Done: no longer happening or existing.
“her hunting days were done”
Social media and I have had a bit of a falling out recently. I’ve not blogged for ages and have taken a bit of a step back from Twitter. I’ve been mulling over this a lot, and whilst I haven’t definitively come to any particularly conclusion as to why this is, I’ve certainly realised a few things.
Social media is a very powerful tool. It influences millions – sometimes positively and sometimes in not such a positive way. When I first joined Twitter I was breastfeeding a newborn baby and enjoyed stalking celebrities at 3 in the morning. Then, as PND took it’s hold for the third time, I frantically used it to find people going through the same thing, either to convince myself I wasn’t ill or to reassure me that you can indeed survive on very little, if not no sleep. I was becoming obsessed with confirming all of the things I thought in my very poorly head and whilst Twitter, blogs and forums provided some comfort and helpful suggestions there were also a lot of dark and dangerous things on there. I read some things I didn’t want to read and saw pictures that once seen, can never be forgotten.
Thankfully I have very wise friends and family who helped me channel my energies and into getting better and starting a blog. Wonderfully cathartic, it felt amazing to be able to write openly and honestly about things I was experiencing. Chats on Twitter were fun, supportive and honest, and some of the people I have met through Twitter and blogging are truly amazing. But recently, I’m beginning to wonder if it all offers a bit of a false sense of security. Some people claim they can only be themselves on Twitter, that they cannot be real in real life and that all of the friends they have are virtual ones. And some say that when they have a problem – sometimes an extremely serious problem – Twitter is the only place they feel they can go for help. Help from people who are not experts. Who do not actually know the person in distress, do not know their triggers or their history – in fact they know nothing about them at all. And I see people offering advice about babies they’ve never seen, giving mental health advice to suicidal people, and becoming outraged for someone they’ve never met, only ever hearing one side of the argument.
Now I’m obviously not saying don’t ever go to social media for support and advice – my goodness no it can be a wonderful place and so many people and organisations on there are doing amazing work for smashing stigma, supporting sufferers of mental health and aiding new and overwhelmed mums, and that’s wonderful when it’s done properly – but sadly social media lets anyone join, and when you’re vulnerable and fragile you can easily take the wrong advice, from the wrong person.
The deeper I have gone onto the world of blogging and social media, the more disillusioned I’ve become. In some parts it’s a hugely supportive and comforting group of people, yet in others it has cliques, comment rings and a whole load of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ shenanigans I had no idea existed until recently. Some people deliberately provoke, whilst others constantly seek attention. Some blog from the heart, and some do so for ratings and to up their stats. The lives and personalities people project online are often very different from their reality – even mine. It has all increasingly unnerved me over time, and do you know what? I don’t think I can do it anymore.
I’m tired of Twitter arguments. I’m sick of the monthly scoring system which seems to drive everyone bonkers and become totally competitive. It’s exhausting. It’s draining. And it can be extremely upsetting at times.
When I started blogging it saved me and has quite literally turned my life around. I was able to find my voice again after an evil illness. I found new confidence through writing and having people read, comment and enjoy my blog. It has opened doors to me that I never dreamt possible and the future is so unbelievably exciting for me right now. But I do feel I’m done. I’ve reached a point where I’ve no more to give with ‘mummy blogging.’ I don’t want to review endless products; the power of trusting your instincts as a mum has become so wonderfully recognised by so many; and writing about PND is about to happen in a novel. Put simply, my writing and I have moved on.
I will still write, I will always write (and tweet!) and I may even start a new blog all about that. But for now – with heartfelt thanks to all the blogging community has given me and to every single one of you who has read my blog – I’m trusting my instincts, and I’m done.
This week, on Thursday, my blog is officially one whole year old! When I sat down in my lounge – this time almost a year ago – and wrote my first ever post I genuinely never expected to become so involved and in love with a world in which, before that day, I barely knew existed.
Blogging helped me recover from my third and most hideous episode of post natal depression. It helped me self publish my book ‘A Monster Ate My Mum,’ and support so many other mums suffering with the illness too. I’ve met wonderful new friends, taken part in this year’s epic Team Honk relay challenge with @ladyemsy and @caro_mad, and been to some excellent and inspiring blogging conferences. I have been lucky to become a BRITAX Mumbassador, and yes through blogging I have also, I have to say it, had the opportunity to review some pretty fab things! All in all blogging rocks, and I’m so proud of the fact that my blog is still going one year on!
The blog has changed a lot and evolved in ways I never imagined when I started, and I love the fact that anything goes. Having three children spanning in ages from 12 to 1 I always have material to write about, but have also enjoyed blogging about my personal issues, education, feminism, my (mostly unsuccessful) weight loss and even my baking! (probably responsible for said poor weight loss!) Linkies have been an amazing way to find new blogs and promote mine; Silent Sunday posts have got me passionate about photography, and I have re-found my love of poetry thanks to Vic Welton and Ellie All At Sea. Maybe one day I’ll even be brave enough to take part in one of Stephanie Arsoska’s amazing virtual open mic nights! (and finish off my Summer Of Words story!)
In the last year I have also been lucky enough to publish some wonderful guest posts from brilliant bloggers; it never fails to amaze me how we are always finding new ways to write about well known topics and how brilliantly inventive bloggers are with their words.
Blogging is like an itch that needs scratching; it’s cathartic, therapeutic….uplifting. When people comment on my blog I feel so pleased that someone has identified with what I’ve written or has been moved enough to comment. It makes me smile and I must find some precious time to comment on others more.
In truth I have been finding it hard to find the time to write as much as I used to; mainly due to going back to work but also – very excitingly – because I am so involved with many other projects that have happened because of my blog. Which is amazing!! But…I will continue to blog as much as I can, for I truly love it, and feel privileged to be part of such a wonderful community.
Thank you, as always, for reading 🙂
If you like reading my blog then I’d love for you to please nominate me for a MAD blog award, I’ll leave you to decide in which category! You can nominate by clicking on the badge below. Thank you x
Procrastination: Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. According to Freud, the pleasure principle may be responsible for procrastination; humans prefer to avoid negative emotions, and to delay stressful tasks.
Recently I’ve been having another one of my blogging blocks. Blocks where I’d quite like to write a blog post, and yet I cannot find a subject I’m motivated to write about. I like to write about things that have meaning, that could maybe help some one, or things where I need to get something off my chest. But I struggle at the moment with believing I can do them any justice. I believe in quality and not quantity when it comes to writing blog posts and don’t want to just bash out something I don’t think is very good. (as I’ve said before I have unrealistically high expectations, about everything!)
Last week I would have liked to write a blog post on playground politics, however, as you never know who actually reads your blog I decided this probably wasn’t a good move. I’ve considered blogging about my tween daughter who is suffering a recurrence of her anxiety for an unknown reason (or she does know the reason and is choosing not to tell me at the moment) but she’s started to become more aware of my blog and I’m not sure she’d like me to write about things personal to her on here.
So, in short what do I always do these days when I have a question I need answering…why I asked Twitter what to write about of course! A couple of lovely people replied; @sophieeroseex suggested I write a post about myself, a top ten of things you didn’t know about me. But I could only think of one; that aged 13 I went to a Chesney Hawkes concert and became all overcome at the front of the crowd when he pointed and winked at me as he was singing. And upon having this thought I wasn’t sure over-sharing any more embarrassing things about myself was such a wise move, I want to keep my readers after all! (however I do promise that one day I shall dig my teenage diaries out and type them up on here, because that would actually be very amusing!)
Next @GreatNorthMum suggested a post about writer’s block itself…to which after a couple of tweets we started listing things we do when procrastinating…which soon turned into a list about blog-crastination!
And so, here are my top ten ways of blog-crastinating…
1.) Ask Twitter what to blog about. Obviously this was going to be first on my list. Twitter is up there at the top of every procrastinating list be it housework, cooking, supermarket shopping, sleeping…you name it, and you know it, quite a lot of the time we are on Twitter when we really ought to be doing something else! Even now, in the middle of writing this post, I’ve decided it isn’t funny at all and I’ve gone back onto Twitter to complain about it!
2.) Eat, a lot. When blog-crastinating kicks in so does hunger. I mean, you can’t blog without a cup of tea and some cake right? And if there is no cake then obviously I have to bake one and put off writing for a bit longer. Win win!
3.) Phone People. Funnily enough I often put off phoning people, I’m not talking ringing friends and family, but I put off making phone calls that need to be made…to end contracts, switch broadband providers etc. I hate making these phone calls and it is only when I’m trying not to do something else that they actually get done. Daft I know!
4.) Check my emails. Because someone is bound to have sent me a really important email since I last checked two seconds ago aren’t they? Er no. I rarely get exciting emails these days, less so since I’ve gone self hosted and my PR ranking has vanished into thin air. And even though I know this I still feel the need to check every minute, you know, just in case!
5.) Clean. Haha nah, who am I kidding, housework is always bottom of any list. I mean, my house is tidy-ish and clean-ish, but with five of us living here it is a constant uphill struggle. So I’ve decided to embrace the ‘lived in look’ at least until I can invest in some more boxes where I can shove stuff so my house doesn’t look like it vomits crap all of the time.
6.) Read and comment other people’s blogs. Something I wish I had more time for. I find there aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes to write posts, join in linkies and read and comment on other’s posts as well. I feel guilty when I haven’t the time to link up, or comment on many of the amazing blogs I read, or even reply to the lovely comments I get on mine (although I do always get round to it in the end!) I know how valuable it is to receive feedback and so I try as much as I can to do this. Sadly I don’t have the time to do it as much as I’d like to. Maybe I should blog-crastinate more?!
7.) Internet (window) shopping. Ah I do love a good browse on Etsy, Stork Up, eBay or Amazon. I can convince myself I need many a thing I in fact don’t need. Thankfully I often don’t have the money to buy everything I’d like to or my house of crap would be even more untidy and out of control! But browsing on the internet is a great way at passing the time, and mentally spending an obscene amount of money. If I ever won the lottery I know exactly where the money would go!
8.) Write lists. Who doesn’t love lists! They are so useful. Shopping lists, wish lists, Christmas present lists… Although when blog-crastinating, ironically my lists tend to be of ideas for topics to blog about. One day I’ll get around to writing them…one day…
9.) Watch TV. Bit of Phil and Holly. Bit of Diagnosis Murder (yes, really…love it!) Lot of Friends. I have to admit in this house some days the TV can be on quite a bit when it’s nap time. Mostly in the background as I’m tweeting, but still on. I don’t watch box sets or soaps, or have Netflix, but I do have a lot of Sky channels to aimlessly flick through in the hope of finding something vaguely amusing to watch.
10.) Paint my toe nails. Sometimes without even removing the nail varnish that’s already on there. Yes I know, how classy!
And on that delightful note there are the top ten things I do when blog-crastinating, of course all very tongue in cheek! I must remember that no-one sets rules of when and how often I should blog and that if one week or two I don’t blog, it won’t hurt! A break is always good and needed sometimes, for everyone! @StephArsoska, a fellow blogger, once told me that when you’re in a block one of the best thing to do is write, write anything and it can help unblock your mind! And I have to say today it worked, hence the above post! A bit different to my usual ones, but hopefully something you enjoyed reading.
So, what do you do when blog-crastinating?