I've read a couple of blog posts recently about people who are essentially finding themselves in a blogging funk or considering giving up blogging. It made me think a bit.
A lot of this seemed down to the fact that they were feeling under pressure to present their posts in a certain way, to promote themselves more, to post a certain thing on a certain day. Or they felt under pressure because they spent too much time looking at their stats. Or they just didn't think that blogging was what it used to be, and if we didn't remember that, then we knew nothing.
I don't know. It all kind of upset me, if I'm honest.
No one should be feeling pressure because of a blog. And, also, just because some people maybe were later to the blogging bandwagon doesn't mean they should feel patronised. Like they've missed out on something amazing by being late to the party.
When I first entered the blogosphere, I was completely blown away by it. The community was amazing, especially in forums like 20SB where you could meet all these people in the same place as you in terms of age and where they were in life etc. It was absolutely brilliant.
But here's the thing . . .
Blogging is STILL amazing.
People begin blogs for different reasons. Some are using them as a means to an end in terms of a business, social marketing ploy, whatever. Others have a niche they want to embrace. Some of us just want to write a fucking personal blog. In other words, it's our corner of the world and we want to write about whatever the hell we want to write about. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not, sometimes people read it, sometimes they don't. When it comes down to it though, if it's a personal blog, it's our space, our place to vent, to rant, to ask opinions of others (if we want to)... we can choose whether we want to post or whether we want to back off and leave it for a while.
You might get companies contacting you asking you to review stuff - you don't have to say yes! (Personally, I only say yes if I want to try the product - eg my post earlier today.) Ultimately, it's about what YOU want to do.
Remember this: no one is forcing you to post. Being a personal blogger is our own choice.
Don't get me wrong, I've been through these phases. I can actually understand why people feel this way, believe it or not. For example: personally, I tend to post less when I'm happy. And when I'm happy, I'm REALLY not worrying about whether or not someone else in the world is upset about me taking a break. I'm still going to be there with my friends, the ones I've met online, if they need me though.
Friends are friends regardless of where you met them.
In the four/five years I have been part of the blogosphere I have met a lot of great friends... and I continue to do so. It's not forced or a friendship of convenience, it's a genuine friendship formed through sharing a lot of experiences and perhaps having a lot in common. In a lot of ways, blogging is still the same as it was back when I first started. In some ways, even more so . . . back then, i couldn't ever have imagined meeting the friends in real life that I have now as a result of my online life.
My very first bloggy friend was Chele - formerly known as the Tambourine Queen. I met her in the very early days of my blogging and I've never met her in real life . . . but we spent months emailing each other. She likened it to "Beaches". It was the closest internet friendship I have ever had with someone I haven't actually met... and I still do hope to meet her someday, in spite of the fact I live in Scotland and she lives in Thailand. Since then, I have met over the years many other friends I have met through blogging who have became great friends to me and who I get to see often (in particular the ones who live near me *waves to Smidge and Dawn). I've met up with girls from the other side of the Atlantic (well, one. Hopefully more one day.)
But, even though I have my shit days sometimes and think I want to quit, I'd always like to think my blog would still be there. Because I know I will want to come back to it, and too many good memories have came as a result of it. And so . . .
My lesson of the day is this:
Blogging is still fun.
And, when it comes down to it, blogging is completely what you choose it to be.
Two cents thrown into the ring. Over.