I had a blog before this one. It was similar in look, I guess, and similar in content. I started it when I went abroad to do another university degree and it was meant as a sort of mass e-mail, to stay in touch with people. Necessarily, therefore, it was a lot more personal. And after a few months, I stopped it in disgust because it was meandering, pointless (= no thread) and most of all, I hated that it had started to sound negative and complaining and vulnerable and whiny and annoying and a lot of other things that I can’t quite remember now, but that were bad. BAD. Like drunk-dialing or something. I vowed never to blog again. I couldn’t trust myself.
Then after a while I got over it and started again, with a new name, a new idea and an actual purpose – to get my voice, my writing, out there and see if it resonated with anyone or if it was all just in my mind. “It” being the notion that I wasn’t too bad at putting words together. At the same time, I promised myself that I wouldn’t post anything if I didn’t feel good and that even if I was going to write about not-so-good things, I’d better make damn sure it was funny!
And then today I got an e-mail from a friend, casually saying that he’s been reading the blog and thinks I sound depressed. And that was a shock. Admittedly, this friend is like a soul brother, so he probably picked up some stray radiation from reading my mind, as he’s wont to do, but still…!
It’s been bugging me all day, and I can’t stop thinking about it, so I want to clear the air about some stuff:
1. If I ever sound complaining, whiny, or annoying, please, PLEASE, kick me in the (digital) butt! I mean that.
2. I’m not depressed. Really.
3. I know what depressed is like, and while it’s true that I’ve been happier, chirpier, more focused and more positive in my life than I am at this point in time, I’m not depressed.
4. No, I’m not protesting too much.
5. I’m actually not very happy at the moment, and the problem is motivation, or lack thereof. Or rather, the strength to see things through and to be who I want to be. I’m not going to bore you with this stuff, just wanted to mention it, because it relates to:
6. I’ve been on the point of asking my friends for help in checking up on me at semi-regular intervals and using the naming-and-shaming technique to get me to accomplish things, but I dismissed that thought again, because that’s also whiny and pathetic, and it’d be a lot of trouble and some people would worry unnecessarily and so…
7. … I’ve decided to set myself challenges, and because it’s too easy to find excuses for myself (I’m such a sucker for a good excuse from myself), I’m going to set the challenges publicly and let the internet do the naming-and-shaming. And by internet, I mean of course you, the wonderful readers of this blog. Which brings me to this:
8. From this moment on, expect challenges. Not quite sure what that’ll look like, but be prepared for them.
9. If you’ve managed to read this far without falling asleep, you’re awesome and you get a cookie. Or some home-made gingerbread.
10. I’m done talking now, but ten is a much neater number to finish on than nine, so you get a point ten … *silence* … Anybody know any jokes? …
Posted on December 6, 2012, in day-to-day and tagged blogging, challenge, goal, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.
The good thing about a blog is…. it’s yours! It’s totally up to you how you’re going to fill it up, even if it is only just about complaining. If it helps expressing yourself, why not. If people don’t like it, they don’t need to read it though, except if they are willing to give you a positive support and not a judgement. But for me you don’t sound depressed at all. I think if you’re struggling to finish you nano or and write about it or about your unfinished story, that’s ok. At least you don’t stop writing at all.
You’re totally right, it’s mine, but I don’t like myself when I’m complaining and pathetic, so I won’t be. 🙂 And thanks for saying I don’t sound depressed.
Same here. I don’t think you sound depressed in your posts, but a healthy outlook in life is better 🙂 I like the list, and I deserve a cookie! 🙂
You will get the cookie, or rather, the recipe for it. 🙂 You girls are saving me.
One of the biggest things I learned from my first year of doing NaNoWriMo (2011) was that any large or long-term goal can and should be broken down into smaller pieces. You concentrate on just the next piece, keeping the whole in the back of your mind, and eventually you get there. I’d spent years contemplating NaNo but being scared, sure I couldn’t do 50,000 words in a month (go ahead, laugh, I do too now). But that big goal seemed impossible. It wasn’t until last year, when I did the calculation for the daily total required to reach 50k that I realized the pieces were actually bite sized. 1667 words in a day isn’t that bad, especially if you’re prepared and you have some idea of what you want to do. So that’s what I did. Each day I sat down not thinking of how far I was from 50k, but of the 1667 words I needed to write for that night. You don’t have to write to that pace all the time, but set the overall goal and the time frame, then figure out what you need write each day to get there. That habit has seen me through every novel I’ve written so far.
I’ve found that you can do this with almost any goal or dream. Figure out the steps to achieve it, then concentrate on taking those steps in order and before you know it, you’ll get there. And I’ll tell you something else. The feeling each day of achieving that daily goal will carry you into and often through the next day’s work. Success builds on itself often, in the heart and the mind. Each day’s achievement begets confidence to do it again the next time.
Don’t look at the top of the mountain, but concentrate on the next step upwards? You’re right, I needed to hear this. This is wonderful advice and I’ll copy it onto a post-it and stick it on my computer! Thank you!
You’re welcome. We won’t discuss how long it took me to learn that little pearl. Oh well, I keep reminding myself better late than never. 🙂
I earned a cookie! And I’m happy to nag should you need it, 🙂 and, to me at least, your blog is not in the least depressing. 🙂
I’ll hold you to that! And as I said to Monica, you’ll get the cookie recipe for all being awesome and supportive.
Yay gingerbread! I don’t think you sound depressed at all. Everyone goes through a slump every now and then, but that doesn’t mean you can stick the “Depressed” label on them. I’ve heard the holiday season can get pretty stressful for some people as well, so maybe you’ll feel better after it’s over. Good luck with your challenges! I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines, sans shaming. 😀
I’ll be happy for cheering, too! 🙂 I’m going to introduce the challenges tomorrow, I needed to think it through. Also this year, I’m actually looking forward to Christmas because I’ll finally get all my sibling together again! And thanks for being wonderful.
I’m glad you’re not depressed, though it’s nice that you have a friend who would ask and make sure you’re okay! I think challenges sound like a great idea! I know I feel lost if I don’t have something to work for. I think Julie’s right in that you need to focus on smaller goals, lest you get overwhelmed and give up. I know that’s a problem I usually have. But I know I would be more than happy to give you a push in the right direction should you need it. 🙂
You’re right, it’s a great thing to have friends that check up on you, but it’s also great to have so many wonderful blogging friends to reassure one! And I’m counting on your pushes now. 🙂