prompts, and other things that I’d like all of us to respond to (if you feel comfortable sharing, that is). Essentially, this will be a bit like a forum that will take place in the comments section of the post. I’m also open to private responses that I can post (or not post) anonymously. My hope is that by sharing experiences and opinions on different issues, we can help each other feel safe and comfortable when talking about things!
- Literary quotes and images
- These will often be uplifting quotes and images, and I’ll likely post these more than once a week on the Unapologetically Written Facebook page!
- Researched pieces
- I’d love to put together my own original researched pieces involving different issues and literature, but I’ll also try to share other research articles and scientific pieces. The point in this type of post is to help us educate ourselves and others on issues so that we can properly heal.
- Product reviews
- These will often take the form of “listicles,” and they will simply be lists of products that I have found to be helpful or think will be helpful with self-care. These won’t be sponsored; I just like to find and share products that can make our lives easier!