2 Years Of Blogging!

Can you guess who started their blog two years ago today? …well? Have you guessed yet? If not, allow me to put you out of your misery…it was me! Two years ago today, I decided to create the blog that you are reading this very post on right now, meaning 2nd January marks my two year blogiversary…(that word makes me cringe).
I wouldn't place myself into the category of a 'blogger.' Firstly, because the word makes me gag slightly, secondly because I'm not someone who gets stuff for free and then writes only good things about them, thirdly because I do other things besides blogging and, finally, because I feel like, as soon as you title yourself a 'blogger,' it instantly takes away all substance from what you do. You're seen as a naive, placid, bubbly person who spends half of  their life taking pictures of their salad to post on Instagram and who spends the other half on a private jet, travelling to a holiday they got for free. Which is a shame because 1) its untrue and 2) people who write blogs hold more power than we think and aren't just young girls talking about make-up products.
Anyway, so if I'm not a blogger, what am I? Am I just a tech-savvy teen? Or am I a writer? I like to think of myself as one. Firstly because I write anyway, not solely just for my blog, but also because my blog is a writing space and its somewhere I go when I feel the need to write. When I started my blog, I knew I didn't just want to be someone who started every post with "HEY GUYS!!!!!" nor did I want to talk about things that everyone else was talking about. Granted, I did that at the beginning because I had no clue what else you were supposed to blog about and also because I thought that's what people wanted to read. I wrote about make-up, fashion, random things I was doing but, over time, I've expanded the realm of things I blog about. Don't get me wrong, I love talking about my favourite lipsticks as much as the next person but I have never wanted to just write about things that hold no substance or that will have no real impact on people or that follow the rules. Sure, tell someone what your favourite blusher is and they'll go and buy it, that's impact, but I wanted to have an impact on people in a different way, an impact which changed their way of thinking as oppose to what products they were putting on their face. Like I say, when I set up my blog, everyone was talking about the same things, no one really seemed to have opinions on things, no one wrote about things that mattered, for the most part. So, I thought that was what you were meant to blog about but, in the past two years, I've discovered that I can write about whatever the hell I like on my blog, regardless of whether or not its trendy or appealing to people who like fashion and beauty. And through writing about topics that I feel passionate about that aren't beauty related, I've discovered people DO want to read other things that aren't just "My favourite eyeshadow palettes" or "My favourite winter coats." I've found that, if you put something different out there, people will take an interest in it because, actually, a lot of the things you find online these days are a bit samey samey. And people like different.

So, what have I been writing about then, other than fashion and beauty? Well, that's it, it's difficult to say as, to be honest, I just write whatever comes to mind. That's the great thing about having a blog, it's yours and people read it because its you. Its like your entire brain has exploded onto a web page and you don't have to stick to rules. You can create a brand for yourself and vow to post only about particular things but you can also go off those topics sometimes and write about any other thoughts, feelings and experiences you may be having. Whenever something pops into my mind that I have an opinion on, I write a blog post on it. If my opinion on something is longer than 140 characters and, therefore, too long to Tweet, I turn to my blog. I write about celebrities, because I love many of them and take interest in their fashion, music, and personalities. I write about beauty and fashion because they intrigue me and I don't really have people to discuss them with in real life. I write about music because its one of my forms of escape from reality and so I spend most of my time listening to it as its something I appreciate. I write positivity posts as I feel strongly when it comes to making other people feel good about themselves and why shouldn't we inject as much positivity into the world as possible? I write about things which you can't put under an umbrella, things which are simply thoughts going around in my washing machine of a brain that I need to get out before I spontaneously combust, such as posts on LGBTQ+ mistreatment, mental health and just general problems which are so prevalent in today's society. And I feel lucky that I am able to do all of that. There are many people in the world who do not have freedom of speech, who do not have freedom full stop. So many people would be punished for expressing their opinions, regardless of what they are, yet I am able to share mine with the world. If I think something is wrong, I can write about it, in the hope that someone will see it and change their way of thinking in order to accept and understand others. I'm no celebrity, I'm no Zoella and I don't have millions of followers but I do have a voice, as do you, all of you. I have a social platform which people come back to daily because they are interested in what I have to say and I am glad that I have created a space which intrigues, excites and educates people. There are so many things going on in the world which need addressing, so much injustice everywhere you look and I know that one of my blog posts cannot completely solve an issue but it may reach someone who can - that someone being you reading this right now. If I can encourage someone to think in a way which is going to change the world, perhaps they can pass it on and open other peoples eyes to the harsh reality of the world we live in. I don't want to be just a blogger and I don't see this as just my blog, its almost like a whole other world. Its a space which, hopefully, radiates positive energy and its a space that shows people its okay to have opinions.

I started my blog out of pure boredom and I now cannot imagine doing anything else in my spare time. Its perfect for me. I can sit in bed, in my pyjamas, writing, not having to talk to actual human beings all whilst getting the load of nonsense squashed into my brain into something coherent. It benefits me just as much as I would like it to benefit other people. Plus, my blog has given me bags more writing experience. Its taught me what people want to read, what opinions people my age have, how to address certain things appropriately, also it looks good on a CV and anything that looks good on a CV is worth it.

My blog has undergone a makeover since my last '1 year of blogging' blog post. The layout has changed and I'm so happy with the design. Since that blog post, I have also invested in a camera to fuel my love for photography, which undoubtedly helped me step up my blogging game as, with blogs, people dont just want writing, people want pictures. Our generation are extremely visual people, they like to look at things and they appreciate a good photo. My images are now of a nicer quality and I feel as though my blog looks more professional. I always ensure that both my text and images are the best that they can possibly be before I hit 'publish' on a post as I like things to look aesthetically pleasing and I also take great pride in all work that I produce. Oh, and people are probably far more likely to listen to what I'm saying if its arranged nicely and has a couple of snazzy pics attached to it. I enjoy blogging a hell of a lot, both the writing and imagery sides of things.

In my last post that celebrated my blog's birthday, I spoke about my love for blogging as it has helped me make friends and I stand by that 365 days later. Blogging is a beautiful way of connecting people and you don't just have to have a blog in order to feel connected to someone with a blog. Through writing blog posts. I have bonded with countless wonderful people across social media, most of them not bloggers but simply people who are on the same page as me. The fact that I can upload a post ranting about how wrong homophobia is and then ten minutes later someone can Tweet me telling me they agree with every word I've said is amazing. Not only does it restore my faith in humanity but it helps me feel so connected with the world. Blogging can be rather isolating as its just you, in a room, with a computer, but the minute you begin getting feedback on your pieces or see the pageviews rising, you realise, actually, blogging couldn't be less lonely. If anything, people turn to blogs because they want something to ease their solitude. People want to read something that resignates with them and when they do, they it provokes thoughts and questions that they want to share with the person who wrote that piece. Talking to people who read my blog posts is one of my favourite things, not because it makes me feel famous, but because it reminds me that people are on my level, it helps me form relationships with people who I wouldn't have met otherwise and because its just generally awesome to know that there are people out there who want to change the world just like you do.

Seeing as though I've just mentioned the small matter of pageviews rising, let us discuss where my blog was at this time last year. As I sat and wrote my '1 year of blogging' post, my blog had hit 25,000 pageviews so, if you think about it logically, you'd assume that, after two years, I'd have hit 50,000 views, right? Actually, my blog reached 50,000 on 2nd October and then went on to hit 60,000 on 17th December. As I write this, my blog is close to 65,000 total pageviews...in what universe is that even possible? I know everyone with a blog says "I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE NUMBERS!!!" and 99% you probably question the sincerity of what they're saying but please do not question me when I say that numbers and pageviews or followers mean nothing to me. I gain nothing from the amount of views that my blog gets as I would probably still be doing it if I hadn't even hit 100, purely out of my love for writing and sharing my thoughts. That being said, the fact that people want to actually read the things I write is just so cool to me...like...really cool. I love my blog a lot so the fact that other people take the time to love it too genuinely puts a smile on my face, not because it boosts my ego, but because all I have ever wanted to do is make people happy and the fact that there is a chance of people finding happiness through my writing makes me happy. All I ever intended to do with my blog was to educate people, empower them, give them strength in tough times and to remind them that they are not alone. I have always wanted to reach more people to spread positivity into as many lives as possible and so the fact that my following continues to grow and I am able to reach more people as the days pass is amazing. I'm no one special (UGH SUCH A CLICHE, I'M SORRY!) but seriously, I'm a seventeen year old girl who likes pizza and plays too much Scrabble, and, in all honesty, I spend the majority of my time not feeling too great about myself or my situation. However, I now have readers and followers who are my friends, that have welcomed me into their lives with open arms and warm hearts and who I know accept me. Every day I feel extremely thankful for the fact that people take time out of their day to read my blog - especially when there are better things they could be doing, like watching videos of One Direction or going to the gym. Even if someone only clicks on my blog once and doesn't revisit it, I am thankful for that too, as they gave me a chance, and life is all about giving people a chance. With all of my being, I hope that you, my reader, has enjoyed the content I have produced over the past two years and that you will continue to enjoy my articles. If you don't, then that's okay too. Because my blog is my space for my thoughts and feelings and your blog, your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, whatever, is yours and we should all be allowed a space to unleash the most inner parts of ourselves freely without feeling guilty or like we have to do things in a certain way in order to please others.
So, thank you. Thank you for reading what I have written, what I write and what I am going to write. Honestly, it means a lot to me. And thank you for all of the beautiful words you have all said to me online over the past two years. I say and think it frequently but I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such a loving, supportive, open and accepting community across all of my social platforms. I am so glad that we have managed to build up a following of people who care so much about others and who don't want to carry hatred in their hearts. In my times of need, I know there are people there to give me advice, verbal support or to Tweet me cute pictures of Harry Styles to take my mind off of my troubles. Its sad that coming across real, positive, uplifting people online has become such a rarity. Everyone has an opinion on everything and, unfortunately, not everyone is able to express it in a way that adds value to the universe. But, my accounts and blog are always filled with such light and life and people who enable me to be the best version of myself. I do not have an army of adoring fans but the fact that you, yep, you, treat me, a normal human being who just wants to do good by people, with such a huge amount of love, only shows how amazing you really are. I don't have a fancy lifestyle and my blog posts aren't all written on a beach in the Maldives, but I like how that hasn't stopped you from taking me to your hearts and being there in whatever way you can. This past year was especially difficult for me but, in a time of loss, I had people to comfort and reassure me, which also makes me feel blessed as not everyone has that. I am often told how much of a nice person I am online. People flood my Twitter mentions with kind words about how "inspirational" my Tweets are or how I'm just "such a good person." And that's all wonderful, but you are all of those things too and your personality shines so brightly. Because, beautiful people speak beautifully of others. Never let anyone tell you that you don't care because I know that you do, and never allow anyone to make you feel guilty for having such a full heart. So, whether you have read my blog for the past two years or whether this is your first time here and you stumbled upon me by accident, I appreciate you and you have the power to change the world. You make me smile and so the next time you think that you aren't having an impact on anyone, remember you are wrong. You are doing more than just scrolling and typing when you are online, you are filling normal people like me with hope, purpose and reminding them that they don't need to be splashed across magazine covers in order to be loved.

To any of you debating whether or not you should start a blog, I get that its scary. I don't know why its scary because it isn't going to kill you. If something goes wrong, thanks to technology, you can edit things, change things, reinvent yourself a million times over, plus, there's always a 'delete' button. However, sometimes, we do just have to do the things that scare us. Starting my blog petrified me but, looking back now, I'm so happy I fought through that fear. I was worried about people finding my blog, now I don't care. I was worried no one would read it, now I don't care. I was worried I would run out of things to write, now I don't care. If, in this very moment, you wan to start a blog, do it. Go on, right this second. This is the sign you have been searching for. The world is always in need of people who want to express themselves and there is always something about you which makes you different in the blogging community. In my opinion, blogging is pretty damn fun but you'll only come to know that if you try it out for yourself. Its a new year, so treat it as a new opportunity to do something crazy. You can write about what you want and, even if you think its dreadful, I promise you, somebody will read it.

So, where to conclude? I guess just by saying a big thank you and by saying that I'm excited about continuing to blog for another year. I hope for it to be a great twelve months and that I shall continue to feel so passionately about the things I choose to write about. I have no idea what I'm going to write this year, because, as I said last year, creativity cannot be planned in advance. I don't know what will happen to me nor can I predict my thoughts or the world's events, however, this excites me, as I look forward to simply writing in the moment and sharing parts of myself with whoever chooses to accept them. Blogging is so unpredictable, so thrilling, you never know what's around the corner, but I wish for the next year to be just as enjoyable as the last two. If you have a blog, I hope this year will be wonderful for you too. I hope I have managed to help some of you in some way this year but, if I have not, I shall keep trying.

Here's to a 2017 filled with more blog posts. Let's see what happens. :) 

Love, Emily :) xx

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