I Want to Make the Way I Blog Feel Authentic Again

A painting of an orange cat with green eyes lying down with its paws folded under it.

I want to start blogging more again.

I’ve thought about this for the past few weeks, mostly in terms of what sort of content I’d actually like to post. For a LONG time in the past, I tried to model my style of blogging, & the content of what I wrote about around other blogs I enjoyed reading at the time. Which isn’t inherently a BAD thing, it’s just that now when I read those same blogs, I’m put off by how salesy & oftentimes contrived they were?

If it works for those people, it works & I’m not demonizing them as a group, but I will say I’ve started to find those sorts of blogs off-putting. Ones which are overly-optimized, & whether or not they preach “authenticity”, they usually end up being a VERY carefully curated look at someone’s life. The type where the blogger becomes some sort of guru & starts having “retreats” & charging $1000 for an online course?

Ehhhhhhh, gonna pass.

I honesty used to look up to that sort of blogger & aspired to be like them, & be able to sell expensive courses, & perhaps some things can still be learned from them as far as marketing, but that’s just not the direction I want to head in, I think that’s boring & is of no interest to me now.

You know what blog I really still hold in high regard, even though it’s no longer being updated & is now an archive?

Rookie Mag.

I have VERY fond memories of reading Rookie as a teen & in my early 20’s. They had so many things I liked, without ever being phony or salesy. They sold stuff, but they never came off as a greasy used car salesman trying to manipulate people into buying their expensive online course with a VERY long sales page filled with 33 testimonials about why they course was gonna ~ChAnGe YoUr LiFe~.

They had fashion photos, & poetry, & stories about peoples’ lives that were interesting or that I could relate to. There were photoshoots with such unique aesthetics, & very creative & awesome tutorials, & opinions about things that mattered a lot to me. They had super good art & illustrations, evocative & talented writing, & a sort of inherent authenticity & celebration of the joy of self-exploration that filled me with such hope & excitement.

Rookie Mag was FUN.

Will my blog be that level of amazing? Maybe not, but rather than looking up to people I just don’t respect as much anymore, I’m going to take inspiration for my blog, & my definition of what “blogging” should be, from something I still consider to be unique & magical instead of sleek & phony.

– Ashlee 🐸