My thanks to her for this honor.
Blogger Recognition Award Rules:
- Select 15 other blogs to which you want to give the award. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
- Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post. Make sure to attach the award! (You can do this by right clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).
- Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.
I spent time on this, as I didn’t want to nominate the same people that I’ve nominated for previous awards. My strategy was to get out and read new blogs, and if the award popped into mind as I read them, then I added the name of the blog to my list.
The following statement is also a comment on all of the blogs on my list of nominees.
My criteria for following a blog is always the same:
I follow bloggers who write or produce art that enlightens, moves me intellectually and emotionally, and that work against the corrosive cynicism that seems to pervade our culture, our mainstream media, and social media. I look for a sense of faith that is not necessarily religious and a sense of fellowship with people and our fellow creatures. I also look for bloggers with open minds that go beyond tolerance of differences to the kind of acceptance of difference that can see what we all share in common as people and citizens of the World.
Rule #2. “Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers.”
Ok. I first opened my blog in the fall of 2013.
At the time, I was still struggling to accept a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
I wanted to write about DID but was deep in shame. I was also confused about what a blog should be.
I did not want to blog about digital consumer items but the idea of using Second Life to stage and photograph illustrations for my blog was interesting to me.
My blog was first named “People Like Me.”
I also opened a Google+ account but I didn’t understand how to link that account to my WordPress account. I wrote a couple of posts and found them unsatisfying and pedantic.
I stopped blogging but kept the account.
In October of 2014, I was frustrated with the limited range of treatments offered by my Kaiser Health Plan. Especially in view of the fact that a Kaiser psychiatrist gave me this diagnosis.
Not only is the lack of treatment options a violation of federal law, I considered it blatant discrimination against the patients that the Department of Behavioral Health treats.
I decided to write a letter to the Director of Behavioral Health at Kaiser and while looking up his email address I discovered “90 Days to Change.” When I read that blog, I also discovered Supervisor Shirlee Zane whose husband committed suicide while waiting to see an overbooked Kaiser Psychiatrist.
She was outraged and taking action. That was when I understood that blogging was much more than a marketing tool or an exercise in self-aggrandizing consumerism. That was when I realized that I was not alone.
Reading 90 days to Change was empowering.
Andy Weisskoff may not know this, but his blog helped me to heal by helping me to see that my sense of despair and hopelessness was not entirely a product of my illness.
It was also the result of the stigma that I faced at Kaiser.
Even now, I imagine the great minds of Psychiatry shaking their heads at the shame of it.
My first real post was so deeply personal that I had a panic attack as I wrote it. I was terrified and posted it anyway…and since then I have made every attempt to blog daily.
That is how I started my blog. I will always be grateful to Andy Weisskoff and Supervisor Shirlee Zane for their defense of people with serious and chronic mental Illness.
My advice to bloggers is this: be as genuine as you can be in the moment. If you have a voice, it will be heard. Don’t worry about numbers. Numbers do matter and everyone wants to see his blog grow; why write if you don’t want readers.
However, a large following is not the same as having something to say. I have a Flickr blog and I know that all I have to do to boost my “views” is to post soft porn or take part in a “like” exchange.
This does not mean that I don’t visit the photo streams of people who “like” and comment on my work.
This means that I don’t just “like” or “fave” an image or a post because that person has “liked” or “faved” something of mine.
I detest games and I detest the gaming mentality, especially when it pops up where it’s not wanted.
If quality is your goal, you will get views. But there will always be someone else who gets more views.
Never compare your blog to the blogs of others.
Don’t expect everyone to love you, especially if you are truly speaking your mind.
As for the basics of interacting with other bloggers:
Do use twitter and other social media to promote the blogs you like.
Do try to reply to and acknowledge every comment.
Do try to post daily.
Do reach out to and encourage new bloggers.
Do honor those bloggers you like and who reach out to you.
Do move at your own pace; especially if your blog concerns learning about and coping with a serious illness or political issue.
Do use tags and don’t be afraid to use hashtags.
Do block trolls. Never let them into your head. Never let them eat your precious time.
Do be as open and as honest as possible; especially if you are a mental health advocate or a political blogger. There is safety in having no secrets.
Thank you to everyone who reads and comments on my blog. You give my blog meaning.
Some of these blogs may have been nominated for this award while I was compiling the list.
If yours is an award free zone, know that I don’t expect you to do anything but feel appreciated.