I've been blogging for five years this May. I have a funny relationship with it at the moment. I love doing it, and can't imagine giving it up, it's a huge part of my life and definitely one of the most important things I do in my little portfolio of freelance work; although it earns me the least money. I don't have a website specifically for my work (yet... am starting to think 2013 is the year), so it acts like a portfolio for my writing style, my modelling, even my marketing skills to some extent. But when people ask what I do, I never, ever say, 'I'm A Blogger', though it's a pretty good description of what I do, obviously. I think the thing that I feel sets me apart from what I call 'proper bloggers', is that I've kept this place reasonably light... unlike other bloggers who have notebooks of ideas, and posting schedules and whatnot. I've done some posts that required serious effort - my tutorials are the most popular posts on here, even though I haven't done one in nearly two years. The Victory Rolls in a Jiffy one in particular has had nearly triple the pageviews of any other, and I still get a comment every week or so on it. Considering how time-consuming it was to film and edit, that's a good thing! I also get a lot of hits on my post about 'Dressing Down, Vintage Style', since I imagine lots of people search for info on that kind of thing. Can you tell I've been having fun on my blog stats page for the first time in ages?
But the posts that have had the most comments at time of publishing aren't the ones with me bashing out a few outfit pictures and a short and probably uninteresting story of this party I went to, or that restaurant, which are clearly the kinds of posts that I do most regularly on here. I tag the essays I occasionally write 'musings', and they're about feelings and opinions. They all have lots of lovely comments on them. There aren't that many, given how long I've been doing the blog but that's because I only really write long, heartfelt posts when I really have something to say. On the other hand, if I only ever posted when I had something to say, or the time to dedicate to a lovely, long and well-researched article, I'd never post at all! I still love the notion of blogging and sharing my life with people the world who are, somewhat incomprehensibly, interested in what I'm up to but sometimes I just want to quickly show off some nice pictures and write something short for entertainment value to someone, whether on their lunchbreak, having a lazy evening, or bunking off on the internet quickly at work. And people across the world do love this blog - many people write and tell me so. Though come to think of it, even the 'quick' posts are not that quick, really - Photoshopping, even the minimal sharpening and colour correcting I do, is LONG.
Being 'A Blogger' is quite the full-time job, though. It's a labour of love and no mistake. I'm constantly looking for opportunities and things to blog about - putting on a nicer outfit than I'd be inclined to otherwise perhaps, or seeking things out to do that would make a nice entry. My family, friends and boyfriend have long learned to accept that I'll be making them take pictures of me, waiting while I put on lipstick beforehand or holding off while I photograph their dinner, if it's more photogenic than mine. Since Instagram, they have had to endure this doubly (sorry all). Some enjoy being my photographer, some do it under duress because they know I'll ask to have a look at the camera, pull a face and make them take another ten slightly differently posed and angled shots (side note: I'm always convinced that other bloggers must do about two and get it perfect every time)!
I digress. I started thinking about the concept of being 'A Blogger' when I was out the other day having afternoon tea at Betty's in Ilkley with the man. It was only two days after I'd had a completely social media and photography-free (bar one iPhone snap, which I didn't post until the next day) Christmas Day - basically a Christmas Day off from it all, which I haven't done since I started the blog. I took my camera with me to Betty's as I thought it would be a good place to take some pictures, but when it came to the task at hand, I wasn't feeling it. My effort was, well, half-arsed, to say the least. It wasn't even that the rain had ruined my hair (which it had) or that my outfit has been seen on here so many times before (I love all the bits, but they're all getting old), but more that I felt a bit bad that I couldn't just enjoy a nice tea without having to take pictures, and pose for them. I also felt weirdly self-conscious posing in there, something that never usually bothers me. I hope I get over it quickly, or there'll be tumbleweed blowing around this joint before you can say, 'Donald Cox the Sweaty Fox'. Well, I did do some better ones a day later, at the wedding. But maybe I need a break from posting pictures of me, and try to focus on the writing. Writing is somehow feeling more fulfilling.
Fellow bloggers, do you ever experience this malaise? Do share if you do.
And after all this immense musing, finally, here are the photos I begrudgingly took at Betty's.
I couldn't even summon the energy to step away from the table to get it all in one shot ;)
Final note: the tea itself was lovely overall, though the sandwiches were a bit bland - no mustard in the ham or mayo in the chicken. DRY. But tasty anyway.