Sunday, 26 October 2014

Authenticity


Halloween's not even here yet and already we're being bombarded by all things Christmas. For me, December will mean something else too: my blog will be celebrating it's second birthday. 

Two years of writing, planning, note-making, idea-jotting, photo-taking (and editing), friend-making, collaborating... All these things made me think about blogging and what I've learned thus far. 

Hence the quote. I don't generally go in for this type of psychobabble. I heard enough of it at work, in meetings ('Hit the ground running', 'blue-sky thinking' and all the rest of it - I could actually feel my teeth itching with irritation) but this idea here does actually mean something. Although I'd probably ditch the 'authenticity' with 'being true to yourself' or similar.

You see, what I've come to realise is that as a blogger you can only keep going, and keep enjoying it, if you do just that. Be yourself. Don't try to emulate all those beautiful blogs you see out there, or try to write about similar content, or write in the same kind of way. Don't try to fit in with certain 'circles'. You'll end up giving up.

I choose not to make Mitenska primarily about being a parent. It's not a food blog, or a 'lifestyle' blog (whatever that is). Looking back at my earliest posts makes me cringe. They weren't me. I was finding my way and that takes a little time. Tempting as it is to just go and delete them, I won't. Because part of doing this is about making the odd mistake and just being you. People will either like it or they won't.


Mitenska is a personal blog. I share areas of my life but at the same time choose not to get deeply personal. I talked honestly about my mum dying because she was - and always will be - a huge part of me and, subsequently, this space. But I don't detail every aspect of my grieving her. Similarly I don't rant on here each time Jay and I get annoyed with one another, or whenever my bank balance looks a bit worrying.

The biggest lesson over these past two years: be you. Not everyone will love you but that would be impossible anyway. 

So now I feel I'm here. I've found my style, what I love to write about, how I like to present it. Then again, I think I didn't really have to find that. It was already there and I decided to just say, 'sod it' and be (wince) authentic. I opened myself up to criticism and those people who may take a look at the blog and think 'No thanks' and never return. There will always be those people. That's life.

I've also made lots of new friends through blogging: people who do like this little space. So thank you to them and to the newcomers. And for those just starting out, two words: Be Brave.






22 comments:

  1. I love your blog Sarah and what you say is something I have learned too. Most of the time I just write for pleasure about things I want to record first and share second.
    You are a great writer. Congratulations on your blog's 2nd anniversary.
    Jacquie x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Comments like yours make it all worthwhile :)

      Delete
  2. I'm so glad you're yourself, yours is a favourite blog of mine, it's always a treat to read your posts. I think I'm still trying to find my way in blogging. Sometimes I think about things I could write about, and then I think that some readers won't be keen on what I'm talking about. I know I should just write it anyway. When I don't, I think I end of being bland and boring. I shall try and remember your wise words! CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks CJ. I enjoy your blog very much - your writing usually makes me laugh too (in a good way!). I must admit, I do sometimes worry about people finding Mitenska boring but I suppose if we keep our blogs as journals first and foremost and try not to be overly concerned about other's opinions, we'll be on the right track.
      S x

      Delete
  3. I think that being authentic/yourself is the best advice anyone could give a new blogger. It is quite hard to find your own voice when you start blogging because naturally you are very influenced by the blogs you admire as they are probably what prompted you to start your own blog. It's good when you finally feel happy in your own blog-skin as you clearly do Sarah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue.
      I think it's a matter of time until we hit our groove as it were. And if seeing my earlier posts helps others relate to that then I'm happy to leave them there!
      Interesting how I've evolved not just in terms of my writing but in the kind of blogs I enjoy reading, too.
      S

      Delete
  4. Be yourself; that's true. I like your honesty and the snippets (some small, some large) that you share. And I'm glad you feel you've found your voice, and that voice doesn't limit your readership to toddler Mums or Northern Lasses or.... well, just one small facet of you-ness, but is open to people who (like me) live a completely different 'lifestyle' but read your blog without needing to want your lifestyle, because that's not how you come across.
    I'm looking forward to the end of your second year and the start of your third. Authentically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you... and the thought of people wanting my lifestyle made me laugh! It's not at all glamorous or stylish but I like it and feel more or less satisfied with my lot which I suppose is all most of us could ask for.
      I'm glad you like reading Mitenska. It's a good feeling to know that people enjoy coming here :)

      Delete
  5. Truthful words, well written! I love this post and your blog. Just keep on being you. Bee xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Sarah,
    I recognise the growing into your blog aspect very well. I am naturally a process on the page person, and that will sometimes mean more personal information may spill onto it than maybe I intended. I'm okay with that now. Like you, I am not writing to please anyone else anymore, and that has been a very liberating process for someone that has to be very well behaved in real life ;)
    As for lifestyle blogs - they get right on my nerves!
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I'll never be trendy - and don't want to be either, so that's alright then...
      As for your blog: I really like your honesty and the way you talk about particular topics. I certainly wouldn't describe it as over-sharing; you're candid and that's a good thing. Sometimes blogging can be therapeutic.
      I'm glad you're at the same point as me and are writing as yourself.
      S x

      Delete
  7. I love your blog Sarah. It's one of the ones where I'm so pleased (and excited) when there's a new post! Looking forward to you sharing more of your days with us. xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very good advice. I've only been blogging a few months but right from the start I wanted it to be my blog and not try to do what everyone else does. If people like it that's good and if they don't then they can read other blogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Be yourself and you won't go far wrong. None of us will ever be everyone's cup of tea but that's what makes it so rewarding when we discover like-minded bloggers.

      Delete
  9. I think this is great advice. It's hard at first not to blog like the bloggers who influenced you in the first place, but I think it's the sign of an authentic and true writer when she can produce unique and interesting content that isn't like another blogger's. I have had the same growth process and it's ongoing. I'm glad you're blogging because I really enjoy what you share here. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer. And I agree - it is an ongoing process which becomes far easier (and even enjoyable) once you relax a bit and be yourself. It's an interesting and enlightening journey.

      Delete
  10. Hear, hear! Well said. I think the only way to blog long term and enjoy it is to be true to yourself, although I do kind of cringe when I write that. When I feel a blogging wobble I remember why I started blogging in the first place, and those connections and feelings come back. I love your blog, it's so unique. x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sarah, I cringe at my earlier posts and cringe again when someone I know says they have read a post, so I totally relate to what you are saying. In fact I cringe at my current Posts too! Sometimes I think I should start afresh but like you I feel I need to keep the history there because even though I don't really like some of my earlier stuff it is part of who I was at the time, it's all about keeping it real and all of that. I always enjoy popping over to your space, congrats on 2 years, that was a turning point for me too when I honed in on what I rely wanted from blogging...Mel x

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've only fairly recently found your blog Sarah but it always makes an enjoyable read which I believe is a sign of its authenticity. Sometimes on other blogs it feels like the wrier is trying to hard to present an image. I don't often return to those.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...