Once upon a time, I started a blog. This blog. It wasn’t my first and it could be my last. 2009 was that blissful period where blogs were sort of a thing but not really a thing. Tavi was making headlines, I’d created a zine at college about international bloggers, my evening reads were still ELLE, Vogue and Style Scrapbook. There was a small community of us on Twitter and we chatted once in a while about ‘how to align a photo in the centre’ or whether it was better to have a light or dark background. It was simple, relaxed, light-hearted.
Me? I began Daisybutter to share my thoughts on things happening in fashion. I was a couple of months into my fashion journalism degree and spent my nights reading about European architecture, turning news articles into columns, reading a billion books and journals, playing Pokemon with my flatmates and slowly becoming a regular at Champagne Charlie’s (a beverage establishment that certainly did not sell champagne. Usually Cactus Jacks, Sailor Jerry and highly questionable flavoured vodka variations). I quickly saw my blog as my way to practice writing and practice it actively and regularly. My peers at University dismissed it and thought nothing of blogging. I overheard someone calling me a D-list writer once! In its early days, Daisybutter was a semi-eloquent dumping ground of fashion, personal style, beauty, new buys and all that other superficial and frivolous goodness.
I cared not about having daily posts ready, polished, scheduled and promoted for 9am everyday. I didn’t even own a digital camera anymore, having unceremoniously dropped it into a plastic cup of vodka and Asda’s own 23p lemonade. I couldn’t shop for anything except from the essential striped red tee for Where’s Wally night and Jaffa Cake imitations. The only blogging trends that existed were when we all began to get Twitter, the JC Lita’s and formatting your posts with all the copy centred. Cringe.
I think that I can quite confidently say that I’ve never really changed much in the reason for having and keeping a blog. Just to write, to share and have a little fun. Blogging wasn’t a career option back then. Rumi of Fashion Toast and Andy of Style Scrapbook were studying and/or working traditional jobs. I was absolutely dead-set on becoming a fashion editor at a British glossy print magazine or someday having a style column in a newspaper. There was no other option for me at that moment. Yet my favourite part of fashion journalism-student life was always getting home whether at 2pm or 9pm, switching my laptop on and creating a blog post from nothing. I could post about the lectures I’d been to and almost slept through. I could shoot a grainy photo of my Uni outfit through webcam. I used to LOVE sharing my week in photos, full of any random crap. My blog posts (I can’t bring myself to use content for my earliest blogging days!) were inspired by nothing but my mundane everyday life. And for some reason, my little once-unknown blog blossomed. I reached 50 followers and celebrated with my flatmates and some Crème Eggs. I reached 100 and we went out for a 99p drinks night. I reached 1000 followers and we all agreed that a) we were too poor for my blog to do any better 😉 and b) it was bizarre that people cared what I was doing with my 10 English pounds a week! Within that first two years of opening my blog, I reached 3000 followers and had been nominated for both Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire Blog Awards. As someone that is admittedly not popular IRL, this not-so-secret online world became fascinating to me. Lily, Victoria, Gem and I went to LFW together and had a week of surreal fun. At that moment, as I was beginning my final year at Uni, I could probably have confidently become a ‘full-time blogger’ and pursued this online space properly.
I want to touch a little on the popularity game because I feel, and have felt for a while, that I’ve lost my footing in the community. In a cruder sense, I feel like I’ve lost popularity. Not that I ever was, but Just like in the fickle real world, it’s very easy to feel inadequate through probably no fault of our own. I mentioned earlier that my blog reached 3000 followers in 2012, right? Well fast forward almost three years and I have hardly progressed, numbers wise. I don’t like dealing with numbers when my blog has been and is today a hobbyist blog. But did I do something terrible in these past three years that meant I got ‘left behind’, so to speak? Did I alienate some of my readers? Should I be selectively sharing things that will go viral or that show I’m in an unspoken bloggers’ sorority? Should I be keeping things less-personal? I find it funny how I mention my Pret lunch in this post that is my most viewed even after almost 5 years! In these three years I’ve graduated, moved home, started working, left jobs, got new ones, set up my own business, bought tortoises, moved to the literal other side of the world, I’ve grown to be proud of my blog. I somehow find myself semi-grown up (so they say… they haven’t seen my quite frankly impressive collection of plushies and figurines) and in a place that I never dreamed of being. Kinda expected that I’d leave Uni and immediately have my dream career, a house and 20 cats or something like that. I adore this little space more than ever but can’t help wondering if I did something wrong back then?
Like I said, I adore this space and how it has grown up with me. It’s become a hilarious place to flick through the archives of and remember my daily woes back in 2010 or the breakfasts I was cobbling together when at Uni. It’s a place to scribble down thoughts and opinions of things that I doubt I’d be curious about at all if it wasn’t for blogging in the first place. I still never see real-life experiences as ‘things I’m doing for my blog’; I simply do things and love the process of photographing it all and remembering it all. I have never and currently don’t see blogging as a chore, I just can’t seem to shake off a feeling that perhaps something isn’t quite right right now.
The other night I read this post by the lovely, hilarious and sweet Corrie (high five for our 2012 afternoons spent sat in the corridors of JM building!) and it summed up lots of what I’ve felt all year. I definitely recommend giving it a read if you haven’t already.
Okay, that’s me over and out. Time to grab some dinner and aimlessly trawl through YouTube like a classic Sunday evening demands ♥