I don’t know how many times you can grab your blog by the ears and shake it into something new.
I originally wrote on My Prior Concern, the archive blog for all the previous versions of I Have A Concern, that blogging is a bit like life, in that you figure out what works as you stumble along.
After running the Concern 101 Project on my two week holiday this year, the way I blog and my approach to it suddenly changed.
Those blogs helped me. I have peaks and troughs of mental health, don’t we all, and I was in a particularly bad place the first half of this year. Writing that blog daily, during a fortnight where I had space away from work and its myriad problems, helped bring into surprisingly sharp focus the things I was doing wrong and how easily I could fix them. It showed it didn’t necessarily take a lot of agonising to make sense of a blog for the day.
I don’t know if there is truly anything to that whole “Finding a Positive Mental Attitude brings about changes you need” thing, but change did happen when I went back to work.
I’m in the same company but I’ve been given a way more interesting role that has been created to keep me there and utilise my talent, alongside a pay rise – the big things I needed to feel like I wasn’t drowning in my own inactivity and could actually progress to being A Real Live Adult. I was also made aware of the value that is placed on me and what I do…something that had never been made clear before.
It isn’t the answer to all my problems, of course.
The pay rise, which is comparatively significant, at least to me, takes some of the stress out of the monthly struggle to remain in the black; after tax, it still isn’t that much and doesn’t really make the difference I had hoped for or needed…but it still makes the necessary things a little more realistic.
I’m still in retail, which is not where I want to be and not what I want to be doing, but I’m 75% less customer facing (most of the time) and I’m concentrating on the side of things I actually enjoy, the merchandising, creating and people managing.
So it makes the problems more bearable. For now.
Then where did all those helpful blogs go? Why isn’t the Concern 101 Project here for all to see, to understand how I got to this point?
Because the past informs the present, true, and it got me to this point, also true…but it’s also an exploration and conquering of a mindset I needed to escape. It informed me reaching this stage, but it largely represents the opposite of this stage. I certainly don’t want to forget it happened or to play down its importance…but I Have A Concern, version 4.0 as it turned out to be, has migrated over to My Prior Concern to be archived as an important part of the history…but not an active part of the present.
This is a new era for the blog, building on personal revelations and on the new things I’ve tried with my writing and its format in the first half of this year.
The movie blogs I really enjoyed writing, my Cinematic Onslaughts, became their own blog, The Onslaught, an answer to all the negative, clickbait movie writing that is so prevalent and that I hate so much. I wanted to write positively, enthusiastically, about this subject that I genuinely love, basing it around a theme or an idea inspired by a movie, not just deliver yet another set of opinions about the latest film on release day.
That, as a regular blog…it didn’t go so well. Regularly posting good, interesting material with such a narrow focus — that also often necessitated working around a trip to the cinema as well as writing time, as well as work and life — was never something I could get right alongside everything else. Keeping that blog for movies and this one for the personal led to neither one getting any proper attention and, inevitably, any real kind of page views.
So The Onslaught has joined My Prior Concern and any future movie articles will be part of this Concern.
It’s important, to me, to start with a clean slate here. The past that’s informed the present remains fully intact on My Prior Concern and I’m quite publicly linking to it; nothing hidden, nothing kicked under the carpet. I just see this version of I Have A Concern as new, as different and refined, Volume Five in an ongoing series, and it’s better to close the short but vital Volume Four before I start on the next stage of the adventure.
I’ve thought long and hard about how to keep blogging in a way that works for me and that might be interesting for others — indeed, I thought long and hard about if I should even bother to continue blogging at all — and I think the answer does lie in one blog, with no specific focus other than giving me a platform to talk about the things I want to write about…and knowing what I want to write about.
My Concerns. Whatever they may be right now.
“Concerns” has become synonymous with “interests” for me – not things that worry me, but things that I am concerned with, things that I’m interested or involved in and like or need to talk about. That can be anything, from movies and the cinema, through to my mental health or writing. Engaging in the first helps the second which comes out through the third; what initially seems disconnected isn’t, at all – it’s connected by me and whether it’s serious or stupid, real or fictional, opinion or fact, it’s all part of my Concern.
You’re seeing a reboot, not a reinvention – concern yourself now, it’s a brand new era.
You’ve not missed much yet…
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Keep up to date by following the Concern…or relive the previous volumes of the Concern by visiting the archives of My Prior Concern…then, for an epic finale, check me out on Twitter. I’m hilarious. It’s worth it. Honest.
Or, just do one of those things. I’ll make it super easy: