Friday, 28 November 2014
What Blogging Means to Me
Recently, while promoting my blog for the UK Blog Awards 2015, I have been saying things like 'Vote for me - I deserve it' and 'Blogging means so much to me, please vote.' But what I haven't really explained is exactly why I have been saying these things and what prompted me to start blogging in the first place.
Once upon a time, many years ago (well, 2 and a half years ago) a teenage writer was debating her post university options. At the time, whilst she was in the middle of a Primary Education degree, she was coming to terms with the fact that she didn't actually want to be a teacher so began exploring other avenues instead. Therefore she applied to write for the online publication, Planet Ivy. Despite being accepted and given a log on, they did not seem all that keen to publish any of her articles. So, after being rejected by them to write a weekly column called 'The Secret Diary of a Student', she decided that actually she could do a very similar thing...but in her own space.
And that's the story of how The World According to Charlotte Coster came into being.
Simply this blog was going to be used as a portfolio of written work that I could take to journalism interviews and show how dedicated I was to writing. I wanted it to be all my own work, so all of the photos were to be taken by me, all of the articles coming from the heart and very few guest posts. This was MY area.
And in that way, The World According to Charlotte Coster has barely changed. It is still me inside out. It is still my take on the world. It is still my experiences which I describe and set out for your entertainment. But it is no longer just a means to an end. This blog has become an integral part of my life and I am not sure I will ever be able to give it up. There is too much of ME here. It would be like abandoning a pet on the side of the road and leaving it to wither away. You wouldn't be able to do that and neither could I.
In the beginning, (and in my quest to act like a journalist), I wanted to keep the personal side of my life out of it completely. But I realised you can't be a blogger and do that. It just isn't possible and frankly, it's not that interesting either. Anyone can form opinions on the world but virtually no one knows what's going on in a little student house in Reading. That's what makes your blog unique. Those little moments which contribute into making you the person you are now. And what I have learnt is that, just occasionally they can really help people. People who think they are alone because no one has dared speak up.
I have been through a lot since I started this blog in the summer of 2012. I have battled and semi-successfully defeated anorexia, I have visited beautiful places, I have abandoned my chosen career path, I have attended amazing events, I have had confidence crises, I have been heart broken, I have laughed and I have made it through university. All these things are here, laid out for you. And by portraying them in this way, not only can I confront my issues but remember the fun and the amazing experiences that have been constantly alongside that.
I have a feeling that this blog is now going to always be here and as my life adapts, it will adapt too. At least, I hope it will. I don't really want to still be writing about the problems of student living when I am 56. But I think this is one of the most important lessons that I have learnt while blogging -my blog can literally be anything that I want it to be. It is my space to do with what I will. It would be a good idea to remember that - not only within this blog but within my life as a whole.