Monday, 2 September 2013
Sorry But No More Apologies
So here's a thing that has been bothering me for a while: apologies. Specifically the apologies you often see on blogs when the author has been unable to post for a while. They just make me really sad.
Please don't misunderstand me: I totally do understand that if you are unable to post on your blog as often as you'd like or usually do, you may get the feeling that you are disappointing your readers. But let's look at it like this: you will no doubt be missed, but there really is enough other stuff on the internet to keep your readers busy until you have enough time to provide them with another post. So unless your blog forms all or most of your income and you have a commitment to your sponsors to uphold, your only real blogging obligation is to yourself. So if you find that other things are getting in the way, cut yourself some slack. It genuinely upsets me when bloggers apologise for having, you know, a life and stuff that is required of them that takes time out of their day. It's basically apologising for being a person.
So, unless it generates your income as previously mentioned, isn't this whole blogging lark meant to be fun? As sewing bloggers, aren't we using this medium to document and engage with something that brings us enjoyment? Then why are we making ourselves feel bad for not committing more time than we are able to spend on something that is essentially about pleasure? Seems kind of counter-productive to me.
I think what I fear most about this apologising phenomena though is this: that it may be another manifestation of that very female-trait of finding stuff to make ourselves feel inadequate and lacking. Women's magazines and the media in general have used our insecurities against us for their own ends (usually to get us to buy stuff, which is eloquently expressed by comedian David O'Doherty in the below clip where he expresses his beef with Boots the chemist for making women feel shit about themselves) for so long that is has often become second nature to find fault with ourselves and our actions, and to whip ourselves for being 'bad'.
So what are we specifically judging ourselves against here anyway? Sure, there have been heaps of articles written with titles like 'Seven Rules for Successful Blogging' or whatever that may state guidelines or 'ideals' for frequency or length of blog content, but hopefully most grown adults can see that they are entirely arbitrary and in fact irrelevant. Those kinds of articles may contain the odd point here or there that you might find interesting or useful, but generally those articles are more or less just filler. Like my previous rant about articles attempting to prescribe the contents of The Capsule Wardrobe, no one has access to the (non-existent) blueprint on what anyone with a blog should or shouldn't be doing with it.
Of course I'm not saying that your self-generated or chosen rules for blogging are invalid, indeed I have plenty of my own. For example, all being well, I like to publish a post two to three times a week all of which should contain at least one image. But we all need to recognise that these are our chosen blogging ideals, and to remember that nothing bad is going to happen if we have to go on a work trip/get sick/have a childcare drama/etc. that means our self-set 'blogging rules' get 'broken'. You wouldn't be annoyed with a blogger who you like to follow for not posting for a month because they got swamped with other things would you? So why apply that approach to yourself and make yourself feel bad?
All of which is not to say that by not apologising you have to pretend all is/has been great when you do get round to posting again if that's not your style. Another personal example: a few weeks ago our previous landlord, upon discovering that we were expecting a baby, decided to start proceedings to chuck us out of the flat because he claimed that children weren't allowed to live on the premises (despite there being nothing mentioning this in our tenancy agreement). Although we could have fought our case to stay put, because I was only 7 weeks away from my due date at the time and didn't want to bring our baby back to a flat where we had a horrible relationship with an unpleasant landlord, we decided to ship out quick-smart and find somewhere new to live, the moving equivalent of a shotgun wedding! For that period I didn't get to blog as much as I usually like to and, horror or horrors, one of the posts I did manage to squeeze out didn't have any images in it! I'm mentioning this because A) it illustrates the point I'm trying to make, and B) it is my blogging style to talk about my personal life on here if it's relevant and/or I wish to. I'm not apologising for my 'poor blogging performance' over the last few weeks, just as I certainly will not apologise when I go off the blogging-radar for a while after our daughter is born. But whatever the reason for your blogging sabbatical, be it as dramatic as eviction or as simple as you didn't feel you had much of relevance to write about, PLEASE don't make yourself feel bad for what I hope I've proven is no good reason. Let's put a stop to blogging apologies!!!