I’ve been blogging now for 5 months. Here is a short blog with some thoughts about my experience so far. There are no ambulance anecdotes in this one.
The first point is that I love the process of writing. For years I have been a fan of keeping a journal. I agree with the experts that writing things down is a great way to get things straight in your mind and help you get things in perspective. I even love daily to-do lists – I find these a good way of de-cluttering my mind and ensuring I don’t forget things. I love the feeling when a new idea pops into my mind for a blog article – I generally do a mind-map type sketch to get down the points I want to include and get a rough idea of the order to get them in. Then I sit down to write – often the blog takes off in its own direction and doesn’t follow the plan. I did wonder at first if I would dry up and run out of ideas to write about, hopefully that won’t happen.
At first I was very nervous when it came to pushing the publish button. What if people hated what I wrote or thought it was boring? Worse still, what if nobody read it? Thankfully I have found that the WordPress community seem very friendly and supportive.
I love the stats function on WordPress. The day I publish a blog and a couple of days after I love to see that it has been viewed. It’s fascinating to see that people have viewed my writing from faraway places around the world. The ‘likes’ and comments are also very exciting to receive.
It’s very interesting to read other people’s blogs – I’m getting a great insight into lots of different subjects. Mental health is a particular interest of mine, the open and honest accounts written by WordPress bloggers are very brave and insightful. In my daily practice as a paramedic these insights help me to help my patients more effectively and also be a better mental health advocate for my colleagues.
I write with the pen name (should that be keyboard name in this digital age?) of RustySiren, Rusty for short. A few but not many people know who I am. This may come across as a bit cowardly and maybe it is but there are several reasons I decided to do it this way:
- If I wrote with my real name it would be obvious to my colleagues who some of the colleagues mentioned in some of my anecdotes are and I want to avoid embarrassment for them.
- My employer has a very strict view on social media and any form of publication. I always maintain patient confidentiality and always talk about patients with compassion and respect but my employer would probably disapprove of some of the anecdotes being made public and would probably want to edit and approve them before publication.
- Although I respect my colleagues and patients I don’t always respect some of the direction and decisions of my employer and I want to feel free to express my opinions.
- I am learning to become a mental health advocate for my colleagues (This is the excellent charity enabling me: mind.org.uk/bluelight). I would never ever blog about any colleague who is struggling with mental health but would not want to compromise my ability to help by a workmate by them fearing that they may be the subject of my blogs.
- I find it easier to express my feelings by using a keyboard name (okay, this one is a bit cowardly I know but I’m still working on being able to talk freely about feelings). This includes me being able to talk about the job which caused me to become depressed and my journey out of depression (that job is described here – if I can get the link to work).
Lastly, did I mention that I love to write?