Furrowing away behind our keyboards and obscuring ourselves behind our camera lenses is rife in the blogging community. We remain encapsulated in the social media-ing, late-night typing sprees and constant sharing-bubble of the bloggosphere, rarely venturing outside into the open.
It's this shielded mind-set that often leads us bloggers to conceal our blogs from our friends and family. It remains innate, and, despite the countless 'there's nothing to be ashamed of - your blog is great' tweets, announcing our little hideaway to the world appears to be one of the most daunting obstacles you must overcome.
Two words: "I blog". They get caught in your throat like doughy bread on a sticky hot summers day with no water. Instead, they're delivered as a raspy 'ah-eh' sound that is returned with a slightly quizzical look, just as the moment passes.
We consume ourselves with our blog and it becomes such a hefty component of our daily life that we feel it is our own little secret; a thing we have worked so hard on, revealing those two words will make our secluded slice of the internet vulnerable and open to detrimental criticism. We have the innate need to protect our blog with the same animalistic instinct that a mother has over their child.
So how do we approach this very much-delayed task?
Personally, I have a very open relationship with both of my parents and hence spilling the 'blog beans' to them wasn't a great deal. It was more of a 'oh yeah Mum I started this thing on the internet called a blog yesterday where you write about beauty and stuff' with the retort of 'ah okay then, just make sure its safe and you're not talking to strangers, but I trust you not to do anything stupid'. Telling my dad did not prove dissimilar, alas, as his 'baby girl' I did hear a tad more waffle on the 'careful on the internet - you don't know who everybody is' side.
Despite the easy-going nature of releasing my blog to my parents back in a splintering hot day in August, telling my friends proved a much greater obstacle. For just over three months, my blog remained hidden from any intruders originating from the non-internet world. I didn't have the twitter app on my phone; bloglovin became an 'oh its just a blog reading app' to my friends and evenings and weekends were spent incognito behind my laptop and camera screen. But slowly, as my blog began to ascend the blogging ranks and bloglovin' up and coming lists, I realised that I shouldn't be hiding it. What did I have to be ashamed about? At least I wasn't pouring out my love life in shameful Facebook statuses as were (and are) the rest of my fellow peers. This idea that writing about beauty accumulated a vain depiction of myself seemed like a constant burden. I felt like my writing was overly-clichéd, embarrassing and opened up an insight that few have granted a key too. Then I suppose it dawned on me. If I am freely granting access to that 'key' to absolute strangers-those who stumble across my URL-then surely those closest to me should be the ones to turn to first and foremost. If all else, those minority are the ones who I would surround myself with if the internet rewound back to the 70s whereby it was safely out of my grasp.
And so forth, I uttered those heavily guarded words for the first time outside of my home. Gradually, that 'one time' turned to two, then three, then four. I took pigeon steps, but that was all that was needed to steer me in the right direction with a constant vial of encouragement. Each supportive comment egged me on. As it turns out, writing rambles in abundance on a random piece of the internet is not as embarrassing or shameful as you might think. That's not to say I shouted it from the rooftops and hung up posters around my school. I still uttered those heavily guarded words amidst sleepover-secret-spilling-sessions, in the whimsical hush of the school field and at the cloistered seats at the back of class.
Those 3 up there in the Polaroid (insert virtual round of applause for my intermediate scanning skills) are my three best friends. (From left to right; Holly, Betsy (Liz), (moi sincerely) and Izzy). I told the three of them on the 24th of November last year. That's 3 months and 13 days of obscurity. In retrospect, it was incredibly silly of me to hide it from them. In spite of the 'you can't change the past' kind of attitude I've adopted, I regret not 'spilling the beans' earlier. To receive a 'I love your new post' text honestly makes my day, and, if you'll forgive me for turning into a soppy mess here, I don't think my blog would still exist if it were not for the support of these three.
Since then, I've gone under the eyes of the critical natured; I've been double crossed by a good friend and various teachers have had a nose at my blog. I'm not saying that it's going to be easy. It's not. Although it may seem exciting, it will be far from relaxing or stress-free. Telling people about my blog only heightened my self-consciousness- I was, and am, constantly putting myself under a fragile force field established by support. This necessary 'shield' is constantly put under strain-and could shatter with one nasty comment in correlation to the hundreds of nice comments. It's horrible to think that the slightest unpleasant whisper could spread around the school faster than a change in Chinese whispers.
Despite the rather abhorrent image I may have illustrated, don't be swayed onto the fence. Telling people about my blog is one of the best things that I've done in a long time. I no longer feel an acidic foreshadowing when my blog gets mentioned. I've learnt to embrace it. Here are my brief top tips for breaking out of the blog bubble:
- Don't tell everybody all at once - be patient and don't become overwhelmed
- Ensure you're in a trusted environment
- Avoid telling people over social media
- Ease it into a conversation (i.e. a game of truth/dares)
If you have a personal situation and fancy a few more tips or just a general perking-up chat, then I'm always just a tweet or email away (@laurynsnotebook / firstname.lastname@example.org).
Have a lovely week! I have the Company Magazine Awards TOMORROW (ahhhh) which is more than exciting!! My new business cards arrived yesterday (ahhh no.2), which I'll be deploying both my parents with around the event (here's to both parents +1'ing me). I'll be posting a fair lot on social media (prime culprit: Twitter) so if you fancy running updates on the night you know where to head to!
Have a lovely week!
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