Wednesday, March 21

The Trouble with Fashion Blogging (Pt. 1)

When I realized that I'd been blogging for half a year, I revisited my whole blogging experience -- the reasons for starting this blog, the exciting things that I've encountered so far, and the difficulties I've faced. As I thought about it all, one difficulty in particular really stayed in my mind.

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One of the biggest problem with fashion blogging (or blogging in general, I suppose) is that not many people take you and your work seriously. This can mean a lot of things.

First of all, some people think that blogging is easy -- that you just sit down and type words haphazardly for 10 minutes, and before you know it, BAM, your post is done.
First of all, this is laughable -- anyone who has ever written (e.g. graduate students slaving away on their dissertation, professors struggling to write their research articles, journalists scurrying around to weave together facts into a coherent article, and bloggers racking their brains for ideas to share) knows how ridiculously arduous and daunting the writing process can be. Trust me -- I'm a double-major in both English Writing (Nonfiction) and English Literature. And even though I love my majors, I often want to cry out of frustration when I try to turn my thoughts into intelligible words on a computer screen. (Incidentally, I also suffer from writing anxiety, which makes writerly frustrations a sort of daily trial.)
I treat blog content like my other work: I will mull over blog ideas for days and edit (and not just copy-editing) extensively as soon as I get my words down. Averaging my blogging time, I spend over two hours on a post. (And that's just the time I spend writing and editing on the computer. I don't know how much time it would be if I added the planning and preparation that I do for content.) Because of this, I find it very unfair when people don't think that I work hard with my blog. It's no easy feat to write (or try writing what I hope are) palatable, comprehensible, and entertaining posts -- especially when balancing a full course load and a job with two entries a week.

Going off of this, another part of this problem is that some people think that blogging might be just a hobby or side-thing you do for kicks. Some see it as a sort of Look at me! I have a blog! I'm so cool side-project which drains time that might be better used for more productive enterprises.
One of my friends, about a month or two into my blogging, met up with me for a study break. Before hardcore hitting the books, we chatted and unwound for a while since I hadn't seen her in a while (as was the case with everyone else since I constantly put myself in academic lockdown). As I was unloading and talking about how the semester was killing me, she gave me a disparaging look and said that I had brought it upon myself for trying to be fancy with my blogging as if it were a just a cute game that I was playing. I was so furious when she said this that I stopped talking so that I wouldn't yell at her. Instead, I made an excuse -- I left my book at home or something -- and went home to cool off. Maybe I was overreacting; maybe I was being too sensitive. But still, it was infuriating to think that she was treating my blogging as a joke. Regardless, I became so indignant that I simply sat in my chair, just fuming silently at home for the rest of the night.

I'm not discounting the fact that some people might blog just as a sort of journal or display case of their lives or crafts. I think that's cool; I did the same thing when I last went back to Hong Kong, blogging about sights I saw, things I did, food I ate, etc. However, my intentions with this blog are different -- I am more inspired by the kind of blogging that people use to make a living.
To clarify, I don't expect this blog to carry me places or achieve my dreams for me -- I believe in hard work, and I will get to where I need to go by proving myself. However, I'm using this blog as a platform for honing my skills: I am learning the intricacies of social media and networking, am producing content on a regular weekly basis, and am trying to understand readership and audience interests. For me, blogging is more of an educational/experiential tool than a mere hobby, and I treat it as seriously as I take academics and work.

I blog because I want to share my ideas and to develop my skills; I don't do it to be popular. (I haven't sold out... yet?) But blogging is not some pushover task, and I ask for others to respect my efforts just as much as I respect theirs.

P.S. I hope I'm not coming off as aggressive. I just want to give my perspective on something that I've noticed -- something that many people may not realize they're doing.

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