I started writing this blog post on an early Autumn morning on the train home from Dublin and finished it on a rainy Saturday night curled up on the sofa. I’m excited to press publish on this one; my first blog post in over three months.
Have you ever found yourself wondering what our world would be like if the internet was never invented? It’s hard to imagine, right? Earlier this year, I had online overload. I was spending a lot of time online and not enjoying it. I started my blogging break unintentionally. One week, I didn’t get a chance to blog; and then that turned into two. There was no nagging, guilty feeling. Two weeks of not blogging felt good and I realised, with a sense of relief, that I needed a break.
I have been blogging since March 2015. It started as an adventure and it had become boring. I was rushing to post; hastily cooking a new recipe, snapping some pictures on my phone, writing it up as quickly as I could and rushing to press publish. I was trudging on, posting new content that wasn’t really of a standard I desired and I knew I would continue to do so, unless I allowed myself some time to reassess. So for the entire Summer, I stopped blogging, gave myself some head space and thought about the type of content I wanted to post and how.
Then Autumn came and with it some good news on the personal front. I spent some time working on the look and layout of the blog which I finished last week. I began to feel excited about getting back to blogging and ideas started to flow. I am now seeing photo opportunities everywhere, I'm watching Masterchef Australia with a notebook and pen in hand jotting down flavour combinations for new recipes, I'm making notes of the books I'm planning on reading and looking forward to sharing them on the blog.
Predictably, I worry that I’ll begin to fall back into old habits, that the blog will become generic, that no one will find it interesting, that it will fall in for criticism or even ridicule. The blogging and social media industry has grown enormously over the past number of years and is, perhaps reaching peak saturation point. I have no doubt that many traditional style type blogs are not attracting the same number of visitors that they have done in the past. But whether 100,000 people read your blog posts or 10 people read them, if you enjoy writing and creating them then it doesn’t matter. My overwhelming emotion is one of excitement for a fresh start. I’m not going to make any schedule or plans about how often I’m going to blog or what I’m going to blog about.
A note about social media. It can be incredibly frustrating. I dislike the sub-tweeting, the passive aggressive behaviour, the not so passive aggressive behaviour, all of which are easy to find on social media. I dislike the comparisons that are often made. However, gradually the better points of blogging and social media have won me over again. The social elements, the people I have met, the stories I’ve heard and the fact that it has a power to level the playing field. Instagram is a treasure trove of beautiful images, journal style captions and opportunities to enjoy the work of very talented users. The talent on Instagram constantly amazes me. While bots and paid for followers continue to annoy and frustrate, there is still opportunity to seek out communities of genuinely talented people and make new friends.
I chose to write about and share content of very ordinary things on The Honest Project. Finding enjoyment in the everyday is one of my mantras. The beauty of blogging and having your own space is that you make your own rules. You can decide what to write about and when. I want the content I put out on the The Honest Project and my social media to have a positive impact. Of course it’s important to speak your mind on matters that are important to you and sometimes this may cause offence to others, but this can be done in a way that’s hopefully constructive and not personal.
I got some new flowers for my desk and replenished my fruit bowl and I'm looking forward to sharing new content, with my daily reminder to myself always front and foremost in my thoughts.... to stay in my own lane.