Throw your hands up in the air, like you just don’t care. Yeah. Do it, all you personal bloggers. Put your hands up in the air.
Don’t be shy. I know some of you have snuck off into the far corners of the internet. Some of you got disillusioned. I know some of you were still trying to maintain your personal integrity, but then got caught up by the shiny stuff. You got distracted by wanting to keep up. You got pulled into the fray. You tried to carve a niche for yourself and lost yourself in the process.
You read all of the things and got disheartened. No-one wants to hear my story? You cry. I don’t have good enough stats to sell stuff, so I must sell myself to get noticed. I can’t write three blogs a week and maintain a branded Instagram feed, fuck, sometimes I can’t write for three months. You mumble into the wind.
You stop writing about what moves you and angers you and troubles you and scares you. You stop putting you into your blog, because vanilla is more marketable. Find your niche and stick to it. Only pastel colours on your Instagram feed. Only pretty quotes with swirly writing. Stick to the “how to” guide and you’ll succeed. Lose yourself, it’s the only way to stick out among the crowd. Lose yourself.
But you are not a niche blogger. You are a personal blogger. You’ve forgotten why you’re here. You’re meant to speak your truth. Be a little unhinged. Break the rules. What rules? You don’t have rules. Your only rule should be to be true to yourself. Why do you blog in the first place? Is it to make a living? Is it to sell stuff? Is it to scramble every day trying to fit in with the in-crowd while also being unique in your offering? Is your offering naturally unique, because your offering is yourself? Why have you forgotten that? Why have you forgotten that in being brave to speak your truth, you are helping others to speak their own, even if it’s just a simple nod while they read your blog post from their phone in their lunchbreak. Or when they whisper “me too” in the night or when a tear drips down their cheek when they realise that others have had similar moments of frustration and sadness. You writing your thoughts and dreams and hopes and fears down and sharing them with your community, helps in some small way. That is your niche and don’t forget it.
Leave the stylised food and pretty pastels and matching shoes and guides on how to be a better you to the people who truly love that stuff. To the people who chose that path. You chose personal blogging. You have been chasing something that isn’t your calling. Your calling is to share with others, to be raw and unassuming. To sometimes write about nothing, because life isn’t always ups and downs, it’s the in-between and the daily grind. In the quiet is much noise.
Personal blogging was the sole reason this blogging caper began in the first place. An overwhelming need to connect and share stories with each other. As time went by, the industry evolved and that is a great thing. Interest groups have splintered off and they now fill the need in each of us to learn and grow. Somewhere along the way the personal part of blogging was pushed aside and smothered. We did that, we smothered our words and covered our mouths and shunned our own stories for fear of not fitting the mould.
It’s time we free our voices again and write. It’s time we started baring our souls again because in this world of salted caramel-coated over sharing, we’ve lost the authenticity, in its place stands a tempered chocolate veneer. Crack it open, let the gooeyness of life pour out again.
It’s too much pressure trying to be everything. It’s too hard to be a personal blogger within the confines of industry standards. High kick out of that barrier.
Put your hands up if you’re a personal blogger. Now put them down again and write your heart out.
We’re needed again. It’s time.