I’ve sat down and written the first few lines of this post several times, only to repeatedly delete them and start again. For some reason, I’ve found it hard to find the words to express myself and have decided that it’s easiest if I start from the beginning and with the utmost honesty.
When I first started this blog I always had a potential audience at the back of my mind. I was trying to produce content that I thought people would want to read. As I rapidly approached graduation I began to feel an overwhelming feeling of dread combined with a realisation that I had, and still have, absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. As an escape and also a wishful solution I decided to start a blog. Blogging was supposed to be a way for me to indulge in my genuine love of writing but it had also become a slither of hope that perhaps I could pursue this creative outlet and turn it into a career. I did quite a lot of research, perhaps unsurprisingly so many of the articles that I read placed an enormous emphasis on the importance of a finding a niche, writing for your audience and building a following fast. The overall goal it seemed from all these articles was to gain money from blogging, a possibility that was extremely appealing for a soon to be graduate without any career direction.
I’m not going to lie, I enjoy writing and if I could make money from doing something that brings me happiness then that would be a dream come true. But starting out with an intention to make money blogging was where I went drastically wrong. Although I love visiting cafes and restaurants and writing reviews is actually something I find deeply cathartic I also found myself cutting a lot of my content before it even made it to paper because I had decided in my own head that it was too personal and that this wasn’t what people wanted to read. Whilst doing this I was also cutting out a huge part of my personality, becoming a sort of ghost behind the keyboard in an attempt to please an invisible audience of my own creating.
Sitting in bed last night I had this sort of revelation that I should care less about the opinions of a non-existent following and write what I want to write. I compose some of my best blog posts in the shower, I narrate them in my own head, they’re deep and meaningful and never make it even to paper because they don’t conform to the boundaries that I have created for myself. My perfectionist personality and fear of failure were once again limiting me, even in the escapism of the online world. What had started out as an opportunity for me to indulge in something that I truly enjoy had once again become a nagging fear of the people who may potentially be reading me.
This all ends here. I want my blog to be an extension of me, the real me, not the me that I think people would like to read. From here on out, I will be blogging about the things that I want to say, be that a few lines on somewhere I’ve eaten, how I’m feeling or what I’m wearing. I won’t have a “niche” because my personality doesn’t have a niche. I will stop worrying about if people want to read all about my current existential dread or my new found love for mash potato and I’ll write it regardless. Because the name on this blog is Sophia Whitham and from here on out you will be taken on a walk in my world. The real world.
See you when my muse awakens (normally in the shower)