Monday, March 29, 2010

Anxiety Land Two Year Anniversary AND 50th Post!

Hello Friends:

Well, wow. Two years and finally, fifty posts. Two milestones to celebrate for Adventures in Anxiety Land.

Thanks to readers who've been along the whole time, and thanks to those who just started following. Knowing there are people out there reading makes this both a lot of fun and a great way to try to keep myself honest with my own healing.

I'm glad I have been able to keep the blog alive all this time. I'm glad I've been able to keep me alive. The hardest thing to do, and one of the most valuable things I've gotten from this blog, is forcing myself to come back after not posting for a while. You imagine you've ruined it, that you ought to scrap it and start over, rather than deal with the messy reality. Instead, you rev the engine and keep driving.

And speaking of the messy reality, there is data! I love data ...  check this out ...

X axis - months from March 2008 to March 2010. Y axis - Number of posts per month for that month.

When I plotted this, I knew I'd see the huge gaps from when I wasn't feeling up to posting anything. I should have realized that what that means is that this is, literally, a plot of my ups and downs. When I'm happy, I post more. When I'm depressed I post less. Of course there are other factors like travel and such which effect my posting regularity. In fact, there are a few times when I posted because I didn't feel up to doing anything else. Still, I think this is adequate as a rough sketch of how the last two years have gone.

As far as posting, my lowest per month was zero and highest was eight, two posts per week. The total of 50 posts in two years is only 0.48 posts per week on average. At first I was going to get rid of any month with no posts so that I could calculate my 'true' posting average. But then I realized that was, once again, thinking that being depressed wasn't real life. That somehow the down times shouldn't be represented; instead they should be dismissed or hidden. Heck with that. This is my life, such as it is, and it is all 'real life'. So the average is a half a post a week.

When I started blogging, I was hoping to average at least one post a week, even with all my ups and downs. Off by a factor of two, but not an order of magnitude. I'm going to take this as a general 'win', and use this data to target a goal for this year of an average of 1.5 posts per week, including depressed times, travel, and all that stuff there. That would be an intermediate goal heading to my target of two posts per week. I don't want to do more than that because I have a desire to write longer, more involved posts rather than posts that look like tweets. Just my style, and who is going to have time to read more than two of these a week, on average, let alone the time for me to write them?  :)

Other things of note.  The second half of 2008 was clearly a bad time. Also, March is my most prolific posting month. I'm wondering if that has to do with the advent of spring, or with finally getting over of the holidays from the previous year. I can also see reflections of a tough time around some international travel in May 2009, and then around a conference in October 2009. Certainly this last hiatus in the beginning of 2010 was due to backlash from the holiday, and a number of family related issues that got stirred up.

One thing I see looking at this plot is, naturally, the complete lack of any regularity. Not that I want to force myself into anything, but I'm beginning to wonder if some kind of weekly regular feature might not be a good thing to try to institute. Perhaps a weekly look at a paper in a research journal about mental health, or a posting of mental illness terms or trivia? What do you, as a reader, hope to see? No promises, but suggestions are always welcome.

Anyway, thanks again for coming along for the ride. I hope you continue to hang out here in Anxiety Land with me (until that glorious day when none of us feel like we are living there anymore at all!)

Your Hostess With Neuroses

Image credit: / CC BY 2.0

Plot credit:  Me and my excel program


Andy said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! I was inspired to look at the pace of posting on my baseball blog, which I started in October 2006. My frequency there has also been very uneven, thanks in part to my computer's ups and downs. I wonder what the record looks like for a typical blog?

A regular feature sounds like a fine idea, though I could imagine if I were trying it it could potentially end up as a source of extra anxiety as I tried to make sure I wasn't missing any. But we are all different, of course, and what I'm projecting as anxiety for me could end up a good impetus and routine for you!

The Blue Morpho said...

Hey Andy - I think there probably isn't a 'typical' blog. I know some people are blogging for profit, and the wisdom there suggests posting something small every day. For the rest of us, who are blogging because they want to reach out to a community, I imagine there is no 'typical'.

Maybe what I should think about with the 'regular' feature is that not missing any would be an ideal. Perhaps I'll think about it this way - I'll try to have a feature post every Thursday, along with whatever else I'm usually posting during the week. My features are likely to be some stuff I was already posting anyway, like book reviews or paper reviews. But targeting a day for them would hopefully make my posting more regular. Which of course would, as you say, try to create more of a healthy routine.

Amy said...

Congrats, Morpho, on your blogging anniversary!

I think posting when and how you feel like it is a pretty good goal in itself, actually. It has at least taught you that you can come back to your blog anytime, that it is ever-patient and ready when you are.

My favorite posts are your stories about experiencing and dealing with crisis situations, e.g. the hurling chick in the airport security line (sorry to bring that up). Those stories are both poignant and entertaining, to be honest. And each time, you manage to survive and move on, which is the best part.

The Blue Morpho said...

Hello Amy - Thanks for the congrats! And thanks to you for being a long-standing and oft commenting reader!

I'm glad that the posts continue to have a humorous element, no matter how gritty they might be. I want to be able to keep that perspective whenever possible.

And I have another 'crisis' coming up that I will no doubt blog about - I need to clean out the fridge. :)

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