After my blogging break and everyone had a break from the A to Z Challenge, I thought it would be interesting to have Gary from Klahine as a guest. If anyone knows him at all, you know that he doesn't like A to Z or blog hops. I wanted to bring a different opinion to my blog and rather enjoyed his answer.
1. You let everyone know about your dislike for bloghops and the much-loved A to Z Challenge. What is it about these blogging activities that you don’t like?
Okay and I shall answer your question very delicately. I do understand that for a number of bloggers, blog hops, blog fests, or whatever you wish to call them, are embraced as being part of a sharing, caring blogging community. However, the cynic in me, which, of course, I try to keep under control, thinks that there are some bloggers who only get involved because their ego is obsessed with getting more followers. I realize that you might take exception to the preceding sentence. However, I know that the number of followers doesn't necessarily indicate a blog's popularity. It can be a rather superficial aspect of blogging that disillusions me.
The A to Z Challenge hijacks the month of April. Actually, if you take into account the reflection posts about the darned thing, it can pretty well take you up to April Fool's Day, 2017. At which point, you start all over again.
In the past, I've had distressed bloggers email about the A to Z. Told me they were struggling. Told me they felt guilty, stressed and anxious because they couldn't keep up with reciprocating comments on other sites. I tried to put them at ease. It's a sad commentary if a blog hop can cause such worries.
I look back to the early days of blogging when it was more of a free-for-all. During the month of April, I just want to hide away from blogging.
2. What was your very first blog post?
3. Can you tell us about your stance against the “unfair stigma attached to mental health issues”?
I've been an advocate for bringing about change in the public's and the media's perception of mental health concerns. I've been involved with the local media in Stoke on Trent, England, to get them to reduce their urge to sensationalize stories about those suffering with mental health conditions.
My goal, like so many, is to eradicate the unfair stigma attached to mental health issues. You have to understand that mental health problems can happen to anyone of us. It can be from an overwhelming negative situation, a named diagnosis, or a combination of both. This is all part of the nature/nurture debate.
Thus, we all have to show compassion to somebody who is struggling and not dismiss them as being weak. It takes great strength to admit you've got a problem. It takes great inner strength to admit you have a solution through the empathy of those who truly relate.
|May is Mental Health Awareness Month!|
4. Your blog was featured on the B.B.C.'s radio station 'Radio 5 Live”. What was that like?
That was way back in July, 2007. I was interviewed, along with a friend of mine, Tony, who'd started up an innovative blogging "library" group named, "Mindbloggling." A number of bloggers, with various mental health issues, displayed their various talents, be it artwork, poetry or writing. We all met up in the office of a mental health charity named, "Media Action Group for Mental health", which was located in Stoke on Trent.
It was decided that my blog would be featured on the radio station. The host read out segments of one of my blogs. Being interviewed was a surreal, nerve-wracking experience. Being interviewed and having parts of a blog posting read out, filled me with irony. For there I was, a virtual recluse, being listened to by a worldwide audience.
It's a time I shall never forget. I know that Tony and myself were encouraged by the positive reaction we got. Worldwide attention that demonstrated that our mental health issues are only a small part of who we are.
5. What are the top 5 most-viewed posts on your blog?
My 5 most-viewed posts are not necessarily what I would consider my 5 best posts. Anyway, here goes.
6. Introduce us to Penny the Jack Russell dog.
Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar has been an important, cherished part of my son's life, my life, for over 15 ½ years. She has taught us lessons about a dog's unconditional, non- judgmental love.
Penny has tried to teach me how to write better. Alas, she's had to be most patient with me.
7. Share your number one tip to bloggers just starting out.
Write to the one person on the other side of your screen and not to an audience. Try to make it an intimate style of blogging.
1. Favorite time to post blogs? Three in the morning.
2. Blogger or Wordpress? Blogger.
3. Do you host guests? Occasionally.
4. Where are you when you’re blogging? In the bedroom.
I'm a man challenging his "inner critic." I've come a remarkably long way since the time I nearly died in hospital from alcohol poisoning. That was way back in June, 1998. I left hospital a free man, free from the insidious illness that alcohol produces. Since then, despite a debilitating lack of self-confidence, I managed to raise my son as a single father. That speaks volumes for resilience, determination and the genuine desire to get better. My son, our dog, loving catalysts in my life.