I’m a big supporter of independent creators and small businesses. Or so I would like to be. I tell myself that it’s important to shop locally, support online business owners and reduce the impact of my consumerist tendencies by reducing my spending at big brands.
Except I don’t.
My entire wardrobe is a mix of Primark, PLT, Asos and H&M. If I need make up, the first place I head to is Boots or Superdrug. Need more stationery? Hello, Amazon! (In my defence, I do tend to buy from smaller sellers and creators on there but still).
I can do better. And I want to do better.
Why don’t I shop indie now?
I don’t have a reason, but I do have excuses. Or in some cases, misconceptions.
Whenever I start blogging again, I’m bursting with creative spirit and motivation. Unfortunately for me, it tends to last about a week before I get hit with the insecurities. I look at my content plan and wonder what the hell I’m doing. Nothing feels right. I don’t feel right. And yet I know I want to blog.
To allow myself the freedom to get unstuck I’ve decided to start doing ‘Life Notes’. The idea behind it is that I take pictures of things around me, of things throughout my day and share them along with some thoughts. That way I’m working on my photography skills but I also just get to sit down and write.
I’ve recently touched upon not feeling good enough to be a blogger (here). It’s one thing acknowledging it, but what I am actually going to do about it?
I’m going to embrace imperfect blogging.
But what does that mean to me?
It’s focusing on the content
When it comes to blogging, my focus tends to wander to all the things that my skills have yet to catch up on – having the “perfect” images, getting the SEO just right so Google stops ignoring my existence, scheduling social media like a pro, etc. The thing is, these are all secondary to the content.
None of those things exist without the content. Everything else will eventually fall into place over time.
I’ve dipped in and out of the blogging game for the past decade or so. Around 2015 I even had a regularly updated beauty and lifestyle blog that wasn’t doing too bad (if I say so myself). That was, until I stopped. I tried to up my game, but instead I fell into the comparison trap and stopped blogging altogether. And that’s where I’ve been ever since.
I just don’t feel good enough.
My mind has acquired the terrible habit of listing off a bunch of excuses as to why.
- My social media game is poor. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over 300 followers on any given account. Even when the numbers start to creep up, rather than seeing it as a positive, I start to worry. Am I doing it right? Am I using the right scheduling tool? Should I be paying for a scheduling tool? Am I being annoying? Will this post affect my employability? And what if the trolls find me?
- I don’t have a photographer or the necessary photography skills. With a lot of blogger shots now looking like they’re straight out of a glossy magazine, I don’t think I can ever measure up. And even if I tried, I feel insecure about asking my partner to double up as an Insta hubbie. After all, once the photos are taken, then comes the editing. Do I buy a preset Lightroom filter at the risk of ending up with images that look very similar to every one else who’s bought that preset, or do I risk doing my own thing and standing out – and not in a good way?!
- My organisation skills aren’t as good as I thought. Where do full-time bloggers with a full-time job even find the time to do basic things like eating, sleeping and watching Love Island? I’m fairly sure they’ve learned the secret to tapping into Beyonce time while I languish in the Realm of Procrastination Via Overwhelm.
- With the field so saturated, what is the actual point? Everyone and their nan has a blog, so what does my voice matter? What is the actual point in blogging when there are so many bloggers out there who do it so much better? Better to have not tried and not failed, than tried at all, right?! *anguished cry*
As you can imagine, this type of thinking has gotten me nowhere.
I used to read blogs all the time. It was reading blogs that made me want to start blogging in the first place. When I was blogging, staying up-to-date with other blogs was a constant source of inspiration, a way to learn more about the world through the lens of others and a way to stay connected with the blogging community. But then I stopped.
Why did I stop reading blogs?
- Social media came along. It’s much easier to engage via social media (how else am I meant to stay up scrolling through my feed until 2AM?!). Other than the convenience of instant likes and comments, the more emphasis there was placed on growing likes and followings, I began to drift away from reading blogs.
- I stopped blogging. I grew busy with schoolwork, and then I grew busy with life and the next thing I know four years have passed and I haven’t blogged. Nor have I read another blog.
- Blogging felt like it had become a bloggers exclusive club. As the influencer landscape changed and there was a shift towards monetising blogs, it felt like the content that had drawn me to blogs in the first place was slowly disappearing. With more and more bloggers blogging about blogging it bean to feel that if you weren’t a blogger yourself, blogs weren’t for you anymore.