Self-Help Blogs

Published in Blogging - 4 mins to read

My fellow blogger and I have both admitted to previously being big consumers of self-help books, and at some point we finally got our respective acts together sufficiently enough to give up on them. It’s obvious now (but it wasn’t always) that you can spend an inordinate amount of time reading self-help books, and no time whatsoever actually helping yourself, and that the latter is what counts in the end. Now whenever I think about one of those kinds of books, I’m more inclined to scoff at them and think that they’re a trap; they set you up to feel like you aren’t good enough, that you need helping in some way, and that you need their book in order to fix this deficiency. It’s reminiscent of the dieting industry, and so obviously I think it sucks.

With that being said, I can’t help but feel like the blog is drifting towards becoming a self-help book but in drawn-out form, and admittedly with a lot more uncertainty. A lot of posts, particularly the shorter ones I might write on a weekday after work, usually have the core premise of “here is a small thing I am doing/thinking in order to be a slightly better person”. Maybe if these were few and far between, and could be shown to be having a meaningful impact in my life, they might be worth sharing, but for now they’re a dime a dozen. It’s not particularly what I want to write about and I can’t imagine anybody wanting to read it either, but it’s sort of easy, and I feel like the blog has quite an established tone now, within which I am very comfortable writing.

So, no more stupid self-help tidbits, or at least none that aren’t tried and tested. Trying to write something every day that I think could conceivably be of interest to another human being is really difficult, hence why I fail pretty much every day, but there are things I want to write about more often that I think might not be totally awful. I want to do more posts about software, both in terms of the industry, my career and technical posts - there are definitely some frank and honest conversations to be had around the former, and the latter will solidify my knowledge of whatever language, tool or technology I might be discussing. Unsurprisingly I also want to talk more about mental health and in particular body image - I have felt happier than I have in a long time recently, so it’s seemed a little redundant to talk about that, plus I don’t want to appear smug at all, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t important things that need to be thought or talked about when it comes to someone with a long history of mental health issues going through a surprisingly smooth patch. My weight is something I have spent a lot of time thinking about recently but very little time writing about, for reasons that will become clear when I do actually get round to sharing some of those thoughts. I’m not quite ready to do so yet, and perhaps that’s a good thing to; instead of some half-baked, stream-of-consciousness ramblings, it would feel a lot more satisfying to post something carefully considered.

Overall of course the problem is time - I would love to spend more time on these blogs, but there are a million other things I would love to spend more time on too. Ted and I are obviously going for quantity over quality here, and I somewhat hope that with enough quantity, there will eventually be something of quality amongst the offal, but that usually requires a rare moment of both inspiration and motivation colliding. Having spoken yesterday about putting too much pressure on myself, the blog is another avenue for me to do that through, and I think part of the way to fix that is to try to write in a more raw way, and have less of the self-helpy, short and sweet, finish on a high note kinda blogs that I usually write.

So this is how we’re going to end the post - on a wholly ambivalent note, an imperfect cadence. One which isn’t trying so hard to be worth something.