Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blogging

Over the years, I've learned something surprising -- blogging means different things to different people.  Why we blog -- and its importance in our lives -- varies.  This came to light yesterday when, reading your comments about my last two outfits, you reduced me to tears.

I was so touched by your remarks that I couldn't contain my emotions.  Your heartfelt kindness, your sharing of fashion tips and your supportive encouragement all hit me like a tornado.  You gave me something I've ached for my whole life -- female comraderie.  For one of the first times, I didn't feel isolated and alone.

When I started blogging, I carefully observed the culture of the community and what other bloggers do with their sites.  I learned that the impetus to blog differs among us.  For some, it's merely to display their daily clothes.  For others, it's a way to make friends.  For many, it's a forum to develop our personal style.

For me, blogging is a means for expression -- expression in ways I've always craved but for which I never had a social outlet.  The blog has become the central outlet for my pent-up instincts. 

Over time, it also has become an incentive for me to dive deeper into female-life.  I shop more, I study women's clothing more, I pay attention to news and social phenomena that are invisible to most men.  Blogging -- and your presence here -- is accelerating the speed of my journey toward happiness.

I noticed some people start a blog, discover the demands inherent in the form, and then disappear.  I was shocked when this first happened because I mistakenly believed blogging is as important to everyone as it is to me.  But, apparently, it is not.  For some, the role of blogging in their life is trivial and, balancing effort against gain, something they could abandon.

I cannot ever imagine stopping my blog.  It gives me so much.  It opens doors and puts me in touch with wonderful people like you who, for the first time in my life, "see" me and are nice to me in ways I cherish.

How important is blogging to you?  Why do you blog?

25 comments:

  1. I've had a blog since I was 14. I met my exbf (who I dated off and on for 7 years) and my current bf through it. I met a ton of amazing people, some of which I'm meeting/seeing in LA this weekend.

    I blog to keep an archive of the things I have done and accomplished. I blog for me. The people I meet along the way are just an added perk.

    YOU ARE THE BEST! xoxo, Sandy

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  2. I love this post! I just started blogging a v+couple of months ago and agree with everything you wrote :)

    xxx,

    Fashion Fractions

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  3. What a thoughtful post! Blogging is a way to go to a "happy place" for us. It is a way to meet new people, receive opinions and constructive criticism, and to have fun! Blogging is definitely hard work, but it's work that we don't mind doing. We started out our blog out as a fashion/style blog, but it's turned out to be more than that. Like you, we have discovered that the blogging community is really a special and diverse group of people.

    Heather & Kayla

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  4. I started my blog for the fashion. I wanted to remember my outfits and found this a place to document them. However, I've "met" some fabulous people that share my same love of fashion and I have stretched my self to be more creative. It's also opened my eyes to things I'm not exposed to in my neck of the woods. It's like joining a club who has meetings everyday!

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  5. Female comraderie is a wonderful thing, and I feel it's more abundant in the blogosphere than sometimes in everyday life! I'm also glad to have found that, and to be able to re-trace my style across time in the records I'm keeping. Other than that, sometimes I tend to make fun activities into obligations they shouldn't be, but this applies to everything, not just blogging... since this summer, I'm trying to keep it as a non-pressure hobby. Which may mean irregularly spaced posts, but well!

    Re: Halloween costumes, it's a sorry situation indeed! I have never bought a ready-made costume in a store, so I consider even that a little lacking of imagination, but I understand that not everyone possesses sewing knowledge and a large enough stash of pseudo-costumey things... "sexy" is awesome when it's a choice and expressed through individual styling (there are outfits I'd consider sexy even though they're super modest in terms of skin coverage, and outfits that show lots of skin but I wouldn't classify them as sexy, etc.), but when it's made almost mandatory and follows one and the same template (i.e. showing a maximum of skin) that's really terrible...

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  6. I always get so sad when a blogger stops blogging! I do understand that it is different things for different people. Right now, I need it to keep feeling socialized as I continue to work from home, a very lonely situation! I often wonder, when I have a full time job, will I continue? When I have kids, will I continue? I think by the time that either of those happens, blogging will be so ingrained in me I won't even think to do it, I'll just keep posting!

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  7. I've actually been thinking about this lately and I'm not sure why I blog. I think I started because I had an excessive amount of time on my hands, and I like to think I'm good at writing and photography, so I merged them together to create a blog as a way to happily pass time. But now, I know it's more than just having too much free time, because holy damn, I don't have hardly any free time anymore! And yet I keep blogging. In fact, as of late, I've been putting even more time into my blog than usual even though I'm busier than usual, too. Weird?

    I've never been one to hold onto blogs for very long. I've had blogs on and off for eight years, and I always go strong for a while, then die off, and then start a new one. I've had 2EITM for almost a year and a half now, which has to be a record for me. And I think that's why I want to keep going with it. It's fun to look back in my archives and see pictures of myself a year ago. To know what I was thinking last March. To easily be able to locate a picture of myself with red hair. My blog is such a huge piece of my personal history that I couldn't imagine shutting it down and quitting or restarting somewhere else. I know there may be periods of time in the future where I don't blog too often (remember August?), but I don't see myself ever giving up entirely. No way.

    I'm glad to know you'll be around for a while, too.

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  8. I'm so happy for you! I'm glad blogging has given you a creative outlet and a way to be more of your true self. I've made so many good friends through blogging too.

    I can't imagine stopping blogging. But my issue is that I want to spend MORE time blogging but I've got a full-time job, a husband, and other hobbies. Maybe you could write something about balancing competing priorites in life?

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  9. First thing, the houndstooth skirt is GORGEOUS - happens to be one of my favorite patterns e.v.e.r.
    Now, blogging for me is discipline and i've been at it for over 2 years - for me its part of an evolution and blogging actually documents it :)

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  10. I started blogging because I needed a creative outlet and a place to focus some positive energy. But I KEPT blogging largely becuase of the people. I also enjoy the documentation. I've kept a journal or a blog off & on since I was about 13 so I've stopped blogging before, but 'style' blogs definitely have a different type of female camaraderie than I've ever felt before. It's hard to find a group of women who will be supportive & friendly in real life. It's really intoxicating, I can't really picture myself quitting blogging, I might change the focus if I got married and had kids, but I think the outlet would still be important to me.

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  11. I started my blog because it was extension of my fashion consulting business. I had a link on my website to my "fashion blog" but I was too intimidated to start it. It took me 3 years to finally post a photo. For a year I've been trying hard to continue it daily. I have times when it's just too much work and I get discouraged. At those times, I have to take a break to feel refreshed again. I love it but I don't want to burn out. You know?

    I love your blog. I've really enjoyed becoming friends with you not only here but IRL! I really cherish some friends that I've met through blogging. I am extremely attached to them and would hate to lose that. So, I totally get that part of what you're saying too.

    Food for thought for sure.

    xoxoxo,
    Tracy

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  12. I have been blogging for a while now and I like it as a medium to share my interests with others :-) but now, I enjoy 'meeting' other bloggers and I also find that blogging has helped me grow on a personal level as well! I couldn't stop blogging either!

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  13. I started my blog to give myself feedback about intentionally changing my style. But I found friends along the way. I considered briefly leaning towards monetizing and getting my blog ad-enabled, but decided that no it's more for the friends, the outreach, and to teach what I know.

    I always feel sad when people stop blogging. I hate even more when they don't say anything. Blogs are my main communication. So if someone stops blogging, I'm not likely to stay in good touch with them. I hate it, but the reality is I check anywhere from 30-100 blogs daily depending on what's going on, so unless someone is commenting, replying, emailing ME in return, I'm not likely to make as strong of friendships.

    People also say to me that I post a lot. Well, yeah, because I want to keep communications with my readers and friends. Blogging is very important to me because I have few friends locally, and even less chance of meeting people IRL with similar sets of interests, so I rely on my blog for a lot.

    I think the fashion-blog world is so welcoming, supportive and strong. It's hard to get in there, but if you have a personal voice and desire to produce something others want to read - you'll succeed.

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  14. Great post! When I first started blogging, it was to help other women know that they are not alone in their journey of life. It is a lot of work to take the photos, think of something to write, and comment on others blogs. However, I have developed what I believe are friendships with several other bloggers. Since I no longer go to work every day, this is a big part of my social life. I really enjoy your blog. I haven't been following you for very long and I have been trying to learn more about you. Some bloggers ask for comments, but really don't want honest feedback. I believe you are one that wants honest feedback and I hope to share my thoughts with you.
    Megan Mae is one of my very favorite bloggers. She is kind and offers excellent advice. I feel like I have been welcomed into a wonderful world of very special people.

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  15. I started blogging for a couple of reasons. One is my interest in fashion. Two was my strange interest in cataloguing what I wore. I used to just do it in a journal but did it for quite some time before I started blogging. Three is because of the blogs I read, I couldn't relate to most of them. I'm taller than most bloggers and differently shaped. I figured maybe there was some other tall, differently shaped folks out there who might also want to read a blog that they could relate to.

    Also, blogging amuses me in a way I can't quite define. But, seriously, it tickles me.

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  16. This got me thinking too! I see blogging as a way to communicate with bloggers from all over the world. It also helps hone my photography and writing skills and I've made some friends and buddies in the process too!

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  17. Great post Ally!! Blogging is so many different things for everyone! I love blogging because it is a way to document my life and share it with others, meet interesting people and learn new things! Although I'll never be a typical blogger and I can't post every outfit or every day (too much technology for me!), I do feel the urge to tell you guys all the important stuff that happen and share my feelings with you!

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  18. I'm totally with you Ally! I love blogging because it puts me in touch with so many wonderful people all over the world & it's something that's totally mine, I can do what I like & post what I like. Happy Wednesday hun xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  19. The question you pose actually made me think even deeper about my blog than in the past few weeks I took a blog-break.

    Why did I start? I think mostly because a lot of creative energies were bubbling up in me, and also because I was aching to connect with the bloggers I've been following from the "background" so to say.

    Blogging opened up a new world for me, and as you say, the female comraderie is fantastic. I always got on much better with girls than with men, and here I was introduced into a society with similar interest to mine. I met so many great people and keep being inspired by their blogs.

    When it comes to keeping up my blog - I hope I can find a balance where I don't feel pressurized by blogging in any way. I find this a very liberating process, tearing myself away from stereotypical blogging, and finding a path that's more "me".

    Thank you for writing about this and asking us!

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  20. I blog because I lack perspective on my body and my clothing choices. Being able to go back a month later and revisit an outfit or an item helps me curate my wardrobe towards a more cohesive and professional look.

    Or, in short, it hopefully helps keep me from looking like an ass most of the time.

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  21. I love this post. Because we are very similar in this respect, blogging means so much to me! I could never give up my blog. It is the only place i have these days to vent my feelings and have a creative oulet and make friends.

    The past two years have been incredibly tough for me (lost a few friends, my grandma passed away, and I lost job). If it had not been for my blogging friends, I honestly believe I would not have been able to cope. Blogging saved my life!

    And you're right, it is the perfect place to find inspiration! I've been taking more fashion risks after seeing what other fashionistas are doing! I've been getting more confident in my own style. :)

    Like you, I'm always shocked when I see people start blogging like crazy and then disappear. But I think those people aren't blogging for the right reasons. A lot of girls think starting a fashion blog will bring them fame and fortune. Haha! Those girls are gone pretty quickly!

    I'm so happy that blogging has been such a positive and life-changing experience for you. :) You seem like a very genuine and sweet person. There are far too few of those around!

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  22. This was an excellent post. I think personally, blogging is a creative outlet but it is a secondary activity for me. As a military member I often find myself without internet and in situations where I am not allowed to talk about what I've been up to. I understand how important blogging is for some social expression but for me it has been an escape from the demands of "real life" and the opportunity to meet and become friends with some new fantastic people. Again, really loved this post. I'm so happy that you have found a spot to feel comfortable in your own skin - we love you! x

    myheartstumbles.blogspot.com

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  23. I do enjoy blogging, but I certainly don't blog with the frequency that I used to. My work demands are much larger than they were when I started my blog, and I've been in a bit of a style slump lately. I don't think blogging is something I'd ever want to give up completely, but I've definitely had to find a balance with it over the past year, and I still haven't quite figured it out yet.

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  24. Very nice post, you certainly do share your soul with us, and I think that is one of the reasons why your followers feel so connected to you. I started blogging to make connections/friendships with like minded folks, and to be quite honest, I have not achieved that to the extent I had hoped. Maybe it's me and I just come off in a way that does not invite it.....who knows. This is not a pity-party by any means, just not what I expected it to be. I've recently stopped blogging, for several reasons, TIME is a big one, it was getting in the way of my day to day life. Maybe one day I'll be back. Not sure that my "voice" has a place in the blog world right now.

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  25. I blog as a hobby. I did intend for it to start out as a fashion blog but I soon got bored of that (and that is what Lookbook is for) and so I just write about anything and everything as a sort of online diary

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