The world has become a little crazy, hasn’t it?
I have found myself writing my feelings into a traditional journal. It’s been good. It means, that I am still able to get my feelings out, but don’t seem to overthink, or procrastinate as much as I do when there is an internet connection involved.
So, I write a few pages of rambling, before bed. And it actually has been helping me sleep better. Because I am not clicking on another tab, or looking through Facebook nonsense. It’s a positive thing. And in these, very challenging, times, it’s good to try and claim any positivity we can.
I got a wee email from WordPress the other day. They like to send emails to help content creators get inspired and motivated. And during a period where I find myself struggling to create, this can be pretty helpful. This email said that sometimes posting smaller updates can strengthen a connection with an audience.
Now, I love reading blogs that have long posts, and that is what I have found myself creating. However, I do use sites like Instagram and Twitter, so I do see the benefit of small, punchy posts. It’s not something I ever thought about doing on my blog. Which seems really strange, the more I think about.
A lot of the information that is posted, is about growing an audience. I never started this blog to gain any kind of audience, it was something for me. But, I do have a lot of people who do follow this blog, so maybe it would be nice to provide them with more. Because, honestly, i post so sporadically sometimes, that I think folk get surprise when they do see a post by me.
The main reason behind the lull in content, is because I can’t focus. As I’ve already mentioned, I start posts and give up. So, maybe smaller updates would help. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do put more pressure on myself if I haven’t posted in a while. So maybe wee updates, more like Tumblr or instagram would help.
Every time I see a challenge for blogging, I want to join in. I want to see myself do something, than I can say was successful. Because, I will be honest, me and success don’t necessarily go hand and hand. I am a serial failer, it is like a talent. Not a talent anyone actually wants to have, to be honest.
The aim of blogmas is to create something every day of December and post it online. It is supposed to be a boost to your creativity, something to help kickstart flagging creativity. It sometimes works. A lot of the time I don’t keep up with anything, and I fall begging after a couple of days.
This doesn’t mean that I can’t try. I am optimistic, but life is rather busy at the moment. I know a lot of people are very good at being creative regularly, and when speaking to them, they have said that constantly challenging yourself is essential to keeping creativity alive.
I love reading.
I love the idea of getting lost in a world when the real world is becoming too much. Reading is something I do when I need to chill out. Something that is becoming increasingly necessary in this world, as it becomes more angry an confrontational.
That’s why books have come to mean so much to me, as there is no confrontation. Everything that could cause anguish is contained within the pages of the book. And if it stresses me out at all, I can close the book and do something else. Because if I am really invested in a book or character, I can find myself panicking if the storyline turns suddenly. And I am aware that seems really strange.
My issue these days, seems to be on focus. There are times where I can get right into a novel, but other times my mind can’t focus. And it is really hard. Something that I’ve used to help me relax, might not help me anymore. I have discussed this quite a bit on here, but it is so annoying.
I am currently reading Limmy’s (Scottish comedian) autobiography, listening to a book on the Korean War and reading a thriller on my Kindle. I have to be able to jump back and forth so that I can take in a book whatever my mood is. The problem is that I often end up reading the same stuff over and over again. It’s not really a problem, but I feel like it is. I love the feeling of getting into a new book for the first time, where you can’t put it down. But, due to the problem with focusing, it’s hard to get into something new.
Recently I haven’t been sharing at all. Which is not like me, but it’s hard when you are dealing with something that you’d rather not be dealing with.
Unfortunately, life is not that kind. I have been sick, had a major crash with my mental health, had course work due in and the busiest time of the year for the ol’ day job. And it all kind of left me functioning, but that was it. I didn’t want to talk about it, still don’t, because I didn’t want to think about how much stuff was happening all at once. It’s kind of calmed down a little, my coursework is done and Christmas is a week a way, which means no overtime. And it’s allowing me a little time to reflect on why I burrowed myself away from the internet.
For years the internet was where I could let my feelings go, where I could write about stuff that no one cared about. It was very therapeutic and it was completely disconnected from my real life. However, every day there seems to be more merging of both my private life and the one I talk about on line. People who I know in real life, are able to access what I am writing.
Now, this doesn’t seem like a huge problem for some, as they see things being made public, and surely it doesn’t matter who reads it. But… that’s not really how it goes. In my life, I try to put a smile on as I soldier on through whatever the day throws at me. Inside, I may be falling apart, but I don’t want people to see it. I always feel like my mental health issues makes me a burden on others, so I don’t want them to know. That way people don’t feel pressured into being nice, they are being nice because they want to, not because I’m not right in the head. And when these people I share my daily life with can read what I really feel, I feel like I have let them down. I mean, surely I should be able to talk to folk, right?
So, sometimes it is easier to bury my head in the sand. Pretend things are okay, when they aren’t. It’s not perfect. But, it can get me through times where I don’t have the strength to deal with questions about things that I don’t know how to put into words. That’s what writing helps me do, sometimes, put what’s in my head into words that (kind of) make sense.
Since I was little I have kept sketch books full of drawings, diary entries and cut-outs. It’s always been a good way to be creative and work out some anxieties that I may have.
The only problem is, that as life gets busier and I get older, it becomes harder to focus on drawing and stuff. For example. My current sketch book was started about 2 and a half years ago. Which is quite bad. Considering there was a time that I could go through a sketch book every few months.
I am trying to say to myself, that it doesn’t matter how much I do. It matters more, that I am doing anything. Because I look at how little I have done and I feel bad, guilty almost, that I haven’t been doing as much as I maybe would have liked.
But in the last few days I have filled 4 pages with doodles, and it’s kind of motivated me again. So, I thought I would post some of the bits and pieces from previous pages of my sketchbook and try and push myself on further.
Music is something that has helped me get through my life. I like, that how music can be a journey of discovery. That different songs can make you think about different things, and can even change your outlook on things. It is very strange, when you think about it.
People often talk about music taste, like it is something static. Like, how you find one genre of music, and that is what you will stick with for the rest of their life. But, that isn’t how it really works, music is more like a journey. A journey where you might tip your toes into a particular type of music, and depending on your experience, you could venture deeper into that particular journey, or you could wonder off to something a bit different.
I was a Pop fan for much of my childhood. Music was there, but it wasn’t anything too crazy to obsess about. I liked songs, but no artists in particularly. I fell in love with Hanson, then B*Witched, followed by a1. It sounds like a list of guilty pleasures, but those bands kind of got me into music. I started to notice that certain songs made me feel different, I would get meaning in the lyrics and it became something of an addiction. I would buy albums and read the lyrics on the inserts. I did find, that as I started reading into song means more, I got bored of what was on the radio. I wasn’t interested in getting a boyfriend, I just wanted to read books and draw, so I gradually turned away from the chart music.
This was the time, where I would start frequenting my local library, to use their internet. I didn’t have it at home, so when you want to discover new music, that wasn’t on the radio, you went online. I started to become a fan of music with a rockier sound, the angst and anger matched how I felt in life.
The music that I felt most connect to was old punk stuff, mostly from before I was born. I bought this compilation CD from a charity shop one day after school, and it had The Clash, The Ramones, X Ray Spex and like 40 other bands from the late 70s/ early 80s. It felt like there was a fire in my belly, when I listened to those songs. And the first song on the compilation was Going Underground by The Jam (see know I would get back to the prompt), which actually became a favourite song of mine.
Since I started listening to punk, my taste developed, I started to listen to metal, thrash, emo, grunge, alt rock, just about anything. In fact, the more I listened to, the more I began to appreciate music, in general. The phase that I had, where I turned my back on my poppy roots, was over. I listened to old albums, and realised that those songs still meant a lot to me. Favourite things, become our favourites for a reason.
So put on that played out album from your teens, and have a party. Relish in the memories that those songs have for you, and realise they are more than just words and a tune.
I bought a magazine called Blogosphere today. It was something that I decided to have a look at because I fell I need a little inspiration to get back on the blogging horse properly. The last few months I have been writing very sporadically, mostly because I don’t have a lot of ideas, and everything that I catch myself writing is mopey, rubbish. Not something I actually enjoy reading.
Blogosphere is a magazine giving advice about creating content, and how writers got attention to their blogs. It’s very informative and helpful, but only if you have the right frame of mind. If I am feeling a little fragile about myself in general, it can be difficult to look at people who seem to already have success doing what they love. I love writing, it has become a major part of what helps me through life. But, I seem to ramble about nothing, and that doesn’t really get an audience. Yes, advice can be good, but complaining for the sake of complaining can be very painful to read.
But that’s maybe it. Yes, getting advice from other sources is good, which is why I bought Blogosphere. I have never been able to go to any events or conventions, so I have never really known how to get a focus on here. The problem can be, when you look at other bloggers who run vastly better sites than yourself, you can feel down on yourself. Which is quite easy to do, especially because blogging can be quite a solitary task, which is mostly writing musings on a particular topic.
I guess the best thing, for me, is to try and think positively. Look at everything as something to help improve your own creative process. Its very easy to see something good, and look down on your own work negatively, but it’s important for your creativity not to do that. If you can look at the world and take away positive steps to move forward, that will always work in your favour.
It is just re-training your brain to get away from the negative thoughts. But as long as you don’t give up, you will never fail. And the closer you get to your goals, it becomes easier to create. So just focus, and look at the world to help you.
It was the first day back at work for me today. The start of another week, where it takes every piece of energy you have to get out of your bed. I know that if I had the choice, I would just stay at home all the time, and do what I want. And if everyone was to act honestly, most of them would admit the same. But, we need to work, to get the money, to live a life.
Today was one of those days. I must have put my alarm to sleep at least 10 times, and I was still in my bed. But, I got to the stage where if I didn’t get up, I would have been late for work. I just didn’t know how to get motivated.
So once I started moving, I tried to give myself a bit of a pep talk. The idea was to try and make the day my bitch. Take charge, for a change. And as silly as it seems, now I am reading it back, it worked. I got the energy I needed to get up and go to work. I even ended up being quite happy most of the day, and was super productive.
Now, there are times where talking to yourself won’t make things better. I know that from experience. But sometimes, it is good to be able to give yourself the required kick up the arse to get stuff done. One person who inspires me to get moving is Superwoman. Not the superhero, the youtuber. She has a channel on Youtube, which she has talked a lot about ‘hustling’, and just being her own cheerleader and how it is not as shameful as you may think.