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Writing is a hard career choice, but if you’re a blogger or thinking about starting one I’m guessing you already know that…
I thought I’d write a post today about my blogging experience and share why I started a blog. Firstly though I’ll explain a little about myself and my writing…
I grabbed myself a scholarship for creative writing when I was young and went to an all-girls, catholic private school. It was fancy, to say the least, with a convent on the grand school grounds lined with blossom trees.
It looked like a painting but in all honesty, as ungrateful as it sounds, I hated it. There were just so many rules and I was taught by nuns. They just seemed so utterly far removed from reality, like little Daleks floating around passing judgement on skirt sizes.
Since then I’ve spent a good majority of my life writing (unpublished) novels and poetry. I suppose that’s why blogging appealed to me, it’s a space where I can publish my own work.
By nature, I’m a bit of a rebellious cocktail, I’m outspoken and moody, mixed with a dash of genius. Big-headed? Slightly. Witty comebacks? Plenty. But still at times, truly, I can be a bit reckless, sarcastic and dizzy…
What kind of a life would an ordinary one be I wonder? Shouldn’t we try every experience? Rules should be broken, isn’t that how we change the world after all?
I like to philosophically ponder on life, while simultaneously acting the fool. I downplay my intelligence, choosing to make people laugh instead because I’d rather see them smile than get them down with what I really think about this world…
You can see why then, I find jobs never really fit me, or I can’t fit into the conventional mould, no matter how hard I try, I never seem to get it right.
I’m often perceived as difficult or unconventional. I don’t always do what colleagues perceive as the ‘right thing to do, but that’s because I like to think outside of the box.
Sometimes, I’m a bit abstract and I don’t even see the box…
So many times I have tried to give up writing and move into a different field. I’ve tried to say yes to every opportunity that’s come my way and leave the burden of writing behind, but I always fail to. Eventually, reluctantly, I come back to it. A spark of inspiration will hit me once more and I begin a new novel, work of poetry or blog.
Life would be so much easier if I wasn’t a writer, don’t you agree?
When I do find work in a dead-end job, I’m mischievous, often getting into trouble, without really trying that hard.
I prefer to focus on the hierarchy rather than the actual job, and who has all the power, is it deserved? Usually not, in which case I spend my time unpicking it, correcting it, until I feel like the work environment is balanced, fair and just. The role itself usually doesn’t take me long to master, so I get bored very quickly, I’ve found this is a much more entertaining way to spend my time.
Then when I’m satisfied, I quit and move somewhere else. I find myself in absurd situations, I guess I’m kind of quirky, maybe I go out looking for trouble, who knows? It’s all good inspiration for writing. I’m intrigued to know if any of my writing friends do this also? (Comment below).
I’ll only go out looking for work for two reasons, one, I’m broke and need money to pay my bills or two, I’ve got writer’s block. The rest of the time I’m a complete hermit, only really enjoying going outside when the sun is shining brightly or there’s no one around. People give me anxiety.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, after leaving yet another job when I turned thirty last year I decided to reevaluate my life and my general situation…
It was quite scary at first, like looking into the abyss, and it stared back at me, piercing right into my soul. For a while I moped, then I dyed my hair.
Nothing says I’m about to change like dying my hair peroxide blonde, am I right?. Then I passed through the eye of the storm, which was actually on my 30th birthday.
I booked this little expensive cottage in the middle of nowhere, in Alston, Cumbria, with this fancy copper freestanding bath and sauna. It was beautiful, but in essence, I ran away.
I ran away from my family and friends, I don’t think I wanted to acknowledge it at all. How could I be turning thirty? Still living the same life, still unpublished, still working in dead-end jobs with nothing to show for it? … And then a huge storm came along.
It was the middle of February and I was stuck inside a tiny cottage. I couldn’t even open the window to have a cigarette without a gust of wind slamming the window shut and a bucket of rainwater gushing onto the floor.
My alcohol dependence kicked in and I drank until I passed out on the floor. I guess that crushing thought of feeling like a failure hit me hard that night and I just lay there engulfed by a cataclysmic sort of emotional black hole.
I took it as a sign and stopped smoking. Sort of…
I still smoke when I’m drunk.
In all seriousness though that night woke something inside of me and I started to experience some kind of change, a shift of awakening, a realisation almost. I realised that I’d been running from myself for as long as I could remember. How was I ever going to get published as a writer if I didn’t even believe it myself? My addictions were just escapism. I wasn’t happy deep down at all. I was unsatisfied, miserable and I felt like a total failure.
So then, one day at a time I slowly began to change, which was difficult. I can only describe what I went through as a dark night of the soul. I started to heal my childhood traumas, and reflect on my own behaviours instead of blaming others.
I started to learn about the power of visualisation and manifesting. I started to do inner work (or shadow work, whatever you call it) and I listened to podcasts, hypnotherapy sessions at night about healing my inner child and I meditated.
And do you know something? Slowly the life I had, began to fall apart. Literally, everything I had worked so hard for for the past twelve or so years, just collapsed until I was left holding all the pieces. At times, I’d ask myself why is this happening to me? Everyone around me thought I was having some kind of crazy breakdown. (I probably was).
Yet I felt better than I ever had, it was like I had finally accepted who I was and I decided to start sharing what I’d learnt. I started blogging, determined to share my experiences as I went.
I’m not saying you have to have a breakdown to start a blog, so please don’t take that the wrong way. I know plenty of amazing bloggers that are perfectly sane. In my instance, though it gave me the fire I needed to kick start my passions.
I think anyone can start a blog, but if you want it to succeed you need that passion. You must have drive, vision and a determination to succeed.
You need that motivation behind you because there will be tough days ahead. Days where you will have no inspiration to write, days where you will share personal things about yourself and be unsure whether you’ve shared too much.
There will be days where the people around you will not understand your vision and may think you’ve gone mad. Days where you spend hours on a post and it does not do well. Days where you offend someone, days where your stats drop dramatically, days when you just stop…
Days where you wonder what am I doing? Should I keep going? Should I give up?
Blogging will take you on the wildest journey. You will learn a lot about yourself, if you choose too, you’ll become confident because it takes guts to share your story. You’ll have to accept yourself and choose to improve in a manner of ways.
Trust me you’ll look back at what you’ve written in a years time and think to yourself, cringe, what was I thinking?
Over time your blog will grow, as will your audience and you will become self-assured. Wisdom will guide you through the once inexplicable minefield that is blogging and hell, if you’re lucky you might even start to earn money from it…
The truth is if you want to start a blog you need that passion so that you don’t give up. All you really need is commitment.
What I’ve learnt about myself is that the odder the situation is the more I seem to come to life, but what a relief it is to finally put my writing first.
After attending a school with people from a higher class than me, I realised from a young age there was definitely an easier way to live this life and ever since I left school I’ve been living in this permanent dream state of thinking real jobs just aren’t for me.
This is probably what makes people dislike me, which I don’t mind too much but the only issue of living like this is that the reality is, it’s hard to make a living as a writer.
Along the way, I’ve had some of the craziest jobs, and one day it just kind of struck me, I should start blogging about those experiences and my life, why not share those experiences with people? Surely I’ll never run out of things to talk about?
So during the times where I am broke, I get a minimum wage job, work my butt off, save hard, and then I quit and start to write again.
I have absolutely no desire to work in the same place for 15 years and climb my way up that career ladder so I can get promoted to assistant manager one day like Angie thank you.
See I’ve always been ambitious really, I just had unusual aspirations. Blogging appealed to me because it gave me complete freedom and space to create my visions and share my thoughts. I can choose when I work and I can work anywhere in the world.
Now I am lucky to be a freelance Copywriter and I’m finally being paid to write, whilst having the opportunity to share my creativity and thoughts at the same time…
All that hard work will pay off…
Should you start a blog? Yes, you absolutely should.
Thanks for reading,