To Blog or not to Blog? That is the question

Apologies to any fans of the great Bard for my heading above, but given the growing number of both alive and dead blogs, I feel this is an important topic.

By Vicki's Nature at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vickisnature/4194708333/

According to Caslon Analytics, several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated.

My thoughts about blogging were triggered by a conversation during the recent Business Librarians’ Association (formally BBSLG) annual conference in Dublin. The initial topic was mental illness and how it is still such a taboo subject. I recalled the negative reaction I received from publishing an article in the staff newsletter I used to edit. It was written by a senior economist who wanted to help dispel some of the myths around Bipolar disorder from which he suffered. I edited out some of his more lurid stories, but was still met with a mainly negative reaction from my readers.

My new friend (who also happens to be an amazing nature photographer) explained how she had suffered with Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) for many years and had finally decided to write about her experiences in a blog. She had many misgivings about going public with her disorder, but felt a duty to help explain and publicise, as well as indicate sources of support such as OCD Action. I’m glad to report that so far the feed-back she has received has been almost entirely positive. So perhaps this is an indication that attitudes are beginning to change.

Mind Games

These links take you to my descriptions of mental illness.  For many years I remained very secretive about my battles, but I am now determined to help overcome the stigmas and misconceptions; I cannot do this if I continue to be ashamed.

My depression and OCD are caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain; I am not selfish and I do not feel sorry for myself. I cannot be cured by looking at all that is good in my life, or by considering others who have far less than me.  Depression is not about feeling very fed up, and it is not an exaggeration of this normal aspect of human behaviour. I strongly feel that people should not judge those who suffer, particularly if they have never felt mental pain.

I had considered publishing a separate website for this aspect of my life, but it is part of my world. Without it I do not believe that I would be exploring my creativity to the extent that I do, and I shouldn’t hide it.  Everything that I have been through has made me the person I am today.

This is only a part of me and only a part of my website; I am more than my illness.

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