Sunday, 7 September 2014

5 Things I'm Not Allowed To Say - 30 Days #7



Honesty.

It's what the blogging world thrives on right?

This is my honest opinion of this, check my blog for an honest review of so-and-so, this is what I honestly wear and do and how my life honestly is.


Yet,

Why is it we are so over-zealous to be honest about positive things, yet are decidedly more hesitant when it comes to the negatives?

There are some things I have noticed for a while, things which have frustrated, upset and baffled me as a fellow blogger, and for just one post, I think I'm going to let that slip.

These are five things I'm not allowed to say as a blogger, but I can as a human being.

1.
I hate the way we, as bloggers, are forced to result ourselves down to a series of aligned pixels and sacrifice our humanity for the sake of online reputation, not worth risking our 'shot at success' by accidentally letting slip some truths that are boiling just beneath the surface.

Things that we can rant endlessly to our non-blogger friends about, whilst retaining our perfect fence-sitting diplomacy online, too afraid to voice an opinion too far one way or the other for fear of backlash.

Of course, no-one wants to spread hate or create a negative atmosphere, but real honesty is admitting that things aren't always perfect. We are obsessed with controlling every little thing to create this unobtainable illusion of perfection. So what happens when all negativity in hastily swept under the carpet and all that's left is 'oh my god I love it's and 'yeah this is just so great, isn't everything just so good's?

Authenticity becomes irrelevant.

Everything becomes false.


2.
I hate the fact that I've been to events where people are standing at the sidelines, eyeing each other up and slagging off their outfits in giggly little groups, whispers of poison floating like acid vapors in the air, stinging anyone who go too close.

Schmoozing up to their 'sworn enemies' to get a good selfie for instagram so they can share their pool of influence and create a bigger surge of audience for themselves, a business opportunity, when as soon as that afterlight filter is applied and it's cropped, tinted and posted, they part like two opposing magnetic poles repelled by the laws of nature.

But that's what we're encouraged to do isn't it?

It's not what you know, it's who you know, and adding to that, how much you can do for one another.

Because these days, everyone's an internet entrepreneur - it seems anyone who's half decent at eyeliner is now a make-up artist, every person with a Canon DSLR and a tripod is now a youtuber, every girl who just wears clothes is now a fashion blogger. 

Gone is the idea of the social network, it's social media. Family and friends are now an 'audience', your input now 'content'. The likelihood of you getting recognition or appreciation is now 'influence', and your overall general likability swiftly becomes your 'marketability'.

A hobby is no longer just a hobby with the internet involved, now we can broadcast it to the world, and by doing that, it creates this almost deluded sense of self-entitlement.

Err, I just posted my third on point selfie of the day and there's not a suitcase full of complimentary Mac lipsticks and invite to LFW outside my door????

What kind of online culture are young girls going to grow up entering into where we treat each other and ourselves like that?

3.
I hate the way we are encouraged to 'think of ourselves as a brand'. 

It's all well and good to get that business mind ticking to seek new opportunities, but what happens when the lines between you work and your life are blurred? When you simply being you becomes your full-time job? When every word you breath and every sentence you type is an advert? When you have no choice but to speak well of anything and everything because you are contractually obliged to not say a bad word about anything? How do you even know what being you means anymore? 

Of course everybody has to make a living, and genuinely hats off to those who are able to make a sustainable living and career out of their blog - it's undeniably something many of us aim to achieve. But I guess the line is drawn when you're peddling stuff you don't even like or would never use in reality, just to chase a paycheck. 

Personally I don't want to think of myself as a brand, I want to think of myself as a writer with the means to share a greater, positive, empowering message to others. And if that's not a very good business model then so be it. Because there is nothing that gives me greater pleasure, greater happiness and greater clarity than writing.


4.
I hate the fact that if you want to get anywhere... you're forced to be a hypocrite.

'You love writing!' - 'You want it to be your career!' - '...You have no money.'

"I'll pay you to write, but only if you write what I tell you to write."

Which not only provides a moral dilemma for those whose overall goal is not the fame and fortune, but also gives birth to an even more convoluted type of creator - those who do it not for the love, but for the sole purpose of generating an audience which they can then monetise to make a quick buck.

Blogging has evolved at a rapid and almost unmanageable rate and I don't think many of us know how to deal with it. And in my eyes, we are all treading a very delicate like between art, entertainment and business. There are things that I feel many are not entirely comfortable with, things which feel as though they demean artistic integrities as creators, but, little sacrifices that must be made in order to bring our little form of expressive art into the eyeline of those who can deem it of worth, and henceforth get our voices heard. 

But I guess we all gotta start somewhere.

And so finally, 

5.
I hate the way there are these made up rules and commandments, the surefire tricks and ways you can ensure your optimum blogging success and have adoring people worshipping your feet, begging you to let them send you free stuff and making your dreams come true as if they were doing you a favour.  That there are all these underhanded tricks and tips people use to get followers, to get exposure and get likes - that we've all apparently become so obsessed with stats and figures that we've completely lost heart.

Yes there are long-established bloggers with a wealth of industry experience that hold workshops and can provide invaluable information about how to maximise your blogging success, but I can tell you one thing for sure, these are NOT the people you'll find bitching about others at press events or thinking they deserve to be showered with gifts and attention. These are hard-working people who have earned their success, and they are not the kinds of people that are likely to forget that.

-

And so... yeah.

 This is not my advice for new bloggers, this is not my guidelines on 'how to be successful', these are just my own little virtues I remind myself to work by whilst on this mad adventure through this frankly baffling world:


Detach yourself from the hype.

Never do something  you feel like you have to do.

Blog what you love, for you.

Build a world that you are proud to own. 

Blog with integrity and heart.

Treat readers as a bonus, not a right or target.

Be grateful for any benefit/opportunity/experience that should come as a result.


Overall, I would say that the two years I have spent entirely immersed in this industry, (which I know is not a lot) I have encountered a lot of different cyber social spheres and witnessed a lot of changes, growth and evolution, and the staggeringly overwhelming feeling is one of radiating positivity, love, passion and admiration. I love blogging, I love bloggers and have made some of the best friends a girl could have through the blogosphere.

But these little niggling things, things which I've always just bit my tongue about in the hopes they'd remain a minority, or I was too scared to voice my opinion about before, they seem to be a growing trend, and as the blogosphere grows, these negative traits and competitiveness seems to be growing ever bigger too.

I hope it's just a blip, and the small pockets where these things seem to be rife soon burn themselves out, and we start to remember we are friends, we are women, we are 'cyber-colleagues' if you will. Not competitors or enemies.



42 comments :

  1. I absolutely love this post. You speak so many truths, and I'm so grateful for bloggers like you who aren't afraid to put it out there. The blogging industry is so fickle, and there seem to be so many rules we should follow, yet I've experienced myself that not every tip and trick works for everyone. Personally, establishing myself as a brand didn't work. What people eventually came to my blog for was to read about my own personal experiences, and that's the content they wanted- not another "how to do winged eyeliner" post. Its fascinating how social networking and blogging have transitioned into a business, anybody can market themselves these days, but we see so many people losing themselves in their "brand" that I don't think they even know who they are anymore. I'm so glad you wrote this blog, if there's one thing I can say about you it's that no matter what opportunities have come your way that you've remained authentic, and that's what it's really all about. xo

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    Replies
    1. This is so wonderful to hear, I cannot thank you enough as this is exactly what I hope to/dream to achieve! I'm sick and tired of seeing these unrealistic people that have lives that just seem so unobtainable - we're not fiction characters! We're human beings! But then again, each to their own and if they want to do that then fair enough haha. I just like being realistic and a bit cynical, a whistleblower on bullshit if you will ha x

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  2. I agree with everything here so much.

    To be honest, I just like blogging, and if anyone wants to read what I write, then so be it!
    I don't want to get caught up in all that hype, I have enough trouble trying to decide how I want my blog to look!

    Point 2 though, good lord I am wanting to shout from the rooftops how much I agree with this.
    People assume just because they do something for a couple of minutes that they are an expert at it, and they aren't.

    http://www.megsiobhan.co.vu/

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    Replies
    1. Haha yessss, it gets me so bad, people offering advice when they don't know what the hell they're on about either really gets me haha x

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  3. Loved this blog post! So much truth and raw honesty and I completely agree with all 5 points! What happened to freedom of speech, or more so freedom of script. Fantastic!

    penneystoprada.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. So so true, but the thing is, it's mostly self-imposed. People are self-censoring because they want to retain this image of non-controversial banality which brands are interested in. Tbh I'd rather be controversial and have the freedom to say what I really think! x

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  4. Great post. When blogging feels like something you HAVE to do rather than fun, it's no longer a good thing. Keeping it real and something that makes you happy is the way to go. Thanks for being honest!

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    Replies
    1. It's a pleasure and thank you so much for reading x

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  5. Thank you for writing this. It is often painfully apparent when bloggers aren't writing for their own enjoyment, but for the purpose of gaining an audience and gaining a paycheck. I follow many bloggers who do this occasionally and I often just have to scroll by their posts without giving them a second look. I'm glad someone spoke up about it.

    Riley
    http://fiveleveninety.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. As I said, it is super tricky because if bloggers want to make their blogs their career (which I do) then there have to be times where they will have to do things for the money, which I know I will at some point. I just know that I would never ever blog about something I didn't believe in or didn't personally like, that will always come first before any kind of reimbursement! x

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  6. Brilliant post, I found all 5 points both interesting to read and helpful to myself as a new blogger, but especially the point regarding events and the cliques. I've recently been invited to my first ever blogger event and I am so excited, however I'm also really nervous as well as I don't know what to expect and I know I don't have the huge follower base or reputation that a lot of the people there will have. I feel like I'm about to take a huge step into the unknown, but reading these pointers has helped me know how definitely not to behave! xo

    Lucy-J Loves | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd honestly say overall that most blogging events I've been to have been wonderful, and people are often really down to earth and more than up for a chat - it's usually the shyness that's get to ya and you feel nervous about going up and speaking to someone you've followed for a while! I'd say keep an open mind and just treat every single person in the room as just a normal average stranger, regardless of how many cyber fans you know they have x

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  7. Thank you so much for writing this post! It is so true and on point.. Those little reminders you have for yourself are great and I've written them down in my little notebook. It really is quite overwhelming this bloging world which I have only recently entered and sometime I feel super lost. Its nice to get some perspective.

    <3
    Yara

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    Replies
    1. Ahhh that's bloody lovely to hear, I'm glad you liked this post! I would never say 'this is what you should do as a blogger' but I just think the're really important basic principles to remember as any kind of creator! Thanks for reading x

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  8. All so true Katie. The problem lies with the many people who don't want to show any honesty on their blog and believe that there shouldn't be anything negative within blogging. The problem is that just isn't true to life, and it creates this unattainable vision for people that can't separate real life from idealisation! The last time I brought this up amongst bloggers someone turned round and said I was attacking bloggers and blogging on the whole and she was annoyed as she felt I was putting negativity on something she is passionate about. That was such a narrow minded comment, and it makes me angry! I am passionate about my blog, but because I show the down side to things does that make me less passionate about blogging than someone who only blogs about cute and fluffy?

    www.michellelouiselove.com

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    Replies
    1. Ahh see that would make me so angry! So narrow-minded, I definitely would've lost my temper. I think for a lot of us, having a blog is a way to convince other people that we have the live we wish we did, when it's very different from reality. Which personally I think is dangerous, and it breeds all kind of positive-negativity like envy and jealousy, when that's just unnecessary, and ultimate, untrue! But then again, each to their own, I just know it pisses me off haha x

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  9. Preach babe! The blogging world has become to competitive lately and so many people eagerly saying positive things they don't believe in just so people like them.

    I posted up an opinion piece on my blog yesterday that already lost me followers but... it's my space and what I believe in haha!

    Great and honest post!

    Vicky xx
    Lots of Love, Me.

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    Replies
    1. It's a sad world when being honest, true and not being scared to speak up is in the minority huh? I say screw the norms, do what the hell you wanna do and sing it from the rooftops proudly! That's what I do and it seems to work aha x

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  10. I think this is probably one of the most brilliant posts I've seen in my short space of blogging. I've met at least one of all of these types of people that you've met and already have noticed trends and social groups on the internet who's intentions are merely to make a bit of money rather than to do something that they love.

    However the only thing that gets me with this is that last line or two:

    "start to remember we are friends, we are women, we are 'cyber-colleagues' if you will. Not competitors or enemies."

    There aren't just women who do this, although the 'blogosphere' is predominantly made up for women there are some males out there who share the same interests who shouldn't be excluded from this. Being a male blogger is a lot harder than what many people would assume, which can often lead to going through the wrong channels to find their success. I feel that's because of the amount of female bloggers seems to drown out the small pocket of male bloggers out there.

    There doesn't have to be competition between the two just a bit of differentiation. I think that if more people spent time focusing on blogs that they might not have usually looked at, the 'blogosphere' might be a more friendly place.

    Just my thoughts, you might not agree :)

    Matty x
    http://theunknownbrothers.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. Goodness yes! puh-reach! i also hated, I don't know if I'm the only one who felt this way, that my blog was literally useless and pointless because I wasn't doing beauty, fashion, DIY related things. Maybe that's only me, did you ever feel that way?

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  12. I've only been blogging for a short space of time, simply because I wanted an opportunity to write and be creative. In reality I have been a little disappointed at how competitive, hypocritical, preachy and often down right bitchy the blogging community can be...

    Can we all just agree to make it a nicer environment for everyone!?

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  13. loved this post!

    http://wiltedxfaded.blogspot.co.uk/

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  14. Mediocrity invents the rules and makes mascots of fools.

    Only 7 days into September and Autumn 2014 has something to say. Some "Fall".

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  15. Great post! I've often turned work away when it isn't right for me or my blog. I've also written negative reviews when I've felt it needed it!

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  16. I really enjoyed this post.

    I totally relate to this: "I hate the way we are encouraged to 'think of ourselves as a brand'." People are taking the fun out of blogging; not everyone considers blogging "serious"; not everyone wants to make money from their blog.

    I own an online business and I find it ridiculous people think their blog is their business and they have to "brand themselves." It's kind of silly and in a few years I hope a few people look back and think, "what was I doing??"

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  17. I really enjoyed reading this post - I think it's fine to think of yourself as a brand if this is a full time job for you - I suppose you have to do what you have to do to make something work as a living. But all too many times I've encountered that blogging is treated far too seriously than what it actually is, which is for the majority of people, a hobby. Playing an instrument and gardening are hobbies, doesn't mean you should expect people to give you a record deal or have a bitch about other people's courgettes.

    Saskia / girlinbrogues.com

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  18. I really enjoyed this post. I am not a fashion blogger or beauty blogger - I blog for me and I only write about what I love. Sure, sometimes I'd love more followers but for me, they really are just an added bonus. If people don't like what I write, then that's ok because they don't have to read it. I always hope that I can just blog for me rather than something that is false x

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  19. Love this post so much. I do, really struggle with these things as well. The whole 'think of yourself as a brand' really confuses me at times!

    poundingyounghearts.blogspot.com

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  20. Great post, I have been blogging for four years and its good to remind yourself that your worth isn't just the stats. Truly love what you write and you can't go wrong

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  21. I only stumbled across your blog by chance today, and I am so glad that I did. This post is just awesome and I have already fallen in love with your writing style. Looking forward to future posts. xxx

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  22. Very interesting post. It is shocking how competitive and fake blogging gets but as some people's main aim is to make a career out of it I can see how it happens. Unfortunately I don't think that'll change but there are a lot of people that just do it purely for the fun of it x

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  23. Another fantastic post & really great to see that I am not the only one who gets annoyed with some of the ways some bloggers behave!

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  24. This, this, THIS and #WERK - tired of the school yard mentality, the bullying behind the anonymity that the internet affords people and the step over everyone mindset. None of us lead the same lives, like the same things or have the same perspective, there truly is enough room for EVERYONE. It's sad how 'nice' and 'authentic' is actually *rare* now.

    I stumbled upon this post and your blog via a RT on twitter, I am so glad I found you! :-)

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

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  25. This was so nice to stumble upon instead of the "Advice for bloggers" posts that are flooding the world. There is too much advice, especially from people who probably are in no position to really give advice. I find your honesty refreshing and I luuuurve. Well done you.

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