I’ve been toying with actually sitting down, laptop on lap, to write this post for a while. Whether you roll one sentence through this or trek all the way to the bitter end, that doesn’t matter. I am not writing for the sake of being shared or for the SEO significance. I am writing because I want the words to come out.
What does blogging mean to me? As I said, I’d been thinking about this for a little while — and I’ll touch on why later — but it was during a conversation with a colleague that the subject of sharing art came up, specifically his music and my writing. I thought about my blog. ‘To be honest,’ I said, ‘The fun has gone out of it a bit. I worry I’m not writing what people want to read.’ I wondered if he felt the same with his music. He shook his head. ‘If I thought like that, it would defeat the purpose.’
The more I reflected on this conversation, the more I realised it tapped into feelings I’d been suppressing for a while. What did blogging signify for me? Was it a way to get my name out there, receive complimentary items that I didn’t really need, or was it what I’d always intended it to be — a creative outlet?
As blogging has exponentially boomed over the past few years — just when I began writing — it’s all become a bit blurred. Bloggers, vloggers and digital influencers don’t solely exist behind the screen any more; they’re bona fide celebrities. They get sent package upon package of items to review (and as a result, we’re no longer sure what’s an actual review or a sponsored post) and let’s not even mention buying followers. In this weird world of internet personalities and endless promotion, it’s no wonder that blogging’s true heart has broken.
Recently, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling. As my blog has grown, so have the opportunities (and don’t for a second think I am dismissive of these; I am forever grateful that my writing opens different doors). Yet with opportunities comes obligation. The more I work on freelance projects with PRs, organisations or professionals, the less control I have over the content on my blog. Essentially, I am selling my space on the internet and, therefore, my creativity.
It might seem strange, but my blog was always my creative release. Yes, I still keep a journal, but there is something candid about laying your writing out on the web, whirling words and spinning phrases for everyone to see, that I find refreshing. It used to give me real purpose, sitting down and tapping away at the keyboard. I didn’t get my kicks out of endless, shallow shares but rather out of seeing my words on screen, sending them out to the wider world. I want to find that feeling again.
So I’m going to write. I’m going to write whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it. I’m not going to censor myself because my writing doesn’t fit with my ‘theme’, I’m not going to feel boxed in by a PR-friendly framework and I certainly won’t sell my soul for sponsored posts. I am, quite simply, going to blog for the sheer enjoyment of it. And if you’d like to stay for the journey, you’re more than welcome.