Earlier tonight, I had a look at the shortlist for the Mind Awards. Out of the 5 nominees in the blogging category, no male bloggers were nominated. Now, I'm not sure if it's a reflection on the talent of male writers or, more likely, the notion that men still feel such a weight of shame and adversity if they speak out about mental health.
As someone who runs a self-hosted site, I'm pretty excited about this. Not only will Facebook's transition to platforming give would-be bloggers a quick and easy way to set up their first blog, but it'll also provide bloggers who switch their sites to Facebook an opportunity to reach more people than ever before.
The one vivid memory I have of that interview was John looking me right in the eye and telling me that the best thing you can do is learn from others, whether it be friend or opposition. It was something that had helped him to succeed and something I've tried to implement in many aspects of my life since.
If you want to try blogging, set up a blog. If you want to journal, journal. If you want to submit something to a magazine without much writing experience, do it! If you want to spend the next few years writing a book, do that. You don't need to be published to be a writer and you don't need to have been published in order to get published.
Being diagnosed with cancer is like being catapulted into another world - the Land of Illness - unlike Mordor, the landscapes are bleached and bright, but just as dangerous. It's a world ruled by men and women wearing white coats, speaking a foreign language, with unfamiliar rules - bad things happen to good people. Unsurprisingly, we are desperate to leave.
It was an uncomfortably hot Thursday lunchtime in July and we had a few moments before returning to work. Bored and restless, we impulsively set up an Instagram account, decided on the catchy (yet on reflection, grammatically incorrect) name 'Twins That Travel', loaded up a photograph and headed back to the office.
Let's not try and grow drama where there is none. We need people on our side - if you don't believe me, wait until you have a toddler in full-on meltdown mode on the 8:03 to Liverpool Street.. Complaining about TfL staff or your fellow commuters for such trivialities just makes us all look a bit... entitled, really.
From the outside world it can seem simple- they post a few words and opinions, a few images and hey presto- prestige is achieved, freebies are sent to review, and you have brands everywhere looking for collaborations. This is not true. And I would advise anyone who is thinking of starting a blog to really research the work before going in to it half-heartedly.
If you are a blogger, you may relate to this. I've been at this blogging malarkey for a bit over two years now. I spent the first year totally clueless over what I was doing (some days I wonder if I'm any the wiser) and am constantly amazed at how much goes into building a successful blog, how much I still have to learn etc. And it's hit me, I think I've become a bit of a blog geek.