Served a Full Plate

I’m not going to lie. They have been very few occasions where I come to my blog and I feel….uninspired. This is one of those times.

It’s not like I’m completely in a dragging moment where I feel like I’m walking through a pool of mud when trying to write. I’ve been pulling out stories for my internship and taking on assignments whenever I can. My days feel fairly full of writing and researching and driving to some locations for stories. But then I come here, my safe haven away from the bustle of school and work, and I have no clue what to write.

For any writer, it’s important to have a niche. An area of interest and/or expertise that you can fall back on and call your own. I’m really grateful that I have found that for myself. I love talking about wellness in all aspects of life: mental health, veganism/nutrition, and taking care of the environment and all living things. I love being able to share those passions and not feel tied to specific assignments and in the midst of it all, people have come to my blog and have stuck around. That’s still crazy to me.

The problem that arises is that as my viewership grows, I feel a greater responsibility to put out content every day that is compelling and worth reading. A new perspective on a current hot-button issue, or bringing attention to something I have strong opinions about.

The thing is, I overestimate my energy. When I have this new opportunity at the forefront of my mind, a place where my blog usually has been, this gets pushed to the sidelines. I feel like I slack off, the internal battle of typing out a full post every weekday but not wanting the post to be pointless. Quality over quantity, right?

Not when you have such an obsessive work ethic that once you’ve established a clear routine to follow and caliber of work you produce, anything short of that quota is failure. Very extreme and probably irrational, but I cannot deny that in whatever I do and write, I attach a sense of self-worth to it. That’s not an unfamiliar phenomenon for creative folks receiving criticism, but it backfires when it’s too high of a degree.

So I come here today, open and honest with everyone. It’s not easy balancing your life with mental illness thrown in the mix. Anxiety has a strong foothold in everything I do. It’s that sense of urgency, a fear of falling below expectations, of not doing enough, of disappointing yourself and others.

I talk very often about my depression because it’s something that is very constant in my life. Antidepressants usually keep me at my middle ground of not overly bad, but not great, a life jacket that keeps me from drowning. Anxiety, on the other hand, tends to be more sporadic. When you’re fairly high-functioning, I embody anxiety restlessness and a compulsion for order in every little detail. In stressful situations, I internalize everything so people often can’t tell when I’m panicking. A blessing and a curse.

I hope that when people come to this blog, they can take a break from a potentially hectic day. They can read something that takes their mind off of other racing thoughts. I put a lot of time and thought into what I share, and I hope that reflects in my content. My problem now is figuring out how to balance my energy devoted to work and here because yes, I do see this as a job rather than a side hobby. So stick with me as I learn how this routine might revamp how I approach this platform.

And while I’m here, I have a shameless plug for where most of my attention is going that, by the end of my shift, I am both exhausted but proud of the work I’ve accomplished. As of writing this post, I have two stories published online to be included in print. If anything, follow this link for anything else I might have written. I’ll also be more active on my Twitter account to help draw in some people to my work.

But through this whole learning experience, know that I’m not going anywhere. This is what I love to do. Has my first week been full of long days and coming home to zero motivation beyond finishing every book within my reach? Sure it has. And with that exhaustion comes an immediate need to take care of myself and make sure I don’t become completely drained. However, I don’t want to hold myself back either. See my dilemma? Not to mention summer college classes online? A German CLEP test in the coming months? My plate is full. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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