Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Bad early blogging experiences and finding my place (eventually)

 When i first started blogging i had no idea blogging was still a thing, i've written several times about how i started my blog as more of a personal challenge, to see if i could create something on my days off work, it meant i was oblivious to basically everything that often goes along with having a blog. 

As i've become more and more a part of the blogging community, it becomes more evident to me how crazy it was, that when i hit publish on my first post, i didn't know there were so many other people out there doing the same thing. I didn't know what a PR event was, that people actually got sent products to try out, or that there was even other bloggers out there to be friends with, let alone that i would actually make any friends.


I remember being invited to my first ever press day, i was waiting for the bus after work and i checked my newly set up blog email address, (which got an email approximately once a month) to see an email with an actual relevant subject line, rather than someone telling me i was due 16 million in inheritance. I called my mum, i called my best friend, i googled "what to wear to a press event" and "how to politely ask for a +1". I was excited but also felt like a child on the first day of school, or like i had to go to a party without my friends.

The first events i went to seem like a bit of a blur, they weren't like the equivalent of the online blogging community copy and pasted into real life, they didn't make me feel motivated or excited, actually it was quite the opposite.
 I remember being confused about why i was even there, and even more confused about how everyone seemed to know each other. Everyone else had a fancy camera and looked like they came straight off the ASOS new in page (at this point i didn't know what an Olympus PEN was, who was i?). At one event i tried talking to a group of girls, but i was met with a "hi" and a straight turn away from my direction. In the words of Janice from the movie of our generation "you are a mean girl" and i felt like i had been told i couldn't sit with them.

Before events i was always worried that i would be looked down on, but a part of my mind tried to convince me that i was worrying too much; after that happened i pretty much wanted to give up, now that i think about it i didn't actually want to give up, but i thought that i should.

 From that point onwards i kind of made a habit of talking to a PR or the photographer, it always seemed like i just ended up with them somehow, but i knew it wasn't right and that the bloggers i had met online must exist somewhere outside of the internet. 
If i'm honest i felt inadequate. I left a lot of events feeling like i didn't fit into the world of blogging, that i didn't have enough followers or look like the rest of the people around me, but i now know the image i got of blogging from those events was not what the actual world of blogging is like. I also learned most bloggers are not like the bloggers i talked about above, but some of them are and that's okay. It's good to accept sometimes that not everything is sweetness and light, no matter how much we want it to be.


Thankfully over time i got more confident when it came to going to events, i realised that i was invited for a reason, even if admittedly i did still have the thought in the back on my mind that i wasn't as good as everyone else. The biggest change came for me when i made some friends, it sounds like the simplest thing ever but it's actually much rarer to make new friends once you're not in education anymore. (I realise thats also probably the loneliest thing i've ever written but hey, if i can't be sad on the domain i pay for where can i be?) 

The first event i went to where i had searched out other bloggers going beforehand was so much different to my other early event experiences, it was the event where i met Sophie and Albertine and the first event where i actually felt like i belonged. Finally i had met bloggers who represented the community online, it was almost like i could hear a "i told you so" coming from inside my own head, knowing that i had found the right people and the other event experiences i had were not the norm. 


Now when an event invite appears in my inbox I'm almost certain one of my blogger pals will also have been invited, instead of me arriving to event sweating and probably hungry, i've now got someone to tell i'm sweating and hungry - so no i haven't managed to transform myself into a non sweating lizard just yet, but at-least i've got someone to share it with. 

I've noticed a lot of gif usage and "cliquey-ness" around blogging friendships, but this sunglasses clad group of camera wielding folk couldn't be anymore different. I'm often reminded of my early event experiences when i'm at an event with my friends and i see someone alone. We sometimes end up picking up a straggler or talking to a bigger group of people, and it hits me that i could've used a group like ours to come along and invite me into an Instagram convo, when i was feeling like the odd one out in the room. 


Having blogger friends IRL has helped me as a blogger online too, there's nothing like talking about how much you hate Instagram to make yourself want to work even harder, or have someone to discuss a dramatic blogging decision with (i mean are blurry backgrounds out?) , and once i properly extended blogging to outside of the internet i found my confidence grew too. Even though i've got blogging friends alongside me now, if i do have to go it alone it doesn't phase me anywhere near as much as it used to. They're not too shabby at taking outfit photos either.. 

I may still have gotten sick before going on TV, and i might still get that worry about not being tall enough or if I'm wearing the right outfit. But if it wasn't for an annoying sense of perseverance (self promote my friends, self promote) and finding my place in the community, i probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to do the things that are now my biggest achievements.   


Without trying to sound like a motivational speaker, there is no such thing as what a blogger should look like, if you have a blog you are a blogger and you belong here. (But i think i can make an exception for the girls who refused to talk to me at that event, you guys can go) 

- Maria x


1st and 5th photo owned and taken by Alexandra Polyak www.alexandrapolyak.co.uk 
Thanks to Fern and Lelanie for organising the London Bloggers Picnic. 
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28 comments

  1. This is such a lovely post! I've been reading your blog for a while now and this is definitely one of my favourites that I've read. I started my blog to get back in the habit of writing but it can be so off putting being on the outside of the blogging community, even though that's not why I started in the first place. It's nice to be reminded that everyone was in that position once

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    1. Omg that's so lovely to hear, thank you! Yeah i was the same, like i said i started out completely unaware that there even was a community, even though i never thought i'd get to the point where i'd be so involved in it i much prefer it like this! x

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  2. This is so lovely and so inspiring! I am always wanting to make real life blogger friends but don't feel I'm good enough at blogging! This has really helped :) xx

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    1. aw thank you! Trust me there is no "good enough", everyone is working to their own goals and standards as long as you're enjoying yourself and maybe even learning something new then you're doing the right thing! x

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  3. Such a relatable post! Although I love blogging & the blogging community because it can be SO supportive, at times it really can feel like you're on your own in a place where everyone knows people. I remember my first blogging was terrifying but honestly I'm still so proud of myself for even going. It wasn't what I expected to be honest, the whole day just felt very clique between bloggers who had a lot more readers than I could ever dream of. It makes me sad that at events like these the number 'followers' a blogger has even matters because it should be celebrated that we all share the same love & passion of blogging- who better to share your love of flat lays and OOTD posts with? I do want to try going to more events in the future & your post has given me more confidence to give them more of a chance. Love your blog!

    Gemma xx
    http://lippietalk.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment Gemma! That's the exact same as me, i was terrified about going to and even during events for a long time (sometimes i still am) , but i'm so glad i can look back at it now and see that you really get through it! Hopefully we're both at an event together in the future, if you're near London Blogosphere Magazine events are great, i'd really recommend them! x

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  4. Oh wow I can't believe you had such negative experiences at your first events! That's so scary and such a highschool situation - good on you for sticking it out! I've found so many great blogging friends online but am still in search of blogger friends that live close by! One day hopefully.

    Sharni xo
    A Girl & Grey

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    1. It really did remind me of school, thank god every event since then has been filled with lovely people! Aw i hope you find someone in your area soon! x

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  5. Well done for sticking things out, it's definitely paid off! - I've actually met up with a couple of blogger friends IRL (not at events) which I found really helped me and my confidence, the community can be so supportive but equally there can be cliques which can lend itself to negative experiences.
    Absolutely gorgeous photos, the picnic looks so lovely!
    Hels xx
    www.thehelsproject.com

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    1. Thank you! It's so lovely when you do find some great blogging friends that you can even do things outside of events with too, i find once you do have that group the positives outweigh the negatives massively x

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  6. This post resonates so much with me.
    Nearly all of the events that I have gone to I've felt like an outsider. It wasn't until recently at an event I thought 'why the hell shouldn't I speak up and ask questions?' and 'whats the worst that can happen?' that I felt like I was accepted because I'd proved myself in some way.
    I wish I lived closer to some of the amazing bloggers I talk to online so I would have some 'friends' but things are looking up!
    I'm glad you've found a place, I think i'm nearly there.
    The picnic looks amazing.

    Rachel | www.Rachel-Emily.com

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    1. I'm surprised at how many people have had similar experiences to me, i'm glad things are looking up for you now, lets hope you find someone who lives really near you soon! x

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  7. Haha absolutely loved reading this post & the ending ๐Ÿ‘Œ. Ever since I entered the world of blogging you have been an inspiration to me & to see you doing so well on the journey is truly amazing! Congratulations on all your achievements so far!

    https://thetypicalbeautyblog.wordpress.com

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    1. aww that means the world thank you so so much, i look forward to seeing where your journey takes you! x

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  8. You are a blogging inspiration! I started this before you and I'm nowhere near your level. You did it on your own and you did a great job! Just look at all people who love you and your blog (I mean, I don't even know you and I love you :D). I'm glad you didn't back away after first strike because there are some great things for you here ♥

    xo Honey - blog Royal Lifestyle - Twitter - Instagram

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    1. That is honestly one of the nicest comments i've ever had! It just shows we should take the knock backs in our stride and learn from them! x

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  9. Love this! So relatable, the feeling of not being good enough can be hard to shake. Your blog has always been one of my favourites and I know for a fact that for many people, including me, you're someone to look up to.
    liv xx
    livwrites.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so so much Liv, comments like the ones i've had on here make me so happy, and to think i was so nervous about posting it! It shows you should trust your instinct! x

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  10. I really enjoyed this post! I think everyone feels a little bit inadequate sometimes, it's so easy when you are surrounded by such polished content and large numbers, but I always think it's the people behind the blog that are the most important thing! xx
    www.misszarabelle.com

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    1. Thank you! It's so easy to get bogged down in numbers and not feel good enough but i think it's so useful to learn from the experience for the future - i know now i never really ever care how many followers someone has, i used to be scared to talk to certain people because of it, but now because like you said it's about the person rather than the statistics and followers! x

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  11. This is so lovely to read! I'm so glad you found a group of girls!!! It's proved to me too that the blogging community is what it appears online! Your pictures in this are absolutely gorgeous too and I definitely think you are beautiful enough and tall enough and good enough! Xxx

    www.lifeofem.co.uk

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    1. Aw thank you, me too, it's so lovely to have people in real life who understand a photo taking and a twitter obsession! That's so kind and such a lovely thing to say x

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  12. I really love this Maria. Admittedly I sometimes still feel like I'm in the same place I was when I started, especially since I've only recently integrated into the blogging community, and my local community is so small, it's hard to integrate. I really look up to you as a person and a blogger, so if you can do it, it gives me hope that I can too. Thank you x

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    1. Aw that's such a lovely comment thank you! We can all do it, i just think for some of us it takes a bit of getting used to, i'm still getting used to it, but i try to learn from experiences! Hopefully you can search out some bloggers near you and build a friendship! x

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  13. I'm so nervous to actually start attending blogging events. I imagine literally the first scenario you described. I worried I won't know anyone, and that I'm going to feel left out. I feel like I don't really even belong in the blogging scene, if it makes sense. I hope when I do have to go to those events, you're right. I loved reading your experience on here Maria! Great post xxx

    Melina | www.ivefoundwaldo.com

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    1. I was the exact same as you so i can't sit here and tell you not to be nervous because i think it's impossible, when you do go to your first event try to find someone else going beforehand, that is a huge help and will help you with going by yourself in the end! x

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  14. Really lovely post - I love your blogging friendship group <3

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    1. Thank you Katy, we're a good old bunch! x

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