So there is something that has been weighing on my mind lately.
I know that I am not obligated to write about anything in particular. It is my blog, and I can do with it what I want to, but I feel like I have carved out a niche for myself in the healthy living blogging community, and now I feel like I may want to backtrack.
I don’t think I want to be a healthy-living blogger.
I have kind of touched on this before, but I want to write about it in further detail.
I started my blog for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I love to write. I have always loved to write, and I have always loved to tell stories. I love that I have a place where I can go at the end of each day and write about the stuff that I can’t write about at work. I have my own space.
Secondly, I DO love food. I love it a ridiculous amount. I really do have two moods, happy or hungry.
I stumbled randomly one day across the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, and it opened up a whole new world for me. It led me to finding a whole slew of other healthy living blogs, where people wrote about their food, and posted workouts, and wrote random things about their day, and these blogs inspired people to live better.
I was immediately intrigued. I loved to write. I loved food. These girls were leading healthy and active lives, and I also wanted to do that, so I thought to myself “I can do this too! I can be like them!”
These blogs taught me how to create a healthy, balanced meal, and how to not be afraid of exercise and running. They showed me that I too could live healthfully and actively, and I could write about my journey! It gave me the jump start I needed to create my own blog.
And I followed in their footsteps. Here is what I did. Here is what I ate. And here is what I think about that. I followed the cookie-cutter template. And for a while I was really enjoying it.
But then something started to happen. I started to obsess over what I was eating, and whether or not it was blog-worthy. I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I would start to second guess what I was eating because I believed people would scrutinize me or judge me based on it. No more french fries, for example, and no oatmeal two days in a row. Silly things like that. And if I did post food that I felt I may get judged on, I would feel like I had to defend or justify myself.
I felt guilty for eating a bunch of cookies when I am supposed to be a healthy-living blogger. And no one should ever feel guilty for eating cookies.
I also felt pressure to post interesting food pictures, and I don’t particularly enjoy photographing my food. I do a lot of sport photography for work and I am MUCH more interested in that. It is a lot more exciting than food.
I love food yes, but I have never been one to obsess over my food choices or food attractiveness and the fact that I was starting to do this started to bother me.
At the same time, I wanted my blog to excel. I wanted it to be good. I felt an obligation, to myself. To make my blog the best. And since I started out on the healthy-living journey, I felt the need to continue it.
Sometimes I will post a recipe, for say, vegetable soup, and I will check my traffic and see that someone found my blog for the first time and they read that post…and then they leave. And I almost feel embarrassed. I want to say “No! Come back! I am more than just low-calorie vegetable soup! I can hold your interest and maybe make you laugh! Just read this post! Or this one! THIS is what I am proud of!”
I am not proud of my recipe posts. I am proud of my stories. They are more me.
I love to eat, but I don’t often create original recipes. I love to sweat, but I don’t often create original workouts. And that is totally fine. But that means I am mostly regurgitating the content of other people. Sure, I’m putting my own spin on it, but I am not truly writing what I want to write about.
I would love to inspire people to live better, but I will never be as good at writing about healthy-active living as the big healthy living bloggers are. Because it is their passion, and it comes through in their writing. But it isn’t my passion. It just isn’t me. I will never be known for my recipes. I will never create my own kind of granola, and that is okay.
But I feel like I have given myself a label and it is boxing me in.
I like to tell stories. I like to make people laugh. That is my passion. When I was a kid, I would spend hours writing comic book stories and I would give them to my neighbours as presents. And now that I have started integrating my stories into my blog, I have found that that’s what I truly enjoy writing about.
I want to tell you about smashing my face off a bar at the gym, and falling out of a tree and landing on my face. I want to tell you about the time I told my parents I saw the ghost of an Indian Chief because I was too embarrassed to tell them I was really crying because my friends all ran away and left me alone in the forest. I want to tell you about the time I almost got arrested for trying to save $2 by sneaking on the subway. I have so many stories like this.
This is what I want to talk about and I’m getting bogged down with the other stuff, the stuff that I feel obligated to write about (and I know I am putting the obligation on myself, I know this). And it is funny how once you feel obligated to do something the enjoyment factor is taken down a notch…
But honestly, since I have been moving away from the food posting and drawing more cartoons, and telling more stories, I have been getting more traffic and comments. And I like to think you guys aren’t here for my recipes and my workouts, but you are here because I’m me.
There are already so many healthy-living blogs, I don’t want to be just another mediocre one. I want to stand out and do my own thing.
I also know that I do not owe anyone any sort of explanation. But I want to write this. These thoughts keep entering my head and I keep ignoring them and continue to write what I have been writing about. But I want to officially drop the label I have given myself.
I don’t know what exactly I am doing yet, but I hope that you will bear with me while I discover my own blogging voice. I am also posting this on a Friday evening because I feel apprehensive about it and I’m hoping not a lot of people will read it ;).
Also, I promise this is the last I will ever speak of this.