Bloggers get a lot of stick. Why is that? Perhaps it is that sometimes true but often misconstrued belief that bloggers are just trying to get paid to do nothing, get free stuff, and have a nice life. My blogging story is different. I want to be a writer. I've wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, reading Beatrix Potter then Josie Smith, before heading into the realms of the Brontes and Austen. I love books written with feelings, emotions, honesty and rawness. It is how I always hope my writing comes across; it is how I wish to be remembered. I have also recently developed a love for photography. Though I always envisage this as a secondary element, to compliment my writing, I am enjoying trying new things, pushing my boundaries, making mistakes, getting frustrated, then taking one photo I can look back on and smile because it creates a memory so vivid that only the combination of honest words and emotions can enhance it.
Blogging allows me to write and photograph exactly how I want to write and photograph; to share my art with the world, to develop the kind of creative I want to become, and to make mistakes with no one but myself to snide me.
We live in a modern age where getting your art noticed has deviated to the online realm. Instagram has become a mecca for photographers and the newly labelled 'influencers' to share what they do and get noticed. Now, the ordinary person can make money by working with businesses and brands - brands who have identified this new style of marketing and will invest in promoting their products through social media. Instagram was just fun for me at first. I loved taking photos and sharing adventures. I shared my travels and aloneness when cycling through New Zealand, and the sadness and joy of solo-hiking around the UK. I've shared personal thoughts on identity, loneliness, and being a girl who feels too much and is often a little lost, but who isn't afraid to share that. More recently I've shared the euphorias and struggles of trekking in Nepal, and the way I've felt about starting a new sport, climbing, the mental and physical challenges it has brought. I've always said I would rather have a small following who engage with my writing, than attempt to 'push' my Instagram to get tens of thousands of followers who don't really understand me or what I'm doing.
Despite having a relatively small following, I've had the opportunity to work with some great brands through Instagram and my blog; brands I hope who recognise my 'micro-influence' through the honest thoughts and imagery I portray. I would never work with a brand I don't believe in, and I would never promote a product for money unless it was one I truly loved and a brand whose ethos I support.
So, Instagram lead to blogging. Having a small micro-influence on Instagram, and working with some great brands, gave me the confidence to start a blog. It was all about confidence in the end. I was afraid to start a blog because then I'd become a blogger and people don't like bloggers. But I liked bloggers. Bloggers like Erin Outdoors who write with such honesty and integrity, Melissa Findlay, (though primarily photographer) who shares aspects of her life on her blog and Instagram, and the occasional writing from honest women like Kath Brose, Amanda Sandlin, and Alexandra Ulmke. They don't all blog regularly, but the occasional piece of writing they publish online makes me feel with such emotion that I was inspired to do it myself.
But I wanted to do it in a way that suited me. And I hope that comes across. I write about what I'm passionate about; trips that have impacted me, brands that have enhanced my outdoor adventures, feelings that need sharing. Wild & Words represents musings from the wild, portrayed through honest words.
Though I might still get a bit of stick for being a 'blogger', for sharing too much, for taking too many photos, I hope that what you read and see on my blog makes you feel, makes you want to pack a bag and head out on an adventure, or simply makes you say 'me too!'.
And don't be afraid to share your art and passions, or to feel the need to justify them.