NaNoWriMo 2017 for Rochdale and District Mind


MIND_Rochdale-and-District_Stack-1504016273-900x600 nano_feature


As November closely approaches, we are also getting geared up to dive in to the madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – a major annual event which sees published author’s and aspiring writers amongst us preparing to face the challenge of undertaking 50,000 words during the course of November.

That’s averaging 1,667 words per day, and provides 100% commitment from the participant to meet that target.

To give you a vague idea of the amount of work 50k is, that’s pretty much just over the word count of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby… (47,097!)

This year, I have geared myself up for my first ever NaNoWriMo challenge, and took the sensible advice to start prepping early. To say I started three months ago, it certainly has come around quickly!

Whilst taking this challenge, I also thought it a great opportunity to do some fundraising for a charity that is very close to my heart.

Rochdale and District Mind is a local mental health and wellbeing organisation who primarily relay on donations and sponsorships to keep the Charity afloat. The volunteers work tirelessly to support and assist in recovery for those in need – myself being one of those seeking help when I turned 18.

Mind was the first services that I braved to access on my own. At the time, I was severely struggling with depression, cripplingly low self esteem, bouts of mania, self-harm and addiction after suffering in silence from my early teens. This pathway ultimately lead me on the right pathway to get my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder – from which I received the treatment I needed to get back on my feet, go back to university and raise my beautiful young daughter.

As of many people who I have to be thankful for, the kindness and the efforts of the service workers at Rochdale Mind saved my life.

As much as I feel I can’t give enough back, this is my way of saying thank you. For my NaNoWriMo project 2017, I will be undertaking my first fiction project, a novel, which focusses on the realities of mental health.

Please help support Rochdale and District Mind (and also encourage me in my word count!) by visiting my just giving page below and giving a small donation.




I’d also love to hear from those who are taking part with NaNo this year!


Thank you!


To find more about the incredible services and support that Rochdale Mind do please visit their website:


Calling for Mental Health Poetry submissions!


The Manic Years is looking to feature poetry with themes around Mental Health. To contribute, please email to submit your poetry, along with your name and a link to your own writing if applicable.

Please submit your own individual works only.

Want to write for the blog? We need your stories!

For the past few months people have been submitting in their experiences of mental health from a wide range of disorders and issues in the Sharing Stories series… stories are still needed!

Do you have a mental health/recovery story of your own that you’d like to reach out and share to others? Whether it be overcoming depression to addiction to eating disorders… no matter what your area, there will be a chance that your experience will touch someone elses life.

Send your story with your name and location to and i’d be happy to publish on The Manic Years.

Sharing saves lives.

“Sharing Stories” – Of losing hope, by Róisín.

sharing stories, the manic years

“I’m not 100% sure of what’s gone on in my life, but it’s been awful really. My Dad was an alcoholic who abused me, and my Mom didn’t mean to be neglectful, but she had to work all the time because my dad refused to get a job.

When I was just starting school, she got us together and left him. Of course, I had bonded really well with my Dad. After all he only beat me because I deserved it – it took years to realise that he beat me because he was an angry drunk – so I fought so hard to spend every second with him; I was wild, I would scratch my mom and scream and throw things around my room. He got a girlfriend, things got worse; she was abusive too, and so fucked up. I was always afraid. Always.

I stopped eating, began purging. Then I started self- harming, and I was close to death. Then at 13, I got sick. But not from that…

My mom brought me to hospital, and I found out that I had a brain tumour! If I had left it any longer, they said I would have died. They thought I was so underweight because I was ill, and I thought to myself, ‘Ok, I won’t tell them, I can start over now.’ Oh silly me, huh?

​Well, skip forward two years and I tried to kill myself. Even though the wounds I made were not life threatening, they knew what I’d do if I was left alone; so they admitted me there and then. I ended up in an inpatient unit; hse run, you know, and I still to this day have nightmares about it. I don’t mean that in the ‘it was so bad, metaphorical nightmares’ kind of way, I mean literal nightmares; I wake up and I can’t move or speak. My Psychiatrist recently told me I had Borderline Personality Disorder -and wow, that just messed me up; but he’s referring me to a specialist; so maybe help is on it’s way? I’m tired right now, losing hope. I hope they can do something.”

-By Róisín.

Huge thank you to Róisín for opening up to us about her struggles, and I wish her all the best on her journey to seeking support.


Themanicyears is still looking for people to share their stories. If you have an experience with Mental Health you would like to share on here, please do not hesitate to drop me an email on, and get your story published on our “Sharing Stories” feature.– M.