I had the pleasure and the privilege of sharing the stage with four established bloggers at this years Dundee Literary Festival, held in the city’s Bonar Hall. ‘Designing Stories’ discussed the journey of blogging with examples and extracts from Design Professor Mike Press, Journalist Linda Isles, Researcher and Digital Storyteller Jennifer Jones, Designer Lauren Currie and of course, myself. Our aim was to promote blogging and to encourage our audience to try it out, a task I’m certain we successfully achieved.
We had Ruadhan Scanlan document our event through her signature pen drawings and we delved into questions such as- What impels us to write? Who are our inspirations?Where do we find our motivation?
I have decided to share with you what goes on behind the scenes of Gigi Bobs Her Hair….
Writing elevated in my direction through an unfortunate experience. It occurred just over three years ago when I fell out of love with life, I struggled to get through each day without a sense of anxiety or stress, I cried myself to sleep and woke my self up with tears running down my cheeks. I physically fought with sleep paralysis through hallucination, my mind screeching, consciously ripping the demons to shreds as my body lay rigid, still and silent. I made mistakes, mistakes I have never allowed self forgiveness for. I lived in a mind and body which wasn’t my own, until eventually I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I made an informed decision to deal with my dysfunction through a natural course, opting for counselling instead of pharmaceuticals, figuring this approach would route out my core issues and work better with my acute mood swings and bad temperament.
I had carried a heavy heart for so long, bags upon bags of emotions, tied up and webbed between everyday life and another reality where I felt completely dysfunctional and mixed up. A huge haze of nothingness clouding my judgement and made me feel disconnected to my close relationships and my everyday position.
I was persuaded to visit a therapist, something I had doubts about, I never imagined talking through my life, including my problems, with a stranger, would help with my anxiety attacks and disrupted sleep habits. After a few sessions I felt instantly uplifted and followed the regime precisely. I felt once more in control, I read recommended books and changed small habits to induce positivity. I kept a diary to offload the burden that weighted my mind and I soon discovered the key development to essentially, my peace of mind. Ultimately this was when my writing was born.
The diary entries organically grew and formed to shape my ever changing mood and as I slowly recovered, my inserts changed and I found myself writing short poems or relating quotes which made me feel happy and energised. I allowed my creativity to grow and toyed with the idea of sharing my tales, through time and support my diary turned into my blog- Gigi Bobs Her Hair.
My battle with anxiety still lies deep within me and I try heavily to stabilise and curb it’s return with the release of writing down my apprehensions. I’m still discovering the intricate complexities of my unstructured mind, loaded with anguish, sins, mistakes, ill temper, deviation, rudeness, hesitation, repetition and desires that make me so complicated but so undisputedly human. I’m still unaware of what sparks the fuse of the downward spiral but I’m fortunate enough to understand what can pick me back up again.
My love for words has given my blog an abundant depth and my inspirations lie within the pages of works by the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, William Boroughs or Gary Snyder. All of whom share my admiration for the grit and grime of real life, fighting for uncensored and authentic human thoughts, sexual liberation, poetic expression and the free-wheelin’ that most certainly enjoy today. I get lost in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s paragraphs, his beautiful description transport me within the 1920’s splendour of The Beautiful and The Dammed, Bernice Bobs her Hair another cult classic lends it’s name to my own WordPress blog, A Diamond As Big As The Ritz is another solid favourite of mine. Irvine Welsh’s working class humour draws realistic yet gruesome realities of growing up in a Scottish scheme and I draw encouragement and motivation for each word printed within all their pieces of literary art.
I’m moved by strong women in the public eye and trawl the internet for information on actresses such as Louise Brooks and Anjelica Huston, fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett or performers Lydia Lunch and Patti Smith. My influence stems directly from my mum who encouraged me to read, handing down her favourite books and passing on her devotion to literature. She now works as my editor, sifting out my ropey spelling and filling in my forgotten punctuation.
It may be difficult to believe I pen my posts on a battered up and smashed iPhone 5s but without consistent access to a computer, it is my only medium to get my work across. My encouragers are my friends and followers who gift me with not only their kindness but their critique which allows Gigi Bobs Her Hair to grow and develop. I place myself as an encourager too and I encourage everyone to liberate themselves with the release of words and to evaluate where it finds them.
You never know maybe collectively we can all change the world one word at a time.
Long live the VEF and Gigi the Cult Blog QUEEN!