Blogging About Blogging

Today I’m doing a blog post about blogging… yeah, that’s right. I’m blogging about blogging… blogception anyone??

I’ve been blogging for three years now (well, nearly three and a half… that went fast) in that time I think I’ve accrued some small bits of wisdom that I can pass on.

Here’s a quick run down of what I think you should know if you’re starting a blog:

  • Write for you. No, seriously, write because you care about what you have to say. Don’t write for anything or anyone other than you- if you don’t then you will get bored very quickly. And you will stop.
  • The first comment will take your breath away.
  • You will meet some wonderful people.
  • Time will pass very quickly; I’m slightly scared that I’ve been blogging for so long- it is, however, a great way to record things that happen in your life and gives you a pretty detailed idea of who you were and what you were doing at certain points in the past.
  • If you are starting an anonymous blog it will be hard to get readers. All of the common wisdom is to share your new blog posts on social media to gain followers… if you’re writing anonymously you can’t do this. It’ll be pretty lonely out there for a while.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people. I’ve been at this for three and a half years, in that amount of time a lot of people have created blogs that are so successful that they can live off them; they have huge cult followings and are minor celebrities in their own rights…. so… good for them! As with most things it’s part luck, part hard work. If you start getting caught up in what other people are doing then you lose motivation for what you do.
  • Celebrate your achievements. Gaining ten or twenty followers, one hundred likes, thirty comments; they’re all big things. Even bigger is writing your tenth, fiftieth or one hundredth post. Go you!
  • It’s a learning experience. I hope that my writing, spelling and grammar has all gotten a lot better since I’ve started this blog. Part of that will be age, the other part will be experience.
  • The typos will always be there. But proof-reading helps a lot.
  • Some days you won’t want to post. It’s the same as with anything, some days you just can’t be bothered to spend that time tapping away at the keyboard. I get that, I seriously do… but every time I miss a post I feel rubbish, and every time I put up a post I feel great. Nowadays I only miss a post if I have no internet access or physically don’t have the time to write. For the most of the last year about half of my posts were pre-written and then scheduled to go up at certain times on certain days.
  • You will draw a blank. That’s okay, when I don’t know what to write about I either stick up some photos, scroll through the news to find something or just work out what’s been occupying my mind lately and put that into word form.

When I first started I think that the internet wasn’t quite what it is now, a lot of the YouTube stuff was only just beginning and things like tumblr weren’t quite as massive as they are right now. The blogosphere wasn’t by any means quiet, but it was different.

I knew from the start that I wasn’t going to get an amazingly successful blog, I knew that I wasn’t going to be drowning in comments every time that I opened up my dashboard. I started this blog for me, it was something that I needed and it helped me to put my thoughts into order. I’ve always kept a diary but it got to a point with my mental health that I needed something more.

When I sit here, on my bed with my laptop in front of me and music playing through my earphones, and stare out of the window at the dreary grey skies of Yorkshire I feel like I’m talking to myself- not in a bad way- but I just do.

I feel very much like I’m doing this for me. It almost surprises me when people comment on things; it’s a brilliant surprise of course, and as time’s gone on people have been commenting more and more which is amazing!

I love getting a good comment, it really makes my day. Now that my crazy training schedule has let up I actually have the chance to start a conversation instead of just churning out content. That’s a really nice feeling.

When you first start up a blog the silence can seem daunting, I think there comes a stage when everyone falls behind on their blogs- I think I’ve had that stage about three times. I don’t know if I’ll have it again, I might- but I might not. I’m very settled into who I am as a person, I know that I can keep up a good blog schedule even when I’m really busy and I also know that I have people who care about what I write.

As an interesting side-note; I don’t really post anything on my Facebook page, I post way more stuff on here. I care about this blog so much more than I care about Facebook… that probably tells you something interesting about me psychologically…

’til next time,

Wren x

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting, General, Mental Illness

Limbo

Limbo is okay; you just have to believe it.

Right now there are a lot of things that I could be doing, I could be kick-starting my career as an actress or theatre maker. I could be applying for jobs, going to auditions- I could be trying.

But I don’t want to; right now I’m not sure what I want to be. I know, distantly, that there are things that I enjoy. I’m writing a little bit (on and off) I’m not committing to a new novel right now but I think I’m working my way towards it.

I don’t feel like I’m lacking in motivation; it’s not like I was when I was experiencing depression. I just don’t know what I want from my life and actually I think that’s okay. A lot of people when they’re my age go through a stage of growing up, trying things and experimenting. I think that I need some time to find my career path.

I definitely want to keep on writing; it’s always been a constant in my life and when I do it I feel like I’m home.

Oddly I don’t feel scared about this limbo that I’m in. I’m working towards a qualification on my own; I feel fairly confident about it. I don’t want to be attached to any kind of institution; school or university. I’m happy to face challenges and try things out on my own. I’m surrounded by amazing people, I have a steady job (boring and frustrating but reliable) and I live in a lovely place.

Right now I’ve got the breathing space that I’ve been after for a long, long time. I can finally see clearly and I feel good about the future. The world is filled with unknowns but I feel prepared to tackle them and plough onwards with my life. One chapter has ended and another is beginning.

Here’s to limbo!

’til next time,

Wren x

Leave a comment

Filed under General, Mental Illness, Mentalist Monday

Lady of Leisure

My course is over, I’m still working in a supermarket but not that much. It’s time for me to put my feet up and relax for a bit… only I can’t.

I’ve never been the kind of person to sit still, I’ve been writing from the age of thirteen and reading from the age of god-knows-what. I love to fill my life with creativity- but it’s more than that. I think I just like to be busy.

It took me about thirty six hours to grow tired of my new-found freedom. I’m sitting here feeling a little out of place and idle. You spend forever waiting for a break and then when it finally comes you can’t wait to get up and out again. I’m terrible with this sort of thing, I’m one of those people who needs to be busy.

I find that my mind tends to wander when I’m not busy; it starts to worry and fixate on things that it should be leaving well alone. My anxiety really takes hold when there’s nothing to distract it. I wish that I could switch my brain off but sadly it doesn’t really work like that.

At the moment I’m trying to give myself a list of goals and tasks to complete in order to stop my mind from wandering to places where it shouldn’t be and allow me to focus on doing productive things. I wish that I could just relax, I’m thinking of upping my hours at work- it’ll take my mind off things and get me more money… the only downside is that I’ll be at work more, which could just make me grumpy.

However, I should probably stop complaining and instead use my free time and love for productivity to make progress. I have sewing that I want to do, cleaning that should be done and writing. Lots and lots of writing. Mmm, writing…

So essentially, I’m a former procrastinator who has forgotten how to procrastinate… joy.

On the plus side; I have more time to blog!!

’til next time,

Wren x

Leave a comment

Filed under General

Reflections on My Year of Training

I feel like I’ve reached the end of a long running documentary series, right now there should be a shot of me staring idly into the distance with a caption that reads ‘Wren went on give up acting and become the manager of a supermarket. She now lives in Stoke with two cats.”

Or something like that.

In the end it was easy. My year long course finished with a whimper, rather than a bang. I’m never going to go back to the school that I did it with, or speak the person that ran it. In the end the decision to cut all ties was easy and I don’t regret it.

The last year has been hell, I don’t know how I’ve managed to get through it and not have a total breakdown. I’ve come away with good qualifications, I’m now in a decent educational position and I’m glad of that. Right now I can’t think about going into education, I need some time to recover from the mental beating that I have endured this year.

I could tell you everything that was done and said, I could tell you why I’m so relieved to see the back of everything- but I feel that that would be too much of a rant, and I don’t want to rant.

But I will say this:

Never, ever listen to anyone who tells you that you are not good enough. Never listen to anyone who upsets you- never accept excuses from someone who humiliates you. Never forget who you are, give up your ideals. Never let yourself be belittled, manipulated or controlled.

No qualification is worth that. No qualification in the world is worth compromising not only your mental health but simply yourself.

Never be afraid to walk away; if you feel that something isn’t right then it probably isn’t.

Life is short, be thankful of what you have and don’t take people you love for granted. Think about how you feel when you’re around certain people or in certain places; if you feel like crap then walk away. Don’t put up with shit, fuck what excuses they give- you don’t deserve it.

My course ended for good yesterday. I cried with happiness when I got back home with my partner, I cried when I spoke to my mother today- I can’t put into words how glad I am that it’s over, how bloody glad I am that I will never have to be trapped or degraded in that way again. And now I know what it truly feels like I will try my hardest never to get into that situation again.

Thank you to all of my readers; lurkers and commenters, thank you for sticking by me through a tough year. The cage has been opened and this Wren can fly free again!

Here’s to the future; I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but I’m not scared.

’til next time,

Wren x

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting, Auditions, General, Mental Illness

Off to Edinburgh

It’s a Saturday… so why am I posting something?

Well, I’m off to Edinburgh tomorrow- I will have limited internet access so I may or may not be able to post, if not then I hope you have a lovely week and I’ll see you on Monday 18th.

See you soon!

’til next time,

Wren x

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting

A Formula for Life

There’s a formula for how to live your life.

Go to school, make friends and get good grades. Choose your favourite subject and continue to study it at university; party hard, have a good time and complete your degree. Get a good job, a small but nice place to live and meet someone lovely. Get married, buy a house and a dog/cat and then have children. Bring them up, grow old, retire and watch countdown. Die in your sleep.

I think that life doesn’t really cater for people who work outside of that formula.

At the moment I am essentially having a career crisis- well, at least it’s only a career crisis and not a life crisis; it show that I’m pretty happy with around 60-70% of my life that doesn’t involve work. I’m just having a problem; I know what I like to do, I know what interests me- but shoe-horning that into something that pays the bills is causing problems.

I’ve decided that I don’t want to go to University. It’s not for me, especially not right now.

The last five or so years have been tough and non-stop for me. I’ve had so many things thrown at me that my mind and my body have had to adjust to very quickly. I need a break, I need some freedom. Over the last few years my mind has been focussed on other things than my career path.

We humans are terrible, we make structures and rules and construct prisons for ourselves that make us unhappy.

Screw the formula, do what you want and what feels right.

’til next time,

Wren x

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, General

Who Would Listen to the Opinion of a Mentalist?

Something happened to me recently that didn’t quite sit right. Someone used my mental health problems as an excuse for why I was unhappy with what they were doing and therefore got themselves ‘off the hook’.

I feel a little bit strange about this.

I’ve been lucky enough to not have that happen to me before, I don’t tell a lot of people about my mental health problems but recently I’ve been more willing to open up.

I disagree with someone that I work with, she has authority over me which makes things a little difficult. It’s not a personal problem, I just feel that she crosses the line a lot and does a lot of things that I’m really uncomfortable with. When she recently asked me why I was hesitant to work with her again I told her that I felt that we didn’t gel.

I told her calmly and professionally that I felt my style and working and her style of directing were completely different and that I was unhappy with the way that she was speaking to people. Personally I feel that she gets very personal when she criticises people- though I didn’t say this to her, I kept it very polite. I said that neither of our ways of working were wrong, they just don’t gel with each other.

She told me that due to my mental health problems I have problems with authority and that’s why I was having a problem with her; she was behaving in a way that ‘normal’ people would be fine with.

This is the first, and hopefully the last, time that someone has managed to make me feel powerless and tiny by using my mental health problems against me. I felt so small sat in that office. It took a lot of self control to tell her calmly that I didn’t feel that my mental health played a part in my feelings towards her actions- but she dismissed that one easily.

A week on from the incident and I still don’t know how to respond. Looking back I can see that she’s made comments like that before; but not as explicitly as last week. Like it or not, having a mental illness still means that your opinion, your voice, can be questioned and doubted.

For the first time in a long time I feel powerless.

’til next time,

Wren x

5 Comments

Filed under Depression, Mental Illness, Mentalist Monday