You may or may not know that I am new to blogging. I knew nothing about the world of blogging when I first began, and I gleaned my knowledge from a series of google searches: how often to blog; what to blog; what to do with the blog; how much to blog. Advice was coming out of my ears and, dutifully, I did my best to follow all the rules.
Blog at least one a week, they told me – at least. And write at least 1000 words, that way the search engines will take you seriously and people will be able to find you. Don’t keep your readers waiting because they’ll get bored and look elsewhere. On and on the rules went and as is my nature I did my best not to break them. Until last week.
Last week I secured a venue for my book launch, and that was my excuse for not blogging. Truth is, securing the venue took no time at all once I was able to speak to the right person – it really was just that; an excuse. This week I am late with my blog, according to the rules, and I have no excuse. But I do have a reason.
I have decided to make my own rules, rather than beating myself up when I break someone else’s rules. My rules so far are to focus on quality, not quantity and to listen to my heart, not google!
I will attempt to blog once a month, unless I feel inspired to write something in between. Contrary to the advice received from the internet, I cannot even promise a set day each month for readers to eagerly anticipate my latest musings. I cannot promise much, other than I will give each blog everything I’ve got (true borderline style!).
As much as I love writing, producing a blog every week has been an enormous pressure to me. Perhaps I should say: producing a blog according to a myriad of pre-prescribed standards and regimes was an enormous pressure and pretty exhausting if I’m totally honest. I found myself writing for the sake of writing, wracking my brains for a ‘topic’ and desperately attempting to meet all the requirements of successful blogging whilst floundering in a sea I was not equipped to be in.
I have had to step off the treadmill and decide for myself what I would consider successful. Back to basics, if you like, and the whole point of my blogs* was to try and help people to understand borderline, and to offer hope and encouragement to any one who is impacted by it. I wanted my book, when it is published in June, to have some sort of momentum, beyond being on book shelves in shops (and hopefully homes). The blogs were initially intended to introduce and precede my book, and eventually accompany it. Having regrouped with me, myself and I, I have come to realise that the best way for me to be successful in my original aims is to focus on quality not quantity; hence the scaling back to monthly blogs.
These little lessons are all part of a journey – discovering what I can and can’t realistically do, and learning to accept my limitations as much as I need to embrace my strengths. I feel much more comfortable making my own rules as I go along, and not being hamstrung by what was, essentially, a self-imposed rod for my over-sensitive back.
Being kind to yourself isn’t always easy, but like anything – the more we practice being kind to ourselves the better we become at it. When being highly critical, demanding, judgemental and punitive to oneself comes disturbingly naturally, it is a welcome relief whenever we remember to step back and show some mercy. And it is always worth remembering that progress is progress, no matter how slow.
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*still don’t know if it’s blog or blogs – that’s how much of a newbie I am to all of this!