There is something about blogging. I have missed it. I haven’t been away on some far flung holiday to distant shores in stunning sunshine. I haven’t even been to hospital for the foot operation I was due to have last Monday.
No, I have been here, at home, but still curiously unable to blog. Actually quite unable to do rather a lot of things.
Let me explain a few bits and pieces. Firstly the look of the blog. Changed again! Well it had to really on two counts. 1; the theme I had chosen had some sort of techno glitch (well beyond my ken) that made the page disappear for no apparent reason, something of a problem you have to admit. 2; Me. Yes me was the problem. It all looked too fancy, too professional, too high up the food chain and expectations would be too high. I couldn’t cope with it. Didn’t feel I would be able to live up to my own online image so to speak. This theme is simple with no bells and whistles, it is just there.
Does this sound mad? Well it probably is.
The history part; In 2008 I started a blog on the advice of a friend. We were both in the crafting business and she said a blog was a great way to connect with customers and get the word out about your product. She was very, very good at this and has since gone on to have a highly successful crafting company that employs staff and sells worldwide. I just couldn’t get my head round the ‘blow your own trumpet’ stuff. It threw up all the old chestnuts from childhood like ‘nobody likes a show-off’ and ‘if you are any good other people will talk about it, telling it yourself is just nasty and cheap’. Oh what a great grounding in self acceptance and assurance some of us were brought up with.
So my business blogging was a bit of a failure really, I soon gave up on talking about the homemade herb scenters that I made to sell and just chatted on the blog. I talked about my daughter, the animals and blogged about taking up running, going to France, friends, hopes, dreams and threw in the odd recipe or two. Nothing earth shattering, nothing big and bold and exciting. I loved it. I got up every morning and the first thing I did was write my blog.
Whizz on a year or two and I’ve written a book, I’m trying to promote it and I enroll in an ecourse for the online business person. Right away I am told that my blog must have purpose and that it is just fluff. It has to have a niche market, it has to sell, sell, sell. I spend a lot of money and time fannying about with experts changing the blog, the name and changing what I put in it. There must be home hints, life tips (what was I thinking!) there must be baking (come on you’re writing a baking book), there must be Content. I saw the big pro bloggers online and yearned, longed to be like them. To have their lives, their success. I kept filling in the boxes so to speak by doing what I thought was right.
I hated every minute of it. Last year I lost my blog to another dimension. No, not something otherworldly or anything like that, but I lost my own voice in it. It became a shadow blog of what I wanted in life, someone else’s life, not mine. By the end of last year I realised that the whole thing just wasn’t me anymore and instead of looking forward to writing it, instead of enjoying it, I was researching stuff to put on there, writing up a week of posts and scheduling them in. It was a rota, it was a ‘job blog’ it wasn’t real any more. But it was in a niche, it was homecrafts and cooking, but it wasn’t Me. Me blogging used to be about what was happening day to day, just stuff, but that Stuff came from the heart.
The Now; Remember the post about Goodbye 2012, about throwing out the shitty year and having huge hopes for the new one? Well it got off to a shaky start. The long awaited foot op had to be delayed (31st January all being well) because my blood pressure is so dangerously high. This is due to the anxiety which is part of the depression. It is a vicious bloody circle, a thorny, nasty, gut wrenching tangle of barbed wire that I had tried so bloody hard to escape. I was so determined to come off meds and be free from the stigma of this illness. I have tried everything from meditation to mindfulness, hypnotherapy to nutrition. I have read over 143 books on self help in the past few years, spend a small (actually pretty sizable) fortune on the so-called gurus that can help you get your life in order, watched the movies, listened to the CDs, done the incantations and taken the supplements.
It broke my heart to be told that now the illness is causing physical symptoms like the blood pressure. It took the wind out of my sails and sent me reeling into a very, very dark place indeed. Having to go back on meds was the last thing I ever wanted to do. I had spent months battling the helling withdrawals when I came off them, and now I find I am back on the merry-go-round of finding what they think will work this time round.
Oh dear, imagine the horror of those pro-bloggers, those perfect niche marketeers. Good God woman, don’t write that stuff, get back to the baking, the recipes and how to clean the sink. Nobody will ever read your blog again if you admit to that stuff, get a grip and give people Content!
Well, my friends, today the content is me, just me. I hope that some of you will understand where I’m coming from and maybe even come back again and still read this blog. Yes there will still be some recipes, maybe some hints and crafting, nice photos and chat, chat more than anything else.
Have I lost my place in that all important bloggers niche? Well maybe I have, maybe I am throwing away all chance of blog stardom, big publishing deals and Getting There. But, you know what, it just wan’t Me.
Thanks to all those who have emailed to ask about the op and wondering why I haven’t been blogging. I hope this explains things a bit. I ask for your patience, I ask for patience with myself to get through this and stand tall on the other side.