My blog is set to turn 10 years old on the 27th of July 2015. TEN YEARS OF BLOGGING. A decade. Wow. When I sat and typed up my first blog post on a different platform, I never would have thought that I would still be blogging in 2015. About a month ago I was inspired by a fellow blogger to go back to that very first blog and read some of my old posts. I delved into my wedding planning archives and was surprised by how young I sounded. Almost childish, despite being on the verge of getting married at the age of 26. I didn’t know it then, but less than 3 years after getting married we would have lost our first child and less than 4 years after the wedding we would welcome our next child into the world. Just shy of 3 years after that our last child was born. I also wrote extensively about my problems with my mother. I blogged through my grandfather’s terminal illness and the grief of losing my father figure and hero. So much has happened in my life in the last 10 years and I will always have this blog to go back and to read about these things. When I was younger I tried to keep a diary. I don’t know how many times I tried to write things down, but it never panned out. I just couldn’t journal consistently, but I did want to somehow have things available for me to look back on. Actually I wanted to write, period. In school I dreamt of being a writer. I obviously did not realize the talent and skill required.
Blogging solved my problem of writing regularly and having a place where I enjoyed keeping record of my life. Maybe the difference was that I could actually type instead of writing everything on paper. When I was little my mother used to be a typist, I remember she let me play on her computer with its DOS based operating system. Floppy disks were still a thing and I saved things I had typed out on them. My preferred method of keeping a journal must have been born there since the failed attempts came after this. I tentatively started a blog, not sure exactly what I would do with it. If you had asked me then if I see myself still doing it in 10 years time, I doubt I would have said yes. My first post was only a sentence long! Things have certainly changed since then!
That was all I ever expected of my blog. It was all I ever hoped my blog to be. Other bloggers emerged and soon they were a dime a dozen. I read other blogs and enjoy them. I often feel like my blog is inferior, not because of numbers/stats/followers, but the writing style alone. Although having an audience is wonderful, being validated is magical and comments are the best thing since sliced bread…I still blog for me. I don’t blog to impress anyone, but I do want people to read what I write. I don’t blog to get free samples or be featured anywhere. That does happen sometimes and when it does it is awesome, but it isn’t why I do this. I have made friends online through my blog and I love that. Now there is so much happening in the blogging world, specifically around brands and marketing and there are so many bloggers that it all feels…forced. There is so much pressure. There is so much amazing writing. “Quality content” is the buzzword of the day and I find myself asking whether anything I write can be classified as such. Not to attract brands, but to make people want to read what I write. I don’t blog about “hot topics” or “10 things to do before you’re 40”. I just write about me. I’m still surprised when people actually do read it. I’ve ran into people at blogging events who ask my blog name and when they say “Oh yes! I know who you are! I read the post you wrote about….” I am truly taken aback. Someone once quoted something I had written in person and it was so surreal.
I think the best course of action here is to just do me. To remain true to myself and to blog about what I feel passionate about. I sensor a lot of stuff on my blog. I don’t write about sex. I’ve stopped swearing as much as I did early on (I did it A LOT on my old blog, I never realized this until I went back and read it). I don’t really blog about my mother anymore because we have infrequent contact and I avoid it. I don’t blog about work, let’s face it…that can get you fired. I would rather err on the side of caution. I blog my nails and my life. I’ll admit the nail blogging started because I refused to put my time and patience into something that didn’t “last” and the only way I could figure out to immortalize my efforts was to blog my manis and I really love doing it. There will be plenty more where that came from. Sorry not sorry 😉 I do struggle with the “life” posts sometimes. I don’t know what to write about and I think maybe another blog challenge to fill up my Wednesday slots will be good for greasing the wheels.
How do you feel about the “blogging climate” in the world and in South Africa right now? I would love to hear your views in the comments below!