Thursday, 4 June 2020

What's my blog's identity?

The generations after us will groan when the year 2020 comes up in their history lesson. There is so much that's happening this year, there will be entire textbooks devoted just to this year alone.
Nobody would have believed that there could be anything surpassing Covid-19 in terms of importance, yet 2020 has done it again: we are in the midst of a revolution. 

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has sparked an outrage all across the globe that may finally bring about the long overdue changes in systemic racism. As a white woman I know little about it, and just like many of you I'm in the process of listening and learning more about racism, the danger of staying neutral and that it's better to speak up and say something stupid than say nothing at all. In fact, as a person with white privilege I'm bound to make mistakes and be insensitive, no matter how well intentioned. We simply cannot put ourselves into the shoes of someone who is being discriminated against in thousand big and little ways simply because they are not white.

But it's better to make mistakes and learn from them than not wanting to push ourselves at all. We will never become better people by staying in our little comfortable bubbles. That applies to life in general! Growing is painful, but without growth we don't become the best versions of ourselves.  


Some sources I find very helpful are Rachel CargleBritanny Packnett Cunningham, and the Black Lives Matter website. I also check the Occupy Democrats page on Facebook daily, which is focused on reporting on all the atrocities Trump performs daily - needless to say, they are busy! 
But that's all I'm gonna say about this for now, because I'm still in the learning stage. 

Before everything happened just over a week ago, when Covid-19 was old news and we were all bored and restless and eager for distractions, I reflected on my blog. Yes, this blog you're reading right now. I wanted to write about it, but I couldn't find the words or the energy. 
I found both. 

One of the things that used to bug me was that I've never had much of a brand.
  
Even after over 7 years of blogging, I still don't have one. I'm a true pantser (jargon for writers who fly by the seat of their pants, as opposed to planning their story), and for a long time I tried to train myself to be more disciplined. Even now I still fall into that trap from time to time. When I do I feverishly make myself to-do-lists, set word goals, put up motivational quotes, sign up for e-courses that are all about structuring and outlining and planning, and set my alarm to an hour before I have to get up "to get my word count in". 
But you know what? I always "fail". Or I would be, if I would allow myself to be defined by those terms. But I don't. And it's fabulously liberating! 

I never created a brand because I'm not interested. It's as simple as that. Writing and blogging have one simple purpose to me: storytelling
That's how it all started, and that's where it all comes back to. I adore stories. From the time I was a little girl I've preferred listening to stories instead of music. I still do, always listening to an audiobook in my car, rarely turning the radio on.  

So when I ponder my blog's future, and I manage to set aside my ego, outside influences and the old comparison trap (which I'm proud to say I've pretty much conquered!), what's left is the essentials. And the simple truth is that as long as I live, I will always want to immerse myself in stories: the ones told by others as well as the ones told by me. 

Many people believe that blogs are over. Maybe they are - I honestly don't know. I've never in my life been at the pulse of new things happening, so I'm the wrong person to ask. But one thing I know 100% for sure is this: stories will never be over. We humans crave stories as much as we need air to breathe and water to drink.

So, if you consider to start a blog, do it. If you already have a blog and want to expand it, go for it! You could open it up to new contributors, something the team at A Beautiful Mess has been doing for years.
To make sure that your blog stays consistent and keeps the look you want you can use tools such as templates (https://www.templafy.com/) to keep a look that's true to you.
If you want to write poetry, or short stories, or a novel -  do it! Stories are the thread that connects us, the fabric we can use to weave our stories together that unites us.


My blog doesn't have a brand. 
I don't know yet exactly what my identity is. 

But I know this: 
All of humanity is united by their stories. We all have similar fears, dreams, wants and needs. We look different, and because of that some of us undergo different, unfair experiences. It sucks. It's wrong. Humanity is flawed. 

But there is one thing that can put all of this aside, even if it's just for the duration of a movie or a book or reading at bedtime: and that's a story. During that magical time, we are transported into a world where everything is possible.

Will it ever become reality?
Maybe not. 
But a girl can dream. Stories give us that escape. 

And I know another thing: my blog's identity. 
It's a storyteller. 


All images (unless otherwise specified) found on Pixabay


Share:

8 comments

  1. And one thing I know about you Miriam, is that you are a storyteller! You are one who creates connection and community with your words. Such a gift.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stories have helped me through every problem, fear and hardship in my life and continue to do so. They make me feel understood and hopeful.
      I'm deeply grateful to share mine and maybe do the same for someone else.

      Delete
  2. It feels like you have taken these words from my soul. I'm pretty sure that I wrote a similar post years ago as I was agonizing with the process of "defining + branding" myself. But, to feel liberated from that is just the best thing ever! I am so very touched by your words, your energy, and your stories. Keep them coming for years to come. I'll always be here. Love to you, sister. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You did, I remember that post! The pressure to create a brand was strong in the blogging world. Maybe it still is, but you and I found our own path, and it's so freeing!

      Thank you so much for walking on this road with me. I'll always be there for you too, and I love following your unique and beautiful story.
      Much love ❤❤

      Delete
  3. Oh, girl, I FEEL YOU. Whenever someone brings up "branding" or asks about mine, I simply say "Me."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same! I don't want to have a business, I just want to write.

      Delete
  4. I don't have a "brand". I just...write. I'm not a writer by trade, but I love putting ideas out there, and well, if someone else reads them and they resonate with that person? Great! If no one else reads and my blog is just an online journal (among my many forms of self-reflection)? Great! I love this approach. They're stories. They're words in my head that I want to share. I'm new to your blog but appreciate it more every time I read one of your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne, welcome! Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Making a blog a business was big when I started out a few years ago, and it was nearly impossible not to get caught up in the pressure of wanting to get big and monetize one's blog. The focus seems to have shifted (at least from what I can see), and these days many of the blogs I follow treat them more like an online journal again. I love that! It's important to have hobbies just for the fun of it, and not as yet another side hustle.
      Sharing stories is as old as humankind, and it gives me joy to do that. Simple as that!

      Delete

Thanks for commenting! I always reply to comments here, so check back in a day or two!

© Miriam Verheyden | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig