Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Why do you blog?

I made the decision to link my blog to my Facebook almost as soon as I started blogging as I thought it would help increase awareness and drive traffic but whenever people find out that I have a blog, they invariably ask "Why do you blog?" and I am always caught off guard and fail to give a good answer. For those who don't blog, sharing so much of your life online is a scary thought and for many, it is seen as self-obsessed and narcissistic. I mean why would anyone want to look at pictures of you showing off a dress or a new pair of shoes? 




I read blogs before I wrote one and as many people did, I thought "I could do that too!" and so decided to set up Frills 'n' Spills with Danni. When I first started writing, it was scary but I soon found that the blog became my creative outlet. It wasn't just an online diary (no-one wants to read about arguments I have with my siblings :P) but rather a journal of experiences. It meant that I was able to catalogue the highs and lows of university, moving away from home and generally finding out a bit more about myself in the process. 




As cliché as this may sound, blogs and blogging are such an inspiration for me. I have been inspired to wear clothes which I would never have dared to even consider before and to conquer my fear of standing out and looking different. This little blog has inspired me to be more confident, dress better and (hopefully!) improve my writing and photography skills at the same time.  I like the fact that I can see a Topshop dress on another blogger with a similar shaped figure or a lipstick on another pale person and see whether it is likely to suit me. I'm not a 5'11" willowy blonde (my childhood ideal!) but I'm OK with that, blogs provide me with the inspiration to learn to accept this fact. I'm not gonna lie, there are days where I just want to chop all of my hair off or somehow stretch my legs out a bit more but 90% of the time I am happy with the way I look.  I'm sure that getting older also plays a part but blogging has encouraged me to expand my horizons and to grow in confidence, no bad thing surely?




The blogging community is the best part of blogging for me and I have met some really amazing people through it. The support and feedback I received when I posted about my struggle with depression simply blew me away. I have had millions of inane questions answered, clothing items tracked down and support in both the good and bad times. What more could you ask for? I genuinely thought that due to the sheer number of females involved in blogging, people would be catty and mean and I have been lucky enough to be proven wrong. Anyone I have ever met has been really lovely and I have never met a blogger who doesn't reply to an email or a tweet. I think Twitter really helps with getting to know the person behind the blog better and I know that I am an addict! Blogging obviously has it's ups and downs (see Jen's posts HERE for an informed and  insightful take on some common blog issues) but I have never regretted my decision to start a blog and I hope I will be able to blog for a long time yet! :)


Why do you blog? Do your friends and family know about your blog? 

EDIT: I meant to include Bee's post about Blogging vs. Real Life as she covers this topic much better than I do! I think feelings like this pop up fairly often if you're a blogger so it's worth sharing :D 
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31 comments

Grace said...

Great post, Maria! A great way to get people talking, I think :)

There are so many reasons to start a blog, but like you, I was reading way before I started blogging. I decided to start a blog after seeing real girls do real high street fashion, and seeing what a tight knit community a lot of the bloggers had formed.

I also started blogging because I am doing Journalism at Uni and would love to be involved in fashion one day. I thought blogging would be a great way to be more involved in the fashion world and just get me writing, which was the most important thing! Sadly, too much of this blogging world is focussed on images and not writing so much, which saddens me a bit.

My boyfriend is the only person that really knows about my blog, as he takes my photos, but I didn't even tell him about it at first. Hence my blog name really. Its an individual expression so I don't see why anyone else needs to know, particularly when they may not understand and think its just narcissistic ect

This was an essay!

Haha great post anyway ;)

Grace x
secretly styled.

Maria said...

Grace- Thank you for such a lovely comment :D I love writing and I love taking photos so blogging is the ideal solution :) I think for a lot of people, too much writing is a turn off, especially if they are working and don't have much time! I agree with being inspired by seeing 'real' people wear things and I think that is why blogging has become so popular! I think my blog is an individual expression but I also want to share it, don't know how I can reconcile those 2 different views though, haha!

Maria xxx

Lizzy Lips said...

A lot of people are talking about this subject at the moment. Bee (@vivatramp) brought up the subject of sharing your blog with the real world last week.

For me, I didn't want my blog to be too personal rather, more of a commentary but the more I get involved in blogging the more I realise people want to read peoples personal experiences. I think the trick is to strike a balance. There are some blogger who I personally think take it too far, but that's just my personal preference and what I want to read about. - Everyone different obviously and I follow these blogs anyway.

I've shared my blog with a few friends but I don't like the idea of sharing it too wide. Like you say, some people just don't understand and my think it's a bit show offy and I think it's that that puts me off really. I rely on my friends being pretty honest with me though and give constructive criticism where needed and in the future who knows I may open it up. Seems strange that I'm happy for complete strangers to judge me and not people I actually know. It's a wall to hide behind I guess and a chance to be who ever you want. Not that bloggers are being fake but they can be anyone they want to be without the prejudgements that come from people you've known for years.

Sorry - long comment! It's interesting to read other peoples thoughts on this.

Maria said...

Lizzy- I think this is a subject that pops up every now and again when you are a blogger so I guess it has inspired me to write this post. I think as you admire people's style etc. you want to know a bit more about them (in a non-creepy way!) so inevitably blogs do become more personal. I think the reason I did share it widely is because I know that there are people who would be interested and also because it was something I was proud of (that sounds really arrogant but I know a few of my friends have similar interests/body shapes/styles to me) I think it's more difficult for people to reconcile your online and offline self if they already know you? I don't know!

Maria xxx

Hannah said...

fantastic post maria but unlike you i never linked my blog to my facebook account because I feel to self concious about my friends finding out. i know it sounds silly but i don't mind strangers reading it but i always get paranoid that friends will judge me. ive discovered that most people who don't blog don't really understand the appeal behind it. it;s only after you start getting involved in the community and having a creative outlet (the reason I started) that you begin to appreciate all the fun and when people don't realise that you can't really connect with them about why you blog. i hope that all makes sense haha. i hope you continue to blog for many years to come =)


Bow Dream Nation xx

Hannah said...

Great post! I honestly haven't seen one like this before! In my case, I have kept my blog a total secret up until when I won the Aussie competition and realsed I can't just zoom off to London without letting at least someone know where I am off to, plus I saw it as an achievement! However where I am from (Ireland) people are pretty closed-minded and taking pics of yourself and posting them online is something very strange. I honestly think I would squirm with embarrassment if people I didn't tell found out about my blog! But I am 100% proud of it and it makes me smile every time I log in :) xxxxxxxx

ella belle @ bellevintage said...

great post! i completely understand what you mean about getting caught off guard when people ask why i blog. i think for me its about having a distraction in my life. sometimes it nice just to forget about all the stress and turn to my blog! xx

Maria said...

Hannah- It's so true what you say about non-bloggers not getting it, I have tried to explain it and I just get blank looks haha! And thank you :D

Hannah- Thank you! I know what you mean about where you come from, I live in a tiny village where everyone knows everyone else so blogging is just seen as downright bizarre! :)

Ella Belle- Thank you! It is an escape from the realities of life (stress etc) but it's also linked to it, very strange balance :)

Maria xxx

Fashion Junkie said...

I think blogging is one of those things that still slips past a lot of people. It never fails to amaze me how many people in my "real life" would never think of blogs to find an answer, or read about something.

My family know about my blog, my mum is great at spotting things I miss, and is always pointing contacts in its direction if she thinks we could be helpful to each other. But I tend to keep it quiet amongst friends. I don't actively hide it, but I never mention it unless someone else brings it up. I worry that people will be catty or bitchy about it, and because I study at a small university in a small department in a small city in a rural area, gossip travels fast.

A great post, and I'm glad you've found the community aspect to be a positive as it is definitely my number one gain from my blog.

Maria said...

Chloe- Thank you :) I get so much information on such a wide variety of subjects from blogs, I can't imagine NOT doing it! I guess not actively concealing it is the best compromise between 'showing off' and hiding it away :)

Maria xxx

dinoprincesschar said...

Thank you for this post, I am always interested to see how other people see their blogs / what got them started etc, and how they overlap them with their life.
For me, my blog is an outlet for things which bother me, or which are on my mind, as well as a place I can post outfits. I have suffered with bipolar disorder for many years and find that an outlet of some kind has really helped me more than a lot of things i have tried in the past. My rants are few and far between on the blog tbh, but i write a lot of posts i may never finish, or publish, or whatever and i find it helps.
I keep it separate from my personal life, nobody really knows about it. And I have met some wonderful people through blogging, who I wouldn't otherwise have met, so I am glad of that.

PinkBow said...

I really don't think anyone can understand blogging unless you blog yourself. It is such a rewarding hobby I think.

Maria said...

dinoprincesschar- I think just the writing aspect of the blog makes it such a worthwhile thing to do. Sorry to hear that you have suffered with bipolar disorder though :( I guess the separation from your real life makes it easier to be honest?

Paula- That is SO true! I love blogging and can only think of positive things to say :)

Maria xxx

Kb said...

Totally agree with Pinkbow. Since I've been back at Uni more friends have been finding out about my blog and a tutor has even referred to me as a famous fashion blogger! I've been doing a few dissertation interviews and I know a few of the second years read it, it's not something I really have to discuss on a day to day basis though. It's slightly weird to think I'll occasionally pop up in my friend's google reader though...I just have to detach myself and remember all of the great oppurtunities it's brought me.

daisychain said...

I have nothing wise to add to this brilliant post..so I'll just say

I LOVE YOU AND THINK YOU ARE SUPER SNAZZY

xxx

Liya said...

awww, i finally found the comment! i love your blog the moment i read the this post! my family and friends dont really know i have a blog unless they stalk me in twitter its like living a double life in escapism. i love your view on this :D

Maria said...

Kristabel- You are a famous blogger ;) I think bloggers forget that more than just other bloggers can see their posts, (weird as that sounds!) I know I do!

Laura- Aww I love you too <3

Liya- Thanks, it is definitely a form of escapism :)

Maria xxx

StephanieDJL said...

First off, you look gorgeous in that picture & that dress is AMAZING on you! Srsly!

I couldn't agree more about the blogging community being the best part of blogging. I suffer with bouts of depression (& am just generally an emotional wreck on the inside!) & if it wasn't for the amazing comments, support & friends I've gained through blogging, I don't know what I'd do. With moving away for uni & losing touch with certain friends, it's so amazing to have such a huge group of genuinely lovely people to be able to relate to. & just being able to blab on about the trivial, like what to buy next, Along with the serious, is... I can't even find the words.

Although I've never actively shown people I know, most of my friends know of my blog through Twitter. Whilst I find it awkward when it's brought up, if anyone ever had anything negative to say, I'd just tell them where to stick it. ~'Cause I'ma do me & you can keep doing you~ ...I think that's enough gangstuh for one day.

/ramble

Dani said...

Ahh I do love that outfit on you :D and this post is just so good! I can agree with so much you've said, blogging has definitely made me more confident too, and more adventurous with my style choices and I find myself inspired by heaps of different things now rather than just magazines and stuff like before! I don't care that I'm not a size 10 model, people appreciate the way I dress and that is enough for me! I also love the sense of community and the way it's helped me meet people, you included :D starting a blog was definitely the best thing I ever did! xxx

Yu said...

Took the words right out of my mouth! :) I love it (more than YouTube sometimes if I dare say :) )

Maria said...

Stephanie- Aww thank you! I think the community has been the most supportive group of people which is amazing considering that everyone are basically strangers! And BIG love to you, have followed your blog from way back when :)

Dani- Thank you, I think blogging is such a positive, can't imagine giving it up :) And blogging is amazing. End of.

Yu- Uh oh better hope youtubers don't hear you say that! ;)

Maria xxx

Abbie said...

LOVE this post Maria! This reflects my own feelings about blogging too. I have come across so many people who I have so many things in common with that I would never had a connection with if I didn't start blogging or join Twitter.

I have grown in confidence too. There was time, not too long ago where I wouldn't have looked twice at a dress whilst shopping, but now you have to literally drag me away from them! and don't even get me started with the polka dots! :) I've been inspired by other bloggers and have felt more brave when developing my own sense of style because of it.

Hurrah for blogging!

In fact... this comment is getting so long I might just have to turn it into a blog post myself! :)

Keep the awesomeness coming! Love it!

Xx Abbie xX

Maria said...

Abbie- Thank you love! I have loved that everyone has written really long comments on here,it's fab to read everyone's thoughts on the subject :) I think blogging really gets you out of your shell and I am so glad I took that leap of faith :)

Maria xxx

Gem said...

I started to blog when I read an article in the guardian about 'fatshion' bloggers. I started to read lots of fat/plus size fashion blogs and then lots of british high street style blogs and I thought I would give it a go.
I chat to so many lovely people online now I have a blog. I love writing it. My job isn't very creative or exciting so my blog is my little piece of fun xx

Leia said...

Very interesting Maria! I don't tell my friends about my blog because I know they would have a lot of questions that I just don't feel like answering. Yes, it does come off as narcissistic to post pictures of yourself, but outfit posts have made me a whole lot more confident and less camera-shy. But blogging has been an incredible experience - I've so many awesome people and learned so much about the fashion industry!

Leia

Winnie said...

Amazing post! I always think about these issues. I would say that most of my close friends know about my blog, there are of course a wider circle who have no idea and well, I don't need to tell them really since I don't see them very often etc. It's weird isn't it? I suppose it's what Leia said and about the whole narcissistic attitudes. Close friends know what I'm like and don't really think anything of it and anyway, often they take a lot of photos OR know exactly why I'm taking a photo of my coffee/meal etc. Haha!

Anyway I started to blog mainly after reading Style Bubble and Flying Saucer, I just felt that I had something to say too and setting a blog was so easy and ADDICTIVE! Who knew I would still be blogging? It's definitely helped me buy more carefully but also be more experimental with clothes. I've also made so many friends from blogging too- people who I have so much in common with and I could spend hours just chatting to!

For someone who is interesting in PR/Marketing as a career I've definitely gained some invaluable knowledge on the industry!

claire (jazzpad.) said...

I loved this post Maria! I see there has been a lot of discussion about the motivation of blogging lately and for me it's all about the catharsis and the creativity of putting something out there. Of having a part of your expressed clearly and honestly, it's something to be proud of. Not to mention the wonderful support that you also recognise is a great result of being part of the blogging community :) A few of my friends know, and my bf, but not my fam. My Dad asked what my twitter name was yesterday and I declined to tell him for fear of him finding Jazzpad ha!
♥ Claire @ Jazzpad

Kat said...

Great post- I know what you mean it can seem like such an odd hobby to those who don't blog, but I couldn't imagine not doing it anymore! I started to blog after coming home from uni jobless and super bored, it gave me a reason to be creative and helped me perfect my writing style. Since then it's just become a kind of virtual scrapbook where I can record great finds and inspiration which I think a lot of people do now- it's just a great creative outlet :)

xx

Dianne x said...

I have nominated your blog for a Leibster Award. Check my blog to see what its all about.

www.workingmumof4.blogspot.com

Dianne x

Susie said...

I loved this post, Maria! When I started blogging it was part of my research project (which was also an excuse to start blogging), but now I can't imagine not doing it! I've met so many amazing people from it and I am so inspired by my readers and other bloggers. It's pretty integrated into my everyday life and that's kind of cool too--like an ongoing postcard to family and friends in other countries. xoxoxoxo

Salwarekameez said...

I read blogs before I wrote one and as many people did, I thought "I could do that too!" - I love your confidence! This really matters not just in blogging but in the real world as well. Good luck..

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