“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning”
So, my last blog post was kind of quick, wasn’t it? I thought of it as literally a little note to explain why I wasn’t able to blog so much, because I really didn’t want to lose any of you guys by being silent for so long. So, to show my gratitude and appreciation for your loyalty and support, I wanted to create this very special post. Having mentioned numerous times across my social media and in the last blog post that I’m doing a ‘huge project’, it’s finally time to reveal what that is…
A NEW BOOK!
After all of the excitement and enjoyment I experienced in creating my first book; Everything Disordered (which is actually also permanently linked to the left of the blog) in 2021, I almost instantly knew that I wanted to put another one together. But it wasn’t for a few months, that I really had the idea of the premise of the Guide (the name I think is a better, more apt label for it, than ‘book’), which can be largely defined by its subtitle:
‘The Ultimate Wellbeing Guide for Bloggers’
Before I created, I’m NOT Disordered and started blogging in 2013, I honestly, 100%, believed that my purpose in life was to commit suicide to highlight the faults and failings in mental health services. I couldn’t see or believe that I had even the remotest of potential to have a happy and productive life/future.
So, when I first began blogging, I did so with two intentions:
1. That writing about all my thoughts, feelings, and experiences would be therapeutic for my own mental health.
2. To keep up communication with my loved ones who were over 100 miles away from the psychiatric hospital I was in when I started blogging.
With just these two, pure, and motivational goals in mind, I didn’t ever envisage anything more meaningful or important coming from I’m NOT Disordered. I mean, I didn’t expect for it to turn into a career that I’ve now been dedicated to for over ten years; and I definitely didn’t imagine my blog would gain such a huge following, and for its readership levels to be what they are now (over 1.1 million)!
Even with the absence of those more accurate expectations though, I still almost instantly found myself experiencing a strong notion of purpose almost immediately after I started blogging. It just felt… natural. As though I got this sense that it was what I was meant to be doing with my time. And what’s more than that – I felt that I’d found a reason why I had been poorly. A reason why I’d gone through everything I had until that point in my life; it was all so that I could create I’m NOT Disordered, write about everything, and help others through doing so. And I’d really like to think – or at least hope – that this dedication and passion is illustrated through the time and energy I put into my blog’s content and the quality of the result of that hard work.
Regardless of how therapeutic and generally beneficial – in so many ways – blogging is for me and particularly for my mental health; I’ve still come across some hugely detrimental challenges and dilemmas during my blogging career. Unfortunately, when I created my blog in 2013, there was only three well-known mental health blogs, and none were written by a current psychiatric hospital inpatient. And whilst I’m so grateful for the fact that this absence of similar blogs meant I had instantly – and without even trying – found a niche (something which can be such a vital factor in the success and popularity of a blog); it also meant that I felt fairly alone. A loneliness that can be really detrimental for those early days in the blogging industry when there’s so much danger and risk of things getting really overwhelming to the point where a person quits before they’ve even really started!
The distinct notion that there were no other bloggers I could effectively and efficiently identify with and turn to for understanding, empathy, help, support, inspiration, and advice; meant that for the most part of the beginning of my blogging career, I was just kind of blindly and, completely impulsively, feeling my way through things. It felt like I was sort of making up the rules as I went. Now, to some, that sense of paving the way for others and leading by example might be appealing, but for me? Well, because of the place I was in, literally and psychologically with my mental health, it just felt as though I’d been thrown in at the deep end of something and no one was around to teach me how to swim.
Going through that time, has meant that I’ve often made the statement that I feel I’ve had to learn a lot of things in my blogging career the hard way. But, as difficult and challenging as this was, it’s actually meant two good things:
1. The thought of not wanting people to have to learn something in that same, horrible way, has been motivation for me to want to help and teach or advise another blogger.
2. It has strengthened me to have the ability to be more independent – especially with my blogging – and to not feel I need to rely on anyone else.
So, in creating this new Guide, I have drawn a lot of motivation, passion, and dedication for it from these past experiences. I want for the Guide to really recognise the importance of managing a blogger’s wellbeing and how it can be massively affected by various elements directly associated with their blogging career, such as having to learn something new in a tough way.
Obviously, because of this premise, the Guide is aimed specifically at bloggers… but not necessarily mental health bloggers, because I fully recognise how many more different and utterly unique categories and subjects are shaping up to be blogged about by people. So, to limit the Guide to only be appropriate for mental health bloggers, I know how limited and niche that would render my target audience and the whole aim of the Guide is to help others, so I want for the Guide to be as useful as possible for as many people/bloggers as possible!
With this thought and goal in mind, the title of the Guide just seemed to be really obvious – as though it were destined to be this…
You’re NOT Disordered
Last bit you need to know: The Guide’s publication date is set to be November 18th and no doubt, between then and now, you’ll see a lot more content on the blog about it so keep your eyes peeled – especially for the cover reveal!!