New blog theme, who ‘dis?
For anyone who’s visited my blog before, you’ll probably have noticed that it looks quite different (to any first-time readers – welcome!). There’s the new theme, fonts and colour scheme, plus the very chic featured content slider at the top. The changes to my blog go a lot deeper than just the visuals, though. If you look closely you’ll see that about 75% of my blog posts are gone, and there’s a very good reason for that.
Over the last year or so, and particularly the last five or six months, I’ve had a rather rocky attitude towards my blog. I was publishing content that I wasn’t always proud of and found myself increasingly glued to the stats page, tracking every visit to my blog and despairing when a post only got a handful of views. That’s not a healthy way to live and it’s the main reason I haven’t posted anything in over four months.
When I first started my blog I did it mostly for my own enjoyment. I love writing but the job I was in at the time didn’t give me the outlet to write in my own voice and on topics that interested me. In the back of my mind though, I secretly hoped it would take off and I could turn it in to at least a profitable side hustle if not a full time job. I started writing things I thought people would want to read, rather than what I wanted to write. I wanted everyone to love my content and in the process my content became bland and predictable and lost what made it truly unique – my voice and my experiences.
After a lot of thinking over the last few months, I’ve decided it’s time for a shift in my attitude and in the direction of this blog. About a month ago I wrote myself this note:
Stop trying to write things that I think are clever and cool and will be picked up by other publications and liked by people the world over. Stop doing listicles no one cares about (things you didn’t know you could get home delivered, podcasts to make your commute better). It’s too generic and done by everyone else ever.
Instead, start making it slightly more personal – write more about things that are happening in my life. Not in a live journal kind of way, but more just using my life for content inspiration.
Stop writing as the person I want to be (‘No I haven’t really listened to that podcast but I could have, no one will know’). Anyone can write a round up of podcasts but I’m the only one who can write about my life and the podcasts I actually like and enjoy.
So that’s what I’m going to do. Unpublishing the vast majority of the last two years’ worth of content was not easy. There were some dud posts in there but there were also many that I think are entertaining and really well-written. But when I look back at them now I remember what I was thinking at the time I wrote them: “This is so clever and funny, people are definitely going to like this one.” When I looked back over a lot of that content, I felt like a fraud. Instead of using it as an opportunity to create content just for the enjoyment of it and to express my unique voice, I was writing for the masses. I was hoping to see spikes in my blog hits and endless thumbs up on my Facebook posts. And when that didn’t come, it was crushing. That’s why most of that content had to go.
This blog exists because I love to write. If people read what I write that’s a bonus, and if they enjoy it that’s the cherry on top. But this little blog is now purely for my enjoyment. I’m so excited to get back into it and start writing again. I want this to be a project I can feel proud of and a place where I can write as myself, for myself.