Today is a whole month since I last posted on this blog. Normally when this happens it’s either down to the fact that I don’t have any time to blog, a la exam season, I don’t have any ideas, or I don’t have any motivation. This time I had all of that but there was one thing stopping me from wanting to do anything for this blog, it’s something I rarely ever mention on the internet anymore and definitely not on the blog because it’s something I don’t like to talk about but, getting real for a moment, my mental health has been all over the place for the last month. It’s not been awful but, in comparison to the rest of the year before this, it’s not been the best.
I felt guilty for a bit, and then I just let myself have the time away. I’ve been struggling with little things like taking photos – which I explained in a Twitter thread a week ago, feeling annoying af with my scheduled blog post tweets, and wanting to share but not watching to share too much. The good thing is that I’ve had so many new ideas and started thinking about the way I want to approach my blog and being a blogger, so it’s just been holding out until I’ve felt I’ve gathered enough of these ideas to keep me going for a bit and holding out until I felt better to come back to blogging. I’ve lots of blog ideas and pre-written posts that have been waiting to go for weeks but I wanted to start with a bit of a ‘here’s where I’ve been, here’s where my head’s been at (love island af), here’s where we’re going from here‘ sentiment. The thing is, in the middle of all these ~fresh, new ideas~ and struggling with some parts of blogging, and then sparked by something I said aloud to my friend Becca the other day, I started questioning what blogging even is anymore.
In between the rise of Instagram and many bloggers favouring creating content for the ‘gram rather than their actual blogs, bloggers making moves to YouTube, and the shift towards more editorial-style content, it’s hard to remember that blogging is literally owning and posting to a blog. The other day I said something that I now feel like a massive bitch for saying, I definitely didn’t think before saying it, and I completely retract the statement, but I was comparing a blog I saw on Twitter with Becca and said it wasn’t ‘proper blogging’. It was more of an online diary type thing and sure, that’s not what we’re as used to seeing from bloggers anymore compared to what we were used to in say 2011, but that doesn’t mean it’s not ‘proper blogging’.
Of course blogging is evolving, especially as a career, and if it’s your full-time then you’re probably putting more time and effort into it because you can, hence the move towards editorial content and other platforms and mediums of sharing. Bloggers aren’t just bloggers anymore – they’re podcasters, YouTubers, authors, business-owners and, everyone’s favourite word (lol jokes x), influencers. The more well-known bloggers probably don’t just have a blog anymore, they’re daily vlogging, they’re releasing products, they’re using Instagram captions multiple times a day to share a thought rather than typing it into their blog. If our general perception of bloggers now comes with all these extra attachments and expectations then, yes, we might fall into the trap of calling someone’s online musings about their life on a blog that doesn’t contain street style imagery of them wearing a ~fashion it girl~ outfit and Gucci bag ‘not proper blogging’.
We’re also seeing bloggers progressing, wanting to go in new directions with their content. Did you ever see that episode of Hannah Montana where Madonna’s stylist influences Miley and says that she’s ‘always looking for a next next‘? Then Miley panics and makes Hannah a goth because she thinks she needs to keep changing and evolving and giving her audience something brand new just because it’s what Madonna is doing? This whole evolving your content as a blogger thing reminds me a lot of that episode. It’s absolutely fine to evolve your content, neglect your blog in favour of the ‘gram, start doing a podcast alongside your blog, introduce a new direction for your blog and its posts – even I’m starting doing it with all these new ideas I speak of. Lol x. But you don’t have to. You can post once a month telling everyone what you did recently and it’s still proper blogging.
It feels like over the last few months, almost every blogger has been declaring that they’re switching up their blogs and/or content, changing the way they do things and going in a different direction with their blogs. But guess what? You can keep on doing the same thing you’ve always been doing if that’s what makes you happy and works for you. Blogging seems like it has to be this thing we keep shape-shifting but it doesn’t. Once again, if you want to continue with the circa early 2010s thing of posting a pic of you against your bedroom wall taken alone with a tripod and write what you did today below it, you are still blogging.
There’s nothing wrong with looking for a next next, trying to push yourself, and moving on when you’ve outgrown where you’re currently at but amongst all the added extras that you can do alongside blogging and the high editorial standards we see lots of blogs having, it’s worth reminding ourselves that all blogging actually is, is posting to a blog – no matter what that post may contain.
All the things that were stressing me out about blogging aren’t mandatory in blogging. Blogging doesn’t have to be photos of you in your all Topshop outfit outside some photogenic white houses touching your hair (lol it’s me), blogging doesn’t require you to over-share about your life, it’s not essential to schedule tweets. So I guess this is just a friendly lil reminder, mainly to myself lol, that blogging is nothing but posting to a blog, that you don’t need to do all the conventional things you think of bloggers doing in order to actually be a blogger.
And, in true typical me hypocrite style, after all this I’m still out here with new ideas and a new approach to blogging that I’m gonna be trying out in the next few weeks. But I guess I’m actually trying them out because some of it goes against the ~norm~ in blogging and I’m just gonna be posting what I want. Oh well, it’s nice to be back ykno x