Don’t Let Blogging Mess With Your Head.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to get lost in blogging. It happens to the best of us, and the word lost is really a euphemism for screwed up. Properly head-messed. Nobody wants to admit it really, but the messed up side is there and while there a million and one fab things about blogging, it is a breeding ground for paranoia and self-doubt. So this is a post for bloggers really, and for those readers who aren’t bloggers – skip on to the next post if you prefer where it’s business as usual!
Wait! How Did She Get That Exclusive?
All bloggers are scrambling for readers and one of the best ways to get readers is to get exclusive content. This is exceptionally hard to come by but ‘first looks’ get hits by the thousands and I will cite my Dior Spring, currently luxuriously lounging as one of the highest ever looked at posts at around 95K. And that doesn’t count subscribers or the couple of sites that are allowed to reprint my posts. So, it is utterly gutting to watch exclusives ping up on Twitter when I know how much I wanted them (and how hard I’ve tried to get them) because I know what I’ve lost, and I feel I have let my readers down. Ouch. Does anyone admit to being gutted? Never. But in truth, it is an absolute heart-sinking moment.
But, I Am Not That Person
In real-life, I am NOT that person that feels jealous, stressed and beaten, but in blog life that feeling comes up a lot. If I had been quicker, better, smarter, prettier.. just about anything, then I should have predicted that trend, seen that exclusive, swatched that sample, got that ad campaign, been invited to that event… The internet moves faster than a cheetah and even being on it as much as I am it is impossible to keep up. As a reminder that I am not that person, I will then compensatorily (is that a word?) RT the heck out of any tweets to send traffic their way. Then they say a lovely thank you, and I feel better and that maybe it’s not so bad. Within the next hour, I will have forgotten about it and moved on because spending my life blogging, tweeting, texting, pinning, etc, my concentration is royally f****d up.
That Prize Was Mine
Blogger awards. Oh god. I very rarely enter these because being beaten is tough. I entered two awards back in the day and I didn’t get either of them and I was SO sure I would. I felt humiliated and yes, those quicker, better, smarter, younger, prettier etc feelings were sitting on my sleeve for weeks. Here’s a quote from favourite tweeter, @squarrell, who I have followed on Twitter for a long time. “I know in my quest to be a better blogger, to get somewhere, to find that magical place where my blog was finally ‘something’, I sacrificed everything along the way and I don’t even like it anymore and after everything I don’t feel I really got anywhere.” Her blog was a great blog.
Thing is, about blogging, is that it is your heart and soul because of the hours and hours that go into it. An award is a stamp of approval and legitimacy for all those hours, but if you don’t scoop the prize, you can end up feeling worthless – and worse still, horribly bitter towards the winner. Why did she get it? Why is her/his blog better than mine? It isn’t better, the judges are fools and on it goes.. But, I am not that person and neither are you. Admitting that you even think those things is a relief. I’m far more philosophical now and it is only very occasionally those niggles resurface. When I see bloggers enter awards, a little bit of my heart breaks for them, because I just know what it feels like to lose. However, I genuinely think that putting yourself out there to be judged is pretty brave. Unnecessary, but brave. So, you’ve already succeeded by feeling the fear and going for it.
I’m Bitter With Baggage
Oh yes you are! Don’t worry, so am I, occasionally. @MakeupadviceMAF “I’ve seen the race to be first to blog after launch. Instagram is full of it now live at the events.” I don’t even have an i-phone; it is not in me currently to learn how to use one more technical thing. I have a brand new kitchen and it’s more important to work out how to use the oven than it is to post an Instagram. Priorities. I can’t beat Instagram but I can say more, offer a view or even be so late to the posting party that it just never happens. It won’t matter, other than the nagging prettier, better, smarter, quicker thing. Which I am by now, so used to, that I can shrug it off in a nano-second and find something else to blog about.
How Can I Get Rid Of The Better, Smarter, Prettier Thing?
Just know it’s there. Just remember that we are blogging lipstick, not saving lives. That this time in ten years your whole life will be different. You might or you might not have a blog. Consider blogging angst a drain on your personality. Everytime you let it get to you, you are actually losing something. Consider it a habit like nail-biting and break it. You are not that person. Don’t stop minding about stuff.. we’d all be vanilla if it truly was the *cough* supportive and friendly world that it’s supposed to be.. but the more you flip the switch and be realistic about what you can do and what you can’t do, the happier with blogging you will be. Wanting a thing isn’t usually enough to actually have a thing. Be kinder to yourself about what you are doing. In fact, if you have a blog, be kind to yourself all the time about it, because let’s face it, nobody else is going to be.
Is It Realistic To Be Realistic?
@bigfashionista “It’s a fine balance between blogging for yourself and blogging what you think other people want to hear.. sometimes you lose your way.” So true. The blog is the ever hungry baby bird that has mama bird flying her feathers off to feed. You have to absolutely find what is realistic for you. Are you staying home to blog instead of going out? Are you waking in the night worrying about what to post? Are you quiet with readers and considering an antagonising post to draw them back? Are you tempted into twitter fights? Do you think in tweets? Do you convert what you see into a mental blog post? All of the above and you are lost, my friend! Any of the above and you need to take a step-back and see if it is realistic to live that way. We all know the internet is addictive. Take a really hard and honest look and see if you might be addicted to blogging or Twitter. I’m serious. My blog is my job now, partially, so am I excusing an addiction or feeding it? Even I can’t answer that one.
But if blogging is replacing or becoming more important than friends, family or study.. step away from the computer.
Will Blogging Ever Be Over?
Almost certainly there will come a time where it doesn’t occupy such a large proportion of cyberspace. What would you be doing if you weren’t blogging? Because whatever it is, that’s probably what you’ll do when we’re all done with this. So don’t lose the ability to do it and consider doing it more now. Just so you have a life again beyond the screen. Bake cookies, clean the house, phone your friends, go for a run, see a film, make something stupid with pegs.. whatever you want to do. If there is any bit of you that feels insecure, unhappy or caught up with blogging, remember what you did before. And do that for a bit instead, with friends, with family, with strangers or on your own. The longer time you spend away, the less important it will all seem and the better your head will feel. Promise. x
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