Those of you who’ve been around the blogosphere for awhile have probably heard of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. I personally think the word “blog” should be in there somewhere… NaBloNoWriMo? Doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Anyway, NaNoWriMo is an annual event where lots of people commit to writing/blogging a mini-novel in November (50,000 words). If you write a post every day, it’s not too hard to hit that mark. The novel can be about anything, and doesn’t have to be structured as a novel at all (read: You don’t have to start at the very beginning with “Once upon a time…”). You’re just telling a story, one post at a time.
Why bring this up on Grey Thinking? Well, because I encourage any (or all) of you to participate and write about some of your struggles. I wrote a post a few years ago on the importance of blogging about mental health, and gave the following reasons as to why I’m such an advocate for it:
- It can provide a healthy outlet for dealing with feelings surrounding your own struggles with mental illness.
- It’s comforting to know that “you’re not alone”–there are other people out there struggling with the same things as you. Often another person can articulate something that you’ve been trying to explain/identify/put your finger on for a long time.
- Community support and wisdom. There is a lot of collective experience within the mental health blogging community.
- It provides a unique inside look at otherwise poorly understood mental illnesses. How many people really understand how you view/experience the world with a disorder? How does the media affect you? What do you think about current research? What has/hasn’t been helpful for you treatment-wise? There is so much information that only someone who has struggled with mental illness can provide.
- You can challenge others… challenge them in their recovery, or to look at something from another perspective, or to break through their denial about a problem. Mental health blogs make you think and examine your own reactions.
Participating in NaNoWriMo is a fun way to increase mental health awareness. Not only that, but it’s a good personal challenge. Sign-up is free, and the official website has a lot more information on how to start. If you have any questions about getting started with a blog, I’d be happy to help you. Just shoot me an email. Additionally, if you join, let me know via comment or email and I will link to your site from GT.