To blog or not to blog
So I am doing it. I am starting a bloody blog.
I’ve been uhming and ahing over it for at least six months, boring friends with my rambles on Facebook messenger, agonising over a name, wondering whether it should be anonymous and conducting endless ‘research’.
This research consisted mainly of scrolling through uber successful bloggers Emma Gannon and Pandora Sykes’s websites and kicking myself for not taking it up years ago as if I had, who knows, perhaps I’d have a book deal or be Wardrobe Mistress at the Sunday Times by now.
Successful blogging is all about having ‘a niche’, my techie friends told me. Cue a lot of time spent wondering if food was my thing (I think not), fashion (too expensive), travel (I wish), books (a bit boring) and so on.
I came with dismay to the frankly heartbreaking conclusion that I have no one overriding, all-consuming interest and therefore, sob, no niche.
Which is where ‘girl without a niche’ comes in. Perhaps it’s time to embrace my nicheless state. And maybe, just maybe, writing about the random things that catch my interest week-to-week will, in time, reveal what the hell my niche is.
But I still hesitated. In part because - well, were blogs still a thing? I only read a couple myself. Are the days of blogging over? Is it all about Instagram accounts with beautiful homogeneous pictures and thousands of followers or youtubers who try on makeup, cook recipes, offer their thoughts on books? Should I, as one pal suggested, bin the idea of my own site altogether and just publish on Medium - although I am a little foggy on just what Medium actually is?
But I’m a words person. Always have been and fear always will be. Pictures have never excited me as much as a well crafted sentence does. And I came to realise that I wanted a little patch of the internet where I could do my thing, put down my words and yes, some pictures, but mostly words.
I still hesitated and here’s where we come to the crux of the matter: there’s something icky about blogging.
The thought of writing about myself makes me cringe. One of the great things about reporting is you can hide behind the facts: the who, what, when, where, how. But writing about yourself is messier, more revealing, and laden with potential embarrassment.
You’re putting yourself out there and on the internet, a place not renowned for its kindness. Even writing this has been a shuddery ordeal.
There’s also the quiet voice that asks: what do you know? why would anyone care what you write?
Perhaps I shouldn’t listen to this voice but I don’t have a choice: she’s in my ear.
And it’s this which made me delay for so long: fear and a very English instinct for possible humiliation. No one wants to be the person at the table oversharing. And I certainly don’t want to be the girl on the internet oversharing.
But I am going to try to push this fear aside. I’m going to try - gulp - to be brave. Because life is short and if it doesn’t work, fuck it. If it does, great. Either way I hope I learn something along the way and maybe, just maybe, stumble upon that long elusive ‘niche’.