I have been blogging since dial-up was the norm. We got our first computer back in 2002 (capable of surfing the net anyway), and I was instantly drawn to the creative and collaborative nature of the web. Initially I was hooked on message boards and chat rooms, like teenagers were in the noughties. I remember the days of AOL Pub Quiz chat fondly, and it taught me to type super fast!
Of course, I was one of those with a Geocities account (I had a few, actually) which I spent many evenings playing around on (complete with obligatory marquee and cursor text). I loved writing, and I loved when people viewed my site. Of course, all the old Geocities sites are in the graveyard of the internet now, and I have since navigated my way through many crazes. There was of course the MySpace era, which I fully embraced. I learnt pretty much everything I know about HTML and CSS by uber-customising my MySpace profile. Eventually MySpace died and we all moved to Facebook, which back in the day was riddled with weird app games. Thank God they toned that down a bit. I ended up on blogspot for all my blogging needs, after toying with livejournal, tumblr, and probably a few others, before eventually migrating to WordPress.
I managed to maintain a blog on blogger for a few years, but it was largely a place for me to waffle on about what I’d been doing, and to rant about things that were annoying me. It was okay for people I knew to keep up with my various stuff, and I enjoyed writing it, but eventually I wanted to try something a bit different. Since then I’ve been very flaky with blogs. I’ve started and trashed five more (I think… it’s easy to lose count of these things) because I wasn’t getting enjoyment out of them like I used to. It’s like I was searching for something and not quite finding it.
Recently I’ve been spending a lot more time within the blogging community. This blog is still in its infancy so I’ve not done a lot to promote it yet, but much of the enjoyment I’m getting out of this blog is through reading other people’s. There are a lot of really inspiring blogs out there, and inspiring people behind them. That’s what I’ve been missing – the community. I used to spend a lot of my time online chatting to other people, but the internet has become and scarier place as it’s grown, so I’ve taken a step back. I forgot to engage, I forgot to enjoy other people’s work, and I forgot to appreciate all the really nice stuff there is out there. The internet should be a social experience. I reject the adage that it’s made us all antisocial, when we’re all more connected than ever.
I love that I get to be creative on here, and I love that I’ll be able to share it. My aim is that one day other people enjoy my blog as I enjoy other people’s. It’s a sanctuary from my day job and an escape from the drag of daily life. I can share all the fun things I do here, and I can talk about my dreams for the future. Blogging makes me feel optimistic and excited. I’ve decided to make this a positive place.
Sometimes change is good
Transitioning to WordPress has helped my creativity flow again. Blogger was great, but it’s good to try something new. I’m finding WordPress a lot easier to use, and it’s really allowing me to try out new things, to find out what works and what really doesn’t. Widgets are easier to use, there are far more designs to try out, and a lot more ways to link to social media. Maybe I never explored Blogger to its full potential because I only ever really used it for a personal blog, but so far I’m getting on a lot better with WordPress. In a way, removing myself from the environment where I’d stagnated helped me find a fresh view on things.
Finally, after deciding that blogging is my hobby and my passion, I set up my desk to be a creative workspace. My bed was my main workspace before, and that really doesn’t work. It’s important to keep sleeping separate from entertainment and work, else you never do any one of those things fully. I definitely struggle to do any work from my bed – I always end up laying down and doing nothing. Since I moved house I’ve had a really handy built -in desk in the corner which is perfect for a cosy creative space. And I have a really nice window letting in the light when it’s sunny outside, and a door opening straight onto the garden which will be lovely in the summer. I’ve been 100% more productive since setting up my workspace. I’d highly recommend spending a bit of time creating your perfect little corner to anyone just starting out.