Years ago, I remember my gran keeping a diary. She wasn’t a prolific diary keeper, but she often wrote down what she did each day, particularly when something of interest happened. I always thought this was a lovely idea, and tried a few times to replicate it. But I never really found the time or the routine to regularly put pen to paper.
Years on, I started blogging as a way to promote a business I was involved in at the time. The business eventually fell by the wayside, but by then I was somewhat addicted to blogging. I’m not sure why, but I found it much easier to keep up with a blog than a diary. Perhaps this was due to some strange delusion that people genuinely wanted to read what I had to say.
This somehow compelled me to keep writing, keep sharing our lives. People even started to ask me to do product reviews, and somehow blogging went from a hobby to a part of my work. It became a place where I showcased my writing. I shared my posts on social media and I started interacting with other bloggers.
Fast forward to now, and blogging has led me to a complete change of career. Whilst only a small proportion of my income now comes from blogging, I have become a writer and social media manager. I write and share content for businesses, working from home and fitting my hours around looking after my children.We also have a lot of opportunities as a result of my blog, such as amazing days out, fabulous luxury holidays and high-end products to review. It has become a way of life, and I love it. But here’s the thing. Would anybody really care if I stopped?
Every year, there are several sets of blogging awards. People nominate themselves and ask others to nominate them. They request support on social media, even paying Facebook to boost their posts asking for nominations and votes.
And every year, there is a series of disappointments at every stage. I’ve never personally asked for nominations, but it’s always nice to hear that I’ve been put forward for one of the awards. I’ve never been shortlisted, but every year I read the dreaded list hopefully – although fully aware that I’d have to stick my neck out and ask people to support me in order to stand a chance.
Once the shortlist is released, the blogging community becomes a bit glum. Because if we’re honest, we all think we’re quite good at this stuff. For me, it’s the writing category that catches my eye. Because I’m a writer, it’s my job. I must be pretty good at it, right?
But who am I to think that I am better at writing than other bloggers? After all, so many of us earn a living by putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard as is usually the case. So why are we all so disappointed when we check and double-check that list and our name isn’t there?
The answer, as I see it, is narcissism. By the very nature of blogging, we’re all a little bit self-obsessed. We all think that our work is worth reading. We see our statistics, the number of people who have read our posts and we think they care about us, about our lives and our blogs. And as a result, we think we’re nailing this game. And we are – all of us.
We’re earning a living doing something we enjoy. We’re experiencing things that other people could only dream of. We’re providing information to people who search for it online. But if we all put down our keyboards and walked away from the screen, the only people that would really miss our blogs are those of us that write them.
So if you want me, I’ll be over here, writing just as well as I can. I’ll be working on my photography skills, building my social media networks and recommending days out, holidays and products that I love. And one day, I’ll look back at the last few years that I’ve shared on my little corner of the internet. And I’ll be so glad that I kept on blogging – for all the right reasons.