I was listening to Garance Doré’s podcast this past weekend, “Pardon my French”, and specifically one episode to commemorate the 10th anniversary of her blog, Garance Doré. In this episode, she answered questions by some of her long time readers which ran the gamut from what her favorite medium is to work in for art, to her original blog name “Un Fille Comme Moi”, to what she wants to do next.
What struck me is how she answered the question about what was next. Listening to her speak made me think I was listening to myself. She was maybe a tad more eloquent since she has had a few more years to fine tune what her point of view was, but everything she said struck me.
I’ll come back to that.
The title of this post is “Why I Hate Being Called a “Blogger”- and it’s not meant to detract from blogging or what it means to be a blogger, it is just meant to highlight some of the struggles I have faced, and face continually in this medium.
I don’t consider myself a blogger. In fact, my husband and I had a brainstorm session awhile back about what we could call what I do. I tried to use ‘businesswoman’ with a ‘website’ for a while… but you can imagine how vague that was. I do not consider myself a blogger because that word means nothing. It does not encompass all that I do. Just because I have a blog, does not make me a ‘blogger’ anymore than owning a shop makes you a ‘Shopper’. You own a shop with items in it. What are you selling? Books? Clothing? Music? Advice? Copy Machines? I am not a blogger, I am creative who is using the form of a blog, to express myself and build my business.
‘Blogging’ has been a confusing literary and art form for some time now. Many people that are very close to me treat my blog like it’s a joke. They think it’s something I throw together in between teaching Pure Barre and eating dinner. I get it- a blog is a very hard, abstract thing to understand. It’s like a public diary, but instead of being handwritten in chicken scratch it’s clean, polished, fully-optimized and SEO friendly. It’s a resume, a portfolio. Instead of this being something I throw together, it is something that my entire week revolves around. When can we take pictures, who can take the pictures, where will they be? When will I have time to write the corresponding post and make sure it is SEO friendly? When will I tweet it, post it to Facebook and Instagram it? How should I arrange the photos in my Instagram feed to make them sit together in a harmonious color palette? When will I have time to make a new dress/pillow/necklace to post? How do I balance the number of DIY posts to fashion to home goods? There is a lot that goes into this little website, however thrown together it may seem. People think blogging is easy, but in fact it is a full time job!
Now let’s go back to why I hate being a “Blogger”. Simply put, this is not what I do. I am a creative. If I introduce myself as a blogger, still no one knows what I do! I am a fashion designer, a graphic artist, a photographer. I love personal style and home style and I am an expert shopper! I am a fitness instructor and a dancer and a tennis player. I sew and I make jewelry and design my own wallpaper. I curate my life much like a museum, and I feel that I should not be put into an overarching box.
Garance Doré started her blog by photographing street style outside of Paris Fashion Week, then moved into a more personal route by incorporating her own fashion and home style, mixed in with personal essays. She is an accomplished artist and started including her illustrations in her blog, which then led to many licensed products and drawing opportunities. She has published a book, she makes speaking appearances and of course, she has a podcast! She said she would love to write music, and doesn’t think thats beyond the realm of possibility. She has been told numerous times to focus on one thing, to be an expert in one skill. Yet time and again she has proved these people wrong, by developing new skills and hobbies and using the blog as a form of exploration along the way. Instead of going to school for one major and thinking that is the one occupation you must have all your life… she completely broke the mold.
My heart sang when I heard her say all this. Too often I feel restricted in my own conversations with people about my future because it is hard to understand my journey. I feel as if I must either make the blog out to be an income generator to satisfy some people’s concerns, or to downplay it to satisfy others. My blog is somewhere between a job and a hobby, and although it’s not making money, it doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Just because I’m not sure what I’m doing now, doesn’t mean it’s not helping me get there. The blog is just a medium for the creative process. If I didn’t have the blog, I would still be sewing; other bloggers would still be cooking, building, creating… you just wouldn’t know about it! We are all doing the same things that we have always loved to do, but now we have a way of sharing it with you. I feel that is it really a wonderful thing. Instead of watching the Kardashians make up a fake story for TV, you have the option to partake in someone’s real life, real struggles and real successes. Think of us as businessmen and women, writers and entrepreneurs that are just getting started. You have the opportunity to go along with us on our journey.
So what do I want to be called, if not a blogger? Great question. I still don’t know, but want to be open to any suggestions that come my way. I could go with ‘Artist’ or ‘Life + Style Specialist’ but honestly who knows? Do you have any suggestions? As always, I would love and appreciate your feedback.
And as always, thank you for reading this and being a part of my journey!