Now I'm Taking Blogging 101 - Sign of US 101 South with arrow

Now, after having blogged for about one year and four months, I’m finally taking the WordPress Blogging University course Blogging 101: Zero to Hero. Today’s assignment is to write and publish a post about who I am and why I’m here. Here goes. Obviously, my name is Kitt O’Malley. I mean, my name is at the top of the page, in the URL, tied to a bazillion or so social media presences, so that is who I am. As my tag line implies, I live with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. To find out more about who I am, you can read About KittMy Story, or read about my “mystic” psychotic break.

The prompts for today’s post are:

  • Why are you blogging publicly,rather than keeping a personal journal?
    • I blog publicly (but I’ve also started to journal again), for I have a message to share. Blogging can be a powerful way to affect change – both positive social change and personal change. I started my blog because of a trigger to mood cycling. I found myself blogging for I felt a pressure to write – to get thoughts and words out of my mind. Why share them publicly? Well, I suppose I need support, I need an outlet, I need an audience. I greatly enjoy the company and mutual support in the blogosphere, and in the WordPress mental health blogging community in particular. There is a strong community of mental health bloggers who offer each other positive support. My focus has become clearer as I have written, and as I have engaged with other bloggers. I am a mental health advocate. I am a member of a community of mental health advocates. We not only offer each other support, but we educate each other and the public about mental health issues and work to overcome social stigma attached to mental illness.
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
    • From my answer above, you can pretty much deduce that I write about mental health, specifically about living with bipolar disorder, but I do not limit myself to that subject. I have written about other subjects, and I sometimes I take photographs, mostly of flowers, which I occasionally post.
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
    • Write to advocate, educate, destigmatize, and support with regard to mental health issues.
    • Hone my writing voice. Write more often and more prolifically.
    • Maybe start weaving together what original content I have written into a book. Who knows?


38 responses to “Taking the 101”

  1. Taking care of your husband and studying under a guru will bring you greater love and joy. I need to slow down if I am to have staying power, take care of myself, and take care of my family.

  2. We may be on the same page and with the same mission but you are infinitely more active and qualified and achieving than I. I admire your energy and drive. That same sort of drive prompted me to write my book but I see my mission more realistically now and it is very humble. I have other things going on. No. 1 priority is to take care of my sick husband. And have found a guru who I am studying under so I guess it is fair to say my mission has changed. I hope to at least to get back to photography. You, dear Kitt, are on fire with activism which is great and I applaud you and support you in it! x x ellen

  3. Thank you. Apparently, we are on the same page and the same mission.

  4. So well put. You captured the essence of why it is important to blog, at least for me.

  5. I figured the Californian’s would get it. Note I phrased it “the 101,” not just “101.”

  6. p.s. as a born & bred So Cal girl, I loved the 101 South photo you chose!

  7. Beautifully written…..but I would expect nothing less than that! 😉

  8. Thanks for the encouragement.

  9. Thanks for the encouragement, Tempest. WordPress bloggers tend to be a friendly bunch.

  10. But you got me to rethink my color scheme, which was good. The dark green was too similar in color to the regular text.

  11. Oh they are definitely recognizable I just didn’t put 2 and 2 together. Totally was about me not you lol

  12. You are definitely not alone. Welcome to the club. Motherhood, too, can be isolating, especially when our children are very young. I did mothers’ groups back then, but didn’t find them intellectually and creatively satisfying.

  13. Thank you, Diane. Will do.

  14. Living with bipolar disorder is not easy. Isolation can easily consume one to the core. I feel so blessed that you and others write, what an encouragement just to know I’m not alone.

  15. You have and will continue to be a huge advocate and blessing to many who need to know they are not alone with BPD or other mental illness… “just a reminder to take care and make time for yourself too” Diane

  16. Just wanted to clarify that I don’t have students. I was referring to bloggers I’ve encountered here in the blogosphere and their writing style. Take good care

  17. Your students could learn how to pare down their writing styles, then. Even academics can writing in an engaging style.

  18. Thanks! I’m flattered.

  19. Thank you for your reply. I don’t know about you but being out of the academic world I don’t have the essayist-style or way of organizing my thoughts. I find that when I read students’ posts their work is more verbose and like an essay. And to be honest, the more verbose and dense the harder it is to process (thank you brain fog).

    I think “conversation-style” is more accessible to the masses. It’s like iambic pentameter in poetry, the beating heart rhythm, most common and most “relatable”. Ps. Hypomania has hijacked my brain these days 😉

  20. Yay Kitt! I’ll follow your journey with interest! I love the way you participate in my blog, and I’m looking forward to journeying along with you.

  21. 1) Write regularly. How much and how often I write still changes over time and with circumstances.
    2) Engage with other readers and bloggers. Comment on posts I read (to the extent I have the time and energy). Respond to comments. I am part of a mutually supportive community.
    3) My mission is to advocate, educate, destigmatize, and support with regard to mental health issues. Sometimes I pass on information from other sources. Sometimes I write original material from a personal perspective.

  22. Meaning you didn’t recognize them as links? Perhaps I should change their color or have them underlined. What do you think?

  23. As if you didn’t have enough to do already and now you have to deal with my curiosity 😉 If you have time, I would love to read the answers to the question I posed. Have a restful and successful day.

  24. You’re the 3rd person I’ve seen since yesterday posting about Blogging 101. Thankfully you put the link so I didn’t have to feel like an idiot asking “Who started this trend?”. Ironically enough, At around midnight January 5th I posted something similar but it’s called “Why I want to be in Bloggerlandia”. Similar idea, but different.

    I have a question for you. What are the 3 most a-ha moments you’ve had here in the blogoshpere? Things you’ve learned that have made you a better blogger.

    La Panzona {Pahn.So.Nuh}

  25. No, I like it! I just didn’t know what to do with them at first but I like how you did it!

  26. Thank you, Vic. Very much, as always.

  27. Same to you! 🙂

  28. You are welcome, Cavelle. Happy New Year!

  29. Blogging 101 is a great course. I loved it and it definitely got my blog going. Have fun!

  30. Loved this when I took it — you meet so many people!

  31. Hi, Krystal aka Manic Monique! Thank you for your compliments. I am honored.

    To be honest, I designed websites back in the 90’s using Microsoft FrontPage and a text editor to tweak the HTML code. But, the WordPress platform is new to me as of September 2013, and although it is extremely user friendly, I’m always learning. Sometimes when I learn a skill on my own, I overlook something fundamental. Still, I may find the course too rudimentary. If so, then I could take Blogging 201 or one of WordPress’ writing courses.

  32. Thanks. Did you think I overdid it with the links?

  33. Your last prompt: “If You Blog Successfully…”

    Ha ha!! There is no “if” about it – your blog is very successful! I always look forward to your posts and how I can educate myself more. Thanks for being such a great mental health advocate.

  34. This is a great idea! I’m going to have to give this a try myself 🙂 Thanks for the post! 🙂

  35. krystal26 Avatar

    This sounds like a cool course! Those are great questions to actually answer, to put into words. I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for a little over a year. You’re such a pro! I, too, have found the blogosphere has been helpful for connecting with other diagnosed bipolar folks.

    ~Krystal (Manic Monique)

  36. Thank you! I’m doing 101 also. I had fun following some of the links you had in your post, very interesting 🙂

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