Trigger Warning: this blog post is emotional, and I mention suicide, mental illness, and chronic illness. I completely understand if you fancy skipping this one. I’ll be back soon with my usual creative self-care content. With a sprinkling of magickal mindfulness!
I want you to know that I’m incredibly grateful to you. For reading my words, for sparking conversations with me, and for following along with me. Today I’m sharing my blogging story: why I started, and why I still love blogging after 6 years.
Why I Still Love Blogging After 6 Years: My Story.
During September 2020, I was ill. I don’t know if it was *you know what*, or if I just had a cold or flu. Anyway, I couldn’t get a test, so I spent the month isolating and feeling crappy. I have lupus, an autoimmune disease, which means I’m immunocompromised. Becoming ill heightened my anxiety at the time, because it could have gotten much much worse. I was fearful of waking up each day, and hoping it would be a little bit better than the day before.
I’m okay now. September was tough. I spent a lot of time lying down in bed contemplating life… the universe… everything. When I was well enough to read, I read.
I pored through ebooks about blogging, some fiction, and plenty of non-fiction. Is it strange that I find more comfort in non-fiction than fiction books? The best way for me to find some mindfulness is to get lost in reading about the world.
Anyway, one thing stuck out to me in a blogging book I read. The question of why. Why do I blog? Why do I want to do this? Why should somebody read what I have to say?
When I write a blog post, I usually think about SEO, marketing, photography, word count… if you’re a blogger, you understand.
Today I am writing. Simply writing.
I’m sharing my story, and my why.
Why I started blogging, why I still love blogging after 6 years, and why I hope I help somebody with my words on this little website.
Why Did I Start Blogging?
The simple answer to this is: I was a bored teenager. The longer answer is that I love throwing myself into a creative project.
Blogging seemed ideal for that, with photography, editing, writing, graphics design all combined.
The best part for me is that this creative project is never finished. It evolves, changes, and improves (I hope!) over time.
Why Do I Still Blog After 6 Years?
It’s a place of my own. A place to share, to teach, to encourage, and to connect. I find such joy when I have an idea and start writing, or taking photos.
I’ve seen so many changes within blogging over the past few years, yet the core principle remains the same. Blogging is a way to: share your knowledge, help people, be creative, entertain, and even a way to work for yourself.
I’m also grateful for how mindful sitting down to write can be. It focuses my attention, improves my skills, and helps my mental health.
Above all, I have met some wonderful friends online, people who have supported me during my worst times. I will be eternally grateful for that. It’s one of the main reasons I still love blogging after 6 years!
Sometimes I get a mental block, or get stuck in the depths of imposter syndrome and comparison. This is how I cope:
- Taking breaks to reflect and find inspiration. I recently wrote a blog post all about why taking breaks helps me.
- Reminding myself that I’m not a full-time blogger. I can’t compare my work with people who devote 40 hours a week or more to their blog. Similarly, I’m not a professional writer, photographer, or social media manager!
- Accepting that I can’t (and don’t need to) know everything.
Why Do I Want To Freelance / Be Self-Employed?
The short answer: my health is unpredictable, I enjoy the freedom of time, and most of all, I can be creative!
I love that I can share what I’m interested in, and continue to grow as a person and learn online. I love that I can learn from others, develop new skills, and make connections, literally for free.
Throughout this pandemic, the extra money brought in from this blog has helped me so much. It helped me buy my medication, buy food, and not completely fall into the despair of not working.
My day job is at a museum, but as I’m on a casual contract, there is no obligation for shifts. I haven’t had any since March, because I’m not needed at the moment. Consequently, blogging and freelance work has helped keep me busy while looking for suitable jobs.
I’d love to work for myself, I’d love to make an income through blogging, or selling art and digital products. However, I don’t want to blog full time.
Why Don’t I Want To Blog Full Time?
I finished my Master’s degree this year… during the pandemic, great timing! I studied Classical Art and Archaeology, and I work part-time at a museum. My ‘end goal’ is to work in museum curation, getting involved in cultural heritage.
But at the moment, that isn’t a particularly viable career path.
In an ideal world, I’d be able to have both. Yet I am quite conscious of overworking myself and burning out. I really do need self-care and breaks from social media for my mental and physical health.
It’s tough to do that if blogging is your full-time job.
That’s why I make sure not to take on a big workload each month, and often write blog posts and make pins in batches.
My health is unpredictable. With lupus, flares come and go. Sometimes it’s clear that I’m ‘overdoing it’, with too many shifts at my day job standing up etc. Other times, it isn’t. I can wake up some days with a hemiplegic migraine, unable to move my head, can’t feel my hands, and hurt all over.
Getting blog posts and pins scheduled, and photos edited on a ‘good day’ is the way I manage.
Why Do I Want People To Read My Blog?
I’m not an expert by any means. I’m not a ‘blogging guru’, or a ‘mindfulness pro’. I do have lived experience. I believe that everyone has something to offer, that we can learn from everyone and anyone.
I’ve been through a lot in my 24 (nearly 25!) years. Some terrible things, including PTSD, chronic illness and a mini-stroke that uprooted my life. I still struggle, but as a result, I’ve found a lot of coping methods. At my lowest, I attempted suicide and spent three awful days in hospital. At my highest, I got a merit in my Master’s degree!
I want to share what I’ve learned with whoever needs it.
If you got this far, thank-you. Truly, thank-you. Thank-you for taking the time to read about my emotions, struggles, and why I still love blogging after 6 years.
If you are also a blogger, tell me your why! I love hearing everyone’s story. If you’re not sure, it’s worth spending some time thinking about it. Write a blog post about your why. If you’re not a blogger, tell me why you do what you do! Your job, your academic field… I want to know.
Sending all my love and good vibes.
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