As some of you know, I have problems sleeping. Most of the time I don’t have a problem falling asleep; staying asleep is my big issue. The thing that contributes the biggest concern is finding a proper CPAP mask.
What’s a CPAP mask? I’ve talked about it before, but the two images on this post will give you a pretty good idea. In essence, those of us diagnosed with sleep apnea have a few ways to try to overcome a problem where we stop breathing while we sleep, and our bodies start jerking to wake us back up. One is to have surgery; another is to take certain types of medication; the last is to have a CPAP mask… which I could call a BiPAP mask since that’s actually the type of machine I have.
Over the course of years that I’ve been actively using this system, I’ve gone through many different masks. I started with one that literally scarred up my face, as it turned out I was allergic to the gel casing. I switched to another one that freaked my mind out and convinced me to give up using the machine for a short while.
Eventually I came back to it because I slept better with the air pressure than without it. The next mask I got was pretty good but way too rigid and had too much air blowing through. The mask after that was comfortable but, once again, when the pressures went up it was too loud and woke me up.
Undaunted, I bought a cloth mask, which was the most comfortable thing I’d ever worn, but it wasn’t sturdy enough and kept leaking air into my eyes; even when you’re asleep and they’re closed that’s a major problem. That’s when I did my first serious research and ended up with the one I have now.
It’s called the Pilairo Q, and as you can see it’s a small nasal mask. The mask that freaked me out years earlier was a nasal mask, but it looked too much like what my dad had in his nose the last time he was an inpatient in the hospital and I kept having major anxiety. This time around it not only looks different, but it’s seals tight so there’s no leakage, it’s got that little plastic addition on the front which makes it stay quiet, and it’s the easiest mask to clean.
It’s working wonderfully and I couldn’t be more pleased that I think I finally have the right mask. If I could just fix my other issues I’d be sleeping great. lol
What does my talking about a CPAP mask have to do with blogging? Really? You’re asking me that? You didn’t ask me that when I compared blogging to airports, visiting stores or toaster ovens now did you? Oh well…
Back to the blogging thing. 🙂
This is more of an issue with people who’ve been blogging for at least 3 years or more. Every one of us goes through this; I know because I’ve gone through it, and those who are still blogging have gone through it (well, almost everyone).
It’s the “what should I do now” syndrome. In essence, we get to a place where we start wondering:
* are we writing what we should be writing about?
* are we writing how we should be writing?
* should I change my blog theme or parts of my theme?
* am I promoting my blog properly?
* should I accept guest posts to get more traffic to my site?
* how can I get more engagement on my posts?
* how can I/should I be making any/more money?
* should I try finding another niche for my blog?
* should I give up blogging?
* can I improve my blog?
* what do I want from my blog?
* am I happy now; if not, how can I feel better about all of this?
Anyone who doesn’t own up to having most of these feelings is either making lots of money, is lying to themselves, or have other reasons for blogging and are pretty happy people in general (Rummuser, I’m talking to you lol).
I’m not going to lie; I’ve had all of these thoughts. I haven’t had all of them on this particular blog, though I’ve had more than half of them here. What I find is that many of us come into blogging with either no idea of what to do or preconceived notions of how successful we’re going to be and what success is going to look like.
I’ve known people who made nothing blogging and people who’ve made more than $5,000 a month blogging who’ve given it up because they didn’t feel right for whatever reason. Some like Ryan Biddulph figured out a way to retool their blogs or the way they blogged and are happy as puppies meeting new people. Others decided they wanted to use their time in other ways and gave up blogging altogether.
The way I see things, which seems demented sometimes, is that figuring out the right way to blog is like figuring out which CPAP mask is going to work the best for you. How so?
1. Almost no one sticks with the same theme they started out with; the same goes for CPAP masks. Technology changes, looks change, and we all grow into what we want and what we do.
My blog writing has changed over the years into the style I now exhibit across all my platforms because I was looking for a consistent manner I was comfortable with that would reflect who I am, no matter what I was writing about. My CPAP masks have changed because I kept looking for something that was both comfortable and quiet.
2. I’ve contemplated giving up blogging a few times over the years, and I’ve actually shut down one blog and killed a website. I also gave up my original CPAP because I thought I would never get used to wearing a mask.
What I learned in both instances is that I felt better doing each of them; blogging overall makes me happy, while using my BiPAP machine helps me breathe better while I’m sleeping (that’s a pretty big deal; if you remember Reggie White, the Hall of Fame football player who died of a disease related to sleep apnea because he didn’t seek treatment for his sleeping issues you’ll realize that breathing while sleeping is a big deal.
3. There are many styles of CPAP masks just like there are many styles of blog posts and blog writing. With masks, you can get nasal, full face, gel, plastic or cloth in many different shapes, sizes and equipment. With blogs you can write prose, long or short paragraphs, list posts, use infographics, long or short posts… and that’s only scratching the surface.
4. Eventually everyone who stays with a CPAP figures out what’s most important to them that makes them happy and content, and that’s the same thing bloggers do. With my CPAP mask, I eventually realized I needed both comfort and proper sealing and I got that and a quieter mask.
With blogging, I wanted to be in a comfortable place where I could decide just to write and not feel like I had to be like somebody else or cave into the demands of the Big G. True, it’s taken me 9 1/2 years to get there but at least I got there because I love blogging… no matter what.
See there; I was able to talk about 2 separate topics and bring them together as one. I love when I good plan comes together. 🙂 Let me know your thoughts about either of these things, and offer your ideas and processes in trying to be more creative in your blog writing.