Almost everyone I’ve spoken to these past few weeks – but particularly mental health professionals like the Crisis Team and my support workers from Richmond Fellowship – have made some sort of comment on the fact that I’ve been keeping myself very busy recently. And as is typically the way with someone who has a psychiatric diagnosis and is doing lots of things at once, two concerns have been raised on numerous occasions… First, that I’m doing too much and I’m going to ‘crack’, and second; that I’m doing so much as a means of burying my head in the sand and ignoring the fact my mental health is actually still quite poorly. With these comments in mind, I wanted to write this blog post to address them, to provide advice for anyone struggling with these things, but mainly, to bring some excitement for all the things that are currently ‘in the works…’
In January this year – in the blog post marking my blog’s 10th Birthday (which you can read here) – I announced the fact that I had started writing a new book. I talked about the fact that I had actually had the idea for this one whilst writing my previous one (Everything Disordered: A Practical Guide to Blogging – which you can buy here) because my love for stationary and having notebooks for absolutely everything, meant I’ve searched for specific ones for bloggers and having had no luck, I thought: ‘why don’t I create one myself?!’ Yes, I totally recognise how naïve and kind of ignorant that sounds – as though it were that easy to just create something like this! I guess, it’s like many things in life where it’s so much easier said than it is to actually do!
I actually just made a huge decision to do with the notion that creating You’re NOT Disordered is so much more challenging that I envisioned; it was going to be proofread by a particular team, but that meant having a proofreading deadline that was a lot sooner than if it were just me doing it… And I recently began to realise that the sense of pressure of having that date, was actually starting to spoil the journey of the whole creation process and that’s something I really don’t want to happen because I’m very much a believer in making sure that you enjoy all the things that you’re investing significant portions of your time – and, really, your life – to.
People will often refer to my blogging and most other projects such as collaborations that I take on, as ‘work’ and I appreciate what they mean by it, I just don’t want people to think that I see I’m NOT Disordered and all that I do as some sort of ‘chore’ or something I’m reluctant to do or which I resent when I’m doing it. And it’s actually a huge reason why I’m very careful and overly aware of featuring any sort of advertorial content on both here and/or my social media because I don’t want readers or followers to see it as my sole motivation to do these things. And this was actually something I talked about in my blog post revealing You’re NOT Disordered’s title (which you can read here) because I mentioned the notion of feeling a definite therapeutic sense of purpose in my life when I started blogging. A purpose far greater than anything I had ever known. A purpose so much more productive and positive that it’s genuinely turned into being lifesaving.
To be honest, writing about everything I’ve learnt on the topic of managing your wellbeing as a blogger, and the importance of recognising both the challenging and rewarding aspects of having a blog; is literally a subject that has me feeling like I’m in my absolute element. Like I’m writing about ‘home’ in that it’s an area of life that makes me feel comfortable, content, and confident. I very obviously won’t profess to know or even to have thought of absolutely every single scenario that either I could provide advice on or that I should provide advice on… I mean, when it’s come to providing advice on all things in the blogging industry, the mental health world, the area of trauma and abuse, the subject of pets helping your mental health… Well, I’ve always been very wary and cautious. I have never wanted to come across as full of myself or arrogant as though I know better. And so, I’ve always waited until I’ve felt confident enough to share any guidance and thoughts on these subjects. I’ve waited until I’ve felt certain that if someone were to challenge me in terms of questioning why I thought myself wise enough to be advising and shaping others and their experiences with these things, I would be more than happy to give a response that I would feel confident and reassured in. I mean, ten years of blogging feels like more than enough time to be able to say with some level of validity that I’ve learnt a great deal and I like the idea that whilst I’ve had to learn things the hard way, I can now use those learning opportunities to aid others to avoid going through those same challenging processes to learn these things too.
The idea that there are difficult moments in blogging and that you can come against some hugely monumental problems in a career of this nature – or even if you’re doing it more as a hobby – can be massively misjudged and ignored. The fact that so many online ‘influencers’ very rarely post anything negative about their lives, their projects, collaborations, advertorials, and this career in general; has meant that being a blogger or some sort of digital personality is viewed as almost completely and entirely positive and – if anything – a quality or reputation that is something to be envious of or to find inspirational. This was something I actually also talked about in the blog post revealing You’re NOT Disordered’s cover (which you can read/see here) because I related it back to the fact that with the general public and ‘outsiders’ to this industry having a distorted view or insight into the career or general position of being a blogger, mean that the opinion of those people can matter even more. It’s like… Ok, here’s a really weird analogy… It’s like when someone thinks that swimming is dangerous because they’ve known someone who has drowned. And so, if you’re a professional diver, you’ll really care about those people and their opinion of this sport, because you’ll want to illustrate and prove to them that there’s good to be had in being at one with water!
So, in caring what others think of all of this, and in wanting to encourage people to blog or write too because of the incredible rewards I’ve experienced from doing these, here’s five little tips to writing a book:
1. Brainstorm. Plan. Make notes. Use all stationery and creative programmes/sites etc. such as Canva to their fullest potential(!) in your developing and designing phase – which might feel as though it comes up multiple times throughout the entire duration of the creation and production of your book.
2. Don’t be afraid or unwilling to ask others for their thoughts or advice on particular pieces of your book where you feel uncertain and unsure, lack confidence, or are doubtful and sceptical as to whether something is correctly phrased; it’s a strength and sign of dedication to be able to reach out and seek advice to make your book the best it can be.
3. Immediately confront any issues or instances that are negatively affecting your mood, your thoughts, feelings, and opinions around creating your book – it needs to be a productive, positive – and yes, occasionally challenging – and fun, journey or process that leads to you feeling a huge sense of achievement when you reach the publish date.
4. If you reach a point where you feel like you need to take a break from the writing, or from the routine you’re in with it, don’t talk yourself out of it by worrying that taking time out will be detrimental to the book; if it’s right for you, then you’ll be able to pick your writing back up straight away at just where you left it, as soon as you feel ready and able.
5. Create your own routine – or absence of a routine(!) – for your writing because any sense of pressure on creating some sort of timetable and allocating dates or times for working on your book will likely reflect in your writing and can bring a sense of it being forced rather than naturally flowing and working on it when you want to.
Earlier this year – in May – I discovered Reach Volunteering and put in an application for the role of Head of Marketing and Communications for the new Community Interest Company (CIC); Time To Inspire who help parents who are struggling through legal battles and/or who have ill mental health. In all honesty, I thought I was shooting a bit too high with it, I mean in terms of the hierarchy level of the position. In the communications and marketing industry, I’ve only ever been a Volunteer, an Assistant, or covered the Region as a Marketing Officer. And so, I think it’s pretty reasonable – and not in any way a lack of confidence or having low expectations of myself – to have not thought I’d have even the most remote chance of getting an interview never mind the job!
So, when the founder of the company, Alen Tomasic (you can read more about him on the Meet The Team page on our website) got in touch and referred to my CV on multiple occasions in the conversation as ‘impressive,’ and then offered me the interview, I was pretty dumbstruck. Now, even if you only know me through, I’m NOT Disordered’s, you’ll know that I’m never really lost for words; but the respect and trust Alen showed me in offering me the position, and really having faith in my skills and experience, left me struggling for words that I felt would be adequate in describing just how honoured and appreciative I was/am for the incredible opportunity. Now, having such a popular blog, I’ve had so many incredible experiences; but Alen’s decision to hire me? One of the greatest moments to have really been a result of my blog’s success because it was actually through this, that I found my passion for communications and marketing.
With the company being new, my responsibilities and tasks have really just largely been defined and developed by myself and Alen kind of as we go… I’d say my first main task though, was improving the website (www.timetoinspire.org.uk) in adding colour, more apt images, additional pages, and other design and aesthetic related tasks. In creating my blog, I chose to use Blogger rather than WordPress because it seemed less confusing, not so focused on requiring some level of technical skill, and just generally not too advanced for my little blog which I originally, genuinely, intended to only be seen by close friends and family! This meant that when I started my first voluntary role in this industry as Advertising Assistant for Listening Ear And Positive Support (LEAPS) and needed to create a website for them, I used Blogger.
Then, after a few years with LEAPS I managed to secure funding for them a number of times and on one occasion we decided to invest some of the money into having a Web Designer help us to improve the site. He immediately recommended that we switch to WordPress because he viewed it to be a more suitable hosting site for an organisation rather than an individual. So, I began tutorial sessions with him, and he taught me all the ropes and I saw how professional the design could become; to the point where I actually began looking into how to transfer my blog to it!
Fortunately, the lessons with the Web Designer meant I wasn’t too phased when I was faced with the realisation that Time To Inspire’s website had already been created on WordPress and that – considering my job title – it was completely reasonable to expect me to manage its functioning and all of the content published on it. Ironically, I actually ended up thoroughly enjoying myself in making all of the edits and creating the different pages, their content, and playing around with the overall aesthetic with the graphics and colour scheme etc. So, it was really rewarding and made me feel really happy when someone who had seen the ‘old’ website remarked on the ‘new’ one and praised all of the alterations and improvements.
My most recent huge challenge in my job was when Alen went on his fundraising (for the mental health charity; Mind) hike in Slovenia – we actually have a post (which needs updating now that he’s completed it!) about it on the website: Our Founder is Fundraising for Mind - (timetoinspire.org.uk). Before Time To Inspire, I hadn’t interviewed another person, so when Alen and I met with a few people who had applied for our current volunteering opportunities (which you can find here) that was my first time! I felt that I handled it quite well though but now, I think it was because I had Alen there and he could take the lead… So, when he went away for the hike, and told me that he trusted me to continue with interviews by myself?! Well… I think I probably ended up more nervous than those I was actually interviewing!
I was extremely hesitant and sceptical that he was making the right decision in believing in me to do something like this by myself, but – as everyone I talked to persistently reminded me – he knows what he’s doing and if he has faith in me then why shouldn’t I have that in myself? Why should I second-guess my ability to do something that I’ve literally never done? What reason do I really have to be truly convinced and 100% certain that I would fail at it?! In considering this a bit more rationally, I made the decision to tell my boss that I wasn’t comfortable interviewing candidates for one of the positions that involves a lot of responsibilities and requires many qualifications or experience that give me the impression that, in interviewing applicants for it, I feel I would need to have a much better understanding of it than I currently do. Aside from that, I agreed to take on the challenge of interviewing two candidates for the Social Media Coordinator position and one for the Fundraising role.
I’m incredibly glad I finally found that bit of confidence in myself because it was a huge learning opportunity and has really helped me to grasp not only where my passions are, but also the areas in my abilities that need improvement. I mean, when I first really began working more formally in the Communications industry through being a Digital Volunteer with St Oswald’s Hospice, I quickly found that actually, there are so many areas and specialities in the industry – kind of like working in healthcare where you can specialise in one diagnosis. Discovering that my real interests within Comms are in content creation, building and developing Communications and Marketing strategies, and most other tasks/responsibilities that demand creativity; meant that I became able to look for opportunities that really focused on those skills and responsibilities. And so – in conducting those interviews by myself – I recognised that because of my seniority in Time To Inspire, it’s a task that could very likely and reasonably so, come up on many more occasions in my career and that gave me determination and dedication to using the terrifying experiences as lessons. So that rather than pick holes in how utterly nervous and anxious I was in doing this and how I felt that made me quite poor in terms of how well I did, I instead look to the aspects of it where I can improve and have since, not only thought about it, but I’ve also actually done some research into interviewing techniques and tips on how to ensure you get all the right information from a candidate in their interview.
Admittedly, the interviews weren’t totally horrific because I actually found Eva and made the decision to offer her a trial run in taking on tasks until Alen returned and could make the final determination as to whether to hire her. She has done so well though that she’s officially part of the team (so you can read more about on our website’s Meet The Team page here) now and whilst her interview was under the position of ‘Social Media Coordinator,’ when I began creating a list of tasks for her, I found myself thinking of things that were more general than specifically around our social media channels (links to Time To Inspire’s accounts: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) and so I asked if she would be interested in taking on a more overall role as ‘Digital Marketing Assistant’ and she was more than up for the prospect of these other tasks and responsibilities.
Ironically though, in hiring someone for my team, you’d think that would mean less tasks for me in that I could delegate some of my workload… Well, that’s really not true(!) – at least not for these first few weeks with her. It’s meant that I’m needing to create a lot of guidance and informational documents for Eva – however, in doing this, I’ve found that we actually need a few of these items for any other staff and volunteers who join the company… Even those who might be assigned to a different department. So, Eva is already proving to be a real asset; she’s also doing so well with her first tasks and has had some really good ideas – or has sparked me to have ideas! – that could really improve the Marketing and Communications department’s effectiveness and our digital presence.
So, I think it’s more than safe to say that I’m thoroughly enjoying my job, I’ve already learnt so much in the first three months, and so I wanted to provide five little tips on employment/volunteering in general:
1. Don’t feel pressured into disclosing any details about your mental health but consider how helpful it might be for your employer and/or colleagues to be aware of aspects of it that might enable them to be better supportive if you struggle in some way.
2. Utilise stationery and where you find yourself feeling that you need something really specific e.g. a password notebook to record the login details for any work-related social media or your emails etc, you’ll likely not have too hard of a job finding the item on Amazon!
3. Don’t be afraid to tell your Line Manager that you don’t understand a task or that you feel it’s beyond your skillset and have no experience in doing anything similar to it – you should be respected more for speaking up and recognition that it ensures a better outcome.
4. Be aware of boundaries in terms of building relationships with your employer and colleagues; it’s incredibly difficult to not form any sort of bond with people you’re spending a lot of time with, but be mindful to avoid any awkward, conflict-of-interest situations.
5. Don’t forget ‘me-time’ – if, like me, you see your ‘work’ as so enjoyable that you struggle to ‘switch off’ from it, consider being more structured in allocating specific times/days to other activities and commitments.
Over a year after I created, I’m NOT Disordered and started blogging, I received a couple of horrible and upsetting comments from readers – with one being written on a post that had talked about my suicide attempts and which wished me ‘luck’ with my ‘next one.’ So, on September 12th 2014 – after a great deal of consideration and asking others for their opinions – I made the decision to close my blog down (you can still read the post about that here). However, after just over one month of doubting my decision and questioning just how valid and important my thoughts and feelings to the comments were – on October 29th – I re-opened I’m NOT Disordered (you can read that post here). I had found myself missing the therapeutic value of blogging to such a degree that upon weighing it up with the thought of any more debilitating comments, I found that the benefits and enjoyment of blogging far outweighed the risk of me being upset by comments again (especially when I realised, I could take the comment function down completely!).
Since then, apart from the odd occasion, I’d say that I’ve managed to publish new content on a pretty regular basis that has sometimes varied from a few times a week to once a week. To be honest, I pretty much immediately found myself recognising how huge a difference this was to my almost daily posts whilst I was in the psychiatric hospital, I had been an inpatient of from the summer of 2012 to shortly before restarting my blog (over two years later). Just as quick as I noticed this though, I found myself confident that this was because on the ward, something was always happening. Every day. Multiple times a day, in fact! With the ward being purely dedicated for those with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and with key symptoms of this mental illness being around irrational anger and unstable relationships(!); it meant for a very volatile environment. There was never a dull day. People were always arguing – whether that mean patients and patients or patients against staff… There were arguments and – in the case of a patient vs a patient – even physical fights!
There’s one hugely tense situation that sticks out to me and it was when we were all told to leave our bedrooms and sit in the communal TV room. Staff eventually explained that someone has snuck a sharp object in, and it had been ‘passed around’ several patients who had each used it to self-harm; until someone finally handed it in. As a result, the staff decided to do a complete ward lockdown to search everyone’s bedrooms in case more contraband had been brought in. Whilst we were all gathered in the room and the staff were combing through our personal belongings, tensions were running high and an enormous argument broke out, and yes, I was part of it! I – along with two or three others – had no idea about this sharp object and had played no part in passing it around to enable others to hurt themselves (something which I think is so incredibly low and damaging). With that frustration that we were all being punished because of the one person who’d brought it in and the few who’d passed it around, the girl who everyone suspected of being responsible for sneaking it onto the ward swore on her family’s lives that she was innocent. Within hours, she broke down and finally admitted to it. And I remember giving a massive lecture on responsibility because it was something that had been pounded into me and had really shaped my recovery, and some of the patients I was closest to and the staff who had come into the room gave me a round of applause!
That’s just one incident out of over two years(!); so of course, there were so many other instances that I found more than worthy of being blogged about. And rather than cause any sort of sensationalism or controversy, I think that I actually chose to blog about these things as a means of processing them. Just because even though my speech was supported by some, no matter how confident I felt that I wasn’t alone in my response or thoughts and feelings on something that had proven to be argumentative, I was always hesitant to speak up because those patients who might disagree not only struggled with the anger symptom, they also had history of being physically aggressive and violent so that was sort of intimidating. And so, blogging about all the things I felt desperate to say out loud, provided me with a much safer outlet and this definitely contributed to my blog holding a larger, more therapeutic, value.
In addition to there being dramas on a more regular basis in the psychiatric hospital, another reason for me not blogging as often once I was discharged, was that I now had other stuff to do too! I mean, you couldn’t exactly have a job or any soft of really active hobby in hospital, but being out? And, having been hospitalised for so long? I wanted to make the most of my freedom now that I was discharged from my detention under Section 3 of the 1983 Mental Health Act that had meant needing a Doctor’s permission to go anywhere except the ward; and all the time I had on my hands because I didn’t have a therapeutic activity timetable to adhere to from morning until evening, and regular therapy sessions numerous times a week. However, not having those commitments dedicated to improving and then maintaining a safe and stable mental state, meant that for a good few year, I didn’t feel able to commit to anything too formal such as a voluntary job or studying and attending College. So, I’ve still had plenty of time for blogging, creating collaboration content, featuring in the media, and attending/working at events etc.
So, how have I gone from that regular posting to these days where it’s seeming to take me 10 – 14 days to produce new content? Well, I think that a huge reason for the reduction has been one of the motivations for me actually writing this post: to tell you about all the projects and commitments I have going on at the minute! The number of things that are taking up huge amounts of my time has always been something I’m aware of – when I sat down to write all the little subtitles to this post, I didn’t get a shock at how many there were. What did surprise me, however, was when I began writing and found myself really taken aback by just how complex things were behind each of these areas of my life. How detailed, how thought-out, and how determined and passionate I am about each of them… Thinking about that passion though, led me to wonder which of these I’m most dedicated to and on really thinking it through, I think it’s actually a huge minefield! Like, every time I think up a reason why most of my passion lies with one thing, I think of something for another! It feels almost like when you ask a parent which child is their favourite because, to be honest, whenever I think my answer is something other than I’m NOT Disordered, I feel completely disloyal and guilty because I think you could very fairly and justly argue that I wouldn’t have all of these other commitments and opportunities if it weren’t for my blog…
Now, the biggest and most exciting aspect of my work on my blog right now, is something which I can’t fully announce and provide details on until the end of September/October, but what I can say is that this year, I’m NOT Disordered will – once again – feature a Blogmas campaign. If you’re new to my blog or the industry in general, Blogmas is where I create daily content from December 1st until Christmas Day (as an example, here is the recap to Blogmas last year: BLOGMAS 2022 | DAY TWENTY-FIVE: LESSONS LEARNT, BEHIND-THE-SCENES, & A RE-CAP! | I'm NOT Disordered (imnotdisordered.co.uk)). I used to be really hesitant in telling people when I had started working on content for specific Awareness dates or special anniversaries etc because I almost always felt a bit embarrassed when a person would laugh at how soon and early, I was starting. Over the years though, I’ve built confidence and so for anyone having a joke about how I’m talking about Christmas in August; just keep in mind that I’m creating TWENTY-FIVE blog posts to publish in just ONE MONTH! And when you decide to create all this content in collaboration with someone else or an organisation, it can sort of double the responsibility and the importance.
I can actually also tell you that this year, I’ll be collaborating with a very incredible Etsy store who I’ve worked with before (there’s a clue) and who will be creating some lovely items and providing you all with a very special discount code exclusive to I’m NOT Disordered’s Blogmas readers! So, watch this space for the post announcing my partner and the entire title of the series, and the piece revealing our amazing Blogmas graphics which have all been designed by the talented folks at Canva… All coming to you before Blogmas actually commences on December 1st!
Not blogging as much as I used to, however, there has actually been a good thing with that – the fact that it means I’m no longer stuck for ideas for angles and themes for my content! For any bloggers who do have ‘writer’s block,’ here are five tips to help inspire you:
1. Consider your target audience and if you were one of them, and ask yourself, what would you like to read/see on a blog? What would be helpful and appropriate for you?
2. Utilise Canva’s features to create a digital, creative mind map or brainstorm to document even the smallest of ideas and enable them to grow and develop into something bigger.
3. Look for inspiration through blogs you deem to be aspirational for your own blog to match with and build to be at the same level in terms of aesthetic, creativity, or popularity etc.
5. A type of title for blog posts that’s pretty typically popular, is where it begins with ‘(insert number) Things I’ve Learnt About…’ – you can make it as short or as lengthy as you like.
A good few years ago – around 2017/2018 I think – I somehow discovered FutureLearn and began enrolling on some of their free courses which – over the years – have varied from The Anthropology of Social Media to Caring For People with Psychosis and Schizophrenia to Forensic Psychology! Now, the reason for the huge differences in topics and industries, has been because I’ve tried to alternate with courses that are purely out of my own random interest and courses that I’m passionate about and which could help both my career and the commitments I already have.
Now, I tend not to be someone who blows their own trumpet that often – though I have learnt to do it more as a means of increasing the publicity of my blog – but I am really proud of myself for continuing with my education even though I’m older than a typical ‘student.’ My pride, however, isn’t about age… For legal reasons, I can’t disclose the name of my abuser; but I feel that he’s completely unworthy of remaining anonymous. So, over the years of blogging about those traumatic memories and the impact they have had on my mental health, I’ve dropped a few hints and clues as to who this person is, and I believe it says a lot that anyone who knew me around that age (15/16) would incredibly easily be able to guess who it was. And so, a few times I’ve mentioned that the six months of abuse took place during my final year of High School in 2006-2007, but I hadn’t said that the end of the abuse came with the end of my schooling and so, in a way, it led to me feeling that actually, being out of education, gave me a sense of safety and stability. So, to return to it – voluntarily is quite huge in terms of my mental wellbeing.
Not many people will know, but I actually had an offer to study Law at Newcastle University after my A Levels when I was 18. Unfortunately, though, on the day I had three of the A Level exams one after another, I made my first suicide attempt and – unsurprisingly – found myself being admitted to hospital for medical treatment before being sectioned under the 1983 Mental Health Act for the first time. And so, just like that, my dreams of becoming a Lawyer and helping fight for justice for those going through what I had experienced just two years earlier, were ruined and when I was discharged from the psychiatric hospital a few weeks later, I found myself desperately searching through the courses my local Colleges were offering. I attempted to enrol on a Childcare course, but was denied access when the Police decided to disclose information about their involvement in my mental health (I ran away from the hospital a few times on that first admission) on my DBS. Then, I looked into working in fashion and after volunteering in a couple of charity stores and enjoying being tasked with creating and decorating the window displays, I found myself looking into Visual Merchandising.
My Nana always said – and now my Mum repeats this – that everything happens for a reason, and so; the fact that all of these attempts and enquiries at different careers and industries failed and left me feeling so completely worthless and hopeless that my mental health continued to deteriorate, and I found myself sectioned for two and a half years? Well, I struggled to find a purpose to this – struggled to find a positive reason why these things happened – and then I’m NOT Disordered was born and all of a sudden I felt as though I had a purpose. But yes, it was a slow and steady process to find myself where I am today in terms of my career, my passion, and my fascination in Marketing and Communications.
The time it took to get to this point was mostly born from the fact that my original goal in starting to blog was to provide insight into my life in the psychiatric hospital, because it was happening over 100 miles away from my Mum, the rest of my family, and all my friends. And so, my sole target audience were those friends and family members that were all listed on my private Facebook account. This reasonably ‘small’ beginning meant I didn’t ever imagine, or intend, for I’m NOT Disordered to grow into anywhere near all that it is today – I didn’t envision it providing me with the opportunity to collaborate with huge charities, organisations, and well-known individuals, I didn’t picture it to even still be going after 10 years and to now have over 1.2 million readers! And do you know what? Sometimes I wonder if that’s been one of the secrets to, what feels like, a hugely successful journey – the fact that I didn’t have huge dreams and aspirations around this…? Maybe the absence of expectations and not putting time and effort into my blog purely to reach a higher count of readers, to secure gifted items, or anything else that’s slightly ill-prioritised; has shown that all my work, passion, and dedication to I’m NOT Disordered is 100% genuine and heartfelt.
Almost like it’s natural – and that’s honestly how it feels! I mean, I said earlier that I really don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I recognise this is something that can be a valued skill in the blogging industry… So, when so many people have said to me that they think I’m a real natural at writing – especially creatively – I’ve always sort of felt a bit squeamish and uncomfortable, but 10 years into my blogging career, I can finally see what they mean… I hear of other Bloggers talking about the use of all these very advanced, sentences and words that have hugely technical and complicated labels/names etc that make you feel that you really need a degree to comprehend what they mean! Yet, I feel that I just write how I write. I honestly don’t believe that I put a whole lot of effort or thought into it… I mean, in terms of the types of sentences I’m using etc… Of course, a lot of thought goes into the content – into phrasing it, and it takes a lot of effort to reach into some of my memories and vulnerable moments and talk about them in a very raw, honest, and open way. But the writing of it, it just seems to flow out of me. It’s a real, true, outlet.
In establishing this passion and skill, it’s given me a much better understanding of what I want to be learning about and that has made me so much more eager to enrol on some online courses in the subjects and topics that appeal to me the most. Not only through personal reasons and interest, and to better my content, but also, to better my work for Time To Inspire and to provide me with new skills and knowledge for any future career opportunities that may come up! Enrolling on this current course of the Credible Content Creation (I’m on my last week of it!) was a huge step forward into aiding me to fill up my time with something positive and productive as opposed to the difficult thoughts and feelings I’ve felt drowned by with my recent mental health relapse. It’s helped to bring me a degree of hope that I will have a future and that it will be bright.
My five favourite courses from FutureLearn are (in no particular order):