Looking back on the beginning of 2017, I was looking for a new hobby. I sat down, opened up my bookmarks and read a few things I’d had saved for a while, all along the lines of “How to start and run a successful blog”. It was something I’d wanted to do for literal years. And I was pretty naive about the whole thing. I didn’t realise the scale of the blogosphere, that I’d make friends within it, have a few fights and come out right where I am now. I didn’t realise you could make money with blogging, and that there was a whole business side to it. To be honest, who really believes their blog will last long term? In Sarah Ashcroft’s ill-advised cosmo piece, she admits she only started blogging to get into the fashion industry, and now look at her. What started as an experimental passion project became my most beloved hobby. But now, that’s changing again.
I blogged for so long because I loved it. Even when I had some bad experiences, I wanted to write. Even when I thought the world was against me, blogging instilled a confidence in me I’d never had before. I’ve met some amazing people, and had some amazing experiences, all because one day I decided to make a WordPress account. I’ve broadened a skill set I didn’t know I needed.
And, recently, I’ve earned money.
Not much, admittedly. But 2018 has really been the year that this blog has stepped away from that “hobby” branding, and become what is essentially a job.
One of the best things I’ve ever read about blogging is this: That the moment you hit publish on your first post, you become a writer, creator, CEO, photographer, SEO expert, admin assistant and web developer all at the same time. And when it feels like fun, you don’t think about that. But over time, blogging can stop being fun. Like that part-time shop job you get at the age of 16. It’s so much fun, and you feel productive, until you find out your co-workers are massive bitches, and one too many complaints about you make you hate the world. I’ve been lucky – I’ve only pissed off a couple of people and I haven’t let that stop me (I have butted my nose out of blogger drama though!). The point I’m trying to make, is even though I still love blogging, it’s no longer my source of procrastination from university work. University is done (gulp!), and the only thing I have left to procrastinate is my self-inflicted blogging schedule.
And It’s so hard!
I set myself a schedule to incorporate the best of me into my blog. But I only have so many opinions, can only write so much about blogging or beauty, and really don’t have the capacity to write an earth-shattering product review. The student section of my blog now really has nothing else to add, as I’ve come to the end of my studies. And for the longest time, the bright burning fire that was me in my blogging element has been nothing more than a fading ember. I’m not ready to give up just yet. But blogging has recently been less about enthusiasm, and more about emails and content for content’s sake.
And I could try and get that spark back, but I don’t think I’m really blogging for me anymore.
I’m blogging for brands, for the wider public, for anyone who stumbles upon posts from a year ago I’m not proud of anymore (Unicorn Oil, I’m looking at you!). Was that the ultimate goal? Maybe. I just didn’t realise it would be such hard work.
Recently, I’ve found another hobby that ignited that same fire blogging did a year and a half ago; sewing. I’ve had a sewing machine since I was 13 years old and up until last week, I’ve used it intermittently. For some reason, I recently bought some fabric and started using it properly. I bought a sewing magazine and got some free patterns. And now, all I want to do is sit at that machine and sew. I fall asleep thinking about the formal dress I’m making, and planning to wear to a wedding next month. A huge project, that has only taken me a few days to almost complete. And I remember blogging doing that to me, right at the beginning.
The fact is, I don’t have that love for blogging, because it’s not a hobby anymore. It’s work. Honestly, the worst thing I’ve ever been told? “Pick a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Blogging was my hobby. I loved it.
So why am I so keen to ignore it and do something else with my time?
Pinterest: @Word of Rachel