Having read Girl Online (review later this week), I paused to think about why I blog and how my views towards my blog have changed in the three years I've had it.
It initially started as a beauty blog when I was starting my second year of uni and had time to burn, whilst surrounded by lots of shops. I used to include the odd outfit post too as a throwback to Lookbook (does anyone still use that?). It was before blogging was really a big thing, and just before Zoella and other bloggers exploded into mainstream consciousness.
I was pretty anonymous - I put pictures of myself online but I never used my full name & although my housemates were aware of a what I was doing up in my room, they never really cared unless they needed me to do their nails.
The thing that kept me blogging was the community surrounding it - I have never ever been one of the cool kids and I don't have masses of female friends (chatting about reality TV is an alien thing to me) but blogging was a way to connect, and it turned out the blogging circles I travelled in were full of people just like me - the late teens who had spent their early teens in their bedroom perfecting their MySpace coding. I never really gave anymore thought to it - it was something I enjoyed and I met loads of great people through it.
It was only when I left uni and my blogging bubble and tried to explain it to someone I met who didn't blog, that I realised how someone on the outside of the blogging world may view it - the general consensus seems to be it is either a massively narcissistic thing, or something pathetic to laugh about behind the person's back. This threw me and I stopped blogging as much, partly due to a lack of time but also due to a fear of what people outside the blogging world might think of it - my blog has always been a very personal thing to me, my little space on the internet I can make my own and talk about whatever I want, and the idea of people mocking it terrified me.
I don't care how many followers I have - hence why I don't show follower numbers or enable comments - it's always been to me about making it my own, regardless of how popular certain posts are or how many views I get. I like doing sets of things, like home wear wish lists because I like pulling all the pictures together and getting ideas for my home. I like documenting my baking exploits because it makes me feel like I've created something. I like talking about my Etsy because I'm proud of the jewellery I can make - I've been doing it since I was 11 and I'm not going to stop soon.
I have a similar view with my Instagram - it's full of the small things in life that I think I look pretty - not a single drunken snap of people in sight - my Instagram is a public thing, so why would I want to post my friends and family on there? Mine is very much about good photographs and pretty things I've come across, even if it looks shallow - I know I'm not and those that really know me know I'm not (honestly, my fiancé is currently battling me for a fancier wedding - I'd be happy with popping down the registry office and having a party in his parent's garden). My Instagram is mine, and I can do what I like with it, just like everyone else can - it's no-ones place to judge anyone else.I've come to the mind set recently that I just shouldn't care if people talk about it behind my back - ironically they'd just be bumping up my page views and they clearly don't have enough going on in their own lives, whereas at the moment I do (too much sometimes), and I'm choosing to document it in my own way.
I've also seen the blogging community change itself as it entered the mainstream world - it's taken a turn for the worst - on the whole everyone is lovely but there is an undercurrent of bitchiness and jealousy, especially directed towards the popular bloggers - that's all it can be really, but why try and bring someone else down? Just pour your attention into something else. This is also the view I'm taking on life as a whole - focus on the positives, and I'm not going to worry what people that have nothing going on in their own lives have to snipe about.
In short, I'm going to try and give my own little corner of the Internet more love and attention, and make it into the place I want it to be :)
In the vein of showing other bloggers more love, here are some of my favourites I think deserve a look!
Becky Bedbug - one of the loveliest people in the world, with a super varied blog and the first blogger I met.
The Little Nomad - Nina was one of my best friends at uni, and though we've both become super busy recently, I still adore her blog posts when she has the time - lost of stunning travel pictures and solid life advice drawn for real experiences.
Hello, Terri Lowe. - Terri has exactly my sense of humour and a very no nonsense approach to bullshit. Also a great blog!
Little Winter - I stumbled across Katy's blog about a year ago and fell in love with the positivity and perfect photography.
MS Fist Fight - Noor was recently diagnosed with MS and has taken to writing a blog. She's far better with words than I will ever be, and is one of the best and strongest people I know.
And here are some of my favourite posts of my own so far: