When I was asked to write about my blogging experiences for The Big Book Project, I was asked to interpret this however I wanted. Looking back and recalling the blogging experiences I’ve had, the realisation crept in that many of those events have happened as a result of how I’ve changed since first starting my blog. So instead of talking about the experiences I’ve had, it made more sense to recall how the experience of blogging has changed me.
I’ve been running my blog, Lost in a Library, since 2012. At 13, I was looking for an outlet and a place to vent in a world where others silenced my voice. Now at nearly 18, it feels as though with the passage of time alongside this platform, I’m such a different person – not just because of ‘growing up,’ but because the reality is that blogging changes you.
I’m a firm believer that blogging makes content creators more liberal, and in turn more confident in what they say. In blogging and working alongside other bloggers to promote this platform. many bloggers take to Twitter. Blogging, and talking to bloggers on Twitter gave me the courage to start openly discussing my mental health, and discussing matters that I’m passionate about. Knowing that people read your content and also appreciate your content gives a confidence boost like nothing else can.
Liberal speech only covers a small aspect as like I’ve said, blogging can have a huge impact on your confidence. As someone who has Anxiety, and considers themselves very much shy in social situations, blogging has given me a voice that would otherwise struggle to be vocalised. Where you otherwise may conceal your opinions, blogging is a place in which you can become outwardly impassioned for the causes you value. Blogging can give you a voice which wants to be heard and will be heard.
As a Ravenclaw, I pride myself on my creativity and imagination. Bursts of particularly good periods come through, in which I have a wave of ideas for posts. However, naturally, like with every blogger, we do tend to get writer’s block from time to time. At first, you go into crisis, wondering how many draft posts you have to live on until the writing apocalypse. But then you think of deadlines, schedules, audiences and readerships and at simply at those thoughts, blogging can force creativity. Suddenly you strive to break through the dry spell, and go in search of new ideas in the hope of producing appealing posts. Overtime, this becomes a natural response to ‘blogger’s block.’ Due to this, whilst I still have times where I’m out of ideas, I know how to fight back against those times; a skill that transfers into creative writing, and into doing my A Levels.
Many enter the blogging world in a professional respect; working in secondary relationships based on what you can do for people, and in turn what they can do for you. Others enter the world just as a hobby, like me. Never, when I started Lost in a Library, did I expect that through documenting my thoughts on books and writing, friendships would be made. Some of my best friends have opened the door into my life through blogging about the same topics, and that’s something that one would assume no blogger could predict.
Friendship might not be the first thing on your mind, but making connections with other bloggers and creating bonds with them is so beneficial in the long run. The friends I’ve made have become confidants [and I theirs,] post beta-readers, motivators when times are harder. They have been friends at times when I didn’t have any others in my life. My experience of blogging wouldn’t have been anywhere near as exciting or fun if I hadn’t had friends to share it with.
Depending on how old you are, you may have already passed the age in which you need to start detailing the skills you have on a CV or job application. Now, at a point where I’m starting to apply to universities, I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to punctuate my personal statement, and hopefully a future CV with skills acquired from blogging. Time management, communication, etc. All are highly valued skills that are searched for in applicants forms. As my friend and fellow blogger Amber wrote in a recent post, blogging can really help your career. Not only does it set you apart from the rest, but it also shows a level of commitment to a passion you have. Time management and showing that you can reach deadlines or manage a solid schedule counts. As does showing that you can communicate and network with other bloggers, building up an audience and friendship circle or team over time. As does having had work experience or having worked alongside/teamed up with a company to produce posts, whether that be publishing houses or makeup manufacturers. These are skills that are praised and regarded on great levels. So not only does blogging change you, but it can change your future and help you access long awaited dreams.
The truth is, that you may not go into blogging expecting anything to come of it. Even if nothing does, that’s okay. We’re not all going to get millions of views and earn millions of pounds. Again, that’s okay. It’s alright because whilst what you had desired may not become fact, there’s so many hidden positives that come with the journey of establishing a blog. Whether you want it to or not, blogging changes you, and it changes you for the better.