A mid-life blogging crisis…or just growing up?
For a really long time now I haven’t felt massively excited about blogging. I’ve written a blog in some form or another since 1999 but I’ve never really felt so ‘lost’ about it all as I have done for the past year or so.
I’ve been trying to pinpoint why.
When I started blogging on MyOpenDiary in the pre-Millennium Bug era (who remembers that little guy?!) I didn’t expect to still be doing it – or making money from it – 15 years later. I’ve written on aaaaaaall sorts over that time, but my main ‘genres’ (from a commercial success point of view) have been real estate and fashion….all with a more than generous helping of ME ME ME thrown in.
The blogging landscape has changed humongously and I regularly feel irrelevant now. When I started doing outfit posts in 2010, a quick snap in the mirror on my phone would suffice for image content. Now it seems like a post ‘won’t do’ unless there are about 30 detail shots of every look – seemingly taken with the help of someone else and then edited. I would never have the time or inclination to do this, but I truly admire the people who do.
An outfit post from 2011, when I lived with my parents and was prettier. God damn the passing of time!
I’ve been trying to think why I don’t really do outfit posts any more and I came up with all these moaning myrtle reasons that I’m ‘too old’ and ‘too fat’ and ‘too non-hipster’, but actually I think it’s more that my priorities and interests have changed. I LOVE seeing what other people are wearing on their blogs, but I don’t always feel so enticed to join in. And I guess there’s no shame in that.
Once upon a time I would hit H&M, ASOS, Topshop, Primark and the like every *week* for new bits and pieces. There was plenty of fodder for outfit posts. Now I shop very rarely, spending a lot more per item instead. I am worryingly proud of my collection of Issa dresses, but to fund them I’ve had to stop buying ‘throwaway fashion’ week after week. This is no bad thing by the way and I would definitely encourage people to try spending more but buying less….but it doesn’t make for great blog content. I rarely have new things to show off. I don’t really mind because I *love* the things I do have, but if you need that ‘I HAVE A NEW THING’ hit every Saturday night then you might get bored pretty quickly of living like this.
I can’t really just post the same Issa dresses on WIWT week after week. Even though that’s the reality of what I’m usually wearing.
A good example is that I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks and haven’t bought ‘holiday clothes’. It feels VERY weird. But on the flipside I have a wedding to save for and a mortgage so can’t really justify buying what would probably be my 20th bikini. Literally my 20th bikini. I don’t need more bikinis than there are days on the holiday. I’m not Kim Kardashian.
Then aside from the outfit posts and all that there’s just the general sense that I feel like I want to be more private now. I don’t want my friends, family and fiancé to be ‘characters’ in my blog. Again, I bloody love to read that type of content from others (which is the main reason why I feel such a pull to join in and share all my relationships too) but having shared pretty much *everything* throughout my adolescence and early 20s it’s nice to now have a very private part of my life that I can keep all to myself. It does make me feel like a bad blogger though.
But in all my very self-centred angst I seem to have forgotten something pretty key – as I’ve grown up, a lot of my readers have too. My mistake has been that I’m often comparing myself to bloggers who are ten years younger than me. It’s a dangerous game.
I feel bad for not being ‘down with the kids’ and wearing Missguided (not a swipe at Missguided, it’s just a great example of a brand that only really came on the scene once I considered myself too old for it), but actually there’s a whole massive chunk of women who are in the ‘mental place’ I am….caring more about their monthly bills, relationships, careers and even boring things like washing machine manufacturers than they are about £2 eyeliners and stupendously fast fashion.
I still love to write about fast fashion, I just can’t always justify buying into it myself and posting pics for the world to see. I could get PR samples, sure….but that wouldn’t feel authentic in the same way. Not to me, anyway.
There have been some positives to generally blogging about ‘myself’ less. I’ve found I’m happier. I enjoy things because I’m doing them there and then, rather than thinking about the blog content I’ll get out of it later. I might snap something for Instagram (there’s no denying that the rise of Instagram and Twitter have hugely contributed to my blogging laziness) but I don’t go on holiday any more worrying about how many posts I can get out of it on my return. It’s a HUGE relief, actually.
I want to make more time to blog (I spend so much time writing for other people that I often don’t have any time/ideas left for my own blog) and I just need to learn to be confident about sharing things which are relevant to my life NOW. I’m just going to have to let go of the fact that some people will find what I write about boring. (That being said my next post is going to be about our wedding cake and even if you are 15 I’m sure you can get excited about A CAKE FULL OF BAILEYS).
I also need to remember that people follow blogs from all sorts of bloggers, it’s not like I need to panic that my readers have to be exclusively like me. I read SO many ‘mummy blogs’ (hate that term though!) and I don’t have children. And the best blogs I read often have the blogger sharing a LOT about certain subjects, but keeping other things very private. So I’m pretty sure I can do that too.
I don’t really know what the point of this post is, maybe I’m so ‘lost in the sea of blogging’ at the moment that I can’t even write a blog post about blogging. Well done, me.
But I thought it was worth sharing, because I suspect there are lots of other bloggers who have been around for a long time who have – at some point- felt similarly to how I feel. It may be as simple as feeling like you have already written EVERYTHING EVER. I wanted to write a festival post the other day then remembered a really great one I wrote in 2010…do I just rehash my own work? That seemed boring. I think I had a biscuit instead.
In ‘real life’ I’m super confident with what I’ve achieved and unspeakably happy. There’s no reason this can’t translate to my blog just because I’m not 18 any more.
I tell aspiring bloggers all the time to write for themselves rather than for other people. I think it’s about time I followed my own advice.