Changing The Stereotype
I don’t talk much about blogging. In fact, I almost shy away from it. I’m hesitant to tell people I blog because, even in 2016, people still side-eye it. People still don’t understand it, and whilst some are more than happy to listen about the hobby that takes up most of my time beside univeristy, some just don’t care. And that’s ok, but it doesn’t make it any easier. And when I do have those moments when I have a spark of confidence to admit I blog, I worry that saying ‘yeah I blog about beauty and fashion’ will just sit me in the negative stereotype, that thankfully is very small, but still exists surrounding beauty/fashion bloggers.
I’ve heard and seen it all; beauty/fashion bloggers are materialistic, we only care about ‘stuff’, we blog for freebies, we have no substance and are a ‘free’ version of a journalist. As I’m sure you already know, all of this is, quite frankly, a really big dose of BS. And it’s really as simple as that.
Which is why I’m typing this out, it’s why I’m digging a little bit deeper than talking about my favourite skincare items. As we approach 2017, naturally I’ve been reflecting on the last 360 odd days… and you know what? I’m pretty proud of myself. What I do is something I should be very proud to tell people about.
I should be able to tell people: I blog and I love it. I should be able to correct their misconceptions, I should be able to defend the blogging community I’m firmly apart of and I should certainly recognise the skills, oppurtunites and all round benefits this little space on the web has had for me.
So, as we enter 2017, one of my ‘goals’ is to be more thankful for the platform I’m on, to be more confident and to realise “hey Abbi, your blog is pretty cool and what you do is pretty cool, and who gives a monkey’s what anyone else thinks?”. And the very first step towards that is quite simply, sitting down with my cuppa and exploring why blogging is good for me (and millions of other people).
I’m a creative soul
Who can’t draw. Growing up, I would have all these ‘creative’ urges, to do something, write something, start something that was going to let that creative energy flow but, I would pick up a pen… and nothing. I can’t draw and anyone who’s seen my poor attempt at a stick man with confirm this. I can’t paint, I can’t create pretty watercolours, I can’t draw beautiful calligraphy… I can’t even write neatly. But that creative energy was always there.
Several things leading up to my eventual blogging path allowed me to release that creative energy… I soon learned that digital creativity was where my ‘strength’ was at; mucking around with Photoshop, spending school nights making sure my Piczo website was perfect, learning HTML and CSS. All of which lead to here: blogging. This platform allows me to still do all these tasks, plus learn photography, creating inspiring and beautiful photographs to accompany my writing. It’s purely creative and even the admin side of things allow for a little of that creativity – after all, it’s no good scheduling tweets if they’re not going to be eye-catching or engaging. It’s all creative and that is most definitely what I need.
I’m a introvert
Who still wants to be heard. A common assumption for introverts is that we like to be alone, we don’t like to socialise and we struggle with social interaction. And sometimes, these assumptions are true but as always, there’s several different sides. Sometimes, I can’t walk up to a massive group of people and introduce myself without almost physically pushing myself to do so and you can guarantee that sense of panic sits firmly in my stomach. There are days where I wake up and can’t bring myself to communicate with people and there are times where simply having a five minute conversation is exhausting.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t want my ideas out there. That doesn’t mean I want to be silent. I may have ‘bad’ days and I’m thankful that they’re mostly good but introverts still want to be heard. Blogging is the perfect platform for that; I can still share my ideas, I can still ‘talk’ and I can still communicate. And I can still do that and more even on those ‘bad’ days. I do like being alone, but I love being apart of a community. For me, this is one of the biggest benefits to blogging. It allows me to be apart of a community on days where I’m feeling incredibly unsociable.
It’s the ultimate comfort. There’s nothing more I love than opening up my WordPress dashboard and sitting myself down to write a post, and thanks to the pretty incredible technical advancements we’ve experienced in the last fews, I’m able to take that ‘home’ with me wherever I go. In a cafe in London, on my iPad on the train, a sneaky break whilst in univeristy… wherever I am, I can be ‘home’.
And it’s not just typing out posts or photography. It’s the community aspect I’ve already mentioned; the friends you’ve made through the mutual love of blogging, the people you connect with via Twitter Chats, the people you learn from and who inspire you. No matter where I am in the world, no matter what time it is, I can connect with the community, that sense of home without having to move. Blogging is a sense of familiarity, it’s something I can always come back to… it’s just home.
It’s an outlet like no other
And that’s just it isn’t it, really? It’s your own, but you share it. It’s up to you how it all works, there isn’t a rule book, there isn’t a step by step guide on how to be a blogger. You just are. It combines so many different skills; it’s almost like a big tree and all the little branches are what makes up blogging: social media, writing, design, photography, editing, communicating, admin. There’s so much to do and so much that can be done and it’s completely up to you how you got about doing it. It’s just the perfect hobby, it’s the perfect place to let your thoughts turn into words, to let people know about the products you love, the clothes you were. It’s letting people into your world in the easiest way. Blogging, and everything in it, is an outlet like no other. No matter what anyone outside of it thinks.
Sometimes, just sitting back and reflecting on something is all you need to clear away the fog. And that’s exactly what this post did for me. Us bloggers can get some stick, but actually, the support, friends and unique oppurtunites all make this more worthwhile. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a post I worked increadibly hard on goes live for the world to see. And that’s all that matters.
Thank you for reading!