An unfortunate thing happened yesterday. Steph had an e-mail from me about fashion bloggers, specifically mentioning some of my thoughts on Delightfully Tacky, a VERY popular blogger. Steph had saved the e-mail in order to write a post quoting one part of my e-mail. In error, blogger posted my e-mail, verbatim, with no words from Steph. Unfortunately, due to the vitriol in my e-mail, some of Steph's readers responded very negatively, even e-mailing her equally mean and hurtful words. Though the post has been deleted, it's probably cached forever anyway. Steph wrote an explanatory post where she was VERY diplomatic and didn't call me the total bitch that I am. She reflected on her own views about blogging and her personal struggles. It's a very good post.
Steph said, about blogging : "It's unfortunate that I've never really had the time or energy to give this blog my entire heart and soul; I kinda just squeeze it in whenever and wherever I can, and it ends up on the back burner."
I think this is the most telling of all she writes in the post. When I read that, it really made me think, "Yeah, you shouldn't be blogging. Just let it go." This is kind of my advice to her : If you don't love it, don't do it. I don't think the bloggers who make their living at it started in order to make money. At least, not the fashion and lifestyle bloggers. I think most popular fashion and lifestyle blogs grew from a natural love to share and to write and became a job and an obligation later. But Steph, I think, sort of jumped into both. I know she loves to write, so maybe she started the blog because of that, but it's telling to me that she said, "I've been thinking about quitting blogging, well, pretty much since I started blogging."
This is my second time around in the world of writing online. At first, I had a diaryland diary, and I was popular. If people monetized their blogs back then, I would be a professional blogger now. Back then, diaries were not image heavy, because you had to find a place to pay for image hosting. Back then, a lot of people online wrote just to write. They didn't need to serve an audience and pepper posts with pictures and worry about exciting content. The content was thoughts and emotions and life, and people really grew to love the person behind the blog, because there was no branding. Back then, I wrote out my emotions, in order to help me stabilize them and fit in better in the world. I was well-known and loved. I had a group writing blog that was very popular. But eventually, the world changed and everyone moved on, and I stopped writing.
I began this blog again (and then deleted it and started again) because I LOVED writing online. There's something about an online diary that translates far better for me than a paper diary ever did...which is why my paper diaries never lasted. When I began the blog again, I had hoped to become at least marginally popular. I had to reformat my blog to keep up with the times, and I didn't really like it. I still break the "rules" from time to time. I deleted my blog, read a ton of how-to posts on blogging, and came back in a different manner. And no, I'm not even remotely popular. The lack of comments completely shows my lack of popularity. But I do this because I LOVE IT!!
I LOVE blogging, and I LOVE writing, and I really, really, really love photographing everything I do. I am not embarrassed at photographing my food. I have no issues being in public to get a good photo of my outfit. I don't mind taking extra time geocaching because I photograph EVERY ONE. I don't always have the time for this crazy 365 thing that I'm doing and I backlog posts...but I'm doing it BECAUSE I LOVE BLOGGING and I want to find the topics about which I enjoy writing and the best way to do that. I don't feel the need to "unplug," and I actually hate when people talk about doing that. Documenting my life is an integral part of living my life. I find it insulting when people make fun of blogging and talking about DOING instead of DOCUMENTING, because I do while I document, and I love it.
Which is why I think Steph should stop blogging. If it's not fun, then it's not worth it.
Look, the internet is entertainment. It just is. It's become about information as well, but mainly as entertainment. Sure, you can get your newspaper via the internet, but that's entertainment. The facebook and the hulu and the fox news and whatever...even Wikipedia...it's all entertainment. Information is secondary to this ginormous, time sucking, web of entertainment we've created. So blogging should be fun. Reading and writing should be fun, and life should be enjoyable on every level, so if it isn't, stop doing it.
I'm sad that my friend had to receive hate mail due to my words. I wanted to copy and paste the nasty things I said, but I can't find the cached page any longer. Basically, I just said I visited Delightfully Tacky on a whim and I was tired of seeing the same old crap. I said I wanted to punch her in the face because she just wrote about the same things over and over and over.
I think that's the nastiest bit. It's true, branded bloggers piss me off. But you know, she makes over $400 a month from sponsors alone, and she's wildly popular, so maybe that's ok with her. There are other bloggers, Little Chief Honeybee, and The Dainty Squid, to name my two other least favorite blogs who I feel are more about the brand than the person. I don't read them anymore, because reading them also makes me want to punch them in the face.
Creating a brand, posting specific content to please your readers, going on and on about the same things, creating a fantasy land of ALWAYS being happy and never being even remotely realistic...none of it interests me. I hate posts about "things I love" that just end up being shopping lists. I hate the idea of "wardrobe remixing" because it just smacks of privilege and consumerism. I hate labeling DIYs and recipes as "quick and easy" when they probably aren't so for lots of people. There's a lot in the blogging world that I hate...and when I feel that way, I generally stop reading and I send Steph a nasty e-mail full of totally catty bitchiness and occasional vitriol.
I do this because she is an AMAZING friend who listens and doesn't treat me like I'm a total asshole for saying nasty things. So it's entirely unfair that she bore the brunt of my words, when it's her amazing friendship that allows me the freedom to say whatever I want. So if anyone comes here and finds this post and wants to write some hate mail, put it in the comments or e-mail me : fennablue(at)gmail(dot)com. I welcome your nasty words. But beware, I will give back as much as I get, because I'm just not very nice.