One year of blogging and the lessons it’s taught me
It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on here, if I’m completely honest I prefer photography and painting to writing, but still life’s about variety and a blog without words is basically just Instagram so here I am, tapping away. There’s a special reason for this post, on the 25th of August, the day I’ve scheduled this to publish, I’ll have officially been blogging for one whole year. I know that doesn’t sound very exciting but when I think of what it’s taught me I’m so grateful to my 26 year old self for starting it. I would also like to say hats off to all the other bloggers, big and small because I now know the vulnerability and hard work that goes into it. If anyone reading this is thinking of starting one but hasn’t yet, I say go for it, you won’t regret it.
I like to think that over the past year my photography skills have improved just a little bit, I’m no professional and if you asked me to take a photo for anybody else it would probably be terrible and they would hate it, but I finally feel like I’ve developed a style, I can now compose and snap pictures in a way I like and I can edit them consistently. Thanks to blogging I now know the rule of thirds and that getting the camera out after 4pm in winter with our warm lighting is an absolute waste of time.
My Instagram screenshots should sum up what I mean…
I have also found a love of flat-lay photos and developed a quick way to take them. (arranging things on a surface and taking a photo from above.) and it’s come in so handy because i’ve been able to produce the photos for my business cards. Jack of all trades master of none I think they say? Had I started painting dogs this time last year I definitely couldn’t have created this.. Not that they’re amazing, I just think maybe they’re not too shabby for an amateur?
Bye bye ego
When I first started this, my self esteem was wrapped up tightly in what people might think, I used to worry that nobody would read this blog and I’d just be embarrassing myself, I had quite a few sleepless nights stressing that people would not care and just think I’m a dick, and I was right, nobody does care, I am probably embarrassing myself and I am also a dick, but I just care so much less now. Blogging has thickened my skin, and to be happy I need to create something that feels just like me, and thats now what I have, It’s arrogant to assume that my little domain would ever be interesting to somebody else and there’s so much freedom in that. The thought that nobody really cares what you do, they have their own lives to think about so just do what you want, it’s the best thought I’ve ever thunk.
Variety is the spice of life
They say change is as good a rest, and if that’s true then i’m very well rested. I literally love change, I always change the living room around, the whole house in fact, I change the wall colours, I change blog names and website colours, I change hobbies, I change my mind, I change everything, I live in perpetual boredom unless i’m acting on impulse or a new idea, I’ve fought this about myself all my life, especially when comparing myself to my Mum. My mum is my idol, she is stoic, hard working, reliable, trustworthy, emotionally has it all together and maybe a little bit bossy but just all around amazing. Having none of these qualities myself (apart from the bossy.) I’ve really struggled to like myself, I’ve always felt really disappointed in the way I behave. Why do I always cry? Why am I bored all the time? Why can’t I decide on a career and stick to it? Whether this has come with age or the blog I’m not sure, but I’ve finally learnt over the past year to accept the impulsive easily bored aspect about myself and not fight it. It’s not a quality that’s highly valued but I don’t care, I now actually like this about myself. It’s the reason behind my new pet portrait side hustle and the reason I’m so excited for life, and all things considered, really I’m lucky I’m not on drugs so I’m managing it well. Go me. (Edit- it’s also the reason you’re reading six lessons and not 10, I got bored.)
The internet is not saturated
For some reason I always thought that there were too many blogs already, why should I create one more? Even after I started this I kept thinking what a waste of time this is. But the internet is infinite, it’s not going anywhere, it’s only going to get bigger so we might as well add to it and have fun whilst we’re at it.
The community is exceptionally supportive. From starting this blog I’ve created so many friends, Including the lovely Yorkshire Hare and I’ve also painted a few dog portraits for my (few) readers. Without this community I wouldn’t have had the support and confidence boosts I needed to start my painting so yep, the most important lesson I have learnt from blogging and Instagram, (I will Include that in this one too), is the community it can create.
Letting go of perfect
To start a blog you need to have let go of some level of perfectionism because you’d just never even publish it to begin with. This blog without a doubt has taught me how to be a beginner again. I now will just give things a go, even publicly, I don’t have to be “perfect” at it, I’m thinking about pastels in particular here, I’m so clumsy with them and I really don’t like my work when i’ve used them but it’s fun to just try and to be free of self doubt and self criticism. but I keep sharing them and how terrible they are in the hope it might encourage someone to pick up a brush or a thing they’ve always wanted to do and just do it. It’s also the same case for my writing, I’m a terrible writer but I try, and maybe if Old Grade C English over here with terrible spelling can start a blog then you can too.
So to conclude - blogging has been absolutely invaluable to me, especially when it comes to the accidental side hustle I’ve just created. And really, if you’re passionate about something or just want something to do and a creative outlet I fully suggest getting yourself a blog started and be free to just enjoy yourself. We don’t want to wake up at 80 with the knowledge that it doesn’t matter what people think and realise you never did things because you thought that it did.
Written with love
Old Mother Hubbard
I’ll save you the trouble of scrolling through my posts to find the very first one, just in case you fancy a mosey I’ve linked it here…