I wasn’t sure what I wanted my blog to be or where I wanted it to go – or even who I was, which is probably a useful first step when starting a personal blog. When Secretly Hermione was born I had only vague notions of who I was and what mattered to me: I loved Hermione, I loved studying, I loved London.But the truth is, all the advice out there about starting a blog where they say you need a niche focus and a specific target audience in mind etc, etc… It misses the basic premise and beauty of blogging. Your blog and the blogosphere can be the platform for working you out, for growing you, for exploring you. That’s what this space has become for me in this messy last year.So for those haters out there who critique personal blogging/lifestyle blogging and accuse it of being narcissistic and self-obsessed, please read that last paragraph. We’re not bragging about our lives. We’re blogging so we can carefully articulate “me”, work out our values and our aesthetic, shape ourselves through a coherent tangible medium. Shout out to Amy and this post for perfectly arguing this point.
And a huge part of that is not just writing your own blog but reading other blogs also. Finding your corner of this sphere is a magical way of realising what you love and aspire to and relate to. I’ve made some lovely friends and connections in this world, like-minded people because that’s the beauty of the internet. Here you can carve out a space for you, surrounded by people like you, in a way you often can’t in real life.
Sometimes when you initially use that inspiration from others and channel it inwards you can end up suffering acutely from imposter syndrome (as I regularly still do). Shout out to Alexius who beautifully expresses this in her post about feeling like she’s pretending to be something she’s not. I definitely used to feel like that but then realised that there is no such thing as ‘pure creation’. This quote I spotted on RookieMag’s Tumblr sums this up entirely.
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” ~ filmmaker Jim Jarmusch
Secretly Hermione – my blog and my Tumblr and my Pinterest – has helped me in such invaluable ways on my up-and-down spiderweb journey to me. I’ve found quotes and pictures and posts and people who made me realise exactly what it was I wanted out of my life and what was important to me.
So now I’ve got that out the way, I’m going to be writing a weekly post about my week. It’s amazing having a platform to (attempt to) eloquently express the crazy goods and bads of life. The benefits of writing those out are neverending – I keep discovering more. And as Amy puts it in her post, regardless of where your blog takes you and benefits you, at least you’ll have “this incredible account of moments you might otherwise have forgotten”.