How I Feel About Blogging After My 1st Year of Having a Blog
I am back again today, fresh off my recently ended blogging hiatus that lasted a few months and officially ended a few days ago, reinvigorated and armed with loads of new material to write about and content to share with you all. I am sorry for disappearing yet again, but if you’ve been keeping up with me on Instagram at all, then you should know that I’ve been focusing really heavily on my streaming and AngelSpartaness [DANK] Gaming. I’ve also been keeping up on writing my books, which is great! Those are usually the first to fall to the wayside when work starts piling up, I know I’ve said as much in the past, and this time I’m proud of myself for really not forgetting about it.
I guess that paragraph truly is an effective opener for the topic at hand. This is long overdue by a couple of months, (AngelSpartaness Lifestyle’s first birthday was back in late April), but better late than never, right? That saying is almost as overused and played out as this “My First Year of Blogging: A Review” post, but it’s kind of a rite of passage. At least I think it is. I like to assign a lot of meaning and ceremony to things that are probably not deserving of it, but that’s the fantasy writer in me. Anyhoo.
I don’t really want to drone on too long in this post because a lot of it will most likely tie in to another topic that I wanted to write about soon, which covers the entire evolution of the AngelSpartaness brand, (and I use that “brand” term very loosely, simply for lack of a better one to employ at this time), as a whole, over the past year. That of course includes this blog, AngelSpartaness Lifestyle, and how it has grown and changed, and will touch on the rather recent addition of the AngelSpartaness [DANK] Gaming division as well as the metamorphosis of the AngelSpartaness Instagram page. All of these are things I’ve been wanting to talk about at length, but this post is going to be reserved solely for the first year-end review of this blog.
I guess I can start by saying that I never expected this blog to do so well! Perhaps many people would read this and be confused but I honestly didn’t expect to get even a single hit on my page and here I am now with 3000! Yeah that’s not a huge number to some but I am simply ecstatic about it. Accounting for all of the hiatuses I took, the fact that this blog has 160+ posts, the fact that it has 130+ followers, all of this simply blows my mind.
I wish I could say that I feel like I’ve put in the amount of work worthy of this kind of recognition but I don’t feel that way. Again, small numbers to some. But if you could only be in my head a year and some months ago and know the anxiety and fear and insecurity I felt surrounding starting a blog and working on writing full-time, you wouldn’t believe it.
Some of this is probably my own personal problems, but I’m sure some of you can relate. Maybe you started a blog part-time while you were in college, so you didn’t really feel any anxiety around it. Maybe you wanted it and planned it for a while before starting so you were confident and not nervous at all. That’s wonderful and I admire you for that if either is the case but it wasn’t the case for me. I felt so bad on the daily, I figured I should just quit. I’m glad I didn’t though, because the support and the views and the follows and the kind words really brightened some of my darkest days.
I don’t want to be too cheesy here but honestly, I couldn’t have imagined that I would make some really cool friends doing this, too. In this day and age, I believe that it is totally possible and probable to form some real and meaningful friendships with people who you meet online. I have done it plenty of times before and thankfully, blogging has been no exception. I really do love when people spread positivity, kindness, and helpful criticism online. It’s such a scary, dangerous world of trolls and nasty people, so saturated is the internet with their muck that it forces one to deliberate between voluntarily returning each day or powering down for good.
Well, thanks to the kindness of some very lovely people over the past year and years, I have decided to keep coming back, creating more content, however lackluster it may be at times, and adding it to the never-ending world wide web for later consumption.
The blogging world may be quite saturated at this point, but it is also very kind, and welcoming. I definitely got a warm fuzzy feeling navigating the various lifestyle and variety blogs. I’ve read some very interesting works by lots of talented people from all over the world. I enjoy getting this opportunity and I feel thankful for it. It also blows my mind that these same people and others are coming to my page and checking out my content. I truly do appreciate it!
“I felt so bad on the daily, I figured I should just quit. I’m glad I didn’t though, because the support and the views and the follows and the kind words really brightened some of my darkest days.”
At any rate, I know I’ve said this before but I really didn’t want to stop doing this blog. I’ve been wanting to do a lifestyle blog since I was a young girl and even though I’m really a gamer gorl (intentional misspelling for meme effect) at heart, I’m also two other things at my core, that have always been there and show no signs of changing any time soon: 1) I’m a writer, and 2) I am really into the lifestyle triumvirate–that’s the nickname I coined for the triangular interest that seems to drive most lifestyle bloggers, the three sides of said triangle of course being beauty, fashion, and lifestyle.
All that being said, I always wanted to have a lifestyle blog, I always have had an interest in lifestyle things and I’ve always wanted to be able to experience them, because they gave me a taste of “the good life”, or so I thought. Through my interest in lifestyle, I’ve learned that “the good life” is whatever life you’re happy living. I’ve also learned as an adult that you are responsible for your own happiness.
Part of what makes me happy is doing “girly” lifestyle things. I like shopping (albeit much less so than I used to, thank God, and my wallet is thanking me), manicures, healthy food, face masks, jewelry, yoga, fun clothes, new makeup, and the thought of traveling, among other things. I say “the thought of” because I’ve never even left the country, but I hope to! It’s one of the things I hoped blogging would bring to me, is an opportunity for travel. I think a lot of bloggers like me also feel that way, and those who have traveled and documented their travels on their blogs for us at home to appreciate, thank you for sharing your experiences and inspiring us! I swear one day I’ll write a post for this very blog while on white sands somewhere, you can quote me on that.
That’s not all, though. I also hoped that blogging would hone my craft, and I think I’ve definitely become a better writer. As with anything else, practice makes perfect and writing about stuff that you love and enjoy and that bring you happiness are great ways to practice.
I love having people read my writing and not, I dunno, need to seek immediate medical treatment because they can’t stop vomiting because my writing is so piss-poor. Okay, that sounds like an exaggeration, but these are real, true fears that I have, and actual thoughts I’ve had! I’m not kidding. Maybe I do have anxiety, or maybe I’m just a little paranoid. Either way, I’ve had some real insecurities about myself and my writing in the past, things I’ve touched on before. Blogging has helped to curb that, too, believe it or not. Beginning to sense a pattern here?
Being able to read other writer’s work has definitely helped assuage some of the worry and insecurity I have about mine. I do not try to judge others or compare myself; these are poisonous acts that I have tried very hard to shed the past couple years in an effort to make myself a better and happier person, I recommend to anyone reading to try to do the same.
What I mean is, without comparing myself per se, I can at least get some exposure while also being exposed to other writer’s works. Not everyone is like-minded as me, but there is a community here in the blogging world and as with every community, every social circle, there are thoughts and views that are shared, similarities to be found, and of course, the opposite. I love expanding not only my world view but my opinions, my thought processes, and ultimately, my writing ability, by seeing how it “stacks up”, in a sense, with others’. Part of me even now wants to ask if that makes sense, but I have to be more confident than that. Besides, I’m sure if it doesn’t make sense to anybody, they will let me know. 🙂
“Through my interest in lifestyle, I’ve learned that “the good life” is whatever life you’re happy living. I’ve also learned as an adult that you are responsible for your own happiness.”
I will say that I’ve become much more confident as a blogger. When I first started, I was scouring the internet for tips on how to become a better blogger, have a bigger blog, ensure more traffic and people actually reading my posts in their entirety. My first year as a blogger has taught me that these things can’t be fretted over, or you’ll lose it. At least, that’s how it was for me. I learned to not care if my posts were too long, because that’s the length I felt like writing. I had to stop worrying if my topics weren’t interesting, because they are what interested me and what I enjoyed writing about. And so on and so forth…
I gained a lot of confidence in a few areas of my life this past year, and blogging is definitely one of them. I’m a blogger, a good blogger, and I still enjoy doing it. That’s all that matters, and I’m super thankful each day that I finally shrugged off some of that awful insecurity and self-doubt I was experiencing so heavily way back in the beginning. Of course it isn’t all sunshine and daisies now, I still struggle with things of course. But it has gotten infinitely better, and I’m grateful to the universe or whatever powers that be that I grew in that way.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not proud of how many breaks I took. I’m not beating myself up, I only stepped away when I needed to and for how long I needed to in order to handle other business in my life. I’ve been told that taking a break and coming back serves to benefit your writing, and I’ve experienced that for myself. I had so many ideas and so much content to put out that I began to feel overwhelmed, naturally. I also began to question myself.
I wondered if I should try defining myself so heavily when I’m in my early twenties, and then plaster it all over the internet for the entire world to see, in perpetuity. Then I wondered if I even wanted to put out so much content, as I am a pretty private person by nature, definitely toned down from my more talkative and trusting younger years, and I’ve likened myself to a recluse before. I wondered, did I really want to post every time I liked a new face mask or put together a new outfit?
“As with anything else, practice makes perfect and writing about stuff that you love and enjoy and that bring you happiness are great ways to practice.”
But then I realized, in the terms of oversharing and being more private, those things don’t really intrude on my own privacy that much. Sharing my reviews, thoughts, and opinions could be non-invasive and quality content at the same time. At least, that’s what I put my trust in. I’ve had similar thoughts when it comes to what I post on Instagram, or even when I’m broadcasting my gameplay on Mixer. But as I said earlier, these are things I want to touch on more in a different post, so I can focus just on the blog in this post.
As you can see by this almost 2800-word essay I’ve penned here, I’m really into writing, and I can do it a lot. Whether that’s “good” writing or “important” writing or even “relevant” writing is irrelevant. I can pound out tens of thousands of words a week if I set my mind to it, and some people will like it. I gotta do something with that, right?
Well I try to, with my books, which I’m extremely private about, and this blog. But that circles right back to my aforementioned concerns. I start a blog post about how I love yoga and I end up writing close to 3000 words. Some of this has got to be superfluous. Or an overshare. At what point do I stop posting so much?
Truthfully, I believe this is a question only I can answer, a conversation I’ve got to have with myself down the line. My point is, and sorry if I’ve gotten a bit off-track here, that I have a lot of thoughts I want to write down, and a lot of content I want to share. That will probably take me a long time to wade through it all, and that’s even if the ideas and inspiration stop coming, which I’m almost certain they won’t. Keeping up with it is of course a major concern, as is oversharing. My goal at the bottom line is to put out content that I deem worthy of consumption, and to not cross that distinct line between private and not. Again, these are my personal feelings on it. I’ve said many times that one day in the future I may well toss everything I’ve done so far in the garbage and disappear to live in the woods like a hobo or a witch. I’m not entirely sure how that would work but I might figure it out.
Until that time, I want to keep writing, and I want to keep blogging about the things that I’m interested in and sharing quality content for you all to (hopefully) enjoy. The way I see it is, even if I have to take breaks here and there to focus on other things, my interest in these topics that I write about on my blog will be there for some time, as will my love of writing. Even if I become a bigger streamer or start a YouTube channel, or go to the moon or become president, I think I’ll always want to write.
Well I think that about sums it up. There’s how grateful and wonderful I feel for all the support I’ve garnered during my first year of blogging, as well as how my feelings on blogging and writing in general have morphed. Thank you all my readers new and old, I appreciate every view, like, and comment. I hope to put out more quality content and writings on a wide range of topics, and keep updating regularly. Thank you for sticking around through all the breaks, and I hope you’ll stick around as I add even more variety to this variety lifestyle blog. You can expect more posts about my streaming/gaming, video games, and media in general, as well as more health & wellness and food (now that I’ve finally seen some progress in my weight loss and fitness goals, you Instagram followers will have seen evidence of this!), and of course I’ll keep doing beauty and fashion.
Love you guys, thank you for reading!