A Blogging Journey and the Real World | Real Talk #1

Hello World! Recently I have seen many a post about blogging, losing interest, follower-counts, you name it. I agree with some, sympathize with others, and down-right-disagree with most. I feel that it is finally time for me to add my two-cents about this crazy universe called blogging. 

My history with blogging, although brief compared to many, has been an eventful one. I started blogging on my first blog, The Nail Bank, almost 5 years ago. At the time I had just become acquainted with Tumblr and spent most of my leisure-time drooling over nail art from the OG's in the business. One day, while feeling particularly ambitious, I painted my nails magenta. On my thumb only, I stippled on an orange and yellow gradient, and layered a cheetah print on top. A few pictures later and I was posting my first-ever internet content. From that moment on I was officially, a nail art blogger. 

Fast forward a year through heaps of amateur nail art, I knew I was headed in a direction worth walking. I began pushing the boundaries, blogging outside of nail art, talking about my every day life. I made friends, interested in the same things as I was, who encouraged me to keep blogging. I incorporated my personal interests with my nail art and thus my Titanic Nails were born. I got so many notes (the same idea as a "like" or "pin" on Facebook or Pinterest) that I nearly cried. I was so deeply touched that this many people would even care to look at my art, let alone take the time to share it! Blogging (and nail art) had captured a special place in my heart. 

Time continued on, as it tends to do, and I had a falling-out with my blogging. I was busy with my university studies and was struck by the most life-altering event to happen to me yet. I took a break from my courses and without thought, blogging as well. At that time I did not realize this was the start of my longest blog-break, nearly two years. During this time I stayed away from University and enrolled in a Cosmetology school. 

Just weeks before finishing my licensure, I went on a few freelancing jobs with some "cosmo-school" friends. We had a couple events where we did hair and makeup for models and dancers at events sponsored by local area businesses. It was so much fun to be spending time working on beauty-related things outside of a classroom. I took pictures of my work and decided it would be smart to make an online "portfolio" to showcase it. Little did I know that that online "portfolio" would turn into this blog that you're reading right now! 
I think it is easy to lose your interest in blogging if you are not blogging for yourself. Blogging is hard, time consuming work. Bloggers who are trying to "create a brand" for themselves are only setting themselves up to fail. No one wants to do all this work for no money (unless they are really enjoying themselves!). I went through a phase with this blog where I thought I needed to channel my inner-business-woman and track my following, my hours, my gains and losses. It was like I was still on my two-year blog-break. I wasn't blogging for me. My content was less of a inspired-by and more of a copied-from idea. I thought I needed to keep up with those seasoned bloggers and push content.  It seemed to me that if I had a major income from my blog, I would be better accepted as a blogger. 

It wasn't on purpose, but at a certain moment in time, I began associating my "low" blogging statistics with my self-worth. I had always been a bit self-conscious. But now my blog, the very thing that was my happy-escape from reality was sucking me into this warped image of who I really was. I began to feel invaluable, a dime a dozen. I only mention this in hopes of helping someone who may find themselves in a similar blogging situation. I thought that every blogger out there, except me, was living the perfect pastel-dream life. I fell into the belief that every content-creator out there was the perfect human-being; wearing glamorous makeup every day, sitting at their perfect desk, drinking their perfect chai-venti-magico-latte while typing their soon-to-be super-hit blog post. 

A month-long blog-break helped me open my eyes to all of this "tom-foolery". It was refreshing to sit back and read blogs instead of worry about how perfect I needed to make my life appear for my readership. I knew I was ready to go back to blogging because I truly missed it. I would unpredictably become inspired and think up blog posts in my head. Even down to the little details. I was finally dreaming about blogging again, and this time it was for myself. On this blogging journey I have learned not only about the world but about myself. I have made true friendships that I would have never dreamed of making. I'm happy with my blog and the way things are. Sure, I'd love for someone to pay me for this, but I'm not sad being unpaid for it, either.

I came to the realization that when I wasn't focused on my "success" as a blogger, I enjoyed blogging the most. I stopped planning my blog posts out and left room for spontaneity. A pact was made with myself that if I didn't want to blog, I wouldn't ever force it. Above is a picture of me, taken as I write this. I'm still sick, no makeup, fresh-shower hair (uncombed, too!). I'm wearing a college sweatshirt and jeans. Hardly a pastel-dream, but today I'm still happy. I felt like writing, so I wrote. Plain and simple. I hope this has struck a bell for someone who needs it. I sure wish I had a warning sign back when I first started thinking I wasn't good-enough being me. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have or any lessons learned through your blogging journey!
Much Love,
-Stephanie Eva

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