As a fully-qualified, gold standard journalist I’m often asked by people in the industry, friends and family – why do I blog? As someone who works in print media – an industry which has been greatly affected by the rise of bloggers – why have I too set up an online platform? Basically, it all boils down to confidence.
English was never my strong point at school, or throughout college, so I’ve never been confident in my writing. I would cringe when anyone – my friends, my family, my lecturers, my editors – would read any of my work and it’s something I still struggle with to this day. In my mind, my writing is a reflection of my thoughts and ideas. If my writing isn’t good enough then my thoughts and ideas aren’t good enough, which would translate to me that I’m not good enough. Call me crazy, but that’s just how my mind works.
My lack of confidence is why I set up my own space on the internet. My safe place where I could write what I want and how I wanted to, and it didn’t matter if my writing was spot on, or if my ideas were good because in my mind no one was reading it. In fact, I blogged for a whole year before Plain Sarah Jayne was even born, but no one knew because I was too scared and embarrassed to put myself out there.
When I did build up the courage to launch Plain Sarah Jayne I hid my blog from people I knew because I was worried as to what they would think of me. Looking back now, after celebrating three years this November, it seems a little silly that I ever thought like this because my close friends and family are some of my biggest supporters.
I still struggle to be confident in my writing and that’s something that will only improve with time, however, I am doing my best to believe in myself. Even on those days where I feel like a total failure, I have to remember that I’ve gotten to where I am today because I’m good enough.
So, it’s been three years. Wow, three whole years of blogging in my own little space. I just want to say a HUGE thank you to all my amazing readers, my friends and family, and the amazing #GirlBosses I’ve met along the way. Looking back, I feel like it’s only now that I know who I am in the Blogosphere and the kind of blogger that I want to be. Over the last year I’ve learnt a lot about the industry, the blogging community and, more importantly, myself as a blogger.
When I first started blogging I did it just for the fun of it. I wasn’t consumed by numbers, I didn’t compared myself to others and I certainly didn’t blog for the benefit of anyone else. That is one tip that a lot of people give when people struggle to figure out what to blog about. Just be yourself. If you want to blog about food, then do it. If you want to blog about the fitness industry and what you think are the side effects of sarms, then do it. Or a blog about your dog. Go ahead and write about it. This year I feel like I strayed away from the path I was on and became guilty of all those things. I started thinking my worth was a reflection of my following, I compared myself to others to the point where I wanted to throw in the towel on everything and I blogged about things that I didn’t even want to blog about to keep people happy. No more.
If blogging has taught me anything it’s to always be yourself, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. So, from now on I’m writing content that I enjoy putting together; content that excites me and that I can’t wait to share with you all. I’m grateful for the following that I have, but I not going to let it define me as a blogger and I’m certainly not going to buy fake ones to make myself feel better. I’m done comparing myself too. Although I may not be 100% confident in my writing, or myself, I’m content with where I am and I’m proud with how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved during these three years. Here’s to many more.
Why did you start blogging? Is there anything that affects your confidence? What’s been the one thing you’ve learnt from blogging?
Sarah Jayne x
Images by Zest of Alice