I started drafting a version of this post back in July (haha) and I originally had it titled "What I think about blogging", but I very quickly realized it should be "I know nothing about blogging." Really. I'm totally clueless. When I started this little thing I had no idea what I was doing. And 8 months later, I still know very little. But with a small amount of personal experience now, and a lot of reading/watching others, I have a better idea of what I want my blog to be like. And since I'm a big fan of gathering all my jumbled thoughts together to try to make sense out of them, here goes a long one..
I participated in Helene's Webinar last night "Get paid to blog" and although I'm not really about the money (more on that) it really inspired me and gave me the spark I needed to finish out this train of thoughts. (Anyone who didn't watch it, click above she's running it through tomorrow night. Do it now.) I was really reluctant to click 'join' because the whole thing just so isn't me, but it was free so I figured, why not? Then when the time came I was really reluctant to actually sign on because I was like "..this so isn't me" but I'm glad that I did. She is amazing, and a total cheerleader for bloggers and although she mostly did talk about how to get paid, what I really took away from it is that we all are unique. We're all different, and we're all doing this for different reasons. We each have our own agenda and goals for our blogs. I have a hard time sometimes, wondering "what am I doing here? I don't belong here." But I do. We all do. And we all matter. What we're doing is important. Big or small, we all work our asses off on these pages don't we? We deserve to pat ourselves on the back, and be proud of our blogs and go for our blogging dreams whether that includes getting paid or not.
When I started this post I wasn't motivated at all to finish it, I just wasn't feeling it. And I was having second thoughts about even discussing what I thought about blogging because a lot of it may be different than some of the blogging friends I've made so far. (And I love you guys.) Some parts came across somewhat mean and opinionated (me, opinionated? no..) and I kept changing my mind, or thinking "I shouldn't say that" or "will I regret saying that someday?"...and it's a very big possibility that I will, but I think it's important for me to sort my thoughts because the first thing step in figuring out the direction of my blog here is to think about who I am as a blogger. The short answer is, I don't know.
But while I might not know the kind of blogger I am, I do know the kind of blogger I am not...
I do not have anything to teach. I don't make crafts. I'm not a fitness junkie. I don't think the world needs anymore mediocre cooking recipes. I have the makeup skills of a 14 year old girl. I can't braid. I'm not a millionaire with an endless shopping budget. I don't have a live-in photographer (also known as a husband. well I have that but you know what I mean) or even a real camera. I don't have a baby (sorry Allison, you were already subject to that joke lol.) I don't have a perfect home sprinkled with Anthropologie trinkets, or a white rug. I don't think I could fit my "lifestyle" in a box. I have nothing that makes up what a "real" blogger typically is. I'm an expert in nothing but myself. (And even that is questionable sometimes.)
I am small. (Physically yes, but I mean in regards to this blog I'm small like an ant on the earth.) When I first started my blog, I thought it would be so great to hit it big. I mean, their lives look so awesome. Then I realized what that actually means, and how they got there, and how hard it must be to stay so perfect all the time. I honestly don't think they're as happy as they seem...I mean have you seen gomi? It's brutal. People are cruel when you're at that level. So I'll gladly stay down here as an ant thank you very much.
I don't have a shop. I have no patience for making anything myself. I have a craft box in the closet that hasn't been opened in three years. I don't care for making things harder than they seem. I'd rather spend an extra $2 to buy something pre-made than to wrestle with it myself. I think there's two kinds of people in the world, the DIY-ers and the DIY purchasers, and I'm happy to be in the second group. (Someones gotta be right?)
I love clothes as much as the next girl. But I don't have the money to wear everything new, everything-this-season all the time. So I absolutely cannot participate in the "whose dressed better" contest. Plus, it's exhausting enough to get dressed up on the rare occasion that I do. Someone else please tell me, does just reading fashion blogs stress you out too?
I'm not a model. I am hardly ever made up photo-worthy. I'm short, I have horrible posture and suffer (yes suffer) from adult acne. I wear glasses most of the time. I feel like a child playing dress up when I look too nice. And there is no place in the world I feel more uncomfortable than in front of a camera. It's gets real awkward. I very much prefer to stay behind the scenes.
I can't promote healthy living. I struggle daily with not eating a pint of ice cream. It's a recurring topic of mine. I don't work out. In fact, I hate it. I'm living off genes and metabolism that is slowly but surely catching up to me. I've struggled with body image for years and at times been extremely unhealthy about it, so I wouldn't hand out that advice to anyone.
I'm not a grand photographer. The images on here are just okay at best. I like to take pictures but more than anything I love to document life. I would call myself more of a "documenter" (real word, yes or no?) and a big part of that is taking pictures. It's on my list to get a nice camera to not so much photograph myself (puke) but to creatively and genuinely document everyday life, travels and my family. But until I stop spending all my money on Etsy (told you I like DIY-ers) and Trader Joe's flowers every week, the iPhone will have to do.
And iPhone or not, my life will never look like you just opened up a magazine, and it isn't a goal of mine. There's nothing picture perfect about it (besides maybe Ted sometimes.) My husband doesn't ever just jump in when I'm whipping up a gourmet snack in the kitchen and casually take photos of me. (And of course I would have lipstick on and everything.) That will never happen. And as much as seeing these kinds of images makes me feel like I need to be that girl, I'm not. I can't. I just don't think life should be so staged. If the best I can get is to quickly snap a picture of my food at a restaurant before Johns hands start creeping in to eat, than that is good enough for me.
I don't follow the rules. I don't post everyday. I post on weekends if I feel like it. I post at night (clearly.) I just posted twice in one day for christ sakes (huge no-no!) I don't follow any kind of editorial calendar (what even is that?) I'm not quick at this. The fact that I'm trying to write this in one day is hard. I prefer to write, and re-write for a few days before I hit publish on something. I also don't pre-plan posts. I wish I was that kind of person, but I'm just not. I have a hard time writing something unless I'm in the moment. Every time I try to start a series of some kind, I get bored. It has to be more organic than that. (Ew I said organic. Also to anyone who doesn't blog, how stupid does this all sound, haha?)
I'm not a designer. I think it goes along with the DIY stuff, I have no patience (or I'm just stupid.) I don't know how these blogs work behind the scenes. How the hell does everyones look so pretty? I know when I see something I like, but I don't know how the hell to make it happen. I could use a class on that. Or just hire Candace ;)
I'm not a business person, so this will probably never be used that way. It's just not in my bones. For me this is a creative and emotional outlet and if it ever became about something other than that, I don't think I could enjoy it as much. What I love so much about blogging is that I can spend hours (like more hours than I work in a week) on it and it never feels like work. I want to keep it that way.
I'm not money-driven. I love money. Want it. Need it. But I'm not the type of person who feels the drive to go and get it. (I'm just lucky to be married to the exact opposite of myself lol.) When I was listening to the webinar last night, I was just thinking about how I would never feel comfortable reaching out and asking a company for a sponsorship. It's just not me. BUT, not to say I am anti-money. Not at all. In fact, I'm totally pro-making-money. I wish I could find a way to make some money by just being myself on this blog. Isn't that the dream? And I want to make it clear, I don't have anything against bloggers who promote products and use affiliate links to make money. Like how Camp Patton says, "there's nothing wrong with making a little mascara money." Because I could think of a million things I could do with a little extra money, like take a creative writing course.
I can't tell a lie. And at the same time I can see right through it when someone else does. I already said this, but I have no problem with sponsored posts (hello, I like money) but the problem I have with it, is that the majority of the things I read feel so ungenuine. Maybe there's something I don't know, like you're in a contract that says " you have to say YOU LOVE THIS." But I can always tell when it's bologna. I could never talk about something unless I really loved it. I started reviewing books recently because it's honestly what I love to do anyways, and I'm trying to only review books that somewhat make sense with what I already talk about here. There's this blogger I follow (who shall not be named) who I shouldn't even follow because she just irks me, and she sponsors e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. You could probably pay her to talk about the gum on the bottom of your shoe. I don't think she's ever written an actual post about anything other than products, and half the time they are so random it makes no sense. For example, she sponsored tampax one time and I was like, ok you've officially sold your soul for tampon money. I can only imagine how that conversation went down, "oh yes thank you for offering, I actually have a really deep need for a new tampon brand." ew. (Maybe that was mean, but I'm positive she doesn't read my blog, but if she does then sorry but it's the truth and it's weird.)
But as weird as that may be, she must be doing something right. She probably wasn't scared to promote herself to tampon companies. Whereas, I'm the worst at self-promoting. The worst. It makes me so uncomfortable. This blog's been around for 8 months now and I haven't told many people about it at all. And if I have it's gone something like, "I have a blog. It's stupid, but you can check it out..if you want." I just don't want to beg for anyones attention. I actually hate attention. I prefer to mostly stay unnoticed, (and that's not really the point of blogging.) I told a friend just last week, and I was so nervous about it. But it actually felt good, because I am really proud of this space and I do want it to be shared. So that's something I need to work on. But that doesn't mean I'm going to start screaming from the rooftops about it or anything.
On the same note, I don't do social media. I know, this is going to be the death of my blogging career. (Good luck getting paid for anything without twitter Morgan!) I use this blog and Instagram, and just with those two I barely have enough time to look up during the day. I can't imagine if I added another 5 social media accounts to my life. When would I play with my dog? Also, I've written about it before, and it's just isn't healthy for me personally.
So what kind of blogger am I?
The long answer is, I don't know but I'm figuring it out a little bit more every day. I'm a voice. I'm an opinion. I'm a storyteller. I don't know exactly what my writing style is yet (mostly funny, sometimes serious?) I don't know what my mission here is yet, I only know my personal mission to enjoy life and right now this is a part of that. I don't have to know it all after 8 months, or ever, but I must remember that I am unique.
(And I reserve the right to take any of this back at any time, haha)