This weekend I did the usual Saturday morning ritual. I woke up late, poked my nose above the covers to check the weather through the window (rain, again), then snuggled back down again to scroll through all the morning’s notifications on my phone. Amongst the usual tweets and throwback statuses, from the days when I actually used to update my Facebook profile, was a notification from Timehop telling me it was six years ago exactly that I started this blog. It got me thinking about this whole blogging and social media thing, and an aptly timed delivery from Cheerz of some new Instagram prints reminded me just how much blogging has changed the course of my life. Not to be dramatic or anything… y’know.
Six years is a long time when it comes to blogging. So many blogs have come and gone in that time – from superstars of the early days who disappeared virtually overnight, to old online friends who slowly let their blogs slide away as real, adult life took over. I don’t often think about it, but I’m actually quite proud of this blog and everything I have achieved through it over the last six years. Although I have grown up a lot in that time and things have changed and improved, it’s still essentially the same blog I started back then as a fresh faced 19 year old.
Blogging is so, so different to how it was back then. It was a secret, something the “real world” didn’t understand. It was strangely special and sacred, even though the vast majority of blog posts were about nothing more than a new dress from Topshop or your favourite way to wear your hair. Events and freebies weren’t even a consideration, and for “bloggers” and “press” to be uttered in the same sentence was unheard of. In many ways, it was much simpler back then: everyone wrote about the things they liked or the things they bought and we all created a little community around this where friendships were forged and bonds were built.
Although I still love blogging, sometimes I do get a little bit disillusioned with how competitive it is now. No one seems to be okay with being a “hobby blogger”. What’s so wrong with that? Do it because you love writing. Do it because you love taking photos. Do it because you love making memories and friends and posts that you’re proud of. Don’t do it just for the freebies, or to go to events to “network” and force yourself to talk to people you don’t have anything in common with. It’s okay to separate yourself from blogging. You are more than your blog; see yourself as “a person who has a blog” not just “a blogger”. Not everything you do has to be a photo opportunity. Not all friendships you make have to be for the sole purpose of promoting your blog. Take a step back and just enjoy your blog for what it is – your personal online journal.
I’m so happy that my blog has grown with me and now it’s full of so many memories and little pieces of my life that would have otherwise been forgotten. It has brought me a new freelance career, countless close friendships, exciting opportunities, and plenty of little perks like free dinners or new products to review. One such perk was the beautiful little box of Polaroid 3000 prints from Cheerz which arrived through my letterbox the other day. Cheerz (who you might remember from my DIY Instagram Garland post) have teamed up with iconic brand Polaroid to create a range of classic prints which use your own Instagram photos to create modern-retro prints. They look and feel exactly like old Polaroid prints, with slightly textured surrounds and nice thick, glossy paper. I absolutely love these, and it’s so nice to have a tangible version of some of the memories I’ve been storing up on my blog and Instagram for years – unforgettable holidays, favourite friendships, relationship milestones, pictures of puppies (of course). The wonderful things I have done and seen and achieved over the last six years are now immortalised in print, and it will put a smile on my face every time I glance at my Cheerz prints and think about how different my life might have been if I had never started this blog.
Use code GILMC3 to get £4 off your first order at Cheerz. Yay!