As I sat down to write this post, I got really nervous. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’m not really sure why that is. To be totally honest, I’m writing this from my bed at 1.30 on a Sunday afternoon, on the first real autumn day we’ve had. My room is a mess, I’m still wearing my pyjamas (and trust me, they are not the matching perfect blogger set), I just ate peanut butter on toast in bed, and I’m pretty sure I’m still wearing eyeliner from last night that just did. not. budge. Damn you Stila, and your long wear eyeliner. There’s no #goals to be looking at here.
Now that you’ve got that pretty mental image, there’s some blogging related stuff I’ve been thinking about lately, and it’s time we had a chat about it. This blog has always filled a gap for me, been a place to be creative, practice writing, get personal and belong to an awesome community. But at the same time, blogging in the way I do it is weird – just flat out peculiar. You make a decision to let the world into your life and your mind, to judge your tastes and style and your thoughts. Even though I think about this blog through the lens of the Girl for Granted character, at the end of the day it’s still me who writes and makes the decisions and has the thoughts that go out there. It’s terrifying, but also bloody exciting. I love it, and I’m scared of it but we have to do the things that scare us, right?
Somewhere along the way though, my love for blogging evaporated. The hate didn’t grow, but the love evaporated and left behind a fog of ambivalence that grew and grew into a massive cloud, and the length of time since I’d written and the ensuing pressure to blog eventually overtook what I really enjoy about this whole blogging thing. Girl for Granted fell by the wayside. The excuses were always that I was busy, and it was summer and who wants to be cooped up inside in front of a computer? And I couldn’t take a million photos in public to Instagram because who wants to be that girl? (A more legit excuse was that when you work in front of a computer all day, the last thing you want to do when you come home is sit in front of another screen – something I really do struggle with when it comes to blogging).
(Oh and now it’s raining and my bed sits under a broken window so I am getting wet. Again, #goals.)
Let me be clear here that the pressure for me to blog has only ever come from me. Sure, some of my friends would ask why I hadn’t posted in a while, but the question has always been accompanied with a compliment on how much they enjoyed reading what I was putting together. And those questions and compliments always come from people that I never thought would read what I write, or even notice I was doing it. But I think what they don’t realise is how time consuming blogging is. This is not me complaining about that time commitment for one second. I fully understand that choosing to blog is choosing to spend time in that way. However, running a blog is so much more than jotting down some thoughts, finding a pretty photo and hitting publish – at least, in the way I want to do it. When I do something, I go all in. It’s just who I am. Go hard or go home; if you’re going to do something then do it properly; half-done is not done; the harder you work, the luckier you get. These are all things I tell myself on a regular basis, this has always been my approach to life. But it’s not actually the best approach to a hobby, especially a hobby that you LOVE.
I guess the essence of this post is that I took a break because I was blogging for the wrong reasons. When asked to give advice, “successful” bloggers always say not to do it for the wrong reasons – blog because you love it, because it lets you get creative, because you love to write or photograph or draw or whatever the hell creative pursuit you showcase on your blog. Don’t do it because you think you should, or because of the potential to make money or the audience numbers. There’s no quicker way to fall out of love with blogging than that. Don’t go into it thinking you’ll create a business. Let your hobby become your business, by all means. But don’t let the rest of the shit (analytics, social media, criticism) that comes with blogging let you forget why you’re here in the first place. For me, that means writing, being part of a community of incredible women who motivate, inspire (I hate that word), and support each other, and showcasing what I can do beyond my 9-5 business led job in a creative environment. Does that make sense? I also have some thoughts on the insecurities of being a blogger, but I think that’s a separate post.
From here on in, I’m going to blog more because I genuinely do love it. The time away from it has reinvigorated me; allowed me to realise that I’m not here for any grand delusions of making millions of dollars and becoming famous. Fuck that. I’m blogging because I want to, and because if you don’t care or don’t want to hear what I have to say, you won’t read – which is fine, by the way. Also the song I’m listening to is building to a climax so my typing and writing is getting more and more furious hence my lack of commas in this sentence.
So take this as my pledge to only do this blogging thing because I genuinely enjoy it. If opportunities come along as a result, great. If not, so be it. I’m going to make more time for it because I LOVE it, I love the satisfaction of owning and creating something and I’ve missed blogging. But right now, I think should probably get out of bed and maybe put on some real clothes. Those right there are #goals, my friends.