Friday, May 16, 2014

ADDitude Magazine: Anger. Also, Blogging Advice.

Last year at ADDitude Magazine I wrote about how ADHD anger issues hurt relationships with my daughters and my ex-wife. It wasn't a funny article, but a serious one where I shared what I learned, and hoped others could learn from my mistakes. I titled it simply "Anger" and listed three tips that adults with ADHD needed to manage their anger before they drove away everyone that they loved. Read about it at the Family Guy.

Other Stuff

• A reader sent me the following. I didn't think it was good from my usual Mailbag segment since it wasn't about mental health, but thought I'd answer it here instead:

Hello Doug,
I recently started my own blog on my dealing with my depression/melancholy and have been searching around for other blogs dealing with depression(geared more towards men). I enjoyed running across your blog. I enjoy the humor and find the content interesting. I also appreciate your courage in letting everyone know who you are. For me the idea of telling friends or acquaintances about my blog is terrifying!

I too eventually found that meds weren't really helping all that much. Luckily the side-effects I had weren't all that bad, but getting off led to about half a year of insomnia, acid-reflux and other digestive issues and all around feeling yucky.

I am now trying to figure out how to best promote my blog. May I ask what routes you took to spread word of your blog?


Wow. Finding a depression blog that caters to men is difficult. So many depression blogs are new-agey, quasi-spiritual, and very touchy-feely. There are usually photos of sunlight on linen with self-affirming statements printed over them. The articles emphasize how depression isn't your fault and it's really hard and don't blame yourself, etc. They kinda give me hives. I've met so many various women in this world that I am surprised there is considered ONE style of communicating to them or one way only of communicating sensitivity. I find "I am sensitive. Behold my script font!" a little shallow. Yet, those blogs are very popular, so the readers must enjoy them. I just like to believe there isn't one way of being depressed or finding kindred spirits, and that if I persevere with my own voice people will find me.

I'm not sure if I replied to you before or not, but good luck with your blog. The best ways to promote are to blog at least weekly so that Google lists your blog higher in search results than other blogs that don't update as frequently. Work on your writing to improve its clarity and professionalism even if you are going for a colloquial approach. Keep things short. I limit my blogs to 900 words. Some would argue that is still too long. Feature relevant graphics to add visual interest to your blog. Make sure you don't clutter your blog with too many add-ons. Keep things focused. Eventually, you will be noticed and promoted by others. By being anonymous, I am not sure people will connect with you. However, many bloggers have remained anonymous yet created very engaging online personas.

In the past it was suggested that bloggers post on each other's blogs in the comments section to self-promote, but I have not found that too helpful. Most bloggers resent another blogger popping by to ride their train. Personally, I get tired of spammy posts or emails claiming they are a fan of my blog and can I please help them make money by promoting their service for free. Delete delete… So I would take to Twitter or Google+ and ride hashtags. A Facebook page is a waste of time unless you are prepared to reduce your message into daily meme photos. Sometimes there are social chats held on Twitter. Participate in those using the hashtags. Or start your own with other bloggers you connect with on social media. Always promote others' efforts that you appreciate. They in turn will promote you. You can gain more like-minded followers that way. If you are organized enough for it, Youtube is how many bloggers build large followings these days. I am doing way too many things to add a vlog to my list of things to do, but you might find it helpful since you're just starting out.

In the end, the only way to build your blog is to write, write, and write while you hone your unique voice and message. Only then can you connect with others. Good luck, and thanks for writing.