I love writing personal reflection posts each year but I have to admit that it’s getting harder each time. When I first started this blog back in 2010, I used it to share my artwork and as a general diary of what was happening in my life. As I went through university the content was less creative and more lifestyle – I was sharing personal posts and the support I received from my readers was amazing.
Since launching in to being a full time ‘adult’ after uni the content became a bit more professional – not necessarily a change I specifically activated but just the way the content became. I shared more recipe posts, DIYs, reviews and a few illustrated pieces thrown in. My blog was becoming something I was happy to share and talk about to others – with the lack of diary-like entries and more creative posts, I found myself sharing the blog on my CV and in work interviews. My family and friends were reading my blog by this point and I was a lot more aware of my readership. The lack of ‘sharing’ in my blog has been something at the forefront of my mind this year. This blog has been an important aspect of my life for 6 years now so it’s understandable that the content has changed as I’ve grown with it.
Content in the blogging world has definitely become more editorial and professional – from photography and formatting to magazine-worthy content rather than a blogger just sitting their bedroom and writing down their thoughts, having a good old vent.
The problem with this though, is the age-old question of how much is too much? Where is the line between staying professional, but making the content relatable and personal without over-sharing? I want my blog to be both, but when I think about sharing personal issues on my blog I shy away because the blog is on my CV. Future employers might read a personal post, or my family might read it and I hadn’t spoken to them about it IRL. Writing online has always been a great way for me to vent – but because I’m so aware of who reads my blog now, I tend to write quick 160 character snippets on twitter (which they don’t tend to follow) than write 600 words on how much I’m struggling.
The support I’ve had from online friends and strangers has been so gratefully recieved this year and I’m happy I’ve had twitter as an outlet. Tweets are so transitory, and that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. Timelines move quickly and though the tweets will always be there and published, they’re pushed down quickly by other words and rarely seen again. If I used my blog for these thoughts, would it help more people, and help me more too? I always feel relieved to read a blogpost by someone else that mirrors my own feelings. Tweets aren’t quite able to do that. How do you get your point across in such a short amount of space? Blogging is perfect for communicating your bigger thoughts, and finding a post that could have been written by yourself can be an incredible reassurance. So why don’t I post my own? They always say it’s good to share, not to let it worsen inside and to get support. When it’s easier for me to type, to vent my emotions through written words than from my mouth, my blog is my first port of call. I just never hit publish.
Do we have professional, CV worthy content that helps our creativity and, potentially, our career? Or do we let the words flow from our fingertips, forget about perfect photography and SEO, and instead let our souls be bared and, in turn, receive support and love from people who can relate?
I don’t want to separate the content and have two blogs. Can we have the two side by side in one place? I’m a bit scared about that. Ultimately, the blog is for us. It is us. It is a reflection of our lives and who we are – if we can create both types of content above, why can’t they belong together? Can a post about depression sit between a DIY and a paid product review? Can you write about personal dilemmas without scaring off readers who prefer the editorial-style posts?
Like most things, I think it’s about courage. About being brave and baring all, having two different aspects of your life in one place, no matter the difference. Hoping that people understand, or maybe, not caring if they don’t? If they don’t like you or their opinions have changed after reading a personal, put it all out there post, then maybe it’s for the best. After all, honesty is everything. So maybe it’s time to be brave.