This year I’ve thought a lot about blogging and what it means to me. I started my first blog in my early teens and I’m now twenty six, which means I’ve been typing away into these white boxes for literally half my life.
When I first started blogging the whole thing was anonymous. I didn’t blog under my real name and I would never have considered posting an actual photo of myself. The anonymity was very freeing, and, excepting any identifying details, I shared a great deal about my life, my ambitions and (of course) my teenage angst.
As I got older, the nature of blogging changed. It became more and more usual for bloggers to write under their real name and to share regular photos. I got in on this once I graduated from university and began blogging about life after my move to Glasgow. I shared real details about my life for the first time, as well as lots of photos. I also told people ‘in real life’ about my blog and encouraged them to read it, which I’d never done before. For the most part, I got really positive responses. My grandparents became my blog’s biggest fans.
Around that time, blogging also became a key part of my day job. I started blogging professionally, both on my own business blog and for clients. I wrote blog posts about everything from what I did at the weekend, to social media, to professional services, to catering. I also spent a lot of time talking about blogging offline. I convinced many of my business contacts that blogging was the way forward and taught them how to get started.
Nowadays, my perception of blogging has changed again. I still love blogging, but I see it more as something I want to do professionally. I love writing posts and articles for clients, and I also love sharing my professional experiences and literary adventures here on my own website. Perhaps I’m getting old (!) but in the past few years I’ve grown far less interested in blogging about details from my personal life.
All of us are living more and more of our lives online and I feel strongly that I want to keep many of the details of my personal life just that; personal. Though I use social media for work and love it, I’ve definitely cut back on how much I use it in my leisure time. This became particularly clear to me when Mr M and I found out that we were expecting our first child. We’ve tried to be mindful of how much we share about her online before she’s old enough to make her own decisions. (Though I will admit I do share occasional photos with a carefully curated group of Instagram followers. She’s very cute and I can’t resist completely!)
Over the years blogging has been a lot of different things for me. It’s been a creative outlet, a way to meet people, a source of income, a way to promote my work and a way to showcase the things that are important to me. Earlier this year I took a break from my blog while I dealt with the end of pregnancy and the first few months of motherhood. It was really nice to step back and for a while I wondered if the lure of blogging had finally come to an end for me. Turns out, it hadn’t. I soon found myself back typing into this little white box. After all, it’s hard to break the habit of (half) a lifetime.