Today I bestow upon you my 100th blog post.
What started off as doing good stuff to be a better me seems to have quickly deteriorated into some form of digital diary that I’ve accidentally left out on the table for you all to read.
Sex Sells and Sundays are for Scrolling
Six months deep and my views have gone from nought to twenty thousand, I’ve had ten thousand visitors from one hundred countries and although my official followers are only at ninety-four, I know I’m getting “regulars” from social media according to the stats. It’s pretty overwhelming for somebody who hasn’t really got a clue what they’re doing.
I love looking at the insights and trying to work out behavioural patterns.
Monday morning people are looking for motivationals or something good to kickstart their week, but by Monday night all they want to do is slump on the sofa and watch something mind-numbingly easy on the TV, so the number of readers goes back down. By Tuesday they’re back in the game of life, work mode is on and they don’t have a lot of time to be reading my diary, and Wednesday can be pretty average too.
On Thursdays I see peaks at lunch time and again all throughout the evening and by Friday around 11am it seems that everybody’s ready for the weekend. Saturday can be a bit extreme – it’s all or nothing, but Scrolling Sundays seems to be a thing; everybody’s lazing in bed, potentially with a hangover, and scrolling through their digital life.
Some people read my brand new scribbles within a millisecond of me posting them, which is really flattering. Some save up a week’s worth and read them all in one go, kind of like a Netflix binge. And others only dip in when they’ve got time or the title is appealing.
Talk about nuns nipples and sex bans or erotic life drawing classes and your views hit an all-time high. Lust stories come a close second; everybody loves a good lust story, so Holidate and the rest of that five-day-long holiday with a stranger remain up there on the favourites board. Then the third most popular topic seems to be what I like to call my non-Instagrammable existence, or the best tonic to our Insta-reality as one lovely friend from school put it.
This is the real stuff. When my life falls apart at the seams a little and I don’t pretend that everything’s okay.
And I love that this is something people want to read. To me, it shows we are human after all. We may hide behind our filters and perfectly angled selfies, we may post photos of us playing happy families ten minutes after World War Three has just kicked off in the kitchen, but underneath it all, we take comfort knowing that life isn’t an Amaro shade of perfect for any of us.
The Benefits of Blogging
As I wrote in A Blog About A Blog, I didn’t and still don’t have any particular aim or ambition with this; I just wanted to start writing and see what happens. And I’m very, very glad I did as I’m discovering all sorts of good stuff along the way:
My name’s Laurie and I’m a Blogaholic.
First of all, I just absolutely love it. I do think I might be addicted to writing, just like when I got addicted to Cocopops back in 2011. I wake up every morning like a child at Christmas. There’s no need for an alarm clock and I don’t need a caffeine fix to get me started; my eyes ping open before the dawn and by 6am I’m sat up and tapping out at 100mph.
And it’s not even just blog posts. I’ve been entering writing competitions, writing up business ideas and have even jotted down a few draft chapters for a book, just in case I do ever get my Elizabeth Gilbert moment.
The Brain Drain
It seems that first thing in the morning, just after waking up from a dream, when my brain is surfing the Alpha wave frequencies that I can most effortlessly vomit up words onto digital paper. It’s at this time when my head is absolutely bursting with ideas that I’ve somehow conjured up in my subconscious state.
In decanting whatever thoughts are in my skull, leaving it nice and empty for the day ahead and ready for a refill.
This I call the Brain Drain.
My Morning Pages
Writing is therapy.
Its cathartic qualities I guess are similar to journaling – a technique prescribed by many as a method for mindfulness.
There’s a journaling concept called the Morning Pages created by a writer called Julia Cameron which suggests that every morning, before all else, we should scribble down three letter-sized pages of conscious thoughts. It helps understand our state of mind, gain clarity on our thoughts and de-stress, and I guess blogging is my version of that.
Blogging has also turned into what feels like doing a PhD on Life.
Every article results in a hundred Google tabs and a thousand more ideas. It’s opened up paths to new beliefs and partaking in conversations I would otherwise be unable to contribute to. I feel like I’m turning my once academic-only mind into something a little bit more knowledgeable and wise.
Here I’m able to express myself with the language in my head.
Language fascinates me anyway and I love how we have different voices for different audiences, situations and methods of communication. The way we text our best friend is nothing like how we email our boss, how we chat to our parents is not how we’d mingle at a formal business dinner.
We adapt our verbal format and content depending on our audience for various reasons, but here I don’t have to do that. I feel like I’m talking to everybody and nobody at the same time.
I can bring my slightly cheesy, somewhat poetic and sometimes philosophical thoughts into written word without the fear of rolling eyes or expressions of boredom. I can talk about my mishaps and idiotic tendencies without being looked upon as the village idiot or worrying it will affect a future promotion. I can share what I’ve been learning without thinking I could sound like a conceited know-it-all.
My opinions can change from one day to the next and nobody is obliged to keep up, I can be assertive but open to influence and I can thoroughly enjoy slipping in subtle puns, hidden meanings, favourite quotes and song lyrics.
I’m unapologetically me.
And lastly, the thing that I adore the most, is how it’s brought me closer to the lovely humans that read it.
I’ve turned acquaintances and strangers into real life friends who I probably have more in common with than some of my nearest and dearest.
I’m having conversations that I care about and I’m using social media to actually be social; joining online communities that share love for a common cause.
And although I’m a little bit scared of sounding narcissistic here, I’m going to push my modesty issues to the side and just say what people are telling me…. some of the things I’ve written seem to inspire.
My posts fromFashion Revolution week. inspired people to get their sewing machines out or get thrifty and nifty with their wardrobe top-ups. My talk on a make-up detox and self image actually got male and female friends wanting to work on telling their inner critics to shut up. In Forty Days and Forty Nights when I said that being the single mate can often result in becoming a raging social alcoholic it instigated two weeks of abstinence followed by a mindful reduction of vino by a friend and fellow singleton.
And the fact I started blogging in the first place has inspired a very witty and talented writer, and soon to be co-founder of our online magazine, to pick up her pen again.
I can’t explain how much all of these comments and new friendships mean to me. It all makes me want to happy cry and gives me the motivation to carry on.
So a big fat soppy thank you to anybody who has ever bothered to read what I’ve written, and a special shout out to my Uncle Terry who is my personal proofreader and doesn’t let my Grammatical Nightmares stay in cyber space for long.
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