I am going to be honest: I have once again found myself in a blogging rut, trying to do everything at once but feeling like I am not really achieving much at all. I am the sort of person that puts mass amounts of pressure on myself when I am passionate about a project, so recently I have been churning out more content and over committing myself to events in a push to get my blog where I want it to be. Despite this effort both my stats and enthusiasm are beginning to dwindle and that is because there is something missing…
I started this blog a year ago as a place to share my experiences, so I could have a space to reflect on the reality of my life if my depression started to take over once again and also so my creativity would not die a death at my day job. Soon I began to see results, and I could not believe that people were connecting with my words. Though still completely amazed that anyone would take the time to stop by and read my ramblings I got lured in by rising numbers and invite opportunities and somehow lost a little of what this space used to be.
I never used to write for anyone except for myself, but comparing myself to others and feeling pressure to increase my following I subconsciously got caught up in the trap of trying to write for other people, losing the fluidity that came from writing from the heart.
There have been many posts recently about comparison and though we can learn and feel inspired by others ultimately it leaves us feeling not good enough. Despite this awareness I fell into a bit of a comparison fuelled slump, seeing others posting high quality posts at a rapid pace and trying to keep up. Feeling like I was falling behind my peers I pressured myself to post more frequently, however, this added workload meant that I had to push aside one of the unexpected joys of blogging: connecting with other people.
Spending my evenings, writing, filming, editing, replying to emails or out meant that Twitter chats and reading other blogs had gone on the back burner, as had catching up with my friends. Even when I did take time out, everything I did was a missed follower gaining opportunity, like “Damn it! Why did I throw away that Starbucks cup before Instagramming it?”, “Why didn’t I take picture of those autumn leaves?”, “Why didn’t I capture my freshly purchased Naked Palette before opening it an smearing my hands all over the mirror?”.
Deep down I knew the answer was because, despite that fact I do enjoy many Instagrammable activities, I don’t find many of them inspirational. This was meant to be a place to share the things that would keep me afloat when I felt like I was drowning in my own thoughts, and these pretty yet everyday objects just were not going to cut it for me.
I want to take a side note here and say that this is not at all a swipe at anyone who does have an Instagrammable life or beautifully orchestrated blog, I have a great admiration for you and am probably a keen follower. I am simply saying that I was beginning to feel like a failure, trying to mimic your story instead of sharing my own. My life was unintentionally becoming contrived in an effort to fit in, and that is not who I am at all.
Despite working tirelessly, there has been little growth over the last few months and that is because once again I had forgotten the key point that to be a lifestyle blogger: you actually need to have time for a life.
When I go on the Internet I look for people who are aspirational but also those who have a unique perceptive, however sometimes it is hard to remember these reasons when it comes to my own blog. As the blogging industry gets larger so does the list of unwritten rules which makes you a ‘good’ blogger. There are also so many blogs out there and pieces of advice that it is extremely difficult not to get caught up in a world of SEO, statistics and followers, however, I have never had a reputation for being good and have always been a bit of a rule breaker so apart from following the basics (like don’t be a dick and people on the internet are real), I am going to shy away from the numbers and blogging guides and keep this space uniquely me. I understand that these actions might mean not moving up the ranks as quickly but it will allow me to share my unique perspective of the world, with no boundaries, which was exactly what I intended when I started Emma Inks last year.
A birthday is always time to reflect, and I hope that all made sense. This year has given me so much more than I ever could have dreamt of, and without getting too emotional and ruining my tough gal façade, I want to say a genuine thank you for everyone who has supported, read, commented, tweeted, liked, shared, emailed or taken the time to speak to me – you will never truly know the positive impact you have had, but I will always be thankful for each of you.