Thursday, 2 October 2014

TAG: Confessions of a Blogger



Hello lovelies

Recently become addicted to a very special blog, Yazzy's Corner. She's such a lovely lady, and her posts have really made me laugh, cry, relate, envy...everything.

I loved this tag post she did and her answers were really smart, so I decided to have a go myself.

It occured to me that doing this post might help to crystallise in my own mind certain thoughts about why I'm doing this whole blog thing and what I hope to achieve.

I'm not going to tag anyone directly to do this, because its so personal. I feel like you should only do it if you really want to, not out of some sense of obligation. 

But if you would like to do it, consider yourself tagged, and please leave me a comment with a link to your own post, as I'd love to see it!

When did you start your blog?

This blog officially started waaayy back in 2010, but I didn't post anything much, with any regularity, until last year. There are a few old posts, which don't relate very well to the sort of posts I do now.
  
Have you had any past online presence before (other blog, YouTube)?

I've never done a YouTube video (although I watch plenty),and I never will,  as I'm not comfortable with filming myself, but as for blogs...
This blog is actually a bit of a Frankenstein's monster in the earlier pages, as they're all ported in from other blogs I ran for a few months and then abandoned! 

In its time, this blog has been various incarnations, including - 'The Scattergun' -where I attempted to answer a 'social issue' in each post, 'White Hot Noise', which was about fashion, and 'All the Little Pieces', which was more of an online diary. 
After a lot of wavering, I finally decided to combine them, focus on fashion and beauty, delete the posts I wasn't comfortable with, and rename it - to what you see now as 'Seriously Shallow'.

Why did you start a blog?

I have always loved to write. Its my main passion in life. I simply can't not do it. I did English Literature at uni and took some creative writing courses, and after I graduated I wanted to keep writing. I started a novel, which I'm still struggling with. 

But writing a blog gave me a 'quick fix' to write and publish posts immediately, without having to put in the sustained effort of a novel, with a plotline and character development to worry about. 

I'm not so hot on taking pictures, but when I started to get serious, I realised it was pretty much unavoidable for a beauty blog!

When did you become serious about starting a blog?

Back in January, I went on a training course at work called 'Roadmap to Success'. It was all about learning how to realise your ambitions and turn them into reality.

 I realised that my true passion is writing, and although I write a little bit for my 'day job' in marketing and PR, the blog could provide me with what I needed creatively.

 The girls on the course were amazing and totally instrumental. I had never told anyone about my blog before - it was entirely private, anonymous and I didn't use social media to connect with other bloggers. It was a dark secret! 

The girls on the course found it and were amazingly encouraging. They gave me the push I needed to take it seriously. My friend Kerry, who blogs over at KerryCooks, was simply marvellous. I wouldn't be typing this without the support she gave me.

What was your first post?

My first post is hard to remember, because of all the various blogs I've had over the years. The earliest surviving one is called 'Freeze', and its all about how to dress warmly and stylishly for work in the winter. Its one I still struggle with!

What has been your biggest challenge about blogging?

Definitely putting my name and face all over the internet. Anonymity has been my biggest challenge. For the longest time, I did not want to connect my blog to me as a person. I did not want friends,family, colleagues or anyone from my 'real life' to be able to connect it to me. 

Part of me still doesn't. I worry excessively that people will judge me. Will wonder why I'm so obsessed with silly, shallow things like make-up. Will wonder why I think I'm qualified to give opinions on them. Will think I'm self-obsessed and vain for all the make-up look pictures I need to post. But then I realised that you can't spend your whole life not doing stuff that makes you happy for fear of what a few, close-minded people might think. 

Yes, this blog is a silly, frivoulous bit of fluff. But that's only one aspect of my personality. I can think big, have intellectual discussions, care about politics, genocide, the situation in Syria, feminism, and STILL want to talk about lipgloss! Not everything has to be War and Peace. 

That's really why I renamed the blog 'Seriously Shallow'. Its tongue in cheek! But I think anything that gives pleasure, colour and beauty to the world is serious, is worthwhile.

The other thing I struggled with is how personal to make the posts. As I mentioned, one of my previous blogs was more of an online diary. I posted thoughts and feelings about situations that were quite private, but as the blog was anonymous, I didn't have to worry. I struggled with freedom of speech -  I wanted to be able to say what I really felt, without censoring myself. 

But I found myself having to make a choice. You can't grow a blog and connect with other people without being transparent about who you are. So I decided to remove anything too personal -  anything I wouldn't be happy with my friends and relatives seeing. Feelings change over time, and the way I feel about a situation at a given time may not be how I feel years later. I don't want those posts out there, a moment in time, that I'm held to for all eternity. So now I keep my focus on other things. 

I don't want to strip out all the personality, so every now and then I still write something more personal -  but I make sure its all thoughts I'd be happy to stand by in a few years time. 

And I'm glad, because its allowed me to open up and connect with other bloggers which -honestly- has been the best thing about doing all this.

Recently, I crossed the final frontier. I'd been using Twitter for my blog for a while, but I connected my blog to my Facebook account. That means everyone I know in real life is now probably aware that I write this blog. I do find that challenging, but I think that's mostly my own issue, because everyone that's mentioned it so far has been amazingly kind.

Where do you see your blog in one year?

I would love to improve my photography, use analytics to tailor my posts more and grow my following. I'd like to keep learning. 

I'm not intent on doing this for a living or anything. I'm actually happy with my job, and I like that this is a hobby that I do for my own satisfaction. If this got too professional, I think the joy of it would go and the point of it would be lost. I think if I was younger, I'd be more bothered about making it 'happen', but I'm content to keep it modest! I don't want to end up 'having to post'. I just want to do it when I want. 

This blog is my selfish space, so I don't think it would work as a full-time occupation. Having said that, I would like more of an audience and more regular readers.

What is the most rewarding thing to you about blogging?

Definitely meeting other bloggers. Since I started joining in on Twitter and going along to blogging events, the whole game has changed. I've met some amazing people who have actually become friends, which is more than I could have dreamed of when I started this, blogging away in isolation!

What is the most discouraging thing that happens to you?

I haven't really had any bad experiences so far. This blog isn't big enough to be a threat, so people are generally nice to me, unlike some others experiences. 

The most discouraging thing, to me, is the 'cliques' you sometimes find in blogging, who aren't very encouraging to outsiders - but then no one says they have to be! I'm building my own clique anyway! I think a lot of them tend to be younger and that can lead to more competitiveness, I was like that at that age, because I wasn't sure of myself.

Being a bit older than the average beauty blogger has been an advantage, because I know myself, I genuinely no longer feel threatened by other people's success, and I hope I've shown others the same support and genuine encouragement I've been lucky enough to have from some great people in this community.

What's your lasting inspiration or motivation?

Just the pure joy of writing and connecting with others.

Hope you enjoyed this more personal insight -  please do let me know if you post your own 'confessions'
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4 comments

  1. I love this post! I'm definitely going to do it. So glad you came out of isolation, you kick ass and I can't imagine not having my @wowshallow to hold my blogging hand. PS love the new look, and Fashion, Beauty, Temptation is back ;O) xx

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    1. Bless you honey, you really have made this whole blogging thing the best experience. Touched! Glad you like the new look Shallow! xx

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  2. Great post Sarah! Your blog is absolutely amazing, you should be really proud of it!

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  3. Ahhh, Kerry. You are one of the main reasons this blog is even here! Inspiring lady :) x

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