You don't need to have been blogging for years to understand that it's a vulnerable work.
Putting yourself out there day after day allowing complete strangers a peek into your daily life is no easy feat. Blogging on a public platform is making a choice to allow yourself to be judged be it positively or negatively and it is a choice that I can assume the lot of us don't take lightly.
For some, writing their blog is a hobby. Something they choose to do so after a long day at work, something that helps them unwind or connect with others around them in the same season of life. For others, they've successfully managed to make the time they invest in their space pay off, literally. Whether you monetize your space or not, it doesn't make you more or less of a blogger than the next.
That's the great thing about blogging. You get to just do you.
Some people choose to speak through pictures, often posting less words and more photographs of their days. Be it their children, their latest shopping haul or their dogs, they choose to fill their space with pretty pictures rather than pretty words.
Others may choose to share no pictures at all, letting their words paint the images they want to convey. Some bloggers may share a bit of both. Maybe their photographs aren't perfectly edited. Maybe their angle isn't the same you would choose but regardless, they're real moments captured in time. More importantly, they're their real moments that help tell their story that they've chosen to share with you.
Years ago when I first started blogging, I didn't think twice about what I wrote or the pictures I shared. I didn't own any editing software let alone a fancy camera. I often divulged the mundane details of my day to day raising a 100lbs. sheepdog with a husband who was hardly home because he traveled for business. Looking back on those days reminds me how much I hated being alone. How much I missed having my husband home each night. I'm so glad I wrote about those days as I find it particularly helpful to look back on when it's 7:30pm, my husband just walked through the door, and I'm two tickets shy of sending the boys off to the circus.
I wrote without caring what people thought of me. I just did me.
And the truth is, I still do. I come to this space, some weeks more than others, sharing a piece of my life. Sometimes it's funny and other times it's more of an internal struggle but I continue to show up here because for the most part, I enjoy the community of blogging.
Writing has always been cathartic for me but for the last year or so it hasn't been easy.
I started worrying too much about what others would think. I didn't post pictures because I was afraid that people would judge them, I didn't share stories because I was afraid I would be judged for being too proud or mocked for being too vain. And I was all of these things. Judged, mocked, shamed.
I've seen how easy it is for others to tear apart words and pictures that aren't their own. To judge them. I've been there. I've judged!
I will never understand, however, the people who feel it is their personal responsibility to the blogging community, bestowed upon themselves by themselves, to outline what others should and should not write about. To publicly shame them. I've read posts designed to be funny but laced with jabs and "constructive criticism." They allow themselves the freedom to share whatever they desire but don't allow the same freedoms to those around them.
What I've come to realize is someone, somewhere, is always going to hate you. Someone will always disagree with you. They will find fault with your words and your pictures and they will find others who feel the same way. You know why? Because misery loves company.
Perhaps I will never understand why people feel so strongly about the words and pictures of strangers. Perhaps it's because deep down they're unhappy with their own story. Maybe their a little green with envy or maybe they're making up for a lifetime of being on the receiving end of judgment. Maybe they're just bored.
Let them judge. And shame. And mock. You have nothing to prove and it's evident that they don't care to know you. To read your story.
Don't let others dictate your voice. At the end of the day, being true to yourself is all that matters.