So, one last post before the Blogmas content begins tomorrow!
I thought I’d make it one that I enjoy creating and that will bring insight into exactly what goes behind producing so much Christmassy content from December 1st until Christmas Day!
I’d like to think I’m quite a creative person, and that I have been since I was little and started writing short stories about horses! Before that, my Nana and I used to tear out things we liked from a catalogue and make collages with them on paper. But when my Textiles teacher in School began massively criticising my work, I lost confidence in my creative projects and didn’t do many more for over five years when I was detained under the 1983 Mental Health Act. I needed to tell the staff how I was feeling and what I was experiencing and since I couldn’t find the words to say it out loud… I wrote it down. As soon as I saw that doing so was helpful, and that it put the staff in a better position to support me, I continued writing until a year later when I started I’m NOT Disordered!
This Blogmas, I think I’ve had to be quite creative in deciding upon a theme for the entire series because of the coronavirus and subsequent lockdowns. Last year, for Blogmas, I launched a competition with the announcement and review of each prize every other day and on alternate days, I wrote about the various Christmas activities I was doing. This year, I couldn’t do a competition because a lot of people aren’t comfortable with receiving post and I obviously won’t be doing many festive things this December… So, I’ve thought around that and hopefully readers will recognize that the restrictions have impacted the theme.
My purpose for Blogmas has been to get across the message of the theme (which will be revealed tomorrow – December 1st) and to hopefully, bring some cheer to people’s lives. I mean, with statistics saying there’s been a 16% increase in the prescription of antidepressants since lockdown began, I think this Christmas is even more special and meaningful. It’s the perfect opportunity to attempt to lighten someone’s mood and bring happiness and cheer to their life. And as someone with a mental illness, I recognize how important that can be. Sometimes, for me, the smallest amount of happiness or excitement around something would make a huge difference to how convinced I was that self-harm or suicide was the best thing to do.
I think that this has been an especially important and essential quality to producing Blogmas content this year because almost everything we have to do at the minute, seems to take a bit more effort than usual to accomplish. I’ve always been very dedicated to I’m NOT Disordered though, so I’ve kind of had seven years of practice at maintaining my blog no matter what is going on in life… but then, can you really be fully prepared for something like a pandemic and a national lockdown?!
It isn’t just about being absolutely dedicated to the content and the notion of Blogmas though; it’s also about being loyal to all the organisations I’ve collaborated with this year (the list announcing all of them is to come!). I’ve been totally dedicated to creating the best possible quality of content in partnership with them because I’ve wanted to make them proud and to feel worthy and deserving of the collaboration and their faith in me, in I’m NOT Disordered, and in all of its readers.
So, the organisations I’m working with this Blogmas are…
Centre of Excellence: www.centreofexcellence.com
The Works: www.theworks.co.uk
Bandana Bowtique: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BandanaBowtiqueUK
Gum On My Shoe: www.gumonmyshoe.com
I’ve actually been really surprised by how long it’s taken me to create twenty-five posts; but then I think about that: TWENTY-FIVE! And I’m like ‘well obviously it’d take forever!’ Luckily, after doing Blogmas last year and a few Christmassy series’ before that, I’ve learnt that it does take time to produce that much content. I also learnt that it’s so much better to have everything ready to go in advance because it allows you the time to actually enjoy the Christmassy period. And with the UK being under restrictions in terms of socialising, I debated whether there’d be much about December that I would even be able to do and wondered if that should mean that I leave the content until the days leading up to it being due to publish.
In the end, it has taken me around two or three months to finish pretty much everything and I’ve felt like a proper little Blogger doing it this way. I actually ended up having a conversation with one of my blogging inspirations: Victoria Magrath (www.inthefrow.com) in October and she said she’d also started her Christmas content. So, I feel like I’ve been in good company!
THE MATERIAL THINGS