Happy 2nd Birthday to The Mandy Diaries!
Yes, for 2 years I have been putting my life out here in cyberspace for the world to read. I am so proud of my consistent effort in publishing most weeks during those 2 years.
Has it always been pretty? No, not always! Has it always been honest? Yes, an emphatic YES! I have and will always write honestly, from my heart. Sometimes that means not publishing what I would like too because it causes stress to people I love but if it is published – you can be sure it is MY truth!
Has it always been easy? Definitely, not. The creative place that my writing usually comes from is my open heart. My feelings. And at times the discipline of writing when my heart is closed for repairs or when my psychologist is teaching me that feelings should not always be my motivation for action or inaction, have certainly made writing difficult. But mostly I have found something to say.
Has it always been easy to stay true to my initial premise of writing for myself? Not so much. In the beginning this was easy. I had stories to tell, heartaches to share, opinions to express, stigma’s to break down. I couldn’t NOT write. But then as the time commitment required to run a blog, a blog Facebook page, an Instagram account, a Twitter account and write/publish three times a week dawned on me, the reality of having worthwhile content became an issue. I began to think that if I was putting so much time into writing and publishing, it would be really nice to know that someone might actually be reading it! The way to judge this is by getting totally immersed in the various stat analysis programmes or by engaging with your readers through the comments sections. As I do not fully understand the stat analysis programmes, I chose to hang my hat on the comments …. but they just do not regularly come! Does this mean no one is really reading? No! I know people are reading because I hear about it by word of mouth and some private messages but at times the lack of written public comments on my actual blog page or on my Facebook page have been soul destroying for me. I have had to return to my initial premise of “writing for myself” and this has put me back on track. Back in focus.
I have been challenged, more than once, by those in the know about these bloggy things, that if I want to earn money from my blog or significantly grow my readership, I need to choose a definite focus …. a direction …. and go for it. Fashion or Weight Issues or Mental Health or Parental Advice or Music or Sport or Food or Political Issues or Religion or Women’s Issues …. I have at some time during the last 2 years, blogged about all of the previously listed issues and how they are working or not working in my life. But I have been told that in all reality, blogging about MY life will not do it. That people, in general, are not really interested in MY life! That the successful, general life bloggers are the exception not the rule. At times this has been difficult to for me to hear. I have a strong desire to be one of the exceptions!
I had decided that this year I was going to really sort this dilemma out because I am still unemployed and I know I need to put some of the time I spend online blogging, into finding and keeping a job. I had set as a goal for 2016, to attend the largest blogging conference in Australia, ProBlogger Event, but then circumstances and focus changed, and I had an amazing month in Germany with my son. I was hoping that my attendance at ProBlogger, might have helped me to look at my blog more realistically – with the chance to interact with some of the 700+ other Australian bloggers that would also be there. New 2017 goal!
It’s such a fine line for me! The moment I stop blogging – my mental health deteriorates. Whether it’s the actual writing I need to do or whether it is the validation I get from publishing – I am struggling to work out! I think it is a both and! I get such a release from writing but I get such a lift from being an attention seeking whore, when someone actually acknowledges something I have published. I constantly struggle with the idea that my writing might be worth something in a financial way and yet I think nothing of paying for other forms of expression that mean something to me – art, music, poetry, books and yes – other writers blogs! It has been suggested to me that a Donate button be added to my blog – so that if people find value in my words, they can contribute financially to my living expenses. I tell myself that this is a wanky thing to do and that I’m not worthy but in reality I think I am scared that if I do this and no one donates ….. I will know that I am worthless!!
So, today, on my little blog’s 2nd Birthday, I am thinking about some heavy stuff in relation to The Mandy Diaries. I will continue to write because I can’t NOT write and because I WANT to write and because I ENJOY writing.
If you feel like adding to the discussion in my mind, please do – on either The Mandy Diaries Facebook page or in the comments section below. Because even though I am writing for myself ….. I also love to hear what you think about what I write. (See attention seeking whore raises her head again!) What parts of my writing you connect most with? What topics you might like me to write about? What parts of my blog cause you to want to read on? Or the opposite – cause you to not want to read on? If you don’t comment – is there a particular reason? All reasons are valid, by the way. Thank you to all the readers for your ongoing readership and support. I appreciate every single one of you – whether you comment or not!
Finally, the old Simon and Garfunkel song, The Sounds of Silence, has been on my mind a lot while I wrote this birthday blog piece. It certainly encapsulates my thoughts about my reasons for blogging. And although it is not the traditional version, I absolutely love this powerful version by the heavy metal band Disturbed, especially the vocals by lead singer David Draiman.
Happy 2nd Birthday to The Mandy Diaries!