It’s only been a month and a half since I (re)booted this blog and got back into the writing game. But boy, does it feel like an eternity already. It’s strange how something ‘new‘ can just settle itself into your life and feel like it’s always had a place there. Which, when it comes to blogging, is kinda true (seeing as I’ve been doing that on and off throughout my entire life). All in all: it’s been awesome, with a growing audience, lovely connections (that I would’ve never made without this blog) and a LOT of words put down to paper.
But with all this writing – there’s also a pinch just below the surface when reflecting on keeping a personal blog and its effects on ones life. That nagging feeling that you’re keeping a dirty little secret. That you’re doing something bad. That you’re a bit weird because you blog.
I first wrote about it a couple of weeks ago.
Personal blogging – A risky business
And since it’s been a pretty constant puzzle ever since – I’ve decided to make that post into a series. A series on the thoughts, dangers and effects of keeping a personal blog. And today – the topic will be judgement, where the first one focused on the beneficial effects.
‘You do what? Blog?’
The thing about blogging is that (most people, anyway) keep a blog in order for their content to be read. If that wasn’t the case – they’d either keep the blog set to private or go back to keeping and old school diary (at least, that would make more sense to me). And once you get into ‘the Blogosphere’ it’s increasingly easy to connect with people that carry a same appreciation for (the art of) blogging as yourself. That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone in your life ‘gets it‘ that same way.
There is those who find out you blog (whether it’s because someone/you mention it while in a conversation, or they bump into a posting somewhere, or whether they say something snarky about something unrelated and end up bashing on blogs in general) and hate it. Or don’t get it. Or feel the need to judge you for it. Out loud. Those casual, almost flippant comments always seem to catch me off guard.
Those conversations usually wind up with questions as to why I would do such a thing. What I get from it. Or dwindle into awkward silences (the Tinder effect, when you drop that knowledge into a conversation and they just go ‘poof‘).
They’re often from the people who think blogging is kind of weird. Or useless. Who see it as the playground for 15 year old beauty bloggers giggling behind their screens with their girlfriends. Or the angsty teens battling all sorts of problems while unable to interact with anyone outside of the virtual realms. Or worse even – ‘kortpittige‘ housewives and grannies keeping themselves busy while bustling through unsatisfactory lives, updating the lines of kids and uninterested family members with unneeded updates on how their day pumpkin picking went.
I, as a blogger, relate to all of these categories. I can smile reading the happenings in the life of that adorable bouncy beauty blogger and appreciate their effort. I can feel my heart bleed (in recognition) for those teenage struggles and deeper pains. And I get that need to be visible that these blogging moms/nans have, because they’re underappreciated, lonely (even in a full household) and just in need of connections other than the every day talk about the kids that takes up their entire daily lives. But I also get how that doesn’t make sense to a lot of other people who never felt the need to put ‘themselves‘ down to paper. It’s something that either suits you, or doesn’t.
But then there’s the occasions when someone you know gets in touch. And they do so not in a good way. Every now and then someone (unexpected) will mention that they read my blog (be it one entry, or a lot of them) with that undertone of ‘what the fuck are you doing with your life‘ and it always leads to pretty much the same reaction on my part.
A small gasp. Immediate fluster. Audible stutter and tenfold increase on awkwardness levels while I ponder what I’ve been posting the last few days and ‘what they might have read about me that is so very HORRENDOUS!‘. Somehow I still get surprised that people actually read along. And then get surprised at how that affects them and how they choose to express it. On how they feel safe to judge because I feel ‘safe’ to share.
It, however, in no way means that those judgments are correct, warranted or need to be expressed. If you don’t understand something, it doesn’t automatically decrease in value. And it (or someone) certainly doesn’t need to be altered to suit your life and standards better. When I blog – I write to be read. But I do so for myself, not for anyone else. And that also, when it comes to blogging, means taking the bad with the good (which is still a LOT ahead of the bad on all fronts).
So keep reading. Or don’t.
As long as it makes you happy, like blogging does me.
Even if you’re lurking. Even if you’re just reading along. Even if you click these links just because the Facebook stories with the blue ‘unwatched’ rings annoy you?
I see you! I welcome you! I know you!
(Not in a ‘scary-hiding-in-the-bushes kinda way)
And you’re appreciated! Regardless of your judgments. Thank you!