“I wasn’t an expert on anything, I just enjoyed writing about life.” – ME.
Last month, I was notified by WordPress that it was my blog’s six year anniversary. Somehow, I have been posting on this blog for SIX YEARS. (*Albeit, sporadically for the last couple.)
However frequent or infrequent my posting, I was never going to let it die out completely. There will always be a part of me that wishes to express myself through the written word. (And of course the more audible word). Although this space has become more of an archive of the bi-monthly columns I write for my local newspaper, I still have hopes (strong intentions) of posting more regularly, and growing the blog further.
Plus – unlike on here where I can pretty much say whatever I like, within reason – there’s a degree of limitation to what I can write for a local paper. Or at least so I thought. Occasionally I’ll email a column to my editor and wonder if he’ll even publish it, given the “unrefined” content. I’ve written about my daughter peeing on our bathroom floor. I’ve also unnecessarily described to my readers the time when I was out on a walk and desperate for a wee, how I found solace “deep in the heart of a giant bush”. *Read this very column here. No, not all my columns centre around someone needing the toilet. There’s all kinds of ridiculousness. I am extremely grateful to my editor, for allowing so much graphic honesty in my writing and deeming it publishable.
I started this blog when my daughter was six months old, when I decided I was going to become a fashion blogger. It wasn’t even about the writing to begin with. I’d lost a lot of weight after having Maia and finally all the clothes that never used to fit, fit. I was delighted. I wanted to document my new found body confidence, I don’t think it was ever really about the clothes. (I was 21, I would have looked good in a bin liner).
My goal was to blog 365 outfits, grow a huge following with my wit and wonderful wardrobe, and eventually be gifted clothes by companies…85 outfit photos later, I ran out of steam. And words to describe each garment. I took a Fashion Journalism course, loved it, but decided as much as I cherished clothes, the world of fashion wasn’t for me and what I really loved was the writing part.
So I threw myself into that. I wrote about everything. Being Maia’s mum, happiness, unhappiness, books I’d enjoyed, places I’d travelled to, the pursuit of acting…Anything that was going on for me at the time. I interviewed friends and family, asking them big life lesson type questions. I experimented in photography and Youtube videos, then challenged myself to blog for 30 days straight, then another. (Something I’d really recommend if you ever reach a blogging slump, you build such momentum and find the ideas flow more easily).
I couldn’t get enough of my little corner of the internet. It became a space to say what I needed to, then make light of it. I was able to reflect on my words and see my thoughts and feelings a little clearer. In many ways, it was a form of therapy. Friends would say they’d enjoyed posts I’d written and I’d do a short celebratory dance inside.
The words didn’t always flow. I’d go months sometimes without posting. Life would get in the way, I’d feel blocked and talk myself out of writing anything, convincing myself whatever I had to say wasn’t worth saying. As the years went on, I became quite hard on myself when it came to the content of my posts. After all, I wasn’t an expert on anything, I just enjoyed writing about life. Key terms like “target audience” and “SEO” would ring in my head and I’d wonder what exactly I was trying to achieve, if anyone really took anything from my writing and whether my words had any value. I couldn’t put my finger on what “niche” my blog fell into and I didn’t like feeling wishy-washy. Niche-less.
But after a while, the stagnation would get too much and a little voice in my head would rock up and whisper “Come on, do it for you.” And I’d write something.
Because as much as I love making a person smile, to take the pressure off, I’m always reminding myself that I write for me, and no one else. If a friend or stranger happens to find my words in any way engaging or insightful, that’s a bonus.
So six years and 344 published blog posts later, I can say with some confidence that thankfully I am unlikely to ever become a fashion blogger. I may never have a niche, or any kind of serious direction with my writing. But I have slowly come to realise, none of this matters. All that matters is we do what makes us happy. And lots of it.
So I will continue to write about life (specifically mine), and hope that one day I can celebrate sixty years of doing just this. One little blog post at a time.