3 Years Of Blogging!

02.01.2018 marks three years since I decided to create the very blog which you are reading right now. A lot has changed in my life since then but my blog has remained a constant and a place for me to express my thoughts and feelings.
Since my blog was born, the type of content I write has changed. Well, no, changed seems the wrong word, because I'm still me. I think evolved fits better.

When I started my blog, I had no clue what I was supposed to blog about so I followed what everyone else was doing, I wrote what was popular and what I thought people wanted to read. However, over time, I have realised that, truthfully, people will read anything and they're even more likely to read it if it's original.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the blog posts I wrote at the start. All the make-up, the fashion, the random things which add no real value to the world but which people are interested in anyway. As a 15 year old, I was just so excited to be writing and sharing my views with the world. Having something for myself, something which was totally just my brain, that felt special. I had no real grasp of what a blog was or how I was supposed to run one, therefore, simply experimenting and writing aimlessly then clicking publish gave me a real rush of adrenaline. My washing machine brain was constantly spinning, thinking of new ideas, searching for interesting concepts, taking photos, typing and editing. Starting my blog was a really pure experience - something that felt just so... nice.

As time passed and I developed a greater understanding of the world in which we live, the types of things that I wanted to write about developed also. As exciting as fashion, beauty and pop culture still was to me, getting older meant I looked at those things from a different angel. I had no issue with people writing about those things, but, I would read their posts and think...okay but, why aren't they talking about this... or, okay, that dress is nice, this is a good blog post, but what do they think about THIS. As I have become more aware of the issues in society and have learned the stories of the people in it, I've acquired my own voice and have wanted to use it as much as possible. That's the thing with becoming more educated on issues and worldly problems... you can't just "switch it off." If I was more privileged, perhaps I could, but I can't. I see people with millions in the bank and with astronomical social media followings and I feel angry that they aren't utilising them. So, here I am, with my much smaller bank balance and social following, doing what I can to make a change. I'm at the point where I cannot ignore the things happening around me. I can't just flick a switch inside my brain which allows me to write a blog post entirely about a new outfit I've bought - I'm not good at compartmentalising like that. Sure, I love fashion, I think it's great, but my mind is constantly mulling over that more I could be doing to make an impact, what more I could be doing, as an activist, to help those less fortunate and privileged than myself.

So, as I became more passionate and clued up on certain issues, I would write about them. Things that are happening in our world which are so clearly wrong, mental health, advice posts, LGBTQ+ related posts, feminism related posts...I would still write about fashion and beauty but less frequently. My beauty posts also changed after I went cruelty free and, when I would write posts about celebrities, I did them from a different perspective. Things became less superficial. I didn't just want to write about WOW DIDN'T RIHANNA LOOK GOOD IN THAT DRESS ON THAT RED CARPET? I wanted to write about why she looked good, what she's been through to make her so strong and radiant, I wanted to really big her up as a woman and boost her confidence in an oppressive patriarchal society. As previously mentioned, I'm still the same person, I haven't changed, but, as my blog got older and I gained more experience, I understood that I could write whatever the hell I wanted to write. I always did just think blogs were for pretty clothes and nice make-up but now I know that they are not. They are so much more than that. When you begin your blog, it is a blank canvas bursting with potential. The words you write are the paint strokes you leave on that canvas. You can turn it into absolutely anything, there are no rules because, like with painting, blogging and writing is a form of art. Your blog can be a fashion and beauty blog if that's what you are passionate about but it can also be a website on which you simply vent about your deepest emotions, you can vent about politics, food, fitness, technology... the word 'blog' seems to have a stigma attached to it, a stigma which means when someone learns you are a 'blogger,' they think young, lazy, spends their life on social media, only likes materialistic things and hasn't really got any brain cells. We need to rid the world of this stigma because blogging is an AMAZING thing. It connects you with others, it helps you gain a deeper understanding of things, allows you to actually create yourself.

I still write about weird things, don't be fooled. Music, make-up, celebrities and silly listicles are brilliant because they provide people with smiles and entertainment, which are important, especially when horrific things are happening in the world all the time, little pieces of art which provide an escape are everything. However, as a young woman, I now feel totally sure in myself in terms of my blog and I truly love the content that I create. I know that I can write a blog post about One Direction if I so wish but I can also write about politics and social issues, I have the choice. Whatever I write, this will always be my special page which no one can take away from me.
I have developed my voice over the past three years, in 2017 especially. I believe so strongly in the posts I publish and feel a sense of pride as I click 'publish.' I enjoy writing positive posts which give people hope in times of hardship, I enjoy writing music posts which give people who feel alone something to relate to, I enjoy writing female empowering posts for all the women who doubt themselves, I enjoy writing LGBTQ+ posts to shine a light on an often misunderstood community, I enjoy writing advice posts to help people out, I enjoy writing posts about topical issues because they allow me to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, share my views with those who both agree and disagree and educate myself. Whatever I write, it is what I want to write. 

In June 2017 my blog reached 100,000 total pageviews, a number which both amazed and terrified me. To have that many people having read your writing... that's pretty scary as it opens the doors to scrutiny and pressure. However, it's also extremely exciting and humbling. It's humbling because I never expected to reach that many people and it's exciting because it's made me realise how many people I can reach. Having a voice is a blessing in this world and, whilst mine may be small, it makes me happy that I can reach people to educate, uplift and advise them. To know that there are people out there who enjoy what I write, often come back to read more and who have felt things because of what I have written feels special. To me, if something you have created makes somebody feel some sort of emotion, whatever that emotion may be, then you know you have done a good job. I will be eternally grateful for all who have engaged with and supported my writing. For the people who read my very first blog posts and the people who have only read this one, I feel fortunate to have people who care about what I say and who reassure me that I'm not going crazy, that I do have the right thoughts and that I am doing okay. I also feel fortunate that there may be people out there who don't enjoy what I write, because everyone has opinions and who am I to say that you cannot express yours? Providing that they do not abuse the right to freedom of speech, of course, but, this blog is for me and your blog, your social media accounts, they are for you to unleash your feelings. Everyone should feel able to do that.
So, thank you for reading my writing up until this point and thank you for reading anything of mine in the future. You are beautiful people. Beautiful people who deserve to be told that they are beautiful people. Beautiful people who treat me with the utmost amount of kindness and that is refreshing and reassuring in a world often filled with hatred. To be surrounded by such positivity and love online is a very warm and cosy feeling. It means a great deal to me that people wish to pay attention to my words and engage in conversations with me. In 2016, I wrote my 2 Years Of Blogging blog post. In that blog post, I wrote the following words and I would like to regurgitate them because, 365 days later, they still perfectly describe how I feel.
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.
100,000 blog pageviews means nothing in the real world. It doesn't mean a great deal online either, to be honest. It's just a number and I would still wholeheartedly be writing this blog post had a single person not read my blog. However, outside of the internet, my blog is having an impact. My online life and "real" life are merging, I guess. As I write this, I am a journalism student and someone who hopes to pursue a career in writing. Therefore, my blog is a fantastic portfolio for me. It showcases my writing abilities, plus, something which was unbeknown to me for two years, it has given me experience, experience with not only writing but editing, researching, photography, image manipulation and becoming familiar with web design. My blog is something I really do feel proud of and, wherever life takes me and whatever job I end up in, I'll always be glad that I had this.

So, where to conclude? By saying 'thank you,' I suppose. Thank you for engaging with my blog for however long you have and thank you for allowing me to express myself. I started this blog out of boredom and had no idea I would still be writing for it three years on but I'm happy that I stuck with it and with all it has taught and brought me. I can't predict the future so I don't know what I'm going to be writing in 2018, but that's what makes it so exciting. Blogging is full of surprises and creativity cannot be planned in advance, you kind of have to just go with the flow and see what happens. Not having a solid path can be scary, but it's also exhilarating, knowing that the next 12 months are filled with the unexpected. I do hope, however, to be just as much in love with my blog this time next year as I am now. I also hope that my posts continue to inspire and provoke thought in my readers. I hope to help people and to even give just one person a smile. I'm excited for what 2018 shall bring to my blog and I hope that you are too.

To anyone with a blog, may you have a wonderful year enjoying expressing parts of yourself which you want to unleash into the world. Don't give up, even if followings and pageviews are low. Don't conform, don't give in to pressure from outside forces, just continue doing what you love and enjoy every second of it.
If you don't have a blog but are contemplating making one, go for it. It may be the best decision you ever make. You can make it into whatever you like and there will always be people willing to love and accept you.

Here's to a 2018 brimming with blog posts.

Love, Emily :) xx

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your blog anniversary, and thank you so much for all those wonderful posts!
    May you have a great 2018, full of adventures and lots of love <3

    Marina | Teapots and Frills