An apology to the world of bloggers: forgive and forget?

I didn’t try and hide my disdain for blogging. My first ever blog post, back in October 2014, says it all.

The title read: ‘Another self indulgent, middle class, twenty something blog… really?’, but my harsh words didn’t stop there.

Countless arty people in my suburban London circle have started blogging in the past year. Becoming one of them, through typing this, is cringing me to the core.

Yet, there was no denying the reasons why it’d be useful for me to start a blog. As a keen traveller, aspiring journalist and amateur photographer, blogging would work in perfect harmony with my likes and skillset.
I was told repeatedly throughout school and uni that if I was serious about writing, then I should start a blog.

I was serious about writing. Yet I was also a scared little baby: terrified a blog would come off as pretentious, embarrassing and plain uncool.

As Douglas Coupland, the great satirist of consumerism, so succinctly put it:

IMG_3038(A relevant aside: see his exhibition at the ROM asap!)

I was certain in my belief that the last thing the saturated internet needed was another self-indulgent blogger.

Fast forward six months and I owe the blogging world an apology. 

I reluctantly started my own blog in Shanghai (I had free time aplenty during a stint interning there). I continued updating it during travels in SE Asia and still work on it now from icy Toronto.

And I can say, hand on my heart, that it’s been the most rewarding experience.

Really, I should have known it was for me. I wrote a diary every day when very young, I edited my school magazine when pretty young, and now, (still young, but hopefully more mature)…

…I’m finally ready to admit the many merits of blogging.

Career-wise, it shows dedication, no two ways about it. Especially if you want to get into the media, you want to be getting serious about blogging. I’m not sure I would have landed my internship at Elle if it hadn’t been for my cringey, yet hopefully interesting posts (on topics ranging from smog in Beijing to genocide in Cambodia).

In fact, nine in ten companies look at online profiles before hiring. Who wouldn’t want to employ people with a positive on-line influence? Blogging is the most effective way of showcasing this.

But your CV isn’t the only thing that benefits. Blogging is both strangely and genuinely satisfying. If you’re the type of person who enjoys capturing moments and memories, in an attractive, show off-able way, blogging is for you.
Get customising your URL now!

I spent part of last week at Toronto Fashion Week and couldn’t fail to note the influence that bloggers have there. As much as respected publications were on the front rows, increasingly, bloggers were too. When you take control of your on-line identity and gradually build your influence, people can’t fail but to take notice.

IMG_5177

There’s immediate feedback and the chance to learn vital buzzwords (hello SEO, HTML, CSS skills).
And it goes without saying that it’ll help you become a better writer too. You wouldn’t be so sick of hearing the saying “practice makes perfect” if there wasn’t an element of truth to it…

There’s a ridiculous amount of talent out there.

To highlight just how much there is, I thought I’d draw attention to my five favourite blogs. These have all been set up in the past year or two by people I know (OK, most are pretty tenuous connections e.g from the coach to school, politics class, student journalism gatherings..)

Their amazing publications just go to show how easily and successfully people can showcase their talents on-line. This is thanks to the wonderful world of blogging!
Have a browse of these and see for yourself:

The Lumberjack Baker

I want to demolish every single thing on this site, and despite the abundance of food blogs out there, that’s pretty rare. The Lumberjack Baker is not afraid to use carbs in recipes (rare again), yet most dishes remain healthy and all look incredible. From brownie cupcakes with an edge to sweet potato and bean stew, I challenge your mouth not to water uncontrollably.

Chez Specter

One of my best friends, and a gorgeous, glamorous girl, she has interesting insights in abundance. There’s no way that Chez Specter can’t take the health/ love/ lifestyle sections of any publication by storm. From thought provoking articles on feminism, to amusing listicles, her site is worth a read. My personal faves? 22 things I have learnt by 22 and Should career women use their looks to get ahead?

Scenes of Reason

This is, admittedly, more a website, than a blog. But I think it’s a wonderfully informative resource, and worth a mention for how young entrepreneurs have used the internet for good. Scenes of Reason takes tricky topics in the news (think Israel’s election and climate change), and explains them usefully, but not patronisingly. The videos and posts are great to subscribe to on social media feeds; it’s little wonder the site has already been picked up by The Huffington Post and more.

The Haute Heel

For the most stylish clothes, shot impeccably, look no further than The Haute Heel. Follow Andrea’s cool, minimalist blog if you want to see a girl looking seriously good and can deal with a serious case of wanderlust (case in point: her posts from Cannes). She’s already been interview by The Tab, but I sense much bigger things in her future.

The Thinking Kitchen

As I said, food has taken over a worryingly large portion of the blogging and Instagram world. I’m not complaining (well, I wouldn’t be if I could afford daily avocados on an intern stipend..). There are some great sites out there: I particularly like The Fodmapper and Camera Eats.
But for digging a little deeper, The Thinking Kitchen does an amazing job of discussing the psychology behind our relationship with food. The only thing more gorgeous than the food itself is the photography, and I’m loving recipes for roast aubergine salad and healthy pad thai.

IMG_4955

Keep blogging all, I know I will!

5 thoughts on “An apology to the world of bloggers: forgive and forget?

      1. Ha so funny! We should hunt him down this summer, though he might be disgusted how girly and pretty our blogs are (I.e not a hint of Tess symbolism)!

        Like

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