Small Steps Forward

Writing has always been very cathartic for me, as it enables me to put all of my emotions on a page. I’m a blogger, and through my writing, I teach aspiring writers how to publish best-selling novels and monetize blogs while developing a growth-mindset. I started my blog during the coronavirus pandemic, and I also began working at an internship at YoungPost. On top of that, I make money from my work on Medium.

I started writing seriously when I was ten years old. At the time, I was in a very dark place. When I was around twelve years old, my parents were in the process of getting a divorce and I became very depressed. It got to the point where I was even considering committing suicide. Luckily, I talked to a counselor about my intentions, and slowly, I started to recover. Through a lot of self-reflection, I observed that most obstacles in life are very psychological— whether it be writer’s block, or a lack of motivation, or just feeling a lack of purpose.

Through my writing, I want to teach others how to pursue their own writing careers while I’m also pursuing one myself. Though ultimately, I also want to help them develop as people. I hope to spread the message that overcoming mental illness can be done, and that it can make you a stronger person at the end of the day.

The reason I was able to continue writing despite my struggles with depression was because I was publishing my work online through a pseudonym: Nicole Bloomfield. I wasn’t revealing my real name or identity, and I gained confidence and motivation as more and more people complimented my work. I was able to capture their positive emotions, and their words of encouragement made me feel like I was contributing something to the world.

This pandemic can double as a mental-health crisis, so it is extremely important to take care of yourself during these uncertain times. The first piece of advice I’d give to people who are currently struggling with mental health right now is to get a good support system. Part of the reason why I fell into such a dark place during my parents’ divorce was because I felt like nobody understood me. I didn’t know how to deal with all of my emotions in a very healthy manner on my own and I wasn’t able to release all of my negative emotions that had been building up inside of me— I just kept suppressing it and suppressing it. But overtime, I learnt that you can find peace in vulnerability. Opening up to other trustworthy people is how we can establish our own support systems. Luckily, with the help of technology in the 21st century, we’re able to connect to those people that make up our support systems during this time of isolation. FaceTime can definitely help fill the void of face-to-face interactions.

I wasn’t used to all of the free time that came with this pandemic at first, so I was indulging in some bad habits— like playing video games and binge-eating. Everyday feels the same, and it’s really hard to have something new to do during COVID-19 because you’re stuck at home all day. Because of this, there have been periods of time where I’ve started to feel bored and burnt out. However, once I began noticing my health deteriorating as a result of my own procrastination, I thought, “this is not who I want to be,” and slowly, I began to build back my good habits— exercising and writing more.

As I familiarized myself with my newfound free time, I was able to strategically block out a schedule, and I found myself writing a lot more. I don’t think COVID-19 has impacted the themes of my writing, but I’ve definitely tried harder to convey positivity through my words. I try to emphasize that everything is going to be alright in the end.

I think right now, just grounding yourself by working on long-term goals can be really beneficial to maintaining mental health. My tip for staying motivated is to start small. Make your steps forward so easy that you feel bad for not doing them. For example, set small goals like: “do one pushup” or “write one sentence”. Just take a deep breath, work on some long-term goals, FaceTime the people you love, and then hopefully, you’ll feel like you’re more grounded. I promise that taking small steps will eventually lay the foundation for reaching long-time goals.

—Nicole Bloomfield

Check out Nicole Bloomfield’s website and find her on Medium!

Interviewed by: Elly Wolhardt

Written by: Natasha Leong

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