Analytics Tracking

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What It Takes To Blog Bipolar

Well, I have been blogging for nearly six months already, wow!   Over this brief but busy time I think I've learned a "fair" amount of what it takes to blog about bipolar disorder.  In this post I will take you on a basic tour of my blogging world and give you a sense of what its like to post on a bipolar blog (1)

I'm certainly not a pro blogger and surely less blog savvy than the seasoned blogger.  However, I am knowledgeable about a few things bipolar.  I've spent a lot of time reading, researching, and experiencing bipolar disorder since being diagnosed in 1997.  

REQUIREMENTS.  Besides the need for a computer and internet access, there are no official requirements to blog online.  But you need to have a passion for writing about your subject.  Passion will provide the inspiration to keep the blog alive.  Yes there are other important attributes like persistence, stamina, and motivation.  But if you're inspired to do something then there's no stopping you!


CONCERNS.  There are concerns that I have to overcome when blogging about my bipolar experiences and beliefs.  Some of the concerns will stop me dead in my writing tracks.  

  • Failure.  Afraid to fail?  Most people are.  I am.  This is a persistent thought, especially when first starting to blog. 
  • Depression.  Writing is painful while severely depressed.  I  struggle each week getting my posts out.  On better days I write as much as possible and try to get ahead.  This allows me to have down days where producing content is just not there.
  • Stigma.  Stigma towards mental illness exists.  I don't know whether it's getting better or worse but it is definitely out there!  You need to accept and cope with this.  It will come up while you blog.
  • Privacy/Security.  How much privacy and security do you need?  You don't want to be accessible via your blogging web presence to your private residence.  Make sure blog and posts do not contain personal information.

BLOGGING.  Developing a blog post is a process with several steps.  Below are the steps I go through to publish a post.  Of course there are many more aspects to blogging that need consideration such as available time, access to a computer and the web, and more.  But these are the big ones for me.

  1. Topic.  Choosing a topic is always a tricky step for me.  For each topic I ask myself will writing about it benefit my audience.  Is it interesting?  Is it useful?  Is it PG-13?  Is it legal?  Will this trigger a terrorist response from the Feds? 
  2. Research.  This takes anywhere from no time to many hours depending on the topic.  If it's a post about my experiences or observations, then there's not much research involved.  However, a topic like "Scopolomine for Bipolar Disorder" can take 8 hours to find sources, research, analyze, fact check, and organize the information. 
  3. Writing.  This takes up 75% of the time I put in each post, not including research time.  This includes writing and editing multiple drafts, incorporated graphics, including relevant links, formatting, proofreading, and more.  
  4. Promote.  Yes I do some "promotion" of my blog posts.  It's a fact that you need to get the word out.  Otherwise how do you expect people to find and read your blog?  I manually tweet (there are autotweeting applications out there) on Twitter an average of 5 times each post.  I sometimes mention blog posts in bipolar disorder groups I belong to.  I also have a small email list that I send weekly updates to.  I don't have a facebook page, Google profile, or other social media accounts for the blog, yet.
Writing this blog was an excellent decision.  It positively impacts many areas of my life now.  My family and friends have taken an interest in my blogging.  This is satisfying.  Also, writing is therapeutic for me.  I get to work out my thoughts, concerns, and frustrations.  I really hope my writings help you in some way.


(1) I need to distinguish what I mean by blog.  For this post I'm talking about publically accessible bipolar blogs. 

25 comments:

  1. Keep up the interesting blogging my brother! :-) Vice

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your command is my wish, my brother Vice aka BigBassRapper.du ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. So happy to have found your blog today. I'm going to subscribe. I, too, have bipolar and have recently (like 3 days ago) started blogging. I hope to be inspired by you. It takes courage, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Jan!

    Welcome! I too am glad our blogs have crossed:) I wish you the best with blogging. It is good you have a craft to talk about as well. You should be able to come up with plenty of topics.

    And yes, it takes courage. For me I am okay with publishing my stuff most of the time. But there are times, during periods of bad depression, I struggle with confidence and courage. I try and tell myself it's "just" depression symptoms (worthlessness, inappropriate guilt, stuff like that) rearing their ugly heads.

    I am fortunate that I have enough gumption during the week to write two posts, a weekly email blog update, and general blog maintenance, tweaks, and changes. Sometimes, like last week I do not get enough blogging done. I just get behind a little and play catch up. Ideally I would have a post or two "waiting in the wings" already finished and ready to be published.

    Anyway, good wishes again toward your blogging efforts! If you have something on your mind about bipolar/blogging/web and want to discuss, don't hesitate to shoot me an email at bipolarblogguy@gmail(dot)com

    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am new to blogging, but you can follow me and my personal journey with the fight against bi polar.

      Delete
    2. Hi Mark - I wish you the best in your struggle with bipolar disorder. - Jeff

      Delete
  5. Very encouraging words here. I really find that writing is therapeutic. I don't often gain any new insight, It's just a way to put words around it. And yes, there's the hope that somewhere, somehow, it will help someone else.

    I'm enjoying going through your posts... thanks for the good work and the help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there person! It's encouraging to see this content making its way into the bipolarsphere. Comments like yours contribute greatly to my efforts writing and running Day in the Lives of Me blog. I'm actually considering creating another bipolar blog/website! Uh, we'll see. I've learned to be as patient as you can with this monster. Meaning on some days/week I can write only enough for this blog. Nevermind another.

      In the bigger picture I'm optimistic that I'll continue to stabilize. I am directing intentionality towards recovery. But at the same time I won't EXPECT to reach stability (no severe mood swings and few mild or no symptoms). Only God knows. - Jeff

      Delete
  6. I agree - writing has been very helpful on my road to balance as well. I'm a bit rough around the edges, and I make no apologies. I hope you stop by from time to time.

    http://mymiddleroad.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Middle - I like your blog! Keep going. You are incredibly candid and forthcoming with detailed, personal information. - Jeff

      Delete
  7. Nice tips on starting a blog, very helpful. (just gotta get past your "concerns" section, ha) being bipolar myself, I've always kind of lacked the confidence to do something so bold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandy - The concerns are everywhere in anything you do. I use whatever I can to keep concerns in perspective. Thanks for stopping by. - Jeff

      Delete
  8. Hi Jeff! I'm Susan, and am relatively new to blogging, since I started on the 22nd of June this year. I have Bipolar Disorder type 2, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anxiety and agoraphobia. The things I find interesting in your blog is the personal experiences, information, and humour. I'm so glad I found your blog. Feel free to follow my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Susan! Welcome back. Sounds you got quite the "package" with your BP2. OCD, anxiety, and agoraphobia, whew. As for me I have comorbity issues with alcohol and some anxiety from time to time. Thanks for sharing what you find interesting with my writing. It helps me a lot knowing people are getting something from all the work I do.

    Yes, I went to your blog. Nice to see folks out there helping our little friends that are so important to many people. I sent the link to a couple of my dog friendly people. Take care, Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi! This is my first attempt at blogging...and God knows I need some outlet.I have recently left a town which is home to a large universty. I now live in a town of 10 thousand. I must drive to my docs and have few relalationships here. My diagnosis is Bi-Polar/Psycho-Affective. I look forward to learning the blog thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there Anon! Sorry for the late reply. I do not have this site totally figured out. I'm moving to WordPress. Well, take it easy. I wonder if you'll even get this reply:) - Jeff

      Delete
  11. I have just started a blog about mental illness and especialy bipolar disorder. Please stop by. I'll have more content shortly. beatingourbipolar.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right on bro! The site design is cool, easy on the eye. Nice. Looking forward to the content! - Jeff

      Delete
  12. I had gone through it thoroughly its really worth to spent time on it and i really got to know a lot more from it .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BP - Glad you got something from stopping by! Stop back anytime. - Jeff

      Delete
  13. Thanks. I look forward for more postings. I've been diagnosed a BP years ago n takes a handful of meds. I still believe I'm just lazy n inconsistent .

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think what your doing is very good with the bi-polar post, best of luck with you

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks Anon! Keep on keeping on! - Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  16. wishing you the best of luck its not easy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marcy! I'll need it. Writing has been slow over the last several months. I remain hopeful. - Jeff

      Delete