There’s been a bit of talk around the blogosphere this year about how more bloggers have started blogging for bloggers (prepare to hear the word “bloggers” a lot in this post…) instead of just writing about what we love; be that books, films, make up, fashion – whatever. Blogging for bloggers means (at least this is what I’ve been led to believe it means) creating content specifically designed for bloggers – as opposed to non-bloggers, people who just like reading blogs or someone who’s just scouring the internet for a make-up tutorial or a book review. Remember, not everyone that reads a blog is a blogger themselves.
At the time of writing this post (end of May), we have just been graced with the full trailer for the Christopher Robin movie, starring Ewan McGregor and everyone’s favourite bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. The release of the film is fast approaching and I’m certain I will cry all the tears then probably gone back to watch it again. I am a huge fan of Disney (obviously), and this year, I’ve worked hard to include more Disney related content into my blog because it is and always has been a huge part of my life, so why wouldn’t I? The films are so magical and mean an awful lot to me as I’m sure they do to a lot of people who have grown up with the magic of Disney.
I rarely write posts which are unplanned, unstructured and spur of the moment. My Type A, obsessive, stressy, organised personality just doesn’t do that. So only a handful of times in my blogging life have I just whacked WordPress open and started typing of my own accord because I had something on my mind which I wanted to write about. This is one of those times. In fact, it almost wasn’t. Typically, I have a “blog post ideas” note on my phone (along with 50 other notes and lists of various things) which I was just going to add this idea to, to write at a later time but then I thought, why the f would I do that? It’s on my mind now. So stop being so goddamn uptight and write. So that’s what I’m doing. Obviously.
Working with brands is one of my favourite things about blogging and I’ll always be grateful that brands want to work with me, pay me or send me stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever, ever, ever take that for granted because in all honesty, I’m still gobsmacked that I’m even in the position for this to happen. I’ll always be enthusiastic about working with brands and this post is in no way a dig at any brand in particular. It’s just a little… word vomit… about something which I’ve noticed happen recently. Both to me and other bloggers.
If you were to compare me with any character on TV, it’d probably be a cross between Monica Gellar (from F.r.i.e.n.d.s) and Bree Van Der Kamp (from Desperate Housewives). If I was a mother (which I’m not and not planning to be anytime soon), I would be that mum who’s the head of the PTA, hosts bake sales, play dates among other events, has a job, a house, hobbies and thinks it’s also a good idea to buy an allotment. I’m not but in my vision for my future, that’s who I imagine myself to be. So what does that say about where I’m at now?
When I started private counselling for my anxiety, I was in the midst of one of the worst periods my mental health has ever seen. I barely left the house. My thoughts were so irrational. The thought of going anywhere left me in a state of dread and that first therapy appointment? My gosh, I thought I was going to die. But starting private therapy was invaluable for me; my counsellor and I got along really well, I trusted her and felt I could fully open up to her. She really did help me in so many ways and I often wonder where I would be today had I not gone to see her in that time when I was so desperate for anything to help numb these unbearable feelings of constant dread, anxiety and fear over everything and nothing all at once.
Phew, this post has been a long time coming. Again, it’s another one of my word-vomit, spontaneous, horribly written posts which I’ll look back on and realise it doesn’t make much sense at all but it’s a topic which has been firmly on my mind for well, fucking months and one that I need to talk about. For no other reason than to just get what I’m feeling off my chest, in the hope that it might make me feel a bit better and maybe, just maybe, someone reading this will feel the same and offer some insight.
Over the last month, my relationship with social media has changed. Whereas once upon a time, heading on to Twitter to express my concerns over something, finding comfort in scrolling aimlessly through hundreds of tweets and just generally, zoning out of real life was my solace but now, I find myself… resenting that very thing. And it’s not only Twitter, don’t worry Twitter bby, I’m not singling u out. Some days, I can’t bare to look at Instagram and the thought of going on Facebook? Oh, hell no. My relationship with social media has changed. But why?
I read a blog post the other day… And I didn’t like it. And I didn’t like some of the things which were said. I won’t name and shame and this isn’t a “reaction” type post; I don’t think I’d ever go through the effort of doing one of those. But it did prompt me to want to write my own post about this topic – a topic which was rather contradictory in the original post and a topic which I think needs to be emphasised more.
Ever since I started reviewing books in 2013, I’ve always used a 1-5 star rating of some description (although I did change my stars to cupcakes because I thought it was cuter but it follows the same system). Whether it be on my blog, Goodreads or Amazon I was always rating the books I had read between 1 and 5 stars. I thought everybody did that, I thought that was the “norm”. But since blogging more and more, I’ve seen various opinions from people who say the star rating isn’t for them, they don’t like it or they rate books in a different way. Some, not at all.