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Blogging, making a living out of your words, reading and commenting and engaging with other people’s work all takes one thing that I lack – commitment. I have enough trouble making the time to blog each day let alone to do all the other things a ‘blogger’ needs to do regularly in order to survive in this blog eat blog world. I follow some large accounts and am amazed at the content, or at times lack thereof, and yet they still have 110 000+ followers. Why? Did they purchase some of these to get started or is it just luck of the draw on who gets featured on things like Freshly Pressed? There are other mid-range accounts 10 000+ which engage with me when I comment, but rarely engage by reading my work. I get it, small fish, small fry. But I still get a twinkle when they do respond to my comments. Responding to people’s comments is important, and not doing so is not commitment-phobia but plain rude.
Commitment means making the time to get yourself great. I’m sorry but with my disorder I run in cycles of creativity. At the moment I am almost off my medications and what the docs like to label as ‘stable’ but what comes with this state of being is the inability to have drive. When I am slightly hypo I can write for a couple of hours, and then turn down for the night, knowing my limits until BAM one day I find myself in a full manic state not sleeping, writing 5o page reports for work about nothing that has any use to anyone, starting new blogs, writing for guest posts and then getting inarguably pissed that they are never published. One of my psychs asked me last appointment if I had ever gone back to read the work I had completed during hypomania. The three E-books I published on education, the new blog, the magazine article. Of course not dear, why would I need to go back and read what was obviously perfection. I feel invincible and uncontrollably creative in my writing when hypo and it is during these times that I think that I can be a blogger.
I am still new to this diagnosis of bipolar I disorder and in fact I would have passed my one year anniversary last month. So I have a lot to learn in terms of reading my moods and riding the good and getting out before the mania hits. It is said that writing is a great career choice for people with bipolar disorder, but I am not sure that the inability to see mistakes is a desirable characteristic for a writer. You know, I even started a schedule in m last hypo which lasted all about 2 weeks in the ‘real/straight/stable’ world. It is so difficult to learn the harness the energy and then ride it through stability. How do you do it?
From what I can gather, writing and commitment are all about time and energy. If you don’t have the energy then you need to schedule it through goals. Bipolar I disorder is only a part of my life and my experience of hobbies, work and relationships, but it can also enhance these experiences as I’ve noticed in my full manic writing phases. I think commitment is also about an ethos, like being committed to writing openly or during certain times like recent stress or trauma. I feel like this is more my domain, being committed to sharing those times of personal hostility and frustration, exhilarating joys and the monotony of stability. Because in these moments is commitment to myself to the purpose of writing for me in the first place which is to be free, journal, share and learn to grow by expressing life, for me, now, in the present.