I didn’t wake up one day and decide to stop blogging. It just sort of happened. Those of you who blog yourselves will know how hard it is to set time aside to update and post new material. If you fall out of the habit it’s hard to get back into it. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and before you know it you’ve not blogged for a long time. I was sick of starting posts with an apology for being missing and ending them with a promise to try harder next time. I felt like a child making excuses to a teacher for not handing in their homework and if I’m being honest with myself, that’s how my blog was starting to feel - like homework - a chore.
Back in 2012 I started blogging because I loved writing. Furthermore I loved writing about fashion and beauty, two very big parts of my life. Having just graduated from university where I was able to write every day, I wanted my blog to be a continuation of my love for the written word. A little place online where I could tap-tap away all day long and keep up a hobby which I loved so dearly. I had so much FUN. And for a long time my blog was exactly that.
But blogging stopped being fun for various reasons - the main one being the enormous amount of pressure I put upon myself to become the “perfect” blogger and have an amazing website. I’ve always been a perfectionist with everything I do and writing a blog was no different. I cannot begin to describe how long it took me to actually pluck up the courage and create my blogging account. I over-thought every single part of the process. For example, picking a name for my blog was a painfully slow task and I’m still not happy with it. My next hurdle was the layout and design of my blog. I’ve never been good at graphic design and it made me ashamed to share my blog as I believed it didn’t look good enough. Looking back, I should have cared more at the words on the page rather than the pretty pictures surrounding them. Too many blogs favour style over substance.
I constantly compared myself to other bloggers and came to the conclusion that I’d never be as successful as my favourites because my design wasn’t right or my name wasn’t catchy enough. Don’t get me wrong, I know these things are important but they aren’t the be-all and end-all. What I failed to realise at the time is that these girls put in a lot of hard work and dedication to get their blogs to the level they are at now.
And my word is it hard work. I guess that’s another reason that blogging stopped being fun for me. I was aiming to blog three to four times a week whilst working full time, maintaining a social life and making time for myself too. I wouldn’t accept that my blog could be anything less than perfect but upon reflection that was unrealistic. I felt like I was failing if my blog didn’t look and feel like it was wrote by a full time blogger.
My love for beauty was dented by my own silly views. I’d buy new beauty products and they’d sit in a draw for weeks until I had the time to photograph them as god forbid I posted a photograph of a smudged lipstick. I’d rave about my new nail polishes to the girls but didn’t want to show them incase they messed up the bottle and I couldn’t photograph them. Looking back now it was pathetic. It totally took the fun out of something I really enjoy.
I don’t even want to talk about the amount of arguments I had with my dear boyfriend over ‘Outfit of the Day’ pictures. The stress of trying to get ready thirty minutes early so I could perfect my pose caused many a domestic. Half of the time I’d look back at the pictures, think they were shit and ruin my day/night before it had even begun. This might sound silly but the pressure I was putting on myself was effecting my own self esteem.
In hindsight I guess it all would have felt a lot more worth it if I was seeing my numbers of followers grow but they just didn’t seem to budge. I felt as though I was putting in a lot of effort and there was nobody out there reading it. If you blog you will know the feeling. It’s dissapointing. It wasn’t until I stopped posting that I realised I had the most unlikely followers out there reading my blog. People from work would ask me why I was no longer posting. Friends of friends commented on how they missed my musings. And most of all, the people who I really cared about such as friends and family, would encourage me to start again. I was amazed! For all the numbers weren’t there in the digital world, I did have people reading and I had people who cared. This meant so much to me and is the reason I’m putting fingers to keys once more.
So...there you have it. I finally have everything off my chest. I feel like I can make a clean start with my blog and start to do what I love once again. I’ve learnt some valuable lessons through my previous mistakes and have made some vows to myself to make blogging more enjoyable again. The main one? To be myself. I’m going to write about what I want to write about and not feel the need to imitate anyone else. I’m going to buy a lipstick and actually use it. If I love it, you will see a picture of the used product and I will no longer care that it’s not perfect. And finally, I’m going to think less about the numbers involved in blogging (readership, page views, followers) and more about the letters and words involved. After all, they are the most important things right?
If you’ve made it this far then thank you for reading. It means more to me than you will ever know. I’m not in a position to give anyone advice on blogging but if you’re reading this and feeling like I once did then please don’t give up. Take some time out if you need it and use it to think about the reasons why you started blogging and what you love about writing. Don’t feel down about a lack of readers. There’s always someone out there hanging on to every word. Good luck!