One of our favorite blogs (in fact, one of the ones we named “Best of the Web” in the Depression category) is back — depression introspection.

I very much like her response, Response to “Mental Health Blogs Going Bye-Bye?”, to Philip’s Furious Seasons’ entry about where do mental health blogs go to, since it seems like they come and go with a fair amount of regularity (even amongst the professionals).

Here are a few of my own observations, which echo some of Marissa’s thoughts…

1. Blogging well is hard. Blogging poorly is easy. Having a blog that is nothing but links to news stories (as some medical blogs I follow do) is easy. Commenting on those links with some intelligence and insight and more than 10 words is hard. Blogging intelligently with well-written entries longer than 10 words for anything longer than a year or two, reliably and consistently, is extremely hard — far more difficult than most people imagine. This is why most blogs fail.

2. Information overload is a very real phenomenon, and bloggers feel it just as much as anyone else. I have literally a dozen or more stories to choose from to blog about every single day and some days not a single one of them is of interest to me (and therefore probably not of a lot of interest to my readers). So imagine dealing with information overload and debilitating depression. Or schizophrenia. Or anxiety. It’s bad enough to blog well when we have nothing serious going on in our personal lives or with our general health or mental health. But add some emotional upset to the equation and it’s easy to understand why some bloggers take a few days or even a month off.

3. Blogging audiences in mental health are hard to come by. It’s taken us years to build up a decent audience for this blog, but that’s only after nearly a decade of on-again, off-again blogging. Most bloggers don’t have the patience to wait a decade and give up after only a few months. Some hang in there for a year or more. But most just throw up their hands in frustration and say, “Screw it, it’s not worth it.”

4. If you’re not careful, blogging can box you in. Sometimes when I spend too much time thinking about blogging, I blog little or what I blog is almost rote. When I know I have something interesting to write about, that’s when blogging frees my mind and opens up the doors of possibility. When it feels like I have to blog about something, many times my creativity and insight suffer. Blogging, to me anyways, should always be something fun and interesting. When it’s not fun or not interesting, the work can suffer and you can give up in frustration.

5. Far less insightful or interesting blogs, in my opinion, sometimes seem to get all the attention and links to them. I find websites that proclaim they have all the easy answers, written by salespeople looking to sell you something, that get linked to by other large, mainstream blogs, and it can drive me nuts. The “easy answer” blogs (e.g., Here, just do this, and you’ll organize and simplify your life in 5 easy steps!) get their popularity through their pop psychology answers to life’s tough questions. And yet virtually everything posted to such blogs is just nonsense and not supported by the research evidence. Which only goes to show you that people will usually prefer an easy, wrong answer over a more difficult, right one any day of the week.

Those are just some of my thoughts on this question. Sorry, I got off on a tangent there… 🙂

Welcome back Marissa, and we hope to be reading much more of your entries in the weeks and months to come!