I first began blogging during on a whim back during summer 2016. I’d fallen in love with YouTube many years beforehand; dreaming that one day I’d pluck up the courage to begin a YouTube channel of my own. Still to this day; I wish I could. However, YouTube eventually introduced me to the Blogosphere – a hobby that I could easily begin, and a hobby that I could do anonymously, quietly and secretly.
For the first few weeks; I didn’t tell anyone. I’d sneak up to my room during the evening and type up how I felt that day, or I’d jot down notes on my phone whilst watching TV with my parents. Eventually, I told my mum and dad that I’d taken up blogging to support my love of Photography; I just didn’t tell them my domain or what I chose to write about at the time. I guess it was like an online diary, a place where I was able to escape from the reality of working and university, and eventually gain a small following on my small blog. However in the end, I ended up telling my parents the domain. It wasn’t until a text I’d received from my dad during an Autumnal days walk until I felt my first wave of embarrassment. His text was along the lines of ‘your blog is brilliant, you’re a great writer’ – and for some reason, I was ashamed. I didn’t like the fact that somebody so close to me had read my words, even if it was positive feedback. In fact, I remember changing my domain and deleting some of the posts I’d published through sheer embarrassment.
Last year, I deleted every single post I’d shared with my followers in order to begin again. I wanted to focus primarily on travel and my journey in Australia so that my friends and family could read about it. I changed the domain and deleted all trace of anything I’d previously done in relation to my blog, and posted it on Instagram. To be fair, my friends loved it, they praised me for my writing, but again, I felt embarrassed. A few weeks later I deleted the url off my Instagram and changed my domain. I didn’t want my friends reading it, especially as I was writing more and more about lifestyle related topics again. Now nobody, other than my boyfriend and family, know that I blog. It’s become my anonymous secret again, to the point where I ‘hate’ Jack proudly telling people we meet during our travels that I blog.
I really do admire the people who can openly post their work on every form of social media, and I’m aware that in order for my blog to grow, I should also do this. However, the thought of people I know, or know of me or people on my friendship lists reading my work, terrifies me. I have a fear that people will laugh at me, make fun of me or bring me down – feelings that I’ve never worried about with fellow bloggers or the people who choose to read my posts for a reason.
After the response to this post earlier this week, it was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only person who felt like they are living a double life. With blogging, I’m myself, I don’t hide anything and I feel 100 per cent comfortable, whereas outside my little internet bubble; I’m the opposite. So why am I so embarrassed? Especially when the general response is nothing but positive and people expressing their interest?
The answer is, I, or maybe we, should be proud of the content we are producing. A lot of time, effort and dedication goes into maintaining a blog on a regular basis, we put our heart and soul into creating enjoyable content that we also enjoy, yet we decide to keep all of our achievements private – it doesn’t make any sense. In any other hobby where we experience a proud moment, we’d be telling the whole world.
So, be proud, not embarrassed. The people who generally care are the people who you should keep close, and the people who are negative are the people you don’t need in your life anyway. Let’s stop hiding and share our little corner on the internet with everyone. You might be surprised…