I am a blogger.
Or, well, I try to be.
And I try to be a good one, too.
I reciprocate favors for my generous blogger friends, I raise awareness for topics that plague modern culture, I try to encourage my readers and support my fellow authors, and I spend time making beautiful images on my Blog, finding pretty pins for my Pinterest boards, and taking gorgeous pictures for my Instagram.
But don’t let that fool you.
As a blogger, I can honestly say a lot rides on image. In fact, I would even go so far as to say my primary goal is creating an image, setting a mood, producing an atmosphere that emanates confidence, encouragement, honesty, kindness.
But let me be honest with you – blogging for me has been just as selfish as it is selfless.
I count my followers. I compete in a market of other writers for my tiny corner of the blogosphere. I support others to be supported. I follow others to be followed. I comment and like to receive the same. I show care and interest only in hopes of having that care and interest reciprocated. I network to become part of a larger sphere of influence.
And while many see this as the way to blog, to network, to expand, I have found myself becoming slightly vertigo when I consider the motivations I have behind Belrose Cottage because those were not my original intentions.
You see, I want to follow, like, and comment because I am truly interested. I want to advertise and support because I truly care. Numbers will always be there. Numbers will always fluctuate and falter.
But what have I if numbers are all that matter?
An empty sense of self-worth? An untrustworthy opinion of people I don’t even know? A reflection that I look at and sometimes say, “That is not me. But that is what sells.”?
I refuse to produce an image solely for the purpose of gaining approval.
I refuse to conjure an inaccurate reflection solely for the purpose of procuring a following.
I will chase my own dreams, I will write the things that are on my own heart, and I will grow to be my own person.
Not because it is popular. Not because my blog will grow that way. But because that was the dream that Belrose Cottage was founded on. That was the dream a young girl of 17 first had. That is the dream that will fuel this blog, fuel my posts, fuel my heart.
For the longest time, I was unable to write a post because I did not want to conform to what other bloggers were writing about, but I didn’t want to lose followers because of lame posts, and I worried too much about everyone not liking me or my writing (I suppose you start considering these things more deeply when your follower number is over 100).
But the truth is, I will be likable because of my personality, my character, and my words. There will always be people who do not like me. And that is alright.
So this Christmas, I promise to you, my Readers that, from now on, I will write honestly and bravely outside of the blogger topic circle, discover new horizons of subjects to write about, and honestly portray my passions, fears, loves, and hates without fear of being unliked or unfollowed.
This does not mean I will not cater to my readers anymore, because I absolutely will!!!
I suppose this is simply a reminder of what blogs are really for (more than meeting a “blogging stereotype”), who readers really are (more than numbers), and who the blogger really is (a unique individual with unique passions that perhaps no one else in the world has).
That being said, if I do not write to you before then, may you all have a very, very Merry Christmas as we celebrate our Savior’s birth together.