Friday, April 18, 2014

From the Archives: the Problem with Blogging

When I wrote this post in July 2012, I was just at the start of a really stressful, very negative year. I'm glad it's done, that's for sure! Either way, this post was the first in a series of realizations that I was kind of, well, done with "fashion blogging" -- but not with blogging in general. 

Please Note: This is an old post! I've received several emails and comments about this post as it if it recent. It is from almost two years ago. While my feelings are still relevant today, this is just a reminder that this is an old post that I still identify with and feel is still relevant for a lot of bloggers. 

I realized something the other day: sometimes, fashion blogging stresses me out. And sometimes, I go days without writing about, you know, fashion.

Why does fashion blogging stress me out all of a sudden!? I've mentioned before, but I feel like there is a lot of pressure to "have it all" and to somehow be good at everything -- and I've gotten the feeling before (maybe it's right, maybe it's wrong), that I'm just not good at fashion blogging. I mean, while others who have been blogging less time than I have (over 3 years now!) have exploded in popularity, gaining sponsors and tons of readers, I've remained in the same place.

Some days I love it -- and I know lots of my readers love it. After a recent post, I received several emails about how some readers felt like I was much more like them, that it was like they had me all to themselves. It was cuddly warm feeling to hear and it made me feel great! But just like when you feel like a sea cow and you're boyfriend says, "You look beautiful," you believe it and love it on one hand -- but on the other hand, you're like, "NO." Not because you don't appreciate the comment, but because... brains are complicated. 

I didn't get into fashion blogging for freebies, obviously; I didn't really know the average fashion blogger could receive freebies until about 8 or so months ago! But I won't lie: I like free stuff as much as the next person. I went to some events in college just for a free t-shirt or scarf or water bottle! It's covetous and weird and materialistic, but I think it's human nature. You see someone else receive a free pair of jeans and you think, "Why don't get free jeans!? I want free jeans!"

Sometimes I get too wrapped up in comparison that it stresses me out; I start to feel less than other bloggers, like I'm just not as good. To blog automatically brings comparison, especially when it comes to fashion. By showing off outfits, we're automatically asking people to compare our looks to others that are already out there. It's an unspoken part of fashion blogging, something no one ever really mentions... maybe because we don't like to. The comparison is hard and stressful, because as cliche as it sounds, we are all really our own worst critics.

What else is going on? I've mentioned it before and here it is again: I've gained weight. And maybe no one else notices it, or maybe everyone else thinks it looks fine. But ultimately, it's my body that I have to deal with everyday. It's me who has to deal with the fact that my dresses are too tight and I've developed love handles and as much as I want to start wearing jeans and fancy trousers, I can't find any that fit properly anymore... those are my things. I'm the one who deals with them and no one else.

It's stressful, ultimately, to want to stay in the fashion blogging, but to feel like your own body is betraying you. I have all these wonderful clothes! But when it comes down it, it's hard to wear about 50-60% of them because they feel too tight or uncomfortable or just plain don't fit anymore. It makes getting dressed stressful and for me, it's taken the joy out of what I used to love.

The problem with blogging, ultimately, is that it can turn from a joy to a stress without even realizing it. And that's hard. Blogging used to bring me a lot of joy and while I try to find happiness in it now, there are times where it is just impossible. I just want to throw my computer in the bin and forget about it forever. It'd be easy; this blog is just a bunch of code floating about. But it'd also be hard; I have a lot invested in this blog, a lot invested in the friends I've made through blogging. It'd be hard to lose everything to give it all away. I've let the part of me that compares myself to others get in the way of what I really love: fashion and photography and expressing myself.

The great thing about blogging, though, is that it's so easy to change. It's effortless and quick. Change is good and easy. Lately, I've been trying to change the things I can and accept the things that I just cannot change, in an effort to make myself happier. Locked Out is one of the things I want to change, not drastically, but just a little. They won't be huge changes, but a definite shift; more fashion, less comparison, more joy.

1 comment:

  1. You have a lovely blog Michelle and this post really made me think :) I know how you can feel overwhelmed by the whole experience and I certainly know what you mean by talking about you gaining weight. I've been there when I was younger and even today I have issues with that. But what you should know is that you're indeed a great writer and a lovely person. So keep up with the great work, sweetie, and remember that weight is not what define us. And also - about the 'more fashion' bit - I cannot wait to see more :)


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