Have you looked at the NASA pictures of Earth and thought, 'Gee where am I in this Universe and what is the relevance of my existence?' Well I have and and I occasionally have the the same thought while surfing thru fashion blogs. Is my blog worth something? Is is interesting, inspiring, fun?? I guess its inherent blogger nature. You start writing for yourself but soon the 'relativity' catches up with you. You start thinking in terms of 'my blog' Vs 'X blog' and even though this process can be, and most of the times is, constructive, you can't help feel overwhelmed and feel the need to be validated. I am fessing up to my blogging insecurities today just to find out if I am alone in this or are there others who felt/feel the same..
I am a new blogger, not even a year old, but an old soul when it comes to style. I have to admit, sometimes I feel 'OLD' in general when I scour the internet for fashion blogs, specially personal style blogs.They say 30 is the new 20! But in fashion blogosphere, 30 may as well be octogenarian! If you surf the member community of my beloved IFB, or other places where fashion bloggers hang out, you will find more young bloggers than the old(ish/er) ones. Or run by industry professionals where their age (and therefore experience) actually gives them an advantage! I am not saying that all interesting and successful bloggers are teenagers, but it seems so sometimes! Or may be there are more bloggers my age but they write and run their blog to cater to younger readers. Thats when I felt my blogger insecurity- Am I too old for outfit posts?
I have to confess, when I started Style Delights, I was overwhelmed by the some 'outfit post blogs' which were successful, had a large number of followers and advert banners, but essentially were snapshots of other people's (very extensive) wardrobes. I seriously thought I need to take a photography class in order to build a beautiful blog! I also had the misconception that stunningly beautiful people are often successful bloggers! God's truth, Chictopia had me seriously doubt my style sense, capability and the nerve to write a blog!!! ( but that story some other day!) I barely resisted being pulled in to putting my pictures in a certain way to fit in (read really tackily-coordinated clothes) which would be totally age inappropriate for me. And then the question started twirling in my head - Did I start blogging too late? I am 30 plus (the plus part is classified and need to know basis information), married and a full time mother. Between laundry, dinners, chauffeuring to ballet classes and piano practices, taking time for date nights and catching up with PTA moms, there is not much time left for stunning outfit posts! But all said, I LOVE fashion, devour fashion magazines, visit and revisit my favorite blogs and play dress up while the little one is in school or sleeping! In essence, at heart I may as well be a teen experimenting and having fun with fashion. After repeatedly told by friends that I have a great style (may be that's why they are my friends) I decided to start writing my blog. I didn't want to be a mommy blogger (no offence to those who use this term, but I feel being stereotyped while using this word).I was neither a sewing superhero nor DYI magic maker! I didn't have the industry experience. It was just me, my "budget closet" and the insatiable lust for style. I wanted to write a blog not only to show readers (in the beginning that would constitute my husband and my best friend) my style but to give them a magazine-like reading experience. But with millions of blogs with beautiful young faces and great un-motherly bodies and Canon wide angle zoom lenses, I was threatened (I hope I will not lose your respect after this post!) and wish I had a chance to blog when I was 18! But my teenage years were unfortunately (and maybe blissfully too) internet-free! Growing up in a small town in India where internet revolution did not come (at least to the masses) until early 21st century, we never really had a clue about blogging! But we carried the love for fashion and style 'offline', cutting the magazine pics for reference, writing in the journal (with the ball point pen) and thumb through the paper catalogue of big city stores! We shopped without the security of 'return if not satisfied' policy, got things altered by the corner tailor shop, and fashion was something filmstars 'wore'!! After college when I moved to the big city, the true internet revolution took place, although "blogging" was still not a common word. Eventually when I moved to America, I realized that it doesn't take 5 minutes for the page to load, and you don't need to disconnect every time you think you are done with the 'net'! That was the time I discovered many amusing thing about the internet, but I'll save that story for later! Coming back to the topic at hand - my blogging adventures- after posting my first ever blog post, I impatiently waited for people to comment or may be follow my blog. Of course it doesn't work this way. Blogging is essentially the channel to give voice to your unique thoughts- not a platform to make people agree with you or flatter you. If they agree with you, admire your thoughts or follow you - its because you wrote something that resonated with them. And that's when I realized I was walking towards the non-constructive slippery slope - I wanted to write the successful blog and not just write my blog, period. And suddenly, just like Ricky Kinsella, I heard that too - If you build it they will come! (No matter what your age or style is!)
And I also learned a useful lesson - Nobody needs to validate my writing or validate my style or make me feel relevant - Its I who needs to dig inside me to find my unique voice, to be true to myself and just write. If someone out there likes it - its a bonus!!
And I am glad to say I feel good. I am writing. I am building my blog. I am building relationships with fellow bloggers (and I'd like to think there are people who wait for my next post.)!
PS. I learn from the younger bloggers, get inspiration from their individuality. I am totally awestruck by their creative approach to blogging and they make me cherish my own teenage fashion adventures, however offline and isolated! And I am taking time out of my crazy day for outfit post!
PSS. I have nothing against tackily coordinated clothes- to each their own! After all that's what fashion is all about!