Friday, August 9, 2013

Eliminating Blog Envy

I didn't realize this post would become about blog envy or the importance of community, but when I sat down to write, that's what came out. I hope you enjoy. More to come -- I have lots of photos to share!

Eliminating Blog Envy

So, I went to a blogging conference.

I didn't know what to expect. I hoped that I would learn a lot and come back with ideas and maybe a friend or two. I thought it would be really cool to see bloggers I've followed for years in person. But honestly, I really had no idea what would happen.

So, all that in mind, I went to Texas Style Council in my own lovely (and stylish) city, Austin. And I was totally blown away.

The event was well-organized, phenomenal, and inspiring. Panels and bloggers I met alike shattered perceptions I had about blogging, inspired or bounced around ideas with me, and left me feeling like a worthy, valuable blogger.

There is a lot of talk about jealousy and envy in the blogosphere (and online in general). It's so easy to get lost in thinking you wish you had something that another girl does, whether it's the free shoes or sponsorships or her body or her hair. Blogging offers a carefully curated, carefully edited snapshot. That's it. It's one moment in someone's life, and the words they chose to share.

In person, however, it's much easier to see the whole picture. People seem so much more real when you see them in person instead of on a screen. They have more depth and more personality. It's a lot easier to hate on a 2-D image or feel like you can't live up to it, but when you meet those Big Bloggers in person? They're just people, and are probably very sweet and humbled that you like their work. Think of how you would feel if someone you didn't know said your writing, or photography, or music, or web design, or whatever really, really resonated with them. Flattered, shocked, a little shy?

I think keeping in touch with your local or national blogging community is the best way to avoid blog envy and jealousy, because you get to see the whole side of someone -- not just what ends up online. When someone seems like a real person in your mind, not just an image on a screen, it's a lot easier to root for them rather than get jealous. One of my new friends, Nicole, talks about the importance of Sisterhood on her blog. It's all about uplifting, inspiring, encouraging others -- but never about tearing each other down.

My biggest lesson this weekend was about the importance of that positive, welcoming community. I met bloggers who blog for a living, some who do it on the side, some who have blogged since the invention of the word, and some who just started two months ago. And more than just  blogging, we were a diverse crowd in terms of taste, size, nationality, blog topics, industries... Everyone was welcome. That's one thing I love about blogging -- it's about real people, unique and varied as they are, sharing their lives. It's about connection. If we wish to thrive in our own ventures, that's the kind of community -- both online and offline -- we need to cultivate.

3 comments:

  1. Agreed! Thanks for posting this :)

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  2. I'm really glad that you brought this up. I've dealt with some of those feelings recently after starting up blogging again, after taking a long hiatus. Right now I feel like I am at the bottom of a tree, looking up and seeing all of the branches branching out into an endless sky. Traveling through the middle upwards is a safe place to be, but I still want to explore those branches and keep finding my voice. I think it's easy to feel like you have to do something everyone else is doing, but staying true to oneself is quite a challenge but a very rewarding one. If there is ever a blogging thing like the one you went to where I lived, I would definitely go.

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  3. i just came across your blog and was scrolling through your recap of this past year and this post. firstly, thank you for posting this. it's nice to hear this subject from a different perspective. i've been blogging for a minute and have found myself often times having those feelings of not living up to those big bloggers. i really like your flip on the idea of it all.

    great post!!

    xo.
    holly


    happinessbrand.blogspot.com

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