Writing From The Heart With Joshua Harestad

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About Joshua Harestad

My mental illness was driving me to the edge and I started writing to try and cope. I found poetry particularly helpful. When I saw that people were responding I felt it was important to continue. To offer others who are mentally ill a sense that someone else understands. That they aren’t alone in their pain. Whatever the value of that may be. I always hoped it helped at least one person.

See their work:


How And When Did You Get Started Writing?

My town was evacuated for a wildfire. So smokey you could hardly see, camped in a trailer across the river having watched the forest all around the town burn, I received a call that I did not get the promotion I had hoped for. The promotion that I desperately wanted and had fought for. It went to someone significantly newer than me.

My esteem is too strongly tied to career success, and it was the last in a long line of rejections. I don’t actually remember how or when it first started, but I found myself mutilating my own flesh to releave the self loathing.

I needed anything else to help get the emotions out. I found writing to be successful at times. But more so, I felt happy that people were actually seeing and connecting with my work.

What Does Literary Success Look Like To You?

To me success is having a voice that can reach far and wide and influence the world for the better. Increasing the positivity and comfort of me and those around me is the most important goal. The more I can do that and the further I can extend that voice the more successful I am.

What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Writers That They Can Apply Now On Their Journey As Budding Writers?

For me it is about writing from the heart. My best work isn’t forced out so much as it flows out. That means writing about a subject you know and have a passion for whenever possible. That passion could be for anything and any type of emotion. In my case it was trying to lift the stigma of mental illness and help others who suffer to feel like there are people who out there who truly understand and care.

What Are Common Traps For Aspiring Writers?

Don’t try too hard. If you just can’t think how to write something or what then take a break. You never want to try forcing your creativity.

That said, it is okay to strengthen and expand your creativity. Give another style a shot sometimes.

Learn from others but don’t try to make yourself them. The best art is going to come from inside YOU! It is about finding your unique niche.

If You Could Tell Your Younger Writing Self Anything, What Would It Be?

To invest in amazon. Buy an awesome self sustaining super yacht. And plan to be at sea for all of 2020 and at least a good sized chunk of 2021.

What Are Your Favorite Books? Fiction And/ Or Non-Fiction?

Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The Stand. Enders Game. Clive Cussler’s Oregon files (My comfort action romp series. The Oregon is a spy ship and I totally want to live on it.

Anything You’d Like To Plug?

My short e-book of poetry, Beauty and Blood in online book stores. It has some of my best early work and I just want as many people as possible who need it to find it.

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