Sunday, August 7, 2016

Blogger Talk: Am I Really A Blogger?

I haven't unloaded on my blog lately and this has been festering for about 2 weeks. It's time again.

I think one of the long-term struggles I've had as a blogger is not knowing how I fit into the blog-o-sphere. My goal when I started my blog was to have an outlet to share part of myself and something I loved. My blog has very much been a personal project. I have never had lofty goals or ambitions with my blog. I never had the desire to receive all the PR samples, become my own brand, or for my blog to grow bigger than myself. I still don't? Is that OK? Am I still a blogger?
I feel this was easier in the earlier days of blogging. Indies were not around, so not many bloggers received press samples or had brand relationships. There were many bloggers like myself who just shared what they bought. That does not seem to exist now? It seems every blogger/swatcher has brand relationships or samples and if not, that is their goal. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with that, but it seems as though blogging/swatching now has an elevated standard in the eyes of many because everyone seems to be working with brands.

I see people sharing opinions and expectations on bloggers/swatchers about photo quality, lighting, and so forth. Where do I fit in with that? I'm not a blogger who regularly works with brands. There is only one brand I regularly work with, everything else is self-bought. I use the same camera I've had for 5 years. I use flash photos because I don't have the best lighting and I'm not interested in building a setup. No, it's not because I'm lazy. My blog is my outlet. It's the one thing in my life that I don't want to put parameters around. I just want to be myself here. If I wanted to work with more brands I would up my game, but that's not what I care about. Can I even call myself a blogger because I don't fit the standards it seems like everyone else sees fit?

Another thing I realize is blogging has a social aspect to it that I clearly am disconnected from. I noticed this at Cosmoprof this year. I am not friends with a group of bloggers. I don't have a blogger BFF. I'm a lone wolf. I'm also not a networker and suck at "selling myself". However, I never intended to sell myself or my blog to people in the first place. I feel immense pressure that I need to be that way though, and if I'm not that way I shouldn't attend blogging events or opportunities because I am not worthy of them and/or I may be taking that opportunity away from someone else who is more invested in blogging?

I started the blog group Hobby Polish Bloggers 3 years ago for many of these reasons stated above. I wanted to connect bloggers like myself together so we had an outlet away from the pressure cooker of professional style blogging. The influx of indies and accessible relationships of brands has changed the dynamic of the group of a bit. Now everyone can be a somebody. That's where the expectations and unspoken rules seem to set in.  Again, there is nothing wrong with bloggers who want these relationships and have these goals. I just feel like my style of blogging has gone extinct and along with that my ability to relate and connect with bloggers like myself because there are no other bloggers like myself anymore?

I feel entirely alone. I always liked blogging because it didn't feel like there were any rules, now if feels like there are tons. I feel like I don't belong anymore because I don't fit a certain mold that either is expected or the mold everyone else wants to fit. It's absolutely sucking the life out of my right now because this blog has been a 6 year journey for me. This has been a major part of my life for so long, and I feel so defeated by it now like I'm the only person who didn't get the memo that my blogging style is entirely irrelevant now and there is no place for it anymore.

I think the bottom line is I feel lonely and I'm having a hard time tuning out the noise of the majority of the blogging community. I'm sure being in some nail groups that are so heavily immersed in negativity isn't helping. I know I can continue on doing my own thing and I'll still have readers and people will still like me. That should be enough? I just can't shake the feeling of being an outcast. I don't know why other people matter so much to me. I wish at 30 years old now I could just be like "I don't give a ****!". As of now, I will continue to blog. It doesn't feel very good right now, though. I do hope that something will spark in me again and I will eventually learn to let go of this junk that is weighing so heavy on my shoulders.

Thank you all for listening and your support. Also, if there are any other bloggers out there like me please let me know!

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