The narcissism of bloggers

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.1453998015861We 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.

6 thoughts on “The narcissism of bloggers

  1. Claire Deegan

    So spot on.
    I used to get so caught up in all the awards season madness, and to an extent the whole blog lists one to. It brought nothing but upset and no matter how thick skinned you are, there is always that slump when you don’t make the lists.
    I made the final of one one time. knew I had no hope of winning. But I am ashamed to say I did ask for votes, I did let me quality of writing slide, and, worst of all, I uploaded a video of my daughter saying if I won (on the pretext of her video and her being cute) she would get lots of sweets.
    I am gutted I did it now.
    I keep my hand out of it all now, including DA and all the upset that causes too. I don’t necessarily think it comes to who is “best” at their category, more who shouts loudest or has the bigger following, and that doesn’t necessarily constitute being the best anyway. There are lots of small, under the radar blogs which would walk over some of the others and who never get recognised.

  2. Sarah MumofThree World

    Love this post. This is so true! Having other people read your blog is great, but all that really matters is that you’re recording that little bit of life for your own posterity. I don’t want my kids to read my blog now, but in years to come I’d like them to look back and remember the way they were and everything they did – and hopefully how much their mum loved them!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…The matchbox challengeMy Profile

  3. Lauren Belle du Brighton

    Great post! I personally steer clear of all blogging awards, the sheer idea of asking for a vote let alone a nomination just doesnt sit right with me, as it all just seems to be a a popularity contest (one that of course I wouldn’t win!) and also I dont feel like my blog is inspirational or life changing, it’s just a personal blog which is fine by me. I write because I enjoy it, and to keep memories to look back on. All the validation I need is for the odd person to tell me they liked my post or agreed with something I wrote.

    I ‘ve goe off on a tangent a bit but hey ho, you’ll get the gist I hope!
    Lauren Belle du Brighton recently posted…Me & Mine – June 2016My Profile

  4. Mim

    Beautifully written and oh-so-accurate – I love this Nat. You’re only wrong on one count, I would miss your blog 🙂 x x

  5. Natalie Streets

    I’d definitely miss your blog – it always lands in my inbox, usually in the evening when I’m just getting ready for bed so it gives me something to read either before bed or in the morning. You are clearly a huge part of my life! haha!!

    As for us all being self obsessed, I suppose you’re kind of right, although I do think “I’m a bit sh*t” most of the time. I really love writing though, I’m just not very good at the self promotion (something I discussed with another blogger after BML).

    Award season is a bit of a nightmare, you can almost predict who is going to win. I’m quite happy ‘blogging along’ in my own little world 🙂

    And we all know the best part of blogging is making new friends, really!
    Natalie Streets recently posted…The Pre Wedding Fitness PlanMy Profile

  6. Debbie

    Hi Natalie, I still can’t get over the fact that people do actually read what I write, but I do agree that it’s the narcissist in us bloggers that probably keeps us going. I love blogging and interacting with other bloggers, but would I write without the interaction? Maybe not. I’d probably focus more effort on photography.

    I’ve yet to make any money from the blog and I’m not worried about awards, but as long as I have a few readers and get to interact with others then I’ll keep on blogging, not only because I enjoy it, but also because I’m hoping it will help keep the old grey matter sharp (ish).

    Debbie recently posted… – My Review And Discount CodeMy Profile


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