This is my chance to big up my readers, yes YOU -the people who read Summer Starts to Shine.
I am dead proud to have just nudged over the 800 follower mark. blinks I find this hard to believe actually. Next month I will be celebrating my first blog birthday of shine, and I can hardly believe it! The time has gone so scarily quick and I have made so many forward strides in my personal development during my time as a mental health blogger.
I thought I’d compile a list tonight of the things I’ve learned via blogging. My ability to do this however in any intelligence or wisdom-infused way is slightly compromised as my husband is watching a comedy show in the same room and is guffawing with laughter at unpredictable intervals [which due to my PTSD SCARES THE FUCK out of me]. So think of this as a list written by a very fatigued blogger with PTSD in a state of mild generic panic, because those are the prevailing conditions in which I am blogging this list tonight nods
I have learned that……………
What I feel and choose to write about is both very unlike what other people feel, and also very much like what other people feel. What I share is common to many, but also intriguingly different and compelling to some, [usually those who have not had my upbringing and trauma and diagnosed mental health ishoos].
My emotionality is attractive to people. I am many things, and certainly never dull. I always feel something, rarely nothing, and the more I share about the little things, I realise to others [as well as myself] that they are actually the BIG things. Being able to put your blogging microscope onto the small macro details and blow them up in stature is educative, entertaining and absorbing, for me and you. When I write I shut the rest of the world out, even husbands watching annoying comedy that most def isn’t funny.
I can write about pleasure and pain, and people like reading about both. That’s because life is about both. A blog that is exclusively pain-focused is tough to read and follow, and a blog that is exclusively pleasure-oriented can be a little shallow and lack-lustre and fail to capture and hold your attention. If you want to write an engaging blog about mental health, pleasure AND pain matter. There is a place for both, because as I said, life is about both. If you only share the good you are most likely presenting a social media airbrushed front concealing the true paradox that life is often both shiny and shit at exactly the same time. If you share only the bad and can never laugh at the absurdity of life and the lighter moments, you are missing out on one of life’s great releases- what makes life breathable.
The ability to laugh at the shit-ness and find the amusing angle on it is a definite asset. As I told a friend recently I laughed all the way though my mental health breakdown, even at the worst bits when I fell into crisis, because there was always something lighter, even if it was the tiniest thing.Those moments of relief are there for the taking. Sharing them with others intensifies the therapeutic effects- benefitting you as well as the reader of your blog-most-brilliant.
You have the ability to make me feel lots of things, in response to your feedback. Blogging is NOT the same as journaling. A journal does not reward you with reader stats (as you are the only reader), there are no ‘likes’ and no comments to read and feedback to be had. Journaling doesn’t help me like blogging does, because I like the interactive element of blogging. The feedback shapes and sculpts my shine. It fuels me to develop new blog ideas, to understand different viewpoints that I may not have thought of myself, and it gives me ideas as to what people like bestest so I can deliver it. I blog for me, but I also blog as someone who fancies themselves as a writer too. Pleasing my virtual audience is present in my mind, as well as getting out what I need to get out for my own sanity. If I can write about something difficult, in a way that makes sense also to others, or that helps others or entertains, then brilliant! I will aim to do that to the best of my ability. Receiving compliments on my writing can brighten my day, and feedback given that I’ve stimulated a new breakthrough or novel insight in someone is just FAB-such a privilege and a buzz!
I follow very few blogs myself, but that doesn’t mean I’m a selfish or crap blogger. It just means I’m a no bullshitting one. In my early blogging career I did the whole WordPress thing. I did blog award acceptance posts, I did link-backs. I re-blogged lots of people’s posts and commented all the time. I also followed every blogger that followed me, irrespective of whether their blog honestly interested me. It was a full-time job. I soon realised that didn’t sit with me, and I am happier interacting with less bloggers and only following the blogs that really resonate and strike a chord with me. The more blogs I read the more my brain gets clogged up with other people’s lives and thoughts and experiences and feelings, which confuses me and destroys my own personal clarity of thought. Being an empath, I pick up on subtle energies and emotions of others, so if I find a blog repeatedly draining and triggering or failing to interest me I don’t continue to follow. I am quite ruthless, (you could say mean?) but I believe I owe it to myself to protect my energy and limit my attentional demands. If I did the whole following, liking and commenting on every post written by every blogger who followed me, I know I’d get LOADS more followers and likes and comments, but they’d be empty ones, as they’d only be attempts to trade blog popularity by exchanging positive strokes. That wouldn’t give me any gratification. So I don’t play that bullshit blogger game. Instead, I just write. I believe if more bloggers did that and just wrote, we’d easily find our virtual tribe. The number of connections between bloggers and likes and blog awards etc would reduce, but the quality of those virtual connections would go up. Quality not quantity.
Anyway I think that’s enough blog philosophising for one night. I’m tired, and my bed is so warm and comfy, so that’s right where I’m headed.
Goodnight, and sweet dreams, and most important of all