This post is long AF. Get some damn tea.
Hello my sexy soul sisters! (And brothers. But, like, alliteration.)
Let me just get this out the way quickly: this is in no way a post aimed at making you all feel sympathetic towards me or to gain attention/validation. While I have insecurities in my blog, (because I am a human being and that’s what we do) I actually really like what I’ve done with the place and I’m proud of it.
The point of this post is addressing the fact that most bloggers at some point (as in most points) have their insecurities and sharing that that is okay. That everyone does. That it isn’t taboo, you shouldn’t be ashamed and you shouldn’t let it stop you. A lot of you really enjoyed my “Is Blogging A Real Job?” post and I thought . . . hey, why not write some more posts about the blogging community?
So this may develop into a mini-series of posts (sporadic, unplanned posts) and they will all feature images of the tea I am drinking whilst writing. Why, you ask? Because I’m British – tea is the one thing I will always have photos of. But I’m not quite British enough to dedicate time to taking photos of tea exclusively.
I’ve seen so many bloggers lose their motivation and passion for blogging because they feel like they aren’t good enough; their photography isn’t on point; they aren’t pretty enough to be Instagram famous; they aren’t as successful as they could be.
And all that is? Insecurity. Fear. It’s fear of not being good enough – maybe of being laughed at and ridiculed. Fear of failing and looking like a fool. We all know that fear shouldn’t hold us back, right?
But . . . what about when that fear just seems like logic? What about when that fear sounds like the voice of reason? Like facts? When that fear sounds like “nobody even likes your content, your blog’s only grown X amount of followers in X time, while Y blogger’s has grown Y amount. Take a hint – stop wasting your time.”?
Personally, I think this fear is completely exasperated by the fact that . . . well, everyone in the blogging game is damn good. And I don’t just mean the pros, either. As a newbie blogger especially, it feels like everyone is doing better than you. (Unfortunately, this feeling does not disappear. Sorry, kids.)
Every blogger has their own shit – their own voice, their own style. The bloggers that are outside your “typical blogger” stereotype have a sense of authority, authenticity and irreplaceability; the bloggers that do fit within that stereotype are talented, social-media savantes, professional as hell and-
Look, there all loads more things I could say, but let’s skip to the point – it’s all pretty intimidating. Now, I could say the typical “comparison is the thief of joy” – and that’s true, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stop the comparisons, does it? So how do you stop them?
Well, for me, it was honestly the fact that I don’t want to be like any other bloggers. That probably sounds incredibly rude and pretentious (which is one of my blogging insecurities – we’ll get there in a minute!) but hear me out:
I love, admire and appreciate so many other bloggers – I look upto them, I’m inspired by them and I learn from them constantly. But I can’t be them.
Let’s take one of the bloggers whose writing prose I am in love with: TravellingDiaryOfADippyDottyGirl. Arundhati has the most unique, eloquent and immersive writing voice; when I read her posts, I feel like I’m transported into a novel. I feel like I’m falling into one of those books that sweeps you off your feet and plunks you straight into another world. Her skill and talent is genuinely rare and special.
Now, while I love her style of writing, it doesn’t mean I want to write like that. My personality (and tendency to completely disregard the rules of grammar and punctuation to suit my rambling thought-patterns) don’t compliment that style of writing; for me to write like that, I’d have to forcibly change myself.
For content, let’s talk about Chloe! Chloe has some of the most raw, authentic, creative and beautiful content. Again, she’s someone I treasure as a really special blogger that carves herself her own special spot on the web.
But I don’t want to write content like hers.
It would be inauthentic; I don’t naturally write these emotive, powerful journal passages – I’m not poetic and all my thoughts are generally a lot more . . . “Welp, shit sucks – let’s buy a van and drive to Cornwall and make out with hot surfer dudes!” instead of eloquent and beautiful. Again, I can love and look up to her . . . but I can’t be her.
Well, not without being some weird obsessive stalker that tries to slowly mould into her and steal her life, but that’s a Hollyoaks storyline as opposed to a real-world option, so I tend to not go down that route.
Anyways. You get my point, right? I don’t tend to compare myself to other bloggers because I really just want to be myself and, unless I was cloned without my knowledge and we’re all living in a movie set, I’m not them and no amount of wishing is going to change that. Thanks, Mum.
So now you’re thinking “oh great Mia, you’ve gone and written a post all about being insecure just to show off that you aren’t insecure”. Don’t worry, kids, you’re about to peel off my thin facade of confidence and reveal the real me. (I lie – there are no hidden depths to me, I am just this trash you see before you. I know, my parents are disappointed too.)
While I may not be insecure over other people’s brilliance, I am plenty insecure about loads of things to do with me and my own blog! Let’s do this.
1 – That I come across as arrogant, pretentious or obstinate
This is a massive insecurity of mine because what mainly comes across in my writing isn’t really a facade or entirely the real me – it’s my sense of humour. In reality, my thought process really isn’t as black and white, or as pretentious, or as “you agree with me or you’re stupid” – but my sense of humour entirely is. It’s terrible. I have a genuine problem, send assistance.
The latest example I had of this was with my 3 Rules For Avoiding Fuckboys post.
I really didn’t want to come across as I was saying “stupid girls, it’s all your fault” (it’s not) or saying “well, if guys treat you badly it’s because you have no self-respect” (no, it’s probably because that guy’s a dick) or “I know so much better than you” (honest to God, I really don’t) but when I was reading over it I was like . . .
“This sounds super bossy – people might you’re patronising them. This is really restricted; some guys have no warning signs – people might think you’re blaming girls? Etc. etc.”.
Of course, none of this was my thought process or aim – I just wanted it to be humourous as well as helpful and to play the role of sassy friend. (Legit, all I’m good for. I’m the sassy, logical sidekick who always has a deadpan or a one-liner. You’re welcome main-character best friends.) Nobody took it in a negative way and you guys loved the post – but it was still a concern when I was proof-reading it.
I write exactly how I think (and that’s usually incredibly sarcastically), but the problem with that is that . . . you guys don’t know me and you can’t infer how I mean things. You can’t hear the inflection in my tone – and you can’t witness the other 500 facets to my personality.
I can say that shit to my best friends because I’m also the one that sits there and talks on the phone to them for hours; the one who supports them through getting back with their exes; the one who’s there through pregnancy scares. I can give that tough love and sarcasm because there’s context behind the humour – they know it’s not genuine.
So I feel like you get a main part of me (my sense of humour is genuinely a pretty big part of me) but you don’t get the full picture and, without context, it can really be taken the wrong way.
Plus, my writing style is quite . . . punchy. I tend to type quite assertively (no, but seriously – how fucking annoying would it be if I danced around topics and added in loads of wishy-washy “might, maybe, etc” language?) and, combined with the fact I have a pretty dickish sense of humour, I feel like sometimes I can come across as arrogant or really pig-headed. So that’s number 1!
The next insecurity I have is authenticity.
I feel like the blogging world is a lot of stereotypes – and, as much as we may like to deny it, there is a particular type of persona, a particular style of photography, a particular look etc. that (generally) does better than others. This is by no means to say there isn’t room for people not fitting that mould – there absolutely is. I’m just saying . . . sometimes it can really feel like the “shortcut to success” is to have certain characteristics or to do certain things.
Don’t get me wrong, (I think) I’m good at staying true to myself.
But sometimes I worry about the subliminal effect of it all – of all the content I’m exposed to, the marketing strategies, the algorithms and whatnot. Sometimes I find myself thinking “I should buy this, wear that, go here, post about this” and have to check myself like . . .
Bitch, you don’t even like tea (green doesn’t count. Love that shit.) and, unless it’s Christmas, you’re not a massive drinker of hot chocolate – why the fuck do you need to take a photo holding a Starbucks?
And – another caveat to this – is that I like to earn money through my blogs and I worry that my audience will read posts as insincere if they’re geared at making money. (For example, a massive post I wrote about Wowcher because I’m a Wowcher affiliate. I wrote that because I love and use Wowcher quite regularly and, to be honest, if that picks up search traffic I could earn good money off it. But I’d hate for my audience to think I’m insincere or just writing to sell them shit. You know?)
3. I’m not photogenic. At all.
Yes, I know – this isn’t the end of the world, whatever.
But bearing in mind bloggers are expected to have thriving social media accounts (where images of people perform best, by the way); I enjoy creating OOTD posts and would love for the fashion section of my blog to be legit; and the prospect of uploading ugly photos for strangers on the internet to gawk over is off-putting to say the fucking least . . . being unphotogenic is really annoying.
4. I’m not good at photography. At all.
So many posts have gone unpublished because of #3 and #4.
5. I’m terrible at social media.
This last one actually really throws me off as social media is considered an essential in a blogger’s toolkit . . . and I’m absolutely useless at it. Part of me doesn’t care too much because I genuinely don’t enjoy social media that much, but I know it’s so intregal to the landscape of blogging nowadays that I do wish I were better at it. Le sigh.
Okay, so we finally made it to the end of this long chunk of text! I hope you guys can understand the purpose of this post and (maybe?) find it somewhat helpful? I think we all have our blogging insecurities, and that’s totally natural, but we don’t need to let them stop us or overpower us.
Fuck me, I sound like a Disney channel quote. We’re ending this post. Here. Now.
Do you guys relate to any things that I’ve said? Do you have any blogging insecurities? What are yours? Let me know your thoughts down below!