Monday, 28 December 2015

A blog resolution

christmas_blogging_reflection


Reflections on blogging
Where do you draw the line?

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.



9 comments

  1. Katie I love this post! Thank you for being so honest about the conflict you're experiencing, it's definitely something I can relate to. I'm still at university but my blog is my name so I know it's something future employers will see. Whilst I'm proud of the content I'm producing, I am scared that it will impact negatively on my career. I guess I won't know for a while, but I can only hope that an employer I would want to work for would value my honesty and self awareness, even if that means that I've written about my weaknesses more than my strengths. I really appreciate reading your thoughts on the topic :)

    Liza xxx

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    1. Thank you Liza! I think the main thing is that we are proud of what we are creating. Whenever I read your blog I always come away enlightened and your way with words is beautiful - I honestly can't see how it would be a negative impact on your career at all. I love that you mentioned self-awareness because I definitely hadn't thought of it like that! I also think it's natural to write more about our weaknesses rather than strengths, but it also means that we are more likely to understand them and improve on them which is definitely a good thing! I'm still a bit undecided on what to do but I so appreciate your thoughts and I always look to your blog for inspiration! xxx

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  2. Loved reading this Katie, you've articulated so well exactly how I've been feeling recently. I'm more proud of my blog now than ever before but I'm sitting here and wondering when my blog became more about content 'for' my readers as opposed to posts for me that others happen upon. Does that make sense? For now, I think I'm going to go for a mix of the lengthier content that I introduced in recent months with some more lowkey, homegrown posts that I miss reading! xx

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    1. Thank you Mish! Glad to hear I'm not the only one feeling like this - maybe its natural because we've been writing our blogs for so long! Yes I totally agree with you. I feel like I'm creating content for other people, so the posts actually have something they can take away from it, whereas at the beginning it really was just like my diary. Looking forward to your 'homegrown' posts too, though your blog has always kept its authenticity and has always been one of my faves xxx

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  3. I totally agree with you here Katie - I never know how much is too much. I have written several 'bare it all's posts because I too like to read them - sometimes it's nice to be reminded you're reading a real person's blog and not an impersonal magazine page. But then I'm always questioning whether I should share so much. I plan to become a primary school teacher so anything I do write has to reflect my professional capacity. Having said that, there are other professionals who blog, who write personal posts. I'd like to carry on having both sat side by side but I'm not putting any pressure on myself to do one thing or the other right now. Thanks for this post - it really spoke to me and made me think!
    Rebecca | The Two Twenty Somethings
    Xx

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! It's so hard isn't it! I think, as Liza said above, maybe we should try focusing on other aspects of 'putting it out there' - not only does it help us to understand how we're feeling but it also shows self-awareness - which in a professional capacity is so important too. I think it's so raw and honest to write personal posts, it's definitely about courage and accepting who we are but definitely not something we should pressure ourselves with. So grateful for you reading xxx

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  4. You've just put into words what I've been feeling about my own blog for the past couple of months. I feel like the "lifestyle" part of my blog has disappeared and I want to get that back - but I don't know how to incorporate it into what I'm currently writing about. For me, I always want to get to know the person behind the blog and read their real thoughts. I've been keeping up to date with Vlogmas and loving seeing bloggers do it because it's just what they're doing on a day to day basis! I'm planning on changing my categories and introducing more personal/lifestyle posts - it's just finding the right way to do it. But this post really inspired me, so thank you :)

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    1. Thanks so much for reading Holly! It seems like it's a really common thing with blogging and that's a reassurance in itself. I love your blog for all the tips and I totally get what you mean - why is it so hard to stay professional and give a message but still keep a bit of 'us' in there! It's our blog afterall, and people are reading it because they like who we are - how we write, and what we're sharing. Vlogmas is so much more relaxed than other videos - I love seeing what people do in their days even if they think it's boring! It just shows another side we don't normally see, and it's never a bad thing. I look forward to reading your lifestyle posts, best of luck with it - I'm sure you'll find a way best for you xxx

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  5. I spent most of last year quite disillusioned with blogging. First it was with my own blog. There were things I wanted to write about but felt that I couldn't or shouldn't. That was fine at first, I just tried to focus on other things. But eventually there weren't any other things I wanted to write about. That gradually began to blur into not reading blogs anymore. And it wasn't because the blogs I was subscribed to were bad. It was totally all on me, I had just changed. What I want to read is now almost entirely different to what I wanted to read a few years ago. So I've been seeking out blogs that make me feel something. The people behind them feel like real people and they're letting me into their soul in some small way. Their words are raw and beautiful and unapologetic and thought provoking. But importantly they're sharing what they want to and feel comfortable sharing. Only you know what's right, but I'll be here come what may. Your space has been a favourite for a long long time and will continue to be <3

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