FRIDAY THOUGHTS: DISILLUSIONMENT WITH THE BLOGGING WORLD

Thursday, 8 February 2018 Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK








Recently I've been struggling to sit down and write. To log onto this little space on the internet which has been a big part of my life for nearly two years now. It's been incredibly weird for me, because it's well know that I am someone who can talk (if you watch my instastories, you'll know that LOL). But I think a lot. I have a lot of opinions. I enjoy writing and I enjoy debate. So having such a prolonged period of writer's block has been pretty weird for me. I feel as though I've tried everything. I've tried taking a break, to wait until I was re-inspired. I've tried to keep ploughing on and hoped that I'd push through the block to reach a breakthrough. I've tried reading lots of other blogs, both old favourites and completely new finds. But nothing seems to be working, and it's left me kind of stumped. 

So recently I've been thinking a lot about the ever evolving nature of the blogging world, and how this has perhaps contributed to my lack of enthusiasm.

I think I'm beginning to feel incredibly disillusioned with the community I once found so fascinating. There's not much I haven't seen before. There's not much that really catches my eye. There's not much feeling or personality, instead, often it feels rather sterile, cold, and distant. It's become a competition; who can get the best brand collaborations. Who can get the most likes. Who can grow their following the quickest. Who can get their hands on the latest releases the soonest. For a while I was completely sucked into that world. I found myself constantly watching my follower number, constantly trying to predict what items on the high street were going to be 'blogger faves' so I could get them first.

And I didn't feel happy. I'd see my following grow but wonder why it wasn't growing as quickly as someone else's. I was constantly thinking that if I just bought this or that, a new 'trendy' piece or a new camera for improved quality, that I'd see a sharp increase in my engagement. Slowly I realised that far from making me feel more pleased with my content, it was making me feel incredibly inadequate and .as though I had failed, and realised that I'd wandered so far from the blogging road I'd first taken. 

They often say that when you get into a blogging rut, you should think of the reasons you first started.   I started because I wanted to write. To write about anything and everything that filled my mind, however trivial or important. I wanted to form relationships with people who were interested in similar things to me. I wanted to discuss, to debate. But most of all, I know I started because I loved art, and I missed having a creative outlet when I came to uni. I was in love with all things fashion and beauty and wanted somewhere to express that. I just wanted somewhere to create. 

But I think blogging just doesn't excite me anymore. And I think on some level, this is being experienced across the blogging world. I think blogging may be at a turning point and may have reached it's peak. I see that engagement, even for some of the biggest bloggers, is declining. Of course, we're not helped by the elitism of algorithms and so on, that hold us all back. But aside from that, people don't seem as engaged. Genuine comments are few and far between. I don't know whether this is just to do with me and me feeling very uninspired and disillusioned with blogging at the minute, or whether this is a far more widespread sentiment.

The funny thing is I spend so much time complaining about lack of engagement and so on, but I've realised that I'm absolutely a contributor to the problem, as I have been losing interest myself. I used to watch Youtube videos religiously, read blogs for a couple of hours daily, and spend my life on instagram. Now I rarely watch youtube or read blogs, and every time I go onto instagram there's a lingering sense of dread; it feels like a chore, and it reminds me of how much I'm 'failing'. 

So much of the blogging world is now all about promotion, advertising, brand work, and money. And I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I have immense respect for the women who have been able to turn a hobby into a career; who have effectively become their own brands and are a force of new entrepreneurs. But there is still a huge part of me that yearns for the days when it was so much more simple. In the 4 years I've been reading blogs, and the (almost) 2 short years I've been writing my own, blogging has evolved so much, and at times, I'm not sure that this is for the better. Blogging was so much more of a community - people left comments because they really wanted to, and not for self-promotion purposes. Nowadays it feels like a lot of engagement is false, that there is an underlying goal to get something back. This isn't me having a dig, because I can't even pretend that I don't do these things. It would seem that these are the only ways to 'get ahead'. I think in many ways, the monetisation of the blogging world has meant that subconsciously, we're all following little tips and tricks that we think will 'get us ahead', because whether we started writing a blog simply as a hobby or not, there is an undeniable pressure and inescapable urge to compare your progress with those around you. 

See, as much as people like to go on and on about how blogging 'is not about the numbers' and that 'you should blog because you love it, whether you have 1 follower or 100,000', I think this is incredibly naive, patronising, and fake. Of course, we all know that, and I'm constantly telling myself these things when I think I'm becoming too focused on numbers. But let's not pretend that we don't care at all, and that numbers mean nothing to us. After all, no one likes to feel like they're failing, or as though they are being left behind. It can be incredibly disheartening when you're working your arse off to create content, and nobody is seeing it. I always think that more than anything, for me it's never been about having hundreds of thousands of followers. But from the followers I do have, I like to see a lot of interaction. I like to discuss and chat and hear other opinions. I write my blog for me, but I write it for you, too. There's nothing greater than reading someone's opinion on your work, and having someone appreciate it. I think taking a tunnel vision approach can only work to a certain extent. There's a point where you can't help but stop to compare yourself to your peers doing well and wonder what is so wrong with you, that you aren't doing the same. 

I think that's the stage I'm at now. It's tough, because every so often I feel like quitting the blog, particularly when I'm at uni and I realise just how much work I have to do; I begin to feel as though I'm just wasting my time. But then I think back to when I started blogging and I absolutely loved it. I continue to try to produce content, but the clusterfuck that is now instagram, the lack of engagement and activity, and my general cluelessness with what to write have meant that blogging has increasingly made me feel more and more like a failure. I don't know how to improve my photography so more people like it and find it interesting. I don't know how to change my style to make it more 'trendy' and 'chic' and eye-catching. I don't know what to write that will grab people's attentions. I don't know how to change. But then I stop and think, 'but should I be changing myself at all?'

Ultimately, I guess I just don't know how to recapture an enthusiasm for a world that I fear no longer exists. It seems as though the blogging world has moved so far from what it once was, from the world I once adored, and I just don't know whether I have a place in it anymore. 

Until next time,
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS

Jumper: Zara (old, similar here)
Jeans: Topshop
Jacket: Missguided
Boots: Missguided
Bag: Zara (old, similarish here)
Beret: Asos

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