Category Archives: Blogging community

The benefits of blogging

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When I first started this blog I had a few objectives in mind, but I had no idea how many positive repercussions there would be from writing it. I knew I wanted to raise awareness of mental health issues, to finally get writing and share it with people and to try and make sense of some of the experiences I’ve been through.

I achieved all of this and so much more. It has been a truly amazing experience akin to lying in a bath of pick ‘n’ mix sweets whilst Diet Coke flows out of the taps.

It wasn’t easy at the start.

For months I struggled with the fact I was writing under my real name. I had terrible anxiety every time I gave the link out to a new person and for while, I debated removing the blog and writing something less personal. I realised I was only comfortable sharing the link with people who I knew we’re guaranteed to support me.

I realised that the only way to get past this was to shove it somewhere that everyone could see it – Facebook. As the great literary and self-help goddess Susan Jeffers says, I needed to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’ I knew I would never be able to achieve my goals of reaching out to people unless I got over that fear that someone I knew would read the blog.

It turned out that this was the best possible thing I could have done. Within 20 minutes of the first post appearing on the timeline, I had loads of ‘likes’. After an hour there were 21 likes and a big list of reassuring and positive comments. It did wonders for my confidence and it was lovely to see that so many of my friends took the time to come forward. One friend even manage to support my early posts from her travels to the middle of the Peruvian jungle. It turns out you can get an internet connection there!

What I didn’t expect was that I’d also get numerous private messages and emails, from friends I hadn’t seen for years or from people I’d met briefly and then lost contact with as our lives followed separate paths. It was so moving to get these messages thanking me for being open and sharing my experiences, letting me know that they too had struggled and I’d helped them to feel less alone. It brought people back into my life that connected with me and what I was trying to achieve and I got to know them on a whole other level.

Then there were the numerous lovely and supportive comments from other WordPress users and bloggers. I found out to my delight that the internet was not a dubious place full of nasty trolls determined to swoop and destroy my humble outpourings. Far from it. Worpress has turned out to be a wonderful supportive community of like-minded souls who are more than happy to take time out of their day to read, follow and comment on posts. I’ve found lots of similar people to talk with and some I’ve grown to really care about.

I picked up a couple of blogging awards too after kindly being nominated by one of my WordPress buddies.

Perhaps the most surprising outcome was that people who already knew what I’d been through were letting me know that they now understood me better as a result of the blog. It seemed that putting it in writing gave my experiences an extra level of accessibility and clarity which I somehow was not able to convey otherwise.

The best thing of all is that I’ve successfully inspired a few other people to write and publish their experiences. It has been one of the most amazing feelings to read a wonderful, open and honest piece by a previously private friend and be told that it happened because of me.

The whole blogging experience has done wonders for my confidence. Being able to reveal a less than perfect side of yourself and have that completely accepted is a revelation. I always felt like I had to hide the fact I get depressed and have anxiety, but not anymore. It’s a great feeling to know that I’m ok just the way I am. I feel like a new and improved version of myself with all the latest updates installed.

I’m looking forward to seeing where else the blog will take me. I had no idea how it would transform my life in little over a year, so it’s exciting to think of what might happen in the future. I can highly recommend starting one and if the public disclosure is a problem, start one under a pseudonym. Some of the best ones I’ve read were anonymous; this gives you the freedom to be completely honest and write about things you couldn’t ordinarily mention for fear of repercussions in real life. Either way it’s a win-win situation.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next post!

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Blog award number 2!

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Wow, what a great week I’m having! Just as I finish celebrating my Dragon’s Loyalty Award, I find out I’ve received a Liebster Award! I was nominated again by my dear blogging friend Kimberly, whose blog can be found at words4jp.wordpress.com.

Her blog is amazing, inspiring and thoughtful and she has been a great source of help and support to me as I fathom my way through the blogosphere. Particularly in terms of displaying the awards, which is a lot harder than you would think.

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The word Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, valued and endearing. Aw, how nice! The award is given to up-and-coming-bloggers with less than 200 followers. I met the criteria before the nomination, but as my followers went up since the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, I may be slightly over now…

The criterium for receiving the award is as follows:-

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.

2. List 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator.

4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed.

5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.

6. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

7. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

OK folks, time for 11 random facts about myself. I will have to make sure I don’t duplicate any from the list in my last post!

1) When I was 17 I used to collect road signs. The piece de resistance of my collection was a ‘keep left’ bollard.

2) I like to eat sweets and chocolates in even numbers.

3) I like to eat savoury foods in odd numbers.

4) I have lucid dreams, but as yet can’t control them.

5) My favourite colour is purple.

6) My favourite TV show at the moment is Girls.

7) I once met Graham Norton at a party.

8) I have a lamp in the shape of a squirrel.

9) My favourite song at the moment is ‘What about us?’ by The Saturdays.

10) I love crafts and making things.

11) I hate touch screen phones and computers. I need keys, man!

For the next part of my award receiving criteria I have to answer 11 questions from Kimberly, which are:-

1) What is your favourite cuisine? – Carvery, chinese takeaway, Italian and of course, CAKE.

2)Where is your ultimate travel destination? – New York. I went once and loved the energy and vibrancy of the city. Would love to go back and ideally live there for a while.

3) Favourite animal?- Dog.

4) Do you prefer long or short hair?- Long hair on myself because it’s too curly and frizzy to suit any other style. I flatten it straight with GHD ceramic iron technology. If it was naturally straight I’d have an asymmetric short cut.

5) Bottled water or tap? – Tap. Bottled water is too expensive and probably filled from a tap anyway.

6) What are you most afraid of? Snakes.

7) a. Do you write drafts of your blog before posting? – Yes.

b. Do you write directly on your computer, or write on paper then computer?-  Directly on computer.

8) If you could come back in another life as an animal, what would you want to be? – A monkey. I’d like to be as close to a human as possible, but without all the thinking and angst.

9) Do you get your news from the paper, radio, TV, computer or smart phone app? – TV and computer and celebrity mags.

10) What was your first paid job? – Supermarket cashier.

11) What is your favourite spectator sport? – People watching.

I will now present the Liebster Award to 11 other bloggers who I feel embody the Liebster spirit –

http://www.brigittesbanter.wordpress.com

http://www.iancaimercer.wordpress.com

http://www.creativedepression.wordpress.com

http://www.diabeticredemption.wordpress.com

http://www.littlecuckoobirdy.wordpress.com

http://www.kenyatta2009.wordpress.com

http://www.rustbeltbliss.wordpress.com

http://www.betweenfearandlove.wordpress.com

http://www.wendylavin.wordpress.com

http://www.dwarfwench.wordpress.com

http://www.wakingupandspeakingout.wordpress.com

Now for the final stage of my award, I must post 11 questions for my Liebster Award nominees.

1) You inherit £10 million pounds the same day aliens land and say they are going to blow up the world. What do you do with the money?

2) Would you rather have scissors for hands or wheels for feet? Please explain your answer.

3) If you were locked up in jail for life with one other person, who would it be and why?

4) Do you believe in ghosts?

5) Have you ever tried limbo dancing? If yes. what was the outcome?

6) If there was a nuclear holocaust, do you think people would be more likely or less likely to be eating Hellman’s mayonnaise?

7) Do you know how to defend yourself against a rhinocerous attack?

8) Henry Ford declared that ‘History is bunk’. Do you agree or disagree?

9) If you could invent something, what would it be?

10) What is your favourite part of being a blogger?

11) Do you prefer Britney or Shakira? Please give reasons for your answer.

That’s all for today folks. New blog post coming soon! Over and out.

Laura X

My first blogging award!

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Greetings and salutations! A pleasant surprise awaited me on WordPress this week – my first award! I’ve been nominated by fellow blogger Kimberly, whose blog is at Words4jp.wordpress.com. I’ve only been following her for a short time but find her posts moving, uplifting and inspirational. Her poems evoke a myriad of emotions and are beautiful and insightful. She has that rare ability to make me think and also make me laugh. She is well worth a follow!

Here is my lovely Dragon’s Loyalty Award below –

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Thanks for nominating me Kimberly, I’m properly chuffed. If I have understood correctly, this award is given for strength in writing. I don’t know much about mythical beasts, but Wikipedia informs me that dragons are symbolic of wisdom. Now I have this award, you can rest assured that I will try to impart wisdom in my blog at all times and also try not to breathe fire over you.

During the process of receiving my award, I’ve also been forced out of my comfort zone and learned how to include an image on my blog. This needed to happen and I’m thankful for the kick up the backside. I’ve chosen some amazeballs bloggers to receive the award too.

1) http://www.searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com

2) http://www.littlecuckoobirdy.wordpress.com

3) http://www.halfwaybetweeenthegutterandthestars.wordpress.com

4) http://www.walktheselftalk.wordpress.com

5) http://www.alittlelocalcolor.wordpress.com

6) http://www.rustbeltbliss.wordpress.com

7) http://www.diabeticredemption.wordpress.com

8) http://www.iancaimercer’sblog.wordpress.com

9) http://www.betweenfearandlove.wordpress.com

10) http://www.improveyourlife.wordpress.com

11) http://www.wakingupandspeakingout.wordpress.com

12) http://www.creativedepression.wordpress.com

13) wwww.weatheringthestorm.wordpress.com

14) http://www.wendylavin.wordpress.com

15) http://www.dwarfwench.wordpress.com

The criterion is essentially the same as that of all awards –

1.Display the Award Certificate on your website.

2.Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.

3.Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.

4.Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.

5.Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Now let’s see if I can find 7 interesting things to say about myself…

1) I used to perform stand-up comedy. When I am not bogged down by life crap, I can be quite funny!

2) My house is currently festooned with miniature Easter chickens. Courtesy of my partner Alan.

3) My blood group is B positive, which is also my motto in life.

4) I’m about to become an Auntie for the first time.

5) I love anything neon at the moment. I need neon nail varnish, accessories and clothing. I particularly want a neon satchel.

6) I love graffiti art and would love to get some sprayed onto my yard wall.

7) I will never become a grown-up and that is my promise to you.

My next post will be arriving this weekend and I will be talking about triggers. Not the kind found on guns, but the ones that set you off into hopeless states of melancholy. Until then, I’m off to celebrate my award with a giant Easter egg.

Live long and prosper. May the force be with you!