This post has been in my mind for a while, and after reading Pip Lincolne's post on a similar subject, and then Nell's thoughts on her blog On the First Day of Marriage last night, I decided I had to put pen to paper (so to speak).
Recently, I've been thinking more about why I blog. Why I want to be sharing some of the minutiae of my life with strangers on the other side of the world. Whether I should be sharing photos of my baby with whoever stumbles across my little corner of the internet. (I'm going with yes - I'm sure you're all lovely folk!).
I started my blog as a way of re-engaging my brain as I emerged from the newborn baby fog. A way of recording some of those precious baby 'firsts' and connecting with a community of mamas all finding their way in the dark that is parenting. A way of rediscovering my love of the written word.
I've found so many like-minded individuals through blogging, and I love seeing their beautiful photos, being inspired by their crafting, reading wonderful words and discovering people that are going through the same ups, or downs as me.
But as I read more, I discovered the competitive, and sponsored side of blogging that I had previously been oblivious to. I got fed up with reading posts only to discover 'this is a sponsored post' in tiny text at the bottom of the page, or seeing post after post about this month's sponsors. It detracts from the honesty that attracted me to the blogging community - sharing thoughts, experiences and the little details of life with others in the same boat. That's where the word sincere comes in. I don't want to read something only to discover it to be a huge fabrication, and similarly, I want to write things that are true to me.*
It's too easy to get caught up in the stats/comments/followers. To compare yourself to others and feel demeaned because you don't feel as popular. It's the nerdy girl in the playground all over again. I sometimes have to remind myself that my self-worth is not caught up in my blog. It's just a bonus in my life.
So I'm vowing to make sure I'm just blogging for me. To write because I love it. And if other people like my photos/find it helpful/enjoy reading it, then that's great. But it's not the be all and end all. Real life is more important.
(Sorry for all the seriousness - I'll be posting a picture of the baby scrunching her face up/a slightly squashed looking cake/another corner of our house in dire need of renovation soon, have no fear!)
*Let me say though, I completely understand why people take on sponsors - it would be very easy to spend all day, every day working on a blog - so why not let it pay?
Edited to add: I should also say, there are many, many bloggers that I read and enjoy who do make use of sponsors and adverts - but they do so with integrity and transparency, whilst maintaining the true personality of their blog.