I got an email today from someone I’ve just started to get to know on Twitter – she’s starting a business writing and editing (sound familiar?) and wanted to know why I haven’t blogged in so long. So it’s time to come clean. Below is my nutshell response to why I stopped. It’s as honest as I’ve been in a very long time.
As a summary, I don’t go into detail here about what it feels like to lose my mental health, and what hard work it is to come back. I want to write about that too, but not right now. I hope this helps all of you who wondered why they didn’t see @wordspring around very much in2010.
My thanks to Lisa for asking me about blogging. This probably wasn’t the answer you expected.
Thanks for the note! Thanks as well for the question about my sadly neglected blog. Blogging need not take very long, and it’s a wonderful way to show what you know. In my case, it wasn’t lack of ideas or lack of time that stopped the posts. A lot of people stop blogging when they run out of ideas, or when they don’t see it as a priority for their business. Others barely get started because they are perfectionists, and feel that whatever they do won’t be good enough! I think I blogged about that – you can help them get over it.
As a writer and editor, this is can be your best form of advertising, and so long as I was running my business, it was a central piece of my marketing. It could be for you, as well. I stopped because of a personal crisis, that saw me change direction 180 degrees.
As you can see, I was blogging very regularly through 2009, when I was newly 100% self-employed as a writer and social media consultant. I kind of threw myself into the deep end of the pool and started swimming madly to stay afloat. Unfortunately, it turns out I’m not well suited to being a one-woman show. I’m a great teacher, salesperson, motivator, explainer, and a crappy administrator. So by the end of the year, I was falling apart trying to do everything myself, and too afraid of failure to bring anyone in on a potential trainwreck. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Yeah. By the end of 2009 I had to stop what I was doing for my own mental and physical health, and to save what was left of my relationship with my boyfriend and children, as well. So I stopped, cold turkey, for months.I got a job that didn’t involve the Internet, and that helped people in a concrete way, selling walkers, wheelchairs, and so on. It put a paycheque in my bank account every two weeks. I didn’t look at my email, didn’t go into my office, and stopped attending the tweetups and the Social Media Club I’d helped to found the previous year. I cancelled (or dropped) contracts. I stopped answering my phone. I felt like I’d failed and gone into exile. Only my family and my job got me through the day to day, and during some very dark times last spring, even that wasn’t enough, and I had to recognize that I was really, really sick! And THAT’s why I stopped blogging.Slowly, one piece at a time, I’m putting myself back together. Ii’ve gotten help for what turned out to be acute mental illness (there, I’ve said it!), and have great counsellors, good meds, and wonderful friends and family. We’ve made some changes at the family level, and I’m starting to write and edit again, balancing that with my medical supplies sales work. I can check email and tweet, lol, and will probably start adding more activities as I am able to handle them. That certainly includes blogging, because I have a ton of ideas. Right now, it has taken a back seat to a contract I have (on deadline as we speak!) but it’s going to come back, too.That’s my 5-minute story – with that out of the way, I’d love to meet for a coffee, talk about YOUR story, and get you excited about blogging. Don’t worry, blogging is a lot of fun, so long as you are not having a nervous breakdown