Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Am I a 'Blogger' now?


I've been thinking a lot recently about blogging and labelling myself as a blogger and the opinions this provokes in others, and how I feel about it myself.
A lot of times recently my Mum has been asked what her daughter does and she's proudly announced that I'm a blogger; she said she regards me as working. Firstly, hearing how proud she is of what I do is heartwarming, probably because blogging means just as much to me too. Secondly, I never thought something like this would ever end up being classed as 'work.' Not just in society but to my family and friends. This was a place to rant about hospital staff... And now? Wow...
I suppose I feel that I'm NOT Disordered is at a junction now; I believe my blog is at the stage where it can only go up and I have the faith in it that it will, so I've been considering all that might entail. And whether I'm ready for it.
Lucy Watson on Made in Chelsea was with her sister discussing a work opportunity offered by a fashion blogger and Lucy said (no direct quote as I don't remember the exact phrasing) that everyone has a blog and it isn't hard. I do agree that it sometimes feels, these days, that everyone has a blog but that's due to it becoming a bit of a trend, and so, not only does this mean that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but that all of these people are calling themselves bloggers because that, is also the trend.
Personally, I believe it's like only just starting a Law degree at Uni and referring to yourself as a Lawyer. When I first began I'm NOT Disordered, I'd tell people that I had a blog; I didn't feel that I could already take on the label of being a 'blogger.' But everyone is different of course. I think also that 'labels' have been a hugely negative part of my life; I've either been the 'attention seeker,' 'the victim,' 'the patient,' 'the sufferer'... Never mind what I've been called out of my earshot! So I think that all of this has made me incredibly cautious to adopt a label myself because for some, 'blogger' does still have a negative connotation.
After over two years of this, I've learnt just how passionate I am about blogging, how much I love I'm NOT Disordered and how proud I am to be a blogger. For such a long time I believed that my greatest achievement was passing all of my GCSEs. That was in 2007. So all these years it's felt harder because it felt like I'd achieved nothing for so long. My proud moment was slipping further and further away which each day that I self-harmed. And I think that my party on November 14th to celebrate over 100,000 views was the night that I decided that this, my blog: I'm NOT Disordered is my greatest achievement. I finally feel that I deserve to be labelled a 'blogger'. And I guess, my belief, is that being a 'blogger' isn't just about having a blog. It's so much more. It's about loving being a blogger. It's about the significance that blogging brings to your life, and it's about being content at the thought of 'blogger' being your only label.
Now, back to Lucy Watson's next comment; that blogging isn't hard. If you'd asked me that a year ago, I would've agreed. Purely because at that point, my posts were mainly personal and therefore about my day-to-day life in hospital and eventually, into recovery. The only exceptions were guest posts which I didn't decide to begin publishing until February 2014. Admittedly, writing what you've done or what has happened in your day, isn't exactly a challenge. Neither, is asking someone to write whatever they'd like and then copying and pasting it and clicking 'publish'. I can pinpoint when I began putting more effort in and working harder on the blog by looking back over posts, and predictably, it seems to have been when I first began attending events and working with organisations. Namely, YoungMinds at the very beginning of their Vs campaign and attending the Crisis Care Concordat event. It inspired me to begin thinking of new ideas for I'm
NOT Disordered, always with the aim of giving my readers and followers a reason to come back to the blog. I respected the amazing popularity of the blog and believed I should offer something in return. Better the blog. Better myself as a blogger. This first began with The BP Series, an idea of mine to create a more intense pattern of posts that were all centred around positivity.
These days, I'm travelling all over the country, being commissioned to attend mental health events and I use a book called 365 Blog Topic Ideas, it is aimed at lifestyle/beauty bloggers so I've worked even harder by adapting the ideas to make them more appropriate to the style and content of I'm NOT Disordered. But, I have to say, that right now, I don't think I ever worked harder on the blog. I'm looking at new ideas for posts from the book, I'm building on those to think of more content, I'm deciding which external projects I'd like to prioritise for my time and space on I'm NOT Disordered, evaluating the past year by means of blog statistics and imagining where I'd like myself and my blog to be by the end of 2016.
My only hope is that you all know, both how much I love blogging, and how incredibly hard I'm working.