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So for the last two weeks or so my whole feed has been screaming CRETE, to the point that when I was dreadfully unwell and bedridden for a week, my friends actually thought I was still in Greece. I wasn’t, I was in my house in London, snotty and in fits of cold sweats. So attractive, right? But I wasn’t posting these faraway pictures in an incredibly ‘latergram’ fashion to mislead anyone, it was just that I had an aesthetic vision in mind for these simple holiday snaps. Regardless how many tiles it took up on my feed, I had to see it through. Call me obsessed, I cannot help but want to create something no matter where I am, with whatever tools I have. Point in case, when I went to Asia last month, I actually told myself that I wouldn’t be organising any shoots but they just happened. Someone brought a camera, we threw some ideas around and there was enough light. That was all it took for images to be brought into existence.
The drive to form something tangible through expression, combined with a WordPress site doesn’t make you a blogger. It might be a very useful trait because you have to have a primal urge within to motivate you to constantly generate new ideas for an audience that for a very long time, may just consist of your best friend and your mum. However, if you find uploading pictures or writing content on a daily to weekly basis frustrating, you shouldn’t be a blogger. If you feel a great rift between your virtual and offline life, blogging probably isn’t right for you. (Of course things online often aren’t an accurate portrayal of reality but if you’re actively trying to present something that is far from the truth that isn’t healthy!). If copying someone or reposting images from Tumblr or Pinterest dominates half of your feed, you’re definitely not a blogger.
But why should you be one? You can be a popular casual user and still be an active part of the online community. For example, I am reluctant to really brand myself as a ‘photographer’ because even though I’ve been paid to take photos, I feel like I still need to complete some obscure set of twelve tasks before I can truly ascend to that title. That very prevalent lack of desire to hustle for the title of ‘blogger’, and the ease of branding oneself whatever one desires frightens me.
Okay, so how do you know when you’re really a blogger? For me, it was when that name started to make me feel limited. I recently explained to someone that when I write for my website, it’s completely different to when I pen articles for a publication. Here is where I’m honest with you about my views on the industry, fashion, beauty, travel and whatever else it is that you’ll read here. So when I get approached for ‘guest written’ sponsored articles, I’m like ‘hell no’. When certain advertisers hear ‘blogger’ they think that you can simply be bought. (Oh yeah, if that idea appeals to you in any way, you’re not a blogger). It may not seem like I’m a professional writer when you read The Haute Heel but that’s because I’m not showing you that side of me. When someone asks if I’m a blogger, I will say yes but I’ll tell them that I’m a writer that just so happens to run a blog. That offer of $50 is not going to replace my experience with my audience and the effort I’ve put into building original content, definitely not for some subpar SEO garbage.
A friend of mine that has a successful background in fashion styling says the same thing. She wouldn’t call herself a blogger but a stylist or a writer first. Due to the glamourisation of that term, I feel that a lot of people throw it around to satisfy their ego. The word rings so beautifully in their ears that they repeat it over and over, and its meaning grows fainter the louder it’s being spoken. Maybe it’s why even as ‘bloggers’, some of us feel just a little bit icky at the sound of that. We are writers, photographers, stylists, designers and possibly more, all at once. When you feel like you’re on the path to simultaneously fulfilling all of these things on your journey of creation, maybe then you’re really a ‘blogger’.
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