You write up your post, add a few photos, do all your checks and finally click publish. Your post wooshes off into the digital atmosphere and that’s it. Your little piece of writing is out there for anybody to digest and have their opinion on.
However, on a blogger’s end, other than stats and the odd comment, you don’t necessarily see any direct impact from your writing. For me, it is like writing a public diary. I don’t really expect it to get read by people most of the time and nor do I expect it to affect them in any way.
What you don’t get told about when you start blogging is how, in reality, people you never expect to interact and read your posts will. I definitely got “the fear” when it came to publicising my blog on my previously private platforms. It wasn’t until I was over a year in and my engagement had suffered from going self-hosted that I took the plunge and began mentioning posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Honestly, I was nervous about people outside of the blogging world mocking me for what I do. I know I know, I really shouldn’t care, but these were the people that I grew up and went to school with, and, like most other school kids, they had no qualms about taking the piss out of each other. The whole slightly bitchy playground scenario. I have no problem with anybody I grew up with. At all. But I had definitely seen similar reactions when we were younger and I didn’t want to be next. This is why I eased myself into promoting what I had written and didn’t expect much in return.
What I never believed would happen has slowly happened. I never thought that people I worked with, my friends even from my primary school and family friends would take the time to engage with what I had written and even take the time to comment back to me. I presumed when I did a cheery little post on social media that the odd blogger might hop on over but never someone I worked with over 4 years ago or a friend from 5 years ago, at that. I never thought what I would be saying would be of any interest. Over time, I have been overwhelmed to get a message from someone here and there that what I was saying was really interesting, they really enjoyed it and even the odd one saying it was inspiring. I actually both cringe at myself and light up saying the latter half of that sentence. There is no way on earth I would ever associate myself with such a characteristic… but I’ll take it and run, thank ya!
There is nothing quite like the joy of knowing that a friend has sat and read through my Ultimate Gift Guide For Her to find out what to buy his partner, or that family have read about my Wine Tasting Experience. Something about it makes me so eternally grateful and happy.
So what I am saying is, have faith in yourself. Trust that people will enjoy what you can do and there is no shame in saying it. I encourage everyone to write and when I have been asked to give advice it is generally to just go for it. Like me, you’ll probably be utterly surprised by who takes an interest and it means the absolute world to see something you have created go down well with others.
To the people who have ever sent me a little DM on Instagram, messaged me on Facebook or spoken to me in person: I cannot even thank you enough for how it makes me feel. You might not know but this blog was started to escape a debilitating and all-consuming mental health diagnosis and the little compliments have helped so much in overcoming some of the hardest points in my life. It is impossible to explain how much it means to someone who writes a blog post to hear some encouragement and I cannot stress enough how amazing it is for people to go out of their way to drop a little message to do just that. Thank you to everyone who has ever messaged me or another blogger to say something nice. And hey, it doesn’t need to be a blogger. Anybody on social media or in person. Are they wearing a cute dress in their photo and look fab? Tell them! If they’re trying something on in Zara and you think it looks hella fine. Tell them! Kindness makes the world go round.