I've been a terrible blogger this year, it's no secret, and with posts becoming so increasingly infrequent I'm not even sure I deserve that title anymore.
For the past six months, the blog and I have had a tumultuous relationship, the motivation comes in ebbs and flows, and I still can't quite seem to find my 'place' in this online world. At the start of the year I touched on how no one can prepare you for the challenges faced when making the switch to freelance and the struggles I'd faced on my journey, but something I didn't discuss was the hidden (and somewhat delusional) pressure this industry and social media has imposed on me; the pressure to prove I'm real.
There's been a considerable shift in the way people uses blogs and communicate on Instagram recently. Audiences are growing tired of being served false realities, filtered lives and perfect images, so bloggers are now counteracting this with gritty think pieces on love, life, tragedy, you name it someone is covering it. Your everyday outfit photo is now accompanied with an outpouring of hardship. Which don't get me wrong is extremely helpful for the internet and amazing if those people are comfortable to share such heartfelt content, but what about those of us who aren't ready to unveil everything and just want to talk about clothes? Like the old days.
I continuously fall in out and of love with blogging because I get too wrapped up in what I think other people want. This time it happened because I believed the only way to stay relevant and keep people coming back to this space was to write something raw and honest every time I posted, in order to determine my reliability. Putting pressure on myself to write about certain things created even more pressure to think up these subjects, which then created a snowball effect of more and more pressure thus a whole new problem to talk about arose. Don't worry I'm fully aware of the irony of this entire post.
Just like anyone else, behind the Instagram grid, I have my hardships, I have monthly if not weekly struggles but the introvert in me prefers to talk to friends behind closed doors. No disrespect to those who use the internet in this cathartic way it's a fantastic tool and undoubtedly helps others, but my catharsis is clothes, and that's what I want to share without feeling indebted to show you my bad days all the time. Trying to give more sincerity in every post was making me feel less because some weeks were merely great weeks, I didn't have something heartfelt to give, and I felt guilty celebrating that. Sure, if I have a problem that I think you (the reader) might benefit from me discussing, then I'll go ahead and discuss but mentally I can't and won't do it regularly. It's not in my nature.
Dolly Alderton hit the nail on the head, in The High Low Back to School Special, when she said 'I don't think anyone should be forced in to showing realness of their private life in the online world at the risk of being accused of being some bit fat deceitful liar if they don't'. This is precisely what social media is doing, forcing me to show realness when really 90% of the time I want to show you the things I'm passionate about. I miss planning shoots; I miss sharing outfits, I miss how I used to blog! Dolly and Pandora merely scratched the surface on this subject of sharing realness (go listen if you haven't) and I think it's a really interesting subject that could be discussed even further.
With the rise of Instagram, it has been extremely easy for me to forget about this other corner of the internet. A space where I used to feel free to go out and shoot whatever it was I desired. I know people enjoy it but taking a selfie or an iPhone shot and uploading it straight to Instagram feels like a cheap thrill. Yes, it gets the likes and the adoration, but it's all over in 24 hours. The blog is a permanent space, it doesn't belong to anyone else but me, and most importantly it's a space I miss. Lindsey and Lizzy are two real examples of creatives who keep on pushing and investing in their blogs regardless of the pressures surrounding bloggers and the rise of 'Instagram bloggers/influencers'. Lindsey has said to me numerous times it's essential to keep working on the blog or something that's permanent because you never know what will happen to Instagram. Over the past two months, my anxiety has been at an all-time high, while motivation at an all-time low. As the two grew further and further apart, I felt like I was drowning, but after a good cry to Dean over the weekend and listening to The High Low I woke up Monday feeling more energised and positive about blogging than I've felt all year. I don't always need to counteract nice images of clothes, things I love, and I'm passionate about with rawness. It's ok to simply show the things you love.
May this be the resurrection of my blogging journey.