I’m going to start this blog post by saying that I am not sorry that I didn’t manage to stage a moody and dramatic photo to accompany this blog post. #oops
Right now, in the blogosphere, there is this looming cloud of negativity and bad feeling. I have noticed some of my favourite bloggers have fallen foul of this cloud and have taken a break away from it all. Whilst I was aware of this, I didn’t particularly feel the same. I’m not a pro blogger. My blog is not my income. As a general rule, if I am feeling miserable, I don’t blog. When I am happy and brimming with enthusiasm and ideas, you can’t keep me away from my keyboard. You can track my breakups (and make ups!) through my blog.
The bad feeling was going to get me eventually, and it has. I was feeling angry at myself for not sticking to my blog goal of blogging every 2-3 days. Even though I am in the middle of NaNoWriMo, a feat that even non bloggers find a challenge, I was still angry at myself. I felt as though I was letting people down.
I suppose the event that has triggered this bad feeling is that, apparently, according to a certain corner of the internet, I can’t have an opinion on something because “I am an aspiring pro blogger”. First of all, I am not. Honestly. Secondly, it doesn’t say on my blog or on any of my social medias that I am, so I’m not sure where this assumption has come from. Just because I have a blog does not mean that I will aspire to blog full time. Yes, some bloggers do. That’s fine. I find these people are generally VOCAL about this. And it got me thinking.
I’ve been blogging for over 4 years now, perhaps even 5. I started in the happy time of blogging; it was a small community, full of support at every turn. It was exciting and positive. Everyone used GFC and Hello Cotton; only a handful of bloggers used Bloglovin. Now, I feel blogging has become a rather negative aspect of my life. The never ending battle to beat yesterday’s page views and comments, gain more followers and rack up those likes on Twitter and Instagram. It’s draining and it’s exhausting. I genuinely feel that the nature of blogging has exacerbated our natural tendency to feel anxious from time to time, to full blown anxiety that affects us to the point where we need medical treatment. Is this good enough? Am I pretty enough? I’m not as pretty as her. Why is no one reading this? Why did they unfollow me? Why doesn’t anyone like me? Does this sound familiar?
When does it get better? What does blogging mean anymore? Do you start a blog simply to make it your income or to become famous? You can’t possibly be writing about something just because you like writing, apparently… *sigh*
I’ll admit, when you first start blogging, it’s fun and exciting. I started blogging, on Tumblr, after I spent £50 on make up in one day, and I thought a blog would be a perfect excuse to keep doing so. At first you think, YEAH THIS IS AMAZING I WANT TO DO THIS ALL THE TIME, but then you get a few months in or even a few years in, and you realise the spark has gone and the shine has dulled. You secretly enjoy having a break away from your blog, but when you log on to social media a few hours later to see whether Kit Harington has been spotted, and where (and whether he has cut his hair), and immediately you feel guilty for having some time for you that wasn’t related to your blog.
It’s come to a point where I have to ask myself, is it worth it anymore? I’m not going to lie, I’ve had so many amazing opportunities through blogging that I won’t forget for a while. I’ve met some people online that I can’t imagine not speaking to everyday. They’ve honestly become my friends. My Facebook has more bloggers on it then it does of people I went to school with!
To be absolutely BRUTALLY honest, I feel that to “make it big” in blogging, you need to sell your soul. I’ve noticed a worrying trend – some bloggers do not have an opinion on anything. Seriously. Everything is amazing… I’m not bashing people for being positive because the world is depressing enough, but I feel that even social medias are filtered and scripted. They do not have an opinion on anything controversial. Any opinions that they do “hold” came from someone’s tweet, and are mostly on “safe” topics. I think this upsets me the most. I don’t want to keep quiet on issues that I want to talk about, for example, feminism, a very controversial and heated topic that most people don’t see eye to eye on. That’s fine. I like learning new things, having my opinion changed by a reasonable and well put argument. I don’t want to sit there and smile, in a heavily angled and filtered selfie talking about how amazing a £30 lipstick is from a brand that encourages women to never let their husbands see them in their natural state. SERIOUSLY. I know it’s off topic but why is no one else mad about this? Ladies, and gents, if your partner doesn’t like you in your natural state, e.g. without make up or perhaps with slightly hairy legs or underarms, GET RID. I seriously cannot stress this enough.. Anyway… let’s continue.
The reason that I do not blog about beauty as much as I used to do is because I am scared to death of something going wrong. My worst nightmare is me, reviewing an item and giving it a good review, only for a reader that had 100% trust in me to buy it and hate it, and feel as though I lied to them. The trust of my readers and followers is of paramount importance and whilst I may forget to add a disclaimer to posts, it hasn’t come from a place of malice. I do not deliberately set out to mislead or deceive my readers. I thought people felt the same as me, but yet, I see skincare posts one paragraph long after one week of testing, or a make up review posted one day after purchase. Blogging doesn’t feel genuine anymore.
So many bloggers have been feeling the same, but yet nothing has been done. I personally feel that these feelings began to surface when the monetisation of blogs and YouTube escalated to the point where you can command a four figure fee for holding up a bottle of chocolate milk on Instagram. When did everything become an advert or a competition? When did blogging lose its imperfections and no longer feel relatable? When did it stop being FUN? There has been a lot of talk recently about social media “not being real” and I wholeheartedly agreed with the girl who brought it to the furore. I know that you did not wake up like that. I know you probably spent half a hour arranging your flat lay for that “random” Instagram photo. I know that your bedroom/lunch/view from your window is not that bright or colourful. It’s ok to like nice things and to take nice pictures of nice things, but surely there is more to life than an Instagram theme? It’s not the end of the world if you upload a picture that is blue and your “theme” is pink, you know?
I know that if my blog ceased to exist and I deleted all social media that I wouldn’t be missed. It would be a drop in an ocean of bloggers, and that thought makes this so tempting. Imagine, all the hours of my life I would be able to get back. I’d be able to eat some candy, without reviewing it. I would be able to use a product without having to photograph it first. I’d be able to read multiple books in a day. I could slob out in front of a film again. I could just sit around and do NOTHING!
I actually feel a lot better getting this all out of my chest, even though it has taken me about 10 rewrites to make sense. I may wake up one morning next week and feel so blindingly positive I will private this blog post and pretend I never wrote it. I might wake up one morning next week and still feel the same. I don’t know. My main priority at the moment is writing my novel, editing it into something coherent, and then sending it out to agents. Taking part in NaNoWriMo this month has made me realise that I do love writing and this is something that I want to pursue. It’s been fun coming up with characters from nothing, fleshing them out and letting them take me where they want to go.
I don’t want this post to come across as self pitying or as if I am begging for adoration and “no plz stay!!1!2 type comments. I just needed to have a vent somewhere. I need to have a serious think as to whether this is something I can genuinely continue with. Blogging takes up a huge considerable amount of my time, and it has had a negative effect on my mental health. I have to ask myself where it will go from here. After 4 years, shouldn’t I be famous in Japan by now, instead of having a few more Twitter followers than my non blogging friends?
I think I should end this post here, before I end up going off on a tangent. I would love some opinions.. it’s not just me is it? *sweats nervously*