Blogs and stories can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.
Telling your story – blogging for Woking Mind
We believe that no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone – and blogs, real stories from real people, can play a part in achieving this.
Reading a blog by someone going through a familiar experience can have a big impact. ‘You’ve put into words how I feel’ is a comment we often hear from people. And reading about an experience we didn’t know about can open our eyes, give us a unique insight and help us learn.
Before we begin…Are you feeling ok? These guidelines are for people who are feeling well enough to tell their story. If you’re not sure you feel up to it yet, or need to talk to someone right now, visit our Get Help Page or the Emergency Contacts Page.
Take some time to think about what you want to share, what might be the best way to engage people and how you can get your point across.
1. Keep it personal and focused on events in your life. Our supporters tend to prefer blogs that describe real-life events rather than abstract ideas.
2. What period in your life would you like to focus on? Resist the temptation to cover your whole life story. This will be far too much for one blog. It is usually much more effective to focus on a shorter, defined period.
3. Describe particular moments or events and how they made you feel. Sometimes little moments can help readers to understand your point and how things were/are for you.
4. Try not to shy away from the difficult bits. These are the experiences that make your story real and interesting. Without them, there is no story! How did you get through these moments or cope with these feelings? (If you find these bits too painful to write about, perhaps put the blog to one side until you feel more able to work on it – put your well-being first.)
5. Have you come on a journey? How were things for you at the start of your story, compared to how they are now? Do you feel you have changed at all, because of what happened?
6. Do you have any tips or advice you would like to share? What would you say to someone going through a similar experience?
Writing your blog – mental health blog ideas
We find that blogs work best when the style is informal and conversational. Here are some tips:
- Write as if you were talking. Picture someone you would like to tell your story to and imagine telling it to them in personas you write.
- Be yourself.Don’t feel you need to be ‘a writer’– just be you! Let your personality come through in your writing (writing as if you were talking will help with this).
- Use short words instead of long words where possible, for example ‘try’ instead of ‘endeavour’.
- Use short sentencesand short paragraphs.
- Think about your opening sentence. What can you say that will have an impact on your readers and get them interested straight away? This doesn’t mean you need to say something shocking; it could be something simple and honest.
- Think about the events in your storyand build your story around these. Stay focused and keep it simple – make it easy for your reader to understand what is going on. Avoid repeating yourself.
- Once you have finished, try to read through your blog/storyfrom the perspective of one of your readers. Will it make sense to them? Is it focused? Edit it to make any changes/improvements you think are needed. Most writers say that editing their story down to size is most difficult – but also the most useful – part of the process.
- Aim for your blog to be between 600 and 1,000 words in length.
Please submit your blogs to [email protected]
What we can’t publish
We don’t often publish opinion pieces from guest bloggers, e.g. views on a mental health or political issues, because we find these are best covered by National Minds campaigns team.
Triggering descriptions of suicide or self-harm
- When talking about these, it is important to focus on feelings, not behaviours
- Avoid giving detailed descriptions or talking about methods
- Read more about why this is important
Blog Publication Process
If we are able to take your blog proposal forward, we’ll email you to let you know.
We will usually edit your final blog for clarity, plain English and web usability. We make changes to nearly all blogs, even ones we really love, so they fit our house style. If we change your blog significantly, we will send it back to you to view before publishing. When we edit your post, we will provide links to our own information and remove any which are promoting or advertising commercial companies.
At the end of your post please include a short title and a biography, which may include your personal blog/website and Twitter handle. If you would like to include a photo of yourself, please make sure it is website quality and ideally resized to 284 x 214 pixels (if you’re not sure how to do this, we can do it for you).
You do not have to use your real name if you don’t want to. We understand some people haven’t told their friends, family or employer about their mental health problem and aren’t yet ready to. You’re welcome to use a pseudonym if you wish – just let us know when you submit your story.