Hello out there my loves, here I am once again. This time I’ve come to bring you the in-depth dope about a neat little spot we’ve got going on that I guarantee most of you don’t know anything about, and of those who do, probably a lot of you aren’t quite sure about the whats, the wherefores, all the particulars and specifics. Fret not. Mama Ruby’s got you covered.
I know I mentioned this recently, but we have a lot — and I mean a whole lot — of lovely new faces who have joined our Canvas family. I am absolutely tickled to my toes every single time I see a new subscriber, a comment from a fresh voice, or a like from an unknown, and I know the rest of Team Canvas is every bit as happy as I am.
This blog is clearly quite different from the average bear; we are a multi-author mental health blog, a group of very diverse individuals coming together to share our experiences in our own happy niche of the blogosphere. In addition, we are always growing, developing, and endeavoring to add features and content to improve the quality of the site. So if you haven’t already, have yourself a sit, poke around a bit, get to know the people and get comfortable with the place.
So. Now I finally come to the promised content, a look at an area on Canvas I think many of you will really love — because I know many already do!
The place I’m talking about is our Let’s Talk About section. The concept for “Let’s Talk About” came straight from the beautiful brain of ManicMuses. She brought the idea to me when our fledgling site wasn’t even a month old. It was originally meant as a sort of forum for our authors, with her idea being that “. . . once a month you could choose a topic and if the contributors would like to, they could write a small-ish piece as to how they personally view/handle/approach the subject. . .”
As for me, I loved this idea, because I am always curious about, and very often inspired by, how others handle similar life issues. The only tweak I made to the idea at the time was for a different author to choose a topic each month, instead of me.
All I can say about the first few months is that we went wild with it. The first topic, from September 2011, was Self-Medicating. It was a fairly big leap of faith to discuss something so intimate, because most of us weren’t yet very well acquainted. Nevertheless, we took the small out of “small-ish” and went full-bore with everything in us. It was a pretty amazing, beautiful thing; a handful of individuals being completely honest and supportive and really engaging in thoughtful discussion back and forth. It’s definitely worth a read, if you have the time.
By the beginning of 2012, readers were invited to comment as well, though we hadn’t actually made any kind of announcement to this effect or promoted the section. Some clever and endeavoring souls (or perhaps they were just bored one day) had found topics that interested them and ventured to add their thoughts. But we weren’t getting the word out — my best guess is we just never really thought about it — because it ended up being such an easy, basic thing.
It all came about because I was desperate for some perspective and help, and I wanted maximum exposure. I got it, I got so much of a response it was overwhelming to me. A very good kind of overwhelming. But there it was; from my problem, a completely unrelated solution. Easy peasy pie.
So with March 2012′s topic, Labels Are For Jelly Jars, a new way of talking about our happy little Let’s Talk About corner was born. A post is now published with a brief introduction of the month’s topic, and a link to the topic’s page (which is published concurrently). Aside from the link, content is identical. Comments are closed for the post, so all commenting and discussion takes place on the page.
This change brought about greatly increased visibility for our monthly topics, and naturally, more reader response and dialogue came with that. It also brought about a way to keep the section on people’s radar, keeping it fresh and interesting by featuring a new piece every month.
This past January, of course, there was no Let’s Talk About Topic, because it was all about the launch of Blog For Mental Health 2013.
But now, it’s nearly here. . . Our very first Let’s Talk About Topic of 2013!
Now, I didn’t tell you the Tale of Let’s Talk About Land for my own amusement, my loves. I already know it quite well. What I hope for is that you’ll find this dimension of Canvas interesting enough to have a look around. Better still, you might become intrigued enough by some topics to sit down, take off your shoes, and stay long enough to share your thoughts, your stories, to join in the discussion — even just to do some reading. I’d love very much to hear some new voices, as well as those old and familiar, and I think this could be quite a conducive atmosphere for reflecting freely. There are a vast range of topics here, and you don’t have to be living with a mental illness to be able to contribute.
You can find all of the topics via drop-downs from the “Let’s Talk About” page, of course. But I’m going to make accessing them from this post as easy as falling off a log.
Clicking the links will take you to the topics for the year. Comments have not been closed on any of them, so I encourage you to respond to the prompt if you find a topic that interests you. There are a couple of “Charlie Brown Topics” that I thought were good, but for one reason or another didn’t get much in the way of responses. Go find ‘em and prove that all they need is a little love!
And keep a watch for February’s topic, coming soon to a Canvas near you!
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