• Nick Hartkop

September 28th, 2021 (Mental Health/Positivity)

When I was a kid, I volunteered at the public Library during my summers because I loved books. I loved being surrounded by stories that let me escape my reality. I always loved putting books away and studying the covers, and reading the synopsis on the back. I wanted one of my stories to be in the library I grew up going to as an adult. I thought that would be pretty cool, to be able to escape where I was from and have my stories be there still. So I started writing stories, and I discovered quickly that I wasn't a great author. I struggled to keep the same story going. My bursts of inspiration would fill up notebooks that would just... sit. I never came back to the half finished stories I had, just kept writing new ones.

I love writing.


I love looking at a blank piece of paper and thinking about the endless combination of words and stories that could shape its figure. In a lot of ways, It's kind of like playing God. You have this power to create a world that can change others' realities and build a universe from nothing.

I love the mental imagery when creating stories, and I love horror stories. So I always wanted to write a horror story, but was able to create from start to finish. But I knew that I always wanted to write and publish, and that's when I discovered something I loved more than writing. I loved writing music. When I discovered writing music on a guitar, it changed everything for me. I no longer wanted to sit at a desk and brainstorm stories to fill up notebooks, I started pouring out my feelings into poetry. And That poetry transitioned to something else, which was being able to create melodies. I Realized that music was what was missing from my writing. The thoughts and sounds in my brain were meant to be. And I fucking loved writing music. I loved it. It was like finding my true love.


I loved sitting by myself, talking out loud as I strummed chords, and then finding chords that gave me visuals and putting words to those visual feelings. It was like putting a puzzle together. I could feel which words fit in what parts and the picture they created. It was a dream for me. I would play all day, everyday. And I never practiced things like technicality, I just continued to write my stories. I never came back to songs. When I finished them, they were done. But unlike my notebooks filled with half written stories, these were done. Because they were short stories.


But then I transitioned to college, and my family wanted me to pursue a normal career, and I lacked the maturity to advocate for myself so I went for teaching. My dad wanted me to be an English teacher, but I switched to Special Education because I have a calling to help those with disabilities. But, I hated teaching and going to school. I wanted to do art, and my job was so far in the opposite direction, that I had to hide music as a part of me. I remember taking down my music because I was told by my school that I couldn't have anything publicly that could be questionable. My struggles with mental health, sexuality and life were documented in those songs, and I was told to be ashamed of them and hide them. So I did. And it was a mistake.


I strayed from my writing, which is my calling. I met my wife through my words, and for the longest time I was ashamed of them because I was ashamed of who I was. But I am not ashamed now. I have shame for my failures, but they are a part of my story and growth, and I am not ashamed of who I am. Without my struggles, I would not have started treatment for my BPD/BP.


McCafferty is the best thing that ever happened to me, and it's journey is something I live for. Writing music makes me feel whole. It makes me feel understood, and happy, and sad, and angry, and true. It makes me feel like I am effectively expressing myself. And I love it. I love everything about writing music. I love the way the chords feel, and the endless possibilities of the stories I am telling. I love getting stuck on a melody or lyric and looking for that puzzle piece to complete it. I love being able to use my mania in a safe constructive way. I love singing and screaming my lungs out and feeding into the energy of the song I am making. I love doing chants and being goofy and screaming fuck. It excites me. I love making a new EP or Album and thinking of the name and the art and the stories it will tell.


I love writing, but I fell in love with writing music.

I am excited to release new music. I love the melodies, and the colors it makes me see, and I love the sadness and fun it has. I love listening to demos and adding new things and thinking of effects to add in the studio, or hearing where Emily's voice would add to a song. I love the challenge it gives me of having a blank slate, and shaping it.


In my adulthood I hope to publish a few novels as well though. I want to continue to grow as a writer and overcome the obstacles I faced writing in my youth to finish stories. Over the last year I have been writing a screenplay that takes inspiration from my public failures and struggles with BPD. I am on my second rewrite of the script now. It is a story based in reality, but I also want to write a horror story afterwards. I think it would be really cool to have some screenplays/novels that I could publish and put on my site, and that's a goal I have after this next release.


I have always loved horror, and specifically gothic horror for its aesthetic. Earlier this year a game called Resident Evil Village was released, and it has one of the best characters I have ever seen. It's a doll maker named Donna and her doll, Angie, and there is a painting in the game of them both you come across in their home. I loved it so much I was able to get a print of it signed by the actors. I will include a photo of it in this blog.

I am really excited for Halloween this year. Emily and I are dressing up as Freddie and Daphne from Scooby-Doo and are going to pass out candy. It's going to be a really fun, special memory, and we will take pictures to post. We are looking for new horror movies to watch this fall, so if you have any recommendations feel free to send them through the contact form. Thanks for reading

Nick






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