I’m going to be very honest with you, I titled this piece “Writing Selfishly” because I thought the title “Here’s Why I Took Six Months Off From Blogging” was just a little too on the nose for me. But the reality is, that’s what this is really about, and another reality is, nobody cares. And that’s absolutely fine. I spent a lot of my time blogging mulling over stats, follower, views, and then, of course, the bastard that is the Instagram algorithm. I felt personally victimized after that debacle. As time went on, the hobby that I started because I fell in love with beauty and found a community that gave me a safe place during a dark period of my life became less about passion and creativity and more of a numbers game. I began to hate it.
I would watch my follower count tick up one by one, and then drop by six the next day (frustrated tears were often invited to that viewing party) and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t “making it”. Looking back on it now, I’ve realized that I wasn’t “making it” because that idea was a concept that I had concocted in my own mind. There wasn’t any making it, and the people who, in my mind were doing so, were doing it because that wasn’t their motivator.
I pulled away from the blogging community in January, both intentionally and subconsciously. I moved my domain to WordPress (which on another note, is an absolute beast) and I got rid of my pen name. I deleted my accounts that were purely “blog associated” and decided that I was tired of trying to build up an image for someone who wasn’t really me. Everything merged, my blog was renamed, and it felt like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. This cleansing gave me an opportunity to recreate the content I was consuming. I reflowed bloggers but was much more selective this time. A question that went round and round in my head was “are you following them because you like them and the content they create or simply because you like the idea of them?”.
For a lot of those bloggers, influencers, whatever-ers, I craved the idea of who they were, what they got to do, and the pretty life they seemed to live. But through this transition, my taste began to change and I found myself starving for a dose of reality. Out went the feed saturated with picture-perfect lives, and in came a handful of people who were just there to tell it like it is. Don’t get me wrong, the photos were still immaculate, and at a split-second glance I would assume flawless existence, but the difference was behind these photos was there were real people and that shone through.
So where does that bring me to now? Well, I’ve spent six months trying to answer that question and an answer finally came to me on a particularly bumping bus ride to class at an ungodly early hour of the morning. I don’t want to be a blogger anymore. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to write anymore, honestly, I think by dropping that title I’ll be able to write more because freedom breeds creativity. That also doesn’t mean I don’t want to participate in the community because after six months away, I do miss it. What it does mean is I want to approach the content I create, and the reasons I create in from a new angle. I want to explore new explore topics, some that often aren’t talked about with the community like politics and social issues. I want to find a greater purpose to what I write, and I’m not talking about a be all, end all, lofty purpose but just something more than my Top Five Favorites. That’s also not to say that I think any less of those types of pieces and I will quite possibly still write them because they allow me to reflect on things that make me happy but I want to answer the question “so what?”.
We live in a world so incredibly oversaturated with media, and it’s easy to get lost in that, as a consumer and as a creator. So what makes what I have to say special, what makes it important enough, interesting enough, that someone might want to listen? That’s a question I don’t have an answer to, and I don’t think I ever will. My new goal here isn’t to do with numbers, analytics or stats, it is purely to write things that I enjoy and find interesting. And if another person seems to connect with what I say, well then I welcome that person. I am first and foremost creating for myself but just because I am writing selfishly doesn’t mean you can’t come along too.