Revamp, Rethink, Re-evaluate

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet up with some of the awesome women of PHLBloggers to talk about social media and blogging. My friend Chrystina started the group last year, and she's done a great job setting up really cool programming for us! Of course, thanks to med school, I have been to approximately 2 of the events, but I knew that I wanted to go to this one, and I am so glad that I was able to actually make it.

Besides talking about the various types of social media and how we can maximize its use for blogging, the session gave me time to think about my blog and what I want for this space. I have a lot of questions that only I can answer, really.

What is my niche?

Ah yes, the elusive "niche" question. When I started blogging (waaaaay back in the day on OpenDiary... I just dated myself there), my online journal was just that: a journal. It was pretty much exactly like my paper journal, but online. It wasn't very interesting to anyone who didn't know me, and I didn't really have anything earth-shattering to say. I moved to LiveJournal in college and there was more of the same. When I started blogging her, I had just gotten married and was working, and for the most part, wrote about life, the universe, and everything. As I started reading more blogs, I felt a distinct lack of direction for my own. In fact, I hestitated to even call myself a blogger, because I couldn't define my blog. It definitely wasn't fashion, food, or business related. I didn't have a product, or a brand new idea, or a super cool job. I wrote about marriage and mental health, my cats and some traveling we did. It was totally random. Chrystina said that maybe it was a lifestyle blog, so I went with that. Yeah, a lifestyle blog. Whatever that means.

I decided that I wanted to get serious (or at least more serious) with blogging when I hired Jenn to redesign my blog, and it was really the first time I invested real money into this space. I love the redesign and it made me feel so much more "legit" as a blogger. Since then, I've kind of tried to trim my content, but I still wasn't sure what I wanted to write about. I decided that I needed to consider two things: What do I know, and what are my passions?

What do I know? What are my passions? Where do they intersect?

I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a couple of things, some of which aren't very interesting or blog-worthy. I was able to group the good ones into a few categories:

Medicine/science
Medical school/grad school
Depression/anxiety
Relationships/marriage/psychology
Communicating well
Cats (okay, maybe this one doesn't count)

Then I went to my passions and included some goals in there as well:

Medicine/science
Helping people
Talking and writing about and destigmatizing mental illness
Writing/talking/communicating in general
Psychology/psychotherapy
Educating people
Making people laugh
Cats (okay, maybe this one also doesn't count)

Fortunately, some of these things overlap! Which left me with:

Medicine/science
Depression/anxiety/destigmatizing mental illness
Communicating/educating people about the above topics
Cats (or... not)

Based on these results, I need to write a blog that focuses on medical science and mental health, with a primary focus on communicating to large groups of people and hopefully educating them. Also, I'd love to be able to make you laugh if I can.

So now what?

Excellent question. What do I want to do with this space? What is my pie in the sky goal? Well, I'll tell you. I mean, it is Wednesday, which used to mean confessions.

My big goal?

I want to write a book. A book about depression, anxiety, and mental health in general, focusing on the medical school and physician populations. I want to drag this subject out into the light, in a real and meaningful way.

I used to think that this was a stupid idea, because who the hell cares what I have to say? I guess that could still be true, but mental health is so personal that I feel like if my story can help even one other person, I want to tell it.

So there it is. I'm going to reshape my blog in order to get my brain into a setting where I can write this book. I don't know when I'm going to write the book. I don't know how one goes about writing a book. But the idea is out there in the universe now. There you go.

I guess a good place to start would be to post on some kind of regular schedule. I'll... get right on that.

What do you think of the new blog idea? The book idea? And has anyone out there ever changed their blog name successfully? Let me know!



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