I started sharing my life online back in 2000. I was in my first time at uni and was about to turn 19. Now it’s 2014, I’m 32 and I’m in a completely different place to that long ago day. I’m still sharing my life online – on my blog, on Facebook and on twitter. I blogged before it was really called blogging and I’ve been doing it for what feels like a lifetime. It’s become a part of who I am. But for the last few days I’ve been wondering if it’s time to stop.
I’ve got a lot from it. An outlet for my thoughts and feelings for one. Also, opportunities have come about because of it. I’ve met friends because of it and we’ve shared cocktails and trips to the Paralympics and laughs and I don’t know what else both online and in person. And I’ve received I don’t know how many free books to review. Mostly good books that I’ve enjoyed and often ones I wouldn’t have chosen.
Blogging has always been a hobby. I don’t have a massive blog getting loads of comments and shares and the like. And that’s fine with me. I always tell people that I’m not a disability blogger or a book blogger. I’m just a blogger. Because my blog is about my life – a lot of which is books and disability but not everything. I don’t want my blog to become a chore or a responsibility.
There’s the problem. Over the last few months I’ve had several conversations with people which made me realise that what I’m writing isn’t saying to them what I’d like it to. It’s a tough thing to realise.
I don’t want to be known as the girl who blogs about how terrible her life is. I’ve a feeling a few people are taking that away from my writing. I don’t want my blogs to be used by people who think “at least I’m better off than she is” or who feel sorry for me. I don’t want or need pity. I need respect. The hardest part of all of this is that one of the people doing this is someone I have called friend.
Then I started thinking maybe I’d only blog about books. But it feels like lately that book blogging is losing it’s appeal too.
It’s full of emails and tweets saying “you promised to review my book where is it?” or even “it’s 12th March. You promised to post a review of my book today and it’s only 9:05am but you’ve not posted yet WHERE IS IT?!” and the like. A form of blogging which was meant to be just sharing something I love became a stressful chore.
I started wondering why other people blog. Why is it so popular? And I started trying to remember why I blog. I think I’ve forgotten I’ve been doing it so long.
When I first started blogging I did it because it was something new and it was fun. People looked at me strange when I mentioned my “online diary”. Then blogging turned into sharing more about disability issues and trying to show that being disabled is ok. Then it morphed back into being about my life. And then there was that random tweet from Waterstones asking people who like Dorothy Koomson to get in touch and the free books for review started arriving (there is something very strange but kinda fun about getting a parcel addressed to your blog). For the last year or so it’s been a bit of everything.
Why do I blog? Because I’ve got something to say. Because I’ve done it for years and it’s habit. Because it used to be fun and I hope one day it will be again.