OVERCOMING THE STIGMA OF BLOGGING

“You can almost see people thinking bloggers have it easy, or bloggers think they’re so much better than everyone else. This couldn’t be more wrong.”

I first began Madelaineblogs at the end of May this year – yes, I’m still very much a newbie to the blogging world! So, if you’ve stumbled upon my page, thank you. And hello!

I studied English Language at Uni and have always had a passion for writing; being involved in various student articles. But, I’d never built up the courage to actually blog – despite wanting to for years. And the reason? I was embarrassed. Which is just crazy. And ridiculous. But, I can’t help feel there’s a little stigma around blogging, and bloggers.

You can almost see people thinking bloggers have it easy, or bloggers think they’re so much better than everyone else. This couldn’t be more wrong.

Lucky to do what we love? Yes. Easy? Definitely not. I work a full time job Monday to Friday. I then come home and have to fit in cooking dinner, general chores, sorting out content, taking and editing photos, and then actually writing up a blog post. I know this is often the same story for many other bloggers. All of which, by the way, takes a long time. There’s never enough hours in the day for it all and something often has to give (most likely chores…). It requires hard work and dedication, planning and discipline. I often don’t get to start writing my blog post until 10 or 11pm at night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not moaning. Far from it. Blogging is a passion of mine and I’m absolutely loving it. I think about it 24/7 – I even find myself planning my blog at 4am in the morning; what to do next, where to go, what pictures to take. It’s non-stop. And really, that’s how I can tell it’s something I truly care about. But, easy? Not at all.

As for bloggers thinking they’re something special? Wrong again. We’re just ordinary people, blogging about our lives. Yes, sometimes this may be a more stylised version (we all have our slob days), but it’s all about having the confidence to do what you love, and to be proud to say you’re a blogger. I still find myself feeling a little embarrassed when my friends tell people, but why? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, if you’re really established, or even if you’re not. You write a blog? Then you’re a blogger. Be proud of your work!

One of the main things I’ve also found difficult to get over is the photography element of blogging. Wait. I’ve got to take photos? In public? Around people? Ohmygod. I shoot with a Nikon D5300, so getting out a large camera with a lens is a little different to taking a quick snap on your iPhone. And to begin with, I really struggled with what other people thought of me. Not anymore.

I was out having afternoon tea the other week with my family, and got out my camera to take some snaps. My sister directly asked me if I was embarrassed, and I could honestly say “no”. I’ve got over that now, and quite rightly so. Why should we feel embarrassed? If we want photos we’re happy to use on our blogs, then we shouldn’t be ashamed to get them, no matter how long it takes and no matter how many people look. A big part of getting over this was actually thinking about what I do when the role’s reversed. I might look to see what somebody is taking the picture of, but other than that? I don’t think twice about it. And guess what? Neither does anyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got to get over the awkwardness of having my own photo taken – I mean, I’m not sure I’ll ever get to grips with that one (some people have it, some don’t), but I’m working on it.

Blogging is also about spreading the word. Gulp. Openly telling people I had a blog was the biggest challenge for me. Once people you know find out about it, there’s no going back, or hiding. And that’s scary! It’s ok for strangers to see your blog and read your posts. That’s what we want. And, if they don’t like it, they’ll move onto the next. But having your friends and family read what you’ve written is a whole different ball game. What if they don’t like it? What if they think it’s awful?

You just have to remember that it’s not about pleasing other people, it’s about doing something you love and enjoy. And more often than not, they’ll be your biggest fan.

In fact, I’ve realised the biggest issue about blogging for me is being judged; judged by family and friends, judged by complete strangers and judged by pro bloggers who have been doing it for years. But you know what? That just doesn’t happen (or at least you don’t have to know about it). You begin to realise that the blogging world isn’t so big and scary after all. In fact, it’s pretty damn exciting and the thought of being a part of a blogging community is so fun!

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go in the blogging world and there’s still a lot of hurdles I have to overcome. Vlogging is one of them, and I will get there! But if there’s anything to learn from this? Just go for it!

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