I was introduced to blogging by my best friend and roommate in college. It was freshman year, and I knew that she wrote to her friends back home from time to time. I was fascinated with this ability to have basically a website of yourself to share with anyone you wanted.
So, I started my first blog (I think it was a LiveJournal or a Xanga, I can’t really remember), writing about everything and anything, venting on topics from boys to school to feelings. I didn’t care who read it, but people did, especially in our school. I got a lot of conversations with people about what I wrote, but they were more in person conversations. Comments hadn’t really taken off as much at that point.
Then, over the course of the past ten years, blogging has become an entirely different animal. Now, you put up pictures and post recipes, show off projects and trips, all with a sense that you are writing for a magazine. It’s not so much an avenue to connect with family or friends, but more so to find online friends and grow a community.
And of course there is now the aspect of having companies sponsor you and making enough money to live writing on the internet. It seems like the idyllic lifestyle, although most of the bloggers I’ve read about have crazy long days of research and fears of writer’s block that would end their days as an online journalist. Still, having your own schedule and ability to live off of your writing seems pretty awesome. Plus, have you noticed the amount of blogs and sites out there dedicated on growing your readership and making money? It’s incredible.
I’ve changed a lot as a blogger. It was just a means of communication for me to a few people. Now I feel this crazy pressure to perform in every post. Are there enough pictures? Have I shared enough recipes? Are my topics interesting? Thought-provoking? Controversial? Too controversial? When I started blogging, I would just vent onto the page and press publish, but now I can definitely admit that several posts have hit the recycle bin because of the fear of offending someone.
And I think that’s affected my writing. I feel restrained when I write. I feel like I have to fit the post into some formula. And frankly I felt bored, bland and burnout.
I think that’s why I stopped the schedules and expectations for June. I know I’m not as predictable on topics or upload times, but I really feel for the first time in four years that I’m writing for myself. Sure, I want you to enjoy what I write, but if you don’t that’s ok too. It’s ok to not have projects going every week. It’s ok to not be busy all the time. These are the goals I’m working towards now – to get back to the simple basics. To learn how to be ok with just simple ol’ me again.