Those that know me well know I’ve been on and off blogging for years. I’ve been dabbling with blogging by writing for charities, contributing to collaborative blogs and I’ve had at least three different incarnations of a personal blog like this over the years (that may or may not still exist somewhere on the internet).
But each and every time I’ve eventually quit.
That’s not to say I am a quitter. Quitting blogging has nothing to do with apathy, laziness or a lack of motivation. There are two main reasons why:
- An over focus on my future
This reason was a hard one to define. Whilst at University, somewhere between the realities of crushing debt and the knowledge that the graduate market is incredible competitive, I developed an attitude that has (until late) led me to disregard anything I deemed ‘Un-CV-worthy’. This isn’t to say I spent my time locked away in the library, in fact I did the opposite. But it has meant nearly everything (except eating, exercising and the occasional stress baking) has been something that is in some way aiding me, through learning a new skill or earning money. But what was perhaps most damaging was that what sustained me through my hectic schedules and stressful periods was the knowledge that I was making myself more employable. I had inadvertently become obsessed with the pursuit of employability, despite only being in the middle of my second year at University. Overall it led me to waste far too many hours worrying about my job prospects, the lack of a linked in account, and lack of clarity about what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t healthy, and needless to say I’ve begun to learn the skill of scaling back! Overall it meant I stopped making time for things that were just fun, like blogging or reading a book that wasn’t for my course or educational. That’s to say that I never stopped having things to say, I just stopped making time to say them. These “passion projects” dropped off my list of priorities, and I would chastise myself every time I considered giving up my evening just to read or paint. Recently I’ve been reminded of the importance of ‘passion projects’ like a blog, because you never know what opportunities they could bring you, the skills they could develop in you or the doors they can open up. Hannah Whitton, a fellow UOB Student (now alumni) and Vlogger/Blogger mentioned this in a blog post you can read here (HannahWhitton.com ). It’s taken a while but I finally decided that if writing is something I love (and I’m hopefully not too bad at) I should invest in it…even if there are no immediate benefits to my job prospects because of it!
- I cared too much about what people thought
This is mostly likely the more relatable reason of the two. I was reluctant to ever share my blog (if you’re reading this hopefully I’ve got over it!) but putting your ideas and opinions out on the internet, however narcissistic it may be it’s clearly for the purpose of other people reading them, yet I wasn’t even prepared to share my own blog. This was in part because every time I considered making my blog a more serious commitment I was immediately paralysed with “what if” thoughts… ”What if so and so saw that post” or “what if people think this is silly or I’m arrogant to have a blog” which would all spiral into the classic view of “who really cares what I have to say anyway”. All stemming from a fear that people, friends or strangers would judge or mock me for blogging. Nothing gets to me more than people ‘taking the mick’ of other people for needless reasons, because intentionally or not it drags the other person down. Nowadays I think this is all too quickly labelled as “sensitivity’ the person told to calm down because it’s ‘just banter!’. I don’t agree. Mocking people for their passions, whether that be blogging, vlogging or whatever you’re interested in that week, if you mock someone it implies you don’t value what they have to say and reinforces their idea that they don’t have the right to say something or enjoy something. In conclusion; don’t let what other people think hold you back from doing or participating in something you love, and if you’re someone who perhaps takes the mick out of people then maybe next time stop and think about how that makes the other person feel and what affect you’re having on them. Let’s be people who encourage each other’s passions whatever they might be!
What would you do if you weren’t held back from fear of judgement… or had more free time to invest?