My creative inspiration (blogging-wise has dried up). Creativity is not a predictable resource. While some manage to max out creativity and produce creative output prolifically, almost as one of their personality traits, sometimes the well just dries up, the brain cells cease to fire, and the creativity shrivels like a air dried prune [with extra wrinkles].
I have blogged from February 2015 to now, but not all on the summer starts to shine blog. I have blogged prolifically and cathartically and therapeutically, and seen myself through a myriad of mental health variation in functioning levels, from crawling on the floor wanting to die level, to high functioning ‘I’m totally in control of my shit’ level.
I’m burned out, not of life in general, but when it comes to blogging and sharing and producing output for people to read and respond to. My goal was to get to 1000 followers by the end of this year, and my follower list stands at a healthy 815 people, plus the Facebook peeps.
But does chasing likes and comments and shares really help with my therapeutic process of recovery/life with mental health conditions? Yes, and no, but the no is beginning, on balance, to become larger than the yes, which leads me to wonder why I am doing this.
I know from reading the blogs of other bloggers that many of us will reach a point of disillusionment at some stage. I know I’m not alone in feeling this, as many of my blog friends are at this point right now. Maybe it is partly the emotional contagion effect of that, making me reconsider what I devote my time and energy into and wonder whether changes may need to be made.
But I think I am an independent enough thinker to also feel secure that this disillusionment is mainly originating from deep within. It is maybe a reflection of the stage of life I am at, crucial internal mental transitions I am going through, and where I know I want to be headed in the future.
Summer starts to shine has taken me closer to where I want to be. More insightful, more self-aware, more practised at communicating my ideas to a diverse virtual audience, more authentic, more known about, less invisible. But in turn, summer starts to shine has left me more vulnerable, more exposed, more confused, more dominated by an inner state of unrest, and ultimately feeling like I am going round in most prettiest but also most useless of circles.
I cannot blog just because there is an expectation that I will and always will, to please the people who enjoy reading this blog. Likewise I shouldn’t stop blogging because there are select people who don’t approve or like what I create here. Blogging is for an audience, but it has to have self-benefit for the author and give satisfaction, otherwise you are just working as an unpaid writer to entertain, amuse, or educate others.
Maybe this is the depressed mood talking. Maybe this is a phase. Maybe this is temporary and will pass, but right now, I think the best way summer can shine is to stop blogging.
There is nowhere I prefer to be than behind a keyboard, writing, expressing, communicating, but I want to make the move to professional writing. I want to write for a purpose that is more than ‘summer just messily splurges her thoughts, feelings and experiences on her blog stream-of-consciousness-then feels empty and unsatisfied’.
Lately I have done more writing projects for organisations that I admire and respect, that have created more tangible and real positive outcomes. That is what writing is about for me. Making a difference. Changing and improving things. Raising standards. Influencing attitudes. Explaining things in a way that makes sense to the intended audience. I think I have tasted another type of writing, and blogging (stream-of-consciousness and spontaneously) just seems a tad lack lustre in comparison.
My hubby thoughtfully suggested I try a different way of blogging….planned posting, but it just doesn’t fit with my internally and instinctively as being the right thing for this blog. I have thought of not only stopping writing new material, but deleting my blog entirely and abandoning the concept of mental health blogging completely. He says I shouldn’t, and what a waste that would be, but I just feel ambivalent right now.
I used to love blogging, and I definitely still LOVE writing- it’s my best thing, but I don’t love blogging on summer starts to shine quite like I used to.
I question how much of this is depression/mood based and symptomatic of anhedonia (the clinical lack of pleasure in things that once gave masses of pleasure found in those people who are depressed). But I also like to listen to gut instincts, and my instincts tell me that blogging is wrong, and it is writing I should be doing.
I want to build up a body of written work that I am proud of. My blog posts that I knock out (in half an hour usually) don’t give me the same sense of pride as a writer as the the serious and purposeful writing I do. I have a notebook full of ideas, but blogging keeps me of the scent, and those projects get sidelined because I’ll feel a build up of pressure that I haven’t published anything on summer shines.
It is becoming an albatross, rather than a virtual vehicle for strengthening my once frail and broken wings.
My heart isn’t in this. My heart hurts. I feel alone and exposed and vulnerable. The things that used to matter don’t, and I’m noticing there are new things in my life that are coming along and mattering more.
Blogging so regularly has taught me a lot about writing, and even more about people, and how they may respond. None of these lessons, however painful to tolerate at times, are wasted.
I have to go within, and go with what fits for me. Maybe summer cannot shine if I continue to blog.
I know I have decisions to make, but they are not decisions to be taken lightly. I have invested a huge amount of myself into this blog, so quitting is not something to be done lightly, without a certain degree of sadness, disappointment, and even mourning (if that isn’t too strong a word).
I am grieving for lots of things right now, things which I don’t want to go into publically. I am shutting down internally, closing for business, whether this is temporary I’m not sure, but I’m definitely sure that the status quo isn’t quite working out.
I really value the blog friends I have made, and I want to stay in touch with you, off the blog, if you want to. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me that way. If I give up on blogging, please know I am not giving up on you. I am protecting me, but I still care about you xxx
Here is my personal list of the bloggers who I have really really valued through my time as a blogger. This list is off-the-top-of-my-head, written in one go, as is all my blogging here, so please forgive me if you’ve not made it to this list. I have dissociative amnesia as a symptom of my trauma, so sometimes my memories are not all accessible, depending on my current dissociative state. You are on this list because you are the bloggers that even if I stop blogging, I won’t forget, for various reasons. In no particular order……
Buffy Devane, Gina (singledust), Alexis (untangled), Brenda, Athina (courage coaching), Raquel (recovery to wellness), Paul (paul e bailey’s world), Claire (red balloons) Rayne (journey toward healing) Paul (mindfump), SDC (the river runners), Twinkle toes 79, Liz (my wellbeing and learning journey) Manuel (emotionsoflife2016), Anaida, Karl (in a dark wood), Anna (the daily annagram), Liza (lizalizaskiesaregrey) Esther, bethanyK (not my secret), beauty beyond bones, Ms SG41, Dweed (daisy on the willows) no face woman, she ra (motherhood made me do it), a broken blue sky, Barney (out of the bog and the myre) me time online, belleUnrue, anxious writer, Eddaz, manyofus1980, Sylvan (out of the dark), secret keeper, Anne J, Tenacity T. Emerging from the dark night, the original phoenix, Guernsey Jason, 1-wise woman, mr daffy duck, Simon, Defavereux Fraser, Art (advanced research technology), Alex (journey to euphoria), Daleom, Helena, Lisa, Sarah, Zig et al.
Goodbye to all