Suck It And See What Pops Out!
… My Blog Journey to Date
|Blogging Insights #55 – Daydreams|
What are your “dreams” regarding your blog ?
… because that is our readership and how important they are to our blogs, our writing, stories and us.Achieving More With Less
I was grateful to reach the end of 2017 as it had been a seriously trying year emotionally, mentally and personally for me. My relationship in August 2017 with Suzanne had hit a serious obstacle and we had broken up. We still lived in the same house and we still had Scrappy as our furry companion. Luckily we were not hostile to each other, we were mates just simply hit a bit of an impasse!
It had come around for a couple of reasons but principally Suzanne’s post menopause stage was pretty hard on me as her partner. It changed her enormously from the person l had met and fallen in love with. She had starting changing mid 2015, not long ironically after we first started living together in March 2015. We had been dating and living in our own places since June 2013 and had known each other at that point for six months.
Her menopause according to her had been an easy ride, but neither of us saw the post menopause stages as detrimental initially, but things changed …. They were obviously hard on Suzanne herself of course they were, but also hard on me.
I supported Suzanne as much as l could do emotionally, personally – anyway l could. But the post menopause stage to Suzanne was not kind and it turned her into a kind of demon and this in turn placed me under a lot of mental stress because it just wasn’t easy living with her. My stress gave way in April 2017 and l started to experience a spiral pattern l wasn’t unfamiliar with which wasn’t welcome …. depression.
By May, and not long after my my 54th birthday l had contemplated very seriously, suicide. A few of my readers may recall how l wrote about this in 2018. I had been literally 6″ away from a cliff edge in St Margaret’s Bay in Kent, and was looking the 200 foot drop in the eye and wondering if l would be successful with my death?
In 2017 there were three main stresses that faced us as a couple 1] work, 2] post menopause and 3] monetary concerns. That is it in a simplified nutshell – of course, there were more complexities to each statement, but no need to discuss them here. The pressure points became volatile and so in August we split up as a couple, but agreed to stay together for the sake of Scrappy.
When l started my blog in September 2017 l was at that point on the determined path of kicking my demons out of my life forever. November 17th is a very sad date for me and has been so since 1987. But with a depression present it was the sort of thing that could’ve been the end of me and more so in 2017 as that was the 30th anniversary. But l was determined to kick the demons out and by the end of November l had done and by the end of December l knew l would never let THEM bother me again!
But Suzanne and l were not yet a couple returned, Suze still struggled with her post menopause, by this time l also had a shoulder injury playing up and we still had monetary concerns but we were starting to get things together so that we could still live under one roof as two friends and a shared dog.
In January 2018 I was determined to make the year start off on new personal journey of learning and acheivement for me whatever the cost, whatever the end results ….. because l was honestly clueless as to how my life would look by January 2019…..
……… so when l sat down properly in December 2017 with my blog l had decided that a fresher more significant approach was needed. By the start of the new year, l knew that an amalgamation was required that would bring all blogs and all readerships under one roof. But that wasn’t enough, l had to also decide before the end of April 2018 if l actually wanted to actively continue to pursue my tee shirt business as a viable enterprise?
… And so the Identification Journey Began
Even after all the blogs were under one roof, l still wasn’t entirely sure about the direction of A Guy Called Bloke, or the Tee Shirt Blogger or even The Adventures of Doodlepip, but it mattered not …. l knew at that point it was a lost cause to try and define a direction when l was still so new to blogging as a hobby. The only way forwards was to basically ‘Suck it and see what popped out!’
So l had fun writing and creating and posting and responding to prompts and flexing my imaginations and publishing my poetry, my stories and so on …. as well as getting to know, engage with and interact with my community, as well as making some really good friends along the way!
But l wasn’t just doing that, l was along the way of 2018 watching, observing, configuring and making decisions concerning the future of this blog. Whilst 2018 was a better year – things were not always 100% rosy at home. I still had a very bad shoulder which placed a lot of stress on Suze who was working and running a busy garden and a full time job. The blog was getting me into trouble because l was being asked if it could be monetized and l didn’t want that and l suppose for the first time in a lot of years a hobby l had wasn’t being turned into an income! For me that was unusual …
Suze and l were okay although still just friends and there were still worries. That year my father became ill, very ill and died through his illness with as it was a very advanced form of bowel and pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in May 2018 and was dead by October 2018.
You may also wonder at this point of the post …. what has all of this got to do with Tanya’s Blogging Insight’s Question? The answer is simple …….. absolutely everything. Our blogs reflect who we are and more so do personal blogs – by the end of 2018 – l was starting to come to understand what l wanted for this blog. I had seen it’s identity and was eager to begin the journey that would take A Guy Called Bloke in the right direction.
Over the course of the 12 months of 2018, l had offloaded The Tee Shirt Blogger concept, had started to define The Adventures of Doodlepip and expand upon that and had created a number of different prompts and games alike to see what people liked.
I also spent time working on the community and discovering what l also liked, disliked, loved and or not … l was beginning to learn about my style, about my personality as a writer, a blogger, a reader and an interactor. I had flaws – hell l still do, but l was determined to try and make my ‘dream for my blog come true!’
My epiphany had come to me whilst reading a Good Housekeeping magazine and it was that and the study of magazines like it that really excited me, but l needed to research thoroughly my ideas?
The only way to do that was to ask questions of my readership … Those started in earnest in 2019 titled as Blog Series Questions and ran from January 20th till February 15th and asked roughly 60 direct blogging questions of you all. The series can be found in the tidied up version here …. Blogger Reviewer Questions.
The beauty of the questions didn’t just enthuse me they also inspired a friend ….
“We seem to have come around in a circle.”
“The Blogging Insights series was inspired by your Blog Series Questions”
Those questions started the A Guy Called Bloke blog off to a fresh start in 2019, and by the middle of that year, l was in conversation with Lisa of Lismore Paper and together we started to change the identity of the blog which is now reaching the final stages some 15 months later. My dream is starting to become a reality …
However l shall discuss that tomorrow in Part 3! Thanks for reading.