Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Serial Blogging: A Hypomanic Symptom

I've decided that my newest hypomanic symptom is "serial blogging." I feel like I should go to a Bloggers Anonymous Meeting and say, "Hello, my name is Susan Bernard and I'm a serial blogger."

Since March of this year, I've started four new blogs: Bipolar Wellness Writer, Honk If You Blog to Heal, John From Cincinnati, and Photography Learning (yesterday). In my defense, I've stopped writing two of them. I realized that writing two blogs is my limit.

In the last six months, I've leaned a lot about myself from my blogging experiences. This blog provides the greatest satisfaction and while I sometimes wax and wane about writing it, I imagine I'll continue writing it for some time.

Initially I thought my "Honk" blog would allow me to reach a broader audience of people who might not be bipolar but who write to heal and share my mission of concentrating on wellness rather than illness.

After a few months, I decided that the "Honk" blog was too similar to this one. I stopped writing it when I realized that I'm learning a lot about my illness from writing this blog, I like the community we've established, and if I'm going to write about wellness, I wish to reach people who share my symptoms and experiences.

I started John From Cincinnati (it's based on a television program for those of you who don't know about it) on a lark. I'd written a few posts on the last few episodes of The Sopranos and I was amazed by the number of people who read those posts. I went from an average of 60 readers to 299 on my best day.

After writing the John From Cincinnati blog for a few weeks, I started getting 400+ readers on my best days. It was kind of heady to be read by so many people. Also, writing about an aspect of popular was such a departure for me. I was amused and somewhat stunned that I found it so much fun to write about a TV show.

However, like many "hobbies" that I pursue during hypomanic periods, I finally decided that this wasn't a good use of my time. Also, one morning I awakened and decided that it was no longer fun. From one day to the next, it felt more like a chore than a hobby.

What I found so interesting about all this is that while "serial blogging" was a new experience, shifting interests during a hypomanic period isn't. In fact, it's quite common--for me. I wonder how many of you find something (whether it's a hobby, a person, or even a job) compelling and then one morning you awaken and can't imagine how you could have spent so much time pursuing it (or him or her).

(to be continued)


Kira said...

I've spent most of my life criticizing myself for my constant vacillation from one interest to the next, thinking it was due to a character flaw! It wasn't until I started "meeting" other people with bipolar disorder last month that I began to wonder if this is actually an aspect of hypomania. It has always baffled me how my focus changes from one pursuit to the next in such a dramatic and sudden fashion. I do a complete 180 every 2 months or so. The cyclic nature of these shifts should have caused me to question their relationship to bipolar - yet for some reason, the thought never even crossed my mind.

I've found this tendency to be detrimental to achieving my life goals. The main reason I started to think about going on meds is because I want to avoid the "shifting interests" so that I can remain steady in my spiritual practices and remain in a spiritual community for the rest of my life. But the sad fact is that I won't be able to pay for medication while living in an ashram, so there doesn't seem to be any way out of this dilemma. I feel quite sad about this. I'm currently exploring natural treatments and have some hope that they will help enough to make it possible for me to fulfill my dreams.

Daily Dose said...

I had 3 blogs, wrote for 5 columns for, and was writing a book all at one time! This was BEFORE I was diagnosed with Bipolar - so I just took it as if I was just extremely and highly productive :)

I agree with Kira...I accomplished a lot while being hypomanic.

I self-published a book, taught creative writing to home-school students and now working on my 2nd book.

There are pros and cons to everything...

Bipolars are creative and a lot of us are I don't find it odd to have more than one blog:)

Marie said...

Us with bi-polar can be very creative during hypomania. I am glad you decided to pace yourself. I on the other hand am thinking about starting a new blog dedicated to my healing journey.