I have to say, this is weird as heck.
Never in a million years did I genuinely think I’d last a year. In all seriousness. I’ve become well accustomed with my amazing ability to start things strong and simmer down a bit resulting in not actually finishing anything at all. Heck, this is my third attempt at blogging. So far, it’s the most successful.
I started blogging on June 20th of 2017, and it was on a whim. I was a couple of months into my first year at university, I was leaving on holiday the next month, and I was slowly coming to terms with the fact that I had complete control over what I chose to do with my life.
I can’t put all the blame on this, but I sure as hell will put some of it. My high school was a 600-700 student all girls Catholic school. I loved some parts of it, as much as I loathed some parts of it. It was a very tight-knit community, especially my year level.
It didn’t matter if we were friends with everyone, someone, (in the least creepy way possible) always knew your business, what you were doing, who you were talking to etc. You never really got your own space, and there was definitely always someone there judging you for what you were doing. I suppose that’s the way high school kind of goes.
When I first began You Should Hear, I was very very timid. As much as I enjoyed writing, I was so worried about what people would think if they find out about my blog, especially people from school. However, as more people on WordPress and my other blogging social medias started appreciating my writing and the things I was sharing, I started telling more people about it. I rarely share any of my posts on my personal Instagram or Twitter, but it’s been up there once or twice and most people know. Most people don’t care. Which I am totally fine with. But this blog started out as a complete secret, though I’ve learnt so much in the last year.
- I am more than capable of caring, and writing, about a whole plethora of things, besides just music reviews and suggestions.
This was something I battled with for ages. I had set up this blog with the intention of posting only music reviews, artist recommendations and playlists. Never in a million years did I think, back last June, that I would be opening up about my life at university, my own music, mental health, my personal opinions on issues facing the industry or doing in depth analysis’ of music videos and song lyrics. Never in a million years. But here we are, one year later, and those type of posts are some of my most favourite posts to write and some of your favourite posts to read.
- People will actually read what I write.
Sure it took a fair amount of self promotion, mindful blog jumping, engagement and work, but never did I actually think for a second that more than a handful of people would be reading my blog posts. Now there are over 100 of you, and we’re less than 10 more friends away from 200. It’s definitely small in comparison to some of your amazing blog followings and the content you all put up, but for me it’s insane to wrap my head around, especially because of how hesitant I’ve been in promoting my blog with my friends and family, to the point where only a few people from my school read or keep up to date with my posts.
- I can make friends here???
When I started this last year, I had no idea how I would go about fitting into the community here on WordPress. When the majority of blogs I was reading as inspiration and looking at to see how it all worked were fashion, style, lifestyle and travel blogs, I wasn’t 100% sure where my little niche would fit in. Enter a couple of incredible gals who I’ve come to know through the community, Mia, Chloe and Fiona, who have consistently supported and encouraged nearly everything I do here on You Should Hear. These three, along with a plethora of other beautiful people who have continually commented and engaged with my blogs have been half the reason I keep on writing and sticking around. Not only is it another push in the right direction to keep going, but it’s also incredible for me to see people actually reading what I have to say, engaging with what I’ve written and starting conversations with me about it. It’s not something that I’ve ever made it far enough to achieve with any of my other blogging attempts and it’s my favourite part of the entire process.
- I probably need to forgive myself more often.
It probably doesn’t seem like it through my writing, but I often go a bit too hard and then suddenly fall of the wagon as a result, which turns into me making myself feel guilty. I’ll explain.
As is with song-writing, journal writing or anything remotely creative that I do, I struggle to produce anything worth value if I’m not inspired or really ready to do anything. On the flip side of that, when I get excited or inspired about something, I spend all my time and energy on that one thing. When it comes to blogging, the equivalent, is me getting super duper inspired about a few artists, new music I’m listening to, a topic I’m passionate about or whatever, to the point where I sit on my couch, for nearly a whole day, sometimes beginning in the afternoon and going late, late, late into the night when my family has gone to sleep, planning, writing, editing and setting up posts. The takeaway from that, is I often lose all my steam once it’s done, and I won’t be able to do anything for a couple of days. Once I hit like, a week, of not writing anything, I start feeling super guilty and scared that my readers won’t be there when I eventually do come back, which never takes too long.
Recently I’ve been working on focusing on something else when that happens with my blogging, and focusing my energy elsewhere, so as to avoid the guilt directed towards my blog. Slow process, that I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with, but it’s happening slowly.
- I can’t settle down.
When I get to focus this blog on music, I get to really see a visual sort of representation of my listening styles, my habits when it comes to my favourite songs and artists, and the way I use music. And it’s a bit all over the place. That’s all for that one.
- I hugely underestimated blogging and the work that comes with it.
I’ve become a lot better with this, but when I first started, I had no idea how much more work it would be, aside from all the writing and planning that goes on. I had no clue I would be pushing my social medias so hard, or keeping them as up to date as I possibly could, I never even planned to make a Twitter account for this blog until I realised how much I was under-utilising the site. It never crossed my mind that I would routinely be going onto Canva to create banners, and settling on fonts and images that would cohesively assist in my branding. Branding. I never once thought about branding or SEO or affiliate links but now whenever I do any other research to help my blog grow those are some of the most talked about topics that I still can’t completely wrap my head around.
And that’s only touching the surface of what I’ve learnt this past year. The last year has been amazing and I’ve loved watching this blog grow, and talking to all the new people who somehow stumble across it. Here’s to another year!