Whenever you start a new hobby, job, school, habit, anything, there will always be people who will either love or hate whatever you're about to begin. They'll give you all the pointers, all the gossip, all the advice.. But once you're finally out there, you forget everything you were told and try your best, until a)the unused advice comes back to bite you, or b)you realise it was all just exaggerations and rumours. Blogging is no different, even if it is only typing to yourself! Here are some of the main things I learnt, since starting writing my blog a year ago. (Disclaimer: This is all my own opinion.. I am no professional, and what I'm about to say may not apply to your own situation. I in no way have the right to give you rock-solid advice - this is a fun little musings-to-myself job.. Just saying.)
1. People won't hate you for having a blog.
I used to think that if people I knew at school, friends, or family found out that I blogged, they would think of me as pretentious or silly or self-important.. That's partially why I called this blog 'Blogging to the Four Walls': I didn't want people to think I was writing to an invisible audience - I wanted them to think that I was perfectly fine with it if I had no commenters or followers. I thought that if someone from school came across my blog, they'd automatically think I was weird and a big (cringe) wannabe! Wrong, for the most part. People who have found out about my blog have been very supportive of what I'm doing, and I appreciate that very much. It's tough putting yourself out there to people you hardly know, let alone the people you do know.
2. If people do hate* you for having a blog, don't acknowledge it.
Okay, so I've dragged out point 1 a little.. This lesson wasn't learnt from experience, but from my own innermost thoughts and ideas. I have luckily never had to deal with bullies or trolls in huge volumes regarding my blog so far, but I've come to realise that if I do, they will not be acknowledged - What do they matter? They are not affecting your performance - only if you let them. There's a 'delete comment' button for a reason.. Plus, isn't a little controversy good for you? There's no such thing as bad publicity, even if the bad publicity equates to someone taking the mickey out of something you've done or written. H8ers gonna H8, hm?
*Hate is a very strong word. Of course people won't completely despise your existence for writing publicly - I've just used it to sound like an angsty Mean Girls character.
3. Clean up your act. #4reelz.
In the blogging business, there is no room for the odd 'indirect' on twitter, or distasteful comment on Facebook. Why, I've even refrained from swearing on all social media platforms. Now, I'm not one to shy away from 'freedom of speech' values and I don't really see why swearwords are put on a pedestal as untouchable, unspeakable words - after all, they're only words. However, when looking through a twitter or instagram profile filled with 'effing and blinding,' it can give off a slight wrong impression. This goes double for 'indirecting' and offencive jokes. If they don't look good to me, what will they look like to future employers/PRs/anyone? I'm not going to say that I've got pristine social media accounts - I most certainly do not, I'm like any other 21st century, angsty teen - but it's no harm to vent about your frenemies and exes in a diary. It feels better, and it looks better - It won't get you in a heated argument anytime soon, either!
4. 'Blogging' is not synonymous with 'routine'.
There has been many a time that I have restricted myself to a time table or schedule in order to bring some regularity to my blog, but each time it has always come back to haunt me - From exhaustion to writer's block, to severe writer's block, it can be tough to constantly feel like you need to turn out new content. The experts may tell you that a regular posting time will get you more views, but does that routine of posting suit you? It certainly didn't - and doesn't - suit me. I tend to have short, huge bursts of inspiration and motivation, and then all of a sudden it will disappear. I have learnt to write all my ideas/content during these phases, and to store them, so there is some normality, although when I have nothing to write at all, I will not write. Why? Because it doesn't feel right, and 90% of the time it's not as good as when I'm really jazzed about writing something. It's not the same for everyone, but I only seem to see the 'dead' part in 'deadlines'.
5. Anything - anything at all - goes.
When I first began blogging, I thought my posts would be all fashion, ootd, fotd, notd, monthly favourites, hauls... Bleugh. It may suit some people to write relating to a particular theme or template, and they may do it very well, but I am certainly not able to do it - I've always said that if I wrote for a magazine, it would be one like Dazed and Confused or i-D: A magazine that appreciates a little bit of everything that is expressive and interesting.. And so, I decided to apply that dream to my blog: Now, I aim - or at least hope to aim - to treat you lovely readers' senses through mood-boards and playlists that provide me endless inspiration, while also to sharing the product of that inspiration: Outfits, photos, articles and anything else that I've put together, based on something I love and appreciate. I'm much more content in this setup - It gives me the space that I need, while also keeping posts a little bit consistent.
Do you blog, and if so, what have you learnt since entering into the blogosphere?