People start blogs for many reasons — from promoting their business to documenting their travels. For some, blogging is a form of service: by sharing their stories, they hope to help others. Here, four bloggers reflect on what motivates them to inspire others through their writing.
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Every time I would put my pen to paper, I felt as if it allowed me to explore a new part of me. It allowed me to feel alive in a whole new sense.
There are so many people out there, and each of them has a story. And it’s really heartbreaking to see that every day, millions of stories die without ever being heard. I feel that it is my responsibility as a human being to bring these stories together, to unite them to create a whole new world where lives are more important than any materialistic thing.
I’m sure this sounds pretty big, but I need to start somewhere, right? I want to be fearless on the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire, and I feel blogging might be my first big step into an apparently impossible mission.
I started my blog as a means of healing from the suicides of both my parents (10 years apart). In the process, I connected with people who shared the experience and created a space where victims of a highly stigmatized event (I often refer to the surviving family and friends as “forgotten victims”) can talk through their grief, guilt, and other debilitating emotions without judgment in order to get to the other side and get on with their lives.
As the years went by, my blog has focused more on life lessons and less on family suicide, though it does still come up on occasion. We are all imperfect beings and it helps to know that everyone else out there is as imperfect as we are. So these days, I post my triumphs but also those times when I fall flat on my face, because the truth is I learn a lot more when I have to pick myself back up, and my readers seem to think so too.
Two years ago I learned I had mental health disorders as well as addiction to alcohol. I was diagnosed with bipolar II, severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. As an added bonus, I had suicidal ideation for close to a year. My life was spiraling out of control. Before I knew I suffered from mental illness disorders, I self-medicated myself in order to end my life. I was thrown into being homeless. I was destitute, alone, and ashamed beyond words. After my stint in the hospital, I was mandated to a mental health facility where I experienced group-therapy sessions, as well as one-on-one therapy to assist me with regaining my life and putting the pieces back together.
Almost a year had gone by when I began my blog. A shared journey of what I have learned, and what I still educate myself with every day. I did not want anyone to suffer the way I had. I wanted to open a forum in which people could share their experiences and help one another. My blog became a quest to educate not only the people who suffered from all of the above, but to educate people who are trying to understand what their loved ones or friends are going through.
I have been inspired to blog as I had been itching to write for so long but didn’t know where to turn or how to get my writing read.
A recent quote has become the foundation stone for me: “Writers are guardians of memory.” It still gives me goosebumps to say that. Suddenly all the things that were bubbling around in my head to be shared had a value and a place on this planet. My writing down thoughts, experiences, and observations meant that I was preserving them as if in a buried, sealed container that could be opened by people from the future to get a glimpse of what lives and times have been experienced. That is the biggest reason for me to write.
With trepidation I set up a blog on WordPress.com (until now I have said that I don’t “do” social media) and have been posting installments of my story.
The thrill it gives me to wake up and see that someone in Australia, the U.S., or even China and Algeria has looked at my writing is beyond belief.
What motivates you to write? Join the conversation in the comments! (If you have an interesting story to share, you can always drop us a line.)