Whilst this passion will burn eternally, this has recently been overshadowed by my feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction towards my blog, feelings that have been present in the last few months. I suppose it started with a desire to find my blogging niche.
Looking around on the internet, I could see that there were beauty bloggers, fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, food bloggers- there seemed to be a category for everything... everything except my blog. In a bid to be accepted as what I thought others would perceive as relevant within the blogging community, I quickly labelled myself as a lifestyle blogger. That did the job.
Well, I say it did the job. It was only when started reading lifestyle blogs and saw the success of my fellow bloggers that I began to question what my blog was actually offering the world. I'd write a post about something I believed in, something that made me so overwhelmingly passionate that I had to have my voice and paint my picture.
And yet I'd do so, and there would be no response.
The metaphorical tumbleweed would blow across the internet, the world would continue as it was...and it was as though I was talking to myself.
My frustration would only grow when I saw other bloggers doing the type of post that I have seen time and time again on other blogs, and yet they would be inundated with comments, the internet body seeming to bow down to them for something that, if I'm honest, I saw as quite trivial.
I feel the need to point out that I was not on some desperate, misguided quest for stats, fame, success or stardom. All I wanted was the feeling that someone somewhere was reading, and that someone could appreciate what I wrote and be inspired by it. But that feeling was never truly prevalent and was instead overpowered by my own feelings of inadequacy.
So I then looked at how other bloggers were choosing to write and, like being back in secondary school, I ignorantly became a sheep and followed the crowd. Of course I always wrote what I believed in, but I gradually amended the style of my writing to be more conversational in the hope that it was more relatable, and then people would take an interest in my blog.
Gradually, my whole outlook of my blog began to change. I would see how regularly everyone else seemed to post, in comparison to my blogging once every few weeks or 'when I feel like it.' The whirlwind of pressure then commenced for me to post twice a week, as well as working full time, being a part time student and trying to have some form of a social life. Added to this whirlwind was the worry that I don't post enough photos, after reading that photos are just as important as the writing in a blog post. So then I started making plans to buy an expensive DSLR camera in the New Year and take it wherever I go. By then I had decided that I needed to change the tone of my blog, the design and even the type of content I write.
Everything I did, I did with the aim of becoming a better blogger, but what happened to being a writer? The sheer desire to write whatever I want just because I could? I'd spent so long trying to make something that ticked every single blogging checklist that I became suffocated, trapped in this little blogging bubble that was stifling my creativity and taking away every inch of my artistic freedom.
And then I had a sudden moment of realisation. This whirlwind of stress, inadequacy and comparisons was self inflicted.
I had taken the fun away from blogging, so I was the very person that could put that fun back in. That will start with stopping the comparisons. No one is the same, no blog is the same and Imagine Dream Write is unique blog that showcases my thoughts, adventures and passion for writing. It may have somewhat stumbled into the category of 'lifestyle,' but this is merely an indication to readers of what type of blog it is, and will not dictate the content of my posts.
If I don't have the time to post, then that is ok. I'd rather spend hours putting all my energy into one post that makes me beam with pride, than rush several posts that can only be described as 'ordinary' or 'average.'
I'm a writer, not a professional photographer and as much as I'd love to, next year I will not have the time to learn how to use a complicated camera when I would much rather use the idiot-proof version and get out my iPhone.
This blog post is undeniably a strange one that has bought on such a mix of emotions, but equally I feel so free now that I have said everything that I have bottled up for the last few months. I will end with an affirmation that I am going to look at whenever I even think of questioning my blog:
I have every power to do whatever I choose with Imagine Dream Write and now, I'm choosing to enjoy writing again, because it's my blog - and I'll do whatever the hell I want with it.