Blogging Birthdays, Mental Health and Taking Control

As someone who always has an opinion on absolutely everything, writes frequently and loves to blog, I’ve been suffering from a severe case of writers block. No matter how motivated I got to write, the minute I opened my laptop and hit ‘Add New Post’, my mind was like “wait, writing? nope, not right now” and I was left frustrated, shutting my laptop down after failing to even structure a sentence that made sense, wondering when it would end. I tried everything – taking breaks, rebranding which was so impulsive but hey, that’s just how I roll and frantically googling how to overcome writers block on several occasions before I just gave into this little annoying period. It’s true what they say, if you have to force it then indeed, it probably is shit.

You know the scene in Zoolander where Derek runs out of the pub after being reunited with his family and stares up to the sky asking “WHO AM I?” before his mobile rings and he thinks it’s a sign from God? Perhaps a little on the far fetched side but I felt like I was searching for a sign, hoping something would happen to inspire me, pull me out of this extremely frustrating period and give me that little prod to keep going. I sat, I waited and of course, no heavenly intervention happened but the next day, my phone recieved a calendar notification. A notification to tell me that What Amy Did turned 2. I remember adding it into my calendar only a few months prior, as a reminder to publish a birthday post but I had forgotten all about it. It’s no secret if you’ve followed my blog that I go through a love/hate relationship with life online but I couldn’t help but smile and feel a sense of pride. My space online, as much as I neglect it and threaten to quit, has been a place for me to come and write in my darkest days. It’s allowed me express myself, open up about my struggles, talk to other likeminded gals like me who share all the same passions I do and make some amazing friends. It’s been a space that started off as me talking about a great face mask I’ve found to having the confidence to start sharing my style online and probably the most daunting thing of all; speaking about my mental health so openly in a bid to help and inspire other people which surprisingly to me, I was able to do. It’s so much more than a dot com to me; its something I’ve built.

A big realisation this milestone has made me learn is that it’s not blogging, it’s me. I was most proud of my blog around last Christmas time, when I decided to go public with What Amy Did. I mean, it was only 2016 where documenting life online was perfectly acceptable but for me, it was a step I was always petrified to take over fear of what people would think – but the reception was incredibly positive. With my new found carefree attitude, I introduced fashion posts to document my personal style and the new addition of these made my confidence in blogging soar. Then, my anxiety hit me again like a ton of bricks. It stripped me of my confidence, self esteem, robbed me of my creativity and called into every element of my life, including my blog. I relentlessly compared myself to other bloggers, feeling so inadequate and that my blog was just a giant online diary of embarrassment. That I looked stupid, sounded even sillier and I couldn’t believe I made this so public. I took a break away from blogging until I got myself mentally better, came back with the most difficult post I’ve ever written and thought I was back to my old self. I started to love writing, engaging in the community, did some new shoots and my notes section on my iPhone was bursting at the seams with post ideas. Then, a few weeks later, my anxiety stripped all that hard work away and I quit my blog – something I can’t believe I did. At the time, I couldn’t keep up with the constant battle of wanting to create content online that I loved and fighting the feeling that I was failure and who cared what I really had to say. My mental health won. It took away the one hobby I had, turned it into an incredibly negative experience and took the joy of writing my blog away from me.

But that ends now. I might never feel like I fit into the community. I might look back on old posts and think what the hell was I thinking. I might rebrand another thousand times and have days where I feel like I’m writing and nobody is reading but you know what? I’m completely and utterly cool with that. You might be reading this thinking it’s just a blog but for me, it’s so much more than that and I’m not letting anything make me feel like I’m not worthy of doing what I love. I’d love to sit here and say I have tons of content planned but the truth is, I don’t. I just knew I had to say enough is enough and write this post as a tribute to what this blog has brought me, the readers who have been along for the ride and to start a fresh. I tweeted about watching other people living their lives so carefree while I sit fretting over everything but the truth is, that is completely within my control and now, I’m doing whatever the hell I want to do with no care of what anybody thinks. No matter how my mental health makes me feel, I’m not quitting because it’s exactly what it wants. So two fingers up to you anxiety. You can take away the stillness of my mind, you can flood me with thoughts to try and make me feel like I’m not good enough but I will never allow you to take away a hobby I love and distort my view on my slice of the internet ever again.

As I start to wrap up this post, I’m letting out a sigh of relief – I JUST WROTE A FULL POST. Last week, I couldn’t even write a single paragraph without closing my laptop down in frustration and look at your gal now? It may – sorry, is – a giant ramble but sometimes you’ve just got to vent how your feeling and that’s exactly why I love my blog so much because it allows me to do just that. I’m so ready to fall back in love with blogging again, take the pressure of myself to feel like I need What Amy Did to be perfect and have fun. What do you love most about blogging and what does it mean for you? Do you also go through similar thought processes? As always, I love hearing from you and I’d love to know your thoughts below or you can tweet/IG me @ whatamydid. If you made it to the end of this, then my hat is off to you! It’s a biggie but it was needed.