This is a post about blogging, specifically blogging at this particular point in time for me (if you end up reading this in six months time it will likely make no sense whatsoever). Terribly self indulgent, in many ways negative and totally not meaning to sound snarky about a whole section of the blogging community.
Trends. Life hacks. Fast food. Social media. De-cluttering. Clean eating. More and more we are influenced by the media. Informed how to do things easier, faster, look better, healthy eating to the extreme with the elimination of whole food groups. Blogging also has trends, messages that filter through to us. Find a niche. Travel blogging. Pro-bloggers. Get your arse on YouTube. Social media distracts from all angles, conversations draw you in, photos on Instagram either inspire with their content or drive pangs of jealousy. We live in an age where motivational quotes like 'Do what you love and money will follow' inspire people, despite the cold hard reality that most know for the majority of people that simply isn't the case.
Is it any wonder then that with all the noise telling us how to be better, to cut corners, speed up, fit more in, that so many of us are feeling a sense of not being able to keep up, of needing to make some fundamental changes, the feeling of 'not knowing what we are doing' or even of 'belonging'.
It's this feeling of not belonging that has me in it's grips at the moment. I am not a mummy blogger, I'm not a foodie, I'm not a lifestyle blogger, at a push I am an 'outdoors blogger who takes photos'. For a while I saw myself more in the 'Creatives' camp, albeit in an outsider-looking-on-at-the-cool-kids-in-admiration way, but that vague sort of circle. My disliking of moodboards concerns me. I understand why people use them but for me and my life they aren't relevant or something I can practically use. I have a moodboard angel on one shoulder and demon on the other. 'But look' says the angel 'they are so very pretty!' whilst the demon eyerolls and retorts 'Yes but when are you ever going to NEED a photo like that?'
Possibly the biggest cause of confusion for me is popular mantras. The positive affirmations of 'going your own way' and 'exploring your creativity' draw me in, but then I hesitate, wondering if everyone really is going their own way why does it all look so very similar? Instagram seems split into three strong creative trends: Neutral palettes on feeds, bright colour lovers and the the florals. It's all so painfully beautiful but at the same time, ironically, soulless. The images aren't soulless, the people taking them aren't soulless, they couldn't be farther from soulless if they tried, these passionate and creative beings. But the effect when seen on an Instagram feed is that anyone could have taken it, that it could be a pretty stock photo or one plucked from any number of hip magazines. That confuses me.
Oddly enough it's a year since I first realized that there was a whole new section of blogging that was creative led, encouraging and beautiful, man how I kicked myself for not going to Blogtacular last year and how I considered kicking my husband for working this year meaning I couldn't go.
A year on and I'm not sure how I feel about it all. The reality is that I need to make more of an effort to join in with things, to network. But I just can't bring myself to do that until I can honestly believe that I can be myself and develop creatively if I am 'trying to fit in' in order to somehow be accepted.
The community aspect of blogging is what for me and many others, builds the foundations of our blogs, it gives us visibility and the confidence to grow and evolve. But I'm just not sure how I fit in to it all anymore, I really do feel a little lost in the blogging community at the moment.