I feel like I've been blogging forever. In fact, I have been blogging forever. I was one of those annoying people on Myspace who wrote bulletins and blogs. I had a Tumblr where I amassed a stupid amount of followers. A LiveJournal. Countless recreations of this blog right now, where I've been posting and "relaunching" since 2008. None of the blogs has ever "taken off" (I hate saying that, keep with me). That's been totally okay, I've blogged for me. At the very least, the blog posts were always a good way of storing photos and memories - especially as I always had an incredible talent for breaking whichever laptop I used, which was great as I also had a habit of never backing anything up.
I stopped blogging for a long time from around 2013 onwards. I'd just moved home from living in the Netherlands and I was unemployed. I wasn't doing anything, apart from schlepping from one job interview to the next, with the added joy of heading off to the job centre. When I first moved to London, I just couldn't find the time to blog. Then I worked on the general election, which involved twelve-hour shifts, six days a week for around three months. I couldn't find time to sleep or eat let alone time to update a blog. And anyway, I wasn't doing a single thing worthy of blogging.
2016 came along, with a new job and a revitalised interest in blogging came with it. It started off enjoyable enough, but I could still never properly find the right amount of time to invest in my blog properly. I could upload photos, but I rushed the editing of them. I didn't know how to find my voice in posts. On one hand, I was scared of being too personal, on the other hand, I was scared of not being personal enough.
By this point in time, it's clear that the blogging world is pretty saturated in a way it never was when I started off. You had to have great visuals, exciting text, be amazing at social media and SEO. There are so many incredible creators out there, that by the end of 2016 I just thought, crap, is there even a place for me? Does anyone give a crap? I started to hate my blog. Algorithms and my inbuilt reluctance to engage with other people on social media unless I already know them meant I felt like I was trying to push mud up a hill.
And to some extent, I still hate my blog. I'm not overly happy with the content I've produced, even though I've loved sharing the places I've visited. At the start of the year, I just wanted to give up. And then from nowhere, I decided against that. Instead, I've decided to try harder. Yes, I know nothing about SEO and algorithms and whatever else, but I want to learn. I have the time to learn if I make time to learn, and even if I don't get it right, I'd be happier producing some better content. I've got a new theme for my blog which is already making me feel more content. I've looked into scheduling tools. It feels like a whole new game. I'm going to look into engaging more and following bloggers that I really enjoy reading. I cringe a little at the phrase "share the love" but actually, there's truth in it, it's worth doing.
And if my blog doesn't take off? That's okay. I'm never going to be a full-time blogger anyway, it's just not the life for me. But there's nothing wrong with giving this game my best shot, right?