“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
I have contemplated for a few weeks now about whether I should write this blog post? I kept thinking – will it be interesting enough?
Then I decided, who cares?
Even if I am the only one that reads it, it’s more so for me and about my own perspective as a travel blogger (of just over a year). It’s a way for me to debunk some of my own myths, perceptions and misconceptions on travel blogging.
I want to do it for my own benefit, a form of self-expression and to explore my personal thoughts and insights on blogging and in particular my own blogging journey – the good, the bad and the ugly. I believe there is also something cathartic in being able to articulate your feelings and put it out there in the universe.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I still love and enjoy the act of writing and being able to craft words and show my travel photo’s to their best advantage. It’s just that sometimes I get so caught up in all of the demands that come with blogging that I lose sight of my passion and why it is that I do what I do?
I am well aware that blogging is what you make of it and obviously what you are prepared to put into it and of course the hustle as I’ve heard other bloggers say.
Now, I’ll be perfectly honest, this is not an easy gig and the competition out there is so fierce! (just ask any blogger).
I think back fondly to the time when I first started out wanting to be a travel blogger. I was so eager, all bright eyed and bushy tailed. I had some good ideas, stories and photos that I wanted to share.
As a visual person, I remember that I had drafted a simple mind mad of what I wanted to do and it was just a matter of actually putting my ideas into action.
I was petrified just thinking about it and had butterflies in my stomach but at the same time I became so overwhelmed with all of the research and decisions to be made:
What do I call my website, which host do I use, what is my niche if any, what website template should I use, what is a dashboard and how do I use it, should I try to make money from blogging, will anyone actually read my blog posts and will they like what I have to say? So many questions and plagued by self-doubt.
I embraced the fear and went for it anyway!
My first paid site (The Wandering Wahine – A tale of 2 Jandals) was a steep learning curve. It went gang busters at first, then my provider for some ridiculous reason decided that I had apparently gone over my “quota of visits” and suddenly locked me out of my site for 3 months!
Are you kidding me! I didn’t know such a thing existed – I think I just got scammed!!??
No amount of excuses could explain this one away, so I talked with my feet and simply walked away.
There is nothing worse than a woman scorned! So, I cancelled my subscription, changed my credit card (so they couldn’t slug me again in 12 months’ time for what I considered to be a crappy service) and I blocked them from sending me emails. Done and dusted and oh, just a friendly reminder – never mess with a Maori girl when she mad, not unless you want to unleash a whole lot of whip ass!!!
The whole experience left me very disillusioned, however, I regrouped and decided that this minor hiccup in the road wasn’t going to stop me from pursuing this creative instrument that I had just found and especially my passion for travel.
However, sometimes there are periods where I’ll have good days and bad days with my travel blogging journey.
There were days when I felt inadequate because I would see other new bloggers doing so well and growing their blog engagement through Social media (and kudos to them too) but it caused me to reflect and question myself and my own abilities and blogging strategies?
Then there were also the few times in the beginning when I got burnt doing “Collaborations” with other bloggers’ which I’ve just put down to being too trusting and naïve.
Now, I have finally reached a good stage in my blogging journey.
It’s like life really and the older you get the more comfortable you become in your own skin and having a sense of stability, empowerment, balance and self-worth.
I have arrived at my destination and exactly where I needed to be in order to make peace with myself (as my own harshest critic).
I was the only one foolishly putting the pressure on myself to be a high achiever and so it had to be up to me to release that pressure valve and let out the clouds of steam – along with my ego.
It’s so easy to waste a lot of negative energy by comparing yourself to others, when in fact you are your own, special, wonderful and unique person. Just like fingerprints, there is no other individual in the whole world like you.
I have now made the conscious decision to change my mindset and not take myself too seriously – to lighten up, loosen up a bit and enjoy my hobby for what it is, the joy it brings me and simply to embrace the sweet home coming.
Now I write purely for me and hopefully in doing so my audience feels the tone of my writing and will come along on the journey – if not, then that’s cool too.
Most importantly I have learned the value of staying true myself and my values and to always remain sincere and genuine (OMG – I think I’m starting to sound like a relationship therapist – ha ha).
I guess at the end of the day when you invest so much time, energy and effort into something you love – it’s always nice when you have people who appreciate and understand what it is that you do and create for the sake of your craft (much like any beautiful form of art).
Finally I’m free, I’m free!! I refuse to be obsessed or defined by my numbers “page views” or “statistics” anymore and it’s such a huge relief. Goodness knows I have enough number crunching to deal with in real life.
Would I change anything? Truthfully, probably not because all these experiences have been, and will continue to be an opportunity for learning and positive growth.
Well I think I’ve reached the end of my musings for today – I’m done!
However, I am delighted to say that this simple exercise of writing and venting albeit confusing and probably yawn boring and all over the show, has been if nothing else very therapeutic and liberating.
It’s great to have a good old purge every now and then and this has only served to reinvigorate my blogging journey and better still, it has cemented my direction and to keep on keeping on.
If there’s anything that life has taught me, it’s the following song lyrics: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” (Billy Ocean) and “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again” (Aaliyah).
No journey is ever meant to be the same, this is me sharing mine, and if there’s two things that I hope you will take away from my blog post – it is the importance of having self-belief and self–acceptance.
Ok, bring on my next holiday to Koh Samui!!
*And if this blog post has connected with you on any level, I would really love to hear your thoughts and comments on your own blogging journey and experiences?? Cheers!
Until next time my fellow travel bloggers’ – Keep it real!