Sunday, 22 February 2015

10 Reasons Why I Didn't Start My Blog


We've had such an amazing response to our previous blog post after announcing that our own domain name www.myloveforparis.com was ready to go that well, here's the prologue - what happened BEFORE My Love for Paris began. 

If you've ever thought about blogging or if anyone has ever said to you "you should start a blog..!", this post is for you. Did you feel curious? Flattered? Scared? Secretly excited? Annoyed?

"Haha. That's so nice of you! But nah, I don't think so" 
"It's not really for me. I could if I really wanted to but I can't be bothered.."
"Hmmm really? You think I could start a blog? Wow. Nah. What am I thinking..."

I remember the first time the thought of starting a blog crossed my mind and the first few times it was suggested to me. I was in Paris, on a one year Working Holiday Visa. I had some really genuinely supportive friends who gave me the most loving, positive encouragement, suggestions and help in even choosing a template and everything. It was flattering and inspiring and terrifying and frustrating all at the same time. Every time I thought about it I ended up talking myself out of it because..

1. There were so many blogs out there about Paris already..!

2. Those blogs were so good, mine would be so crap compared to theirs..

3. I don't even know how to blog, I can barely download music?!

4. It would take so much time and I honestly don't have the time.

5. It would waste the time that I could be out and about seeing Paris..!

6. Who's going to read my blog anyway?

7. Do I even know what I'm talking about? I've only just moved here. 

8. I don't know if I'm comfortable with others reading what I write, like publicly displaying it. I'm happy to write in private but in public? Open to criticism and hate mail and judgement?

9. What if they really hate it and write on my blog telling me how crap the blog post was...

10. I'm a pharmacist. What if people think what the hell is she doing .. writing, she's not a creative. Go back to where you come from. 

For about a year, these thoughts circled around (the back of) my head. Fears, insecurities, nerves, excuses, justifications. 

Then one day, after uploading a photo I had taken of Paris onto my personal Facebook account, my best friend Phong said to me "Nic, you take such beautiful photos, you should really share them with the world. It's a waste having them just on Facebook. You should start just a photo blog, you have the photos already, just write a sentence underneath it, it doesn't have to be a full blown blog..." 

The seed was planted. 

I slept on it. Suddenly the task didn't feel so overwhelming anymore. They were just photos. Photos that I had received likes on Facebook already. 

Furthermore, I was kind of stuck in France waiting for my visa and unable to work. I was in a rut feeling borderline depressed. Yet what would still make me smile during this difficult (first world) period was the gorgeous sight of Paris. For some reason, I found her even more stunning, more beautiful when I felt down. 

It was the perfect time to finally start that blog. I had the time. I would welcome the distraction and, I had more confidence because I knew Paris pretty well after having lived there for a year. Plus I had a bank of photos I had taken and edited sitting there, ready to be used. Ready to be shared. Shared with those who perhaps love Paris just as much as I do. Those unable to pack up their lives and just, move to Paris.



Now that I look back, this is what my current self would have said to my former pre-blog self (not that it would have made any difference anyway, I wasn't ready and I'm super stubborn). But it's always fun to talk to yourself retrospectively, like that Dear Me - A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self book.

1. There were so many blogs out there about Paris already..!
Who cares. Your version will be your interpretation of Paris and presented through your eyes, through your personal style. There will be certain people who 'click' with other Paris blogs who won't like yours, and there will be others who 'click' with your blog and won't like the others.

2. Those blogs are so good, mine would be so crap compared to theirs..
It's not a competition Nhan. You have to start from somewhere. And you know what? If you do something often enough you can't NOT get worse, you can only get better. It's a proven fact. 
Plus, there is an endearing charm in what you feel is 'crap'. Not everyone wants to read polished expert professional writing. Sometimes it's just nice to read someone's unpolished, amateur thoughts because it has more character.
And remember, you always have Mum. She'll love your blog no matter how crap it is ;)

3. I don't even know how to blog, I can barely download music?!
Yeah it's 2015 and you're technically a "millenial". You should really learn how to download music. Either that or refrain from openly admitting it.
You can go with Blogger, it's much easier than WordPress. For everything else, there's Google and YouTube to take you through every step of the way. 

4. It would take so much time and I honestly don't have the time.
It depends, if it's a photo blog, or like a micro blog similar to an Instagram platform it won't take long at all. You don't have to blog every day. You can do it when you like.
But proper blogging with written articles will take time, especially when you don't know what you are doing at the beginning. But that will improve with practice and you'll learn to be more efficient. That is, until you get hooked and stay up until 3am blogging because you enjoy it so much. 
Seriously, in the future you'll actually end up making time to blog, I'm not kidding.
Oh and remember there's a Blogger app you can download to blog while you are catching public transport, safely that is. 

5. It would waste the time that I could be out and about seeing Paris..!
Haha. You know what's funny about this question? In the future, you will actually make more of an effort to see Paris. You'll wake up early to catch the sun rise and you'll stay out late to catch a Paris Fashion Week show. You'll also overcome your secret awkward fear of dining out on your own and you'll go to exhibitions you never would have gone to on your own. 
Blogging will actually make you see more of Paris that you ever did.

6. Who's going to read my blog anyway?
Gees. Does it matter? "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" 
Not sure if that is even the right metaphor to use but well, you get the picture.
Stop using the validation from others as a motivation for yourself. Think of the blog as something you are doing for yourself, to capture your relationship with Paris, it's like a gift to yourself when you are 70 and say "when I lived in Paris in my thirties..." 
If people like it they will read it, if they don't they won't. Those close to you will make an effort to read it just because they want to support you. 
Isn't that enough?

7. Do I even know what I'm talking about? I've only just moved here. 
Yeah that's true haha. 
Only joking.
Well if you want you can wait a little to feel more confident. But like I said before, it's your opinion. There's no right or wrong answer. If you like a restaurant you like it, if you don't you don't. You don't need experience to be able to have an opinion.

8. I don't know if I'm comfortable with others reading what I write, like publicly displaying it. I'm happy to write in private but in public? Open to criticism and hate mail and judgement?
Yeah this is something you are going to have to deal with on your own. 
OR, you know what? Start the blog off anonymously. Don't tell anyone you are writing it. Then nobody knows that it's you who is writing all this crap. 
Oh yeah and another thing? You will actually receive more spam mail than actual hate mail. People seriously don't have time to dedicate to crushing your self-esteem. They have better things to do like spamming on your blog to promote theirs. And even if they do, who cares? Delete and move on. It never existed in the first place. Don't feed the trolls.

9. What if they really hate it and write on my blog telling me how crap the blog post was...
Okay this one is easy, you have an option to approve comments before they get published. So you won't lose face if someone hates your blog and wants to tell the world. But once again, people have better things to do. 

10. I'm a pharmacist. What if people think what the hell is she doing .. writing, she's not a creative. Go back to where you come from. 
Oooh. Okay this is going to be your hardest obstacle. 
Why are you stereotyping yourself? Why can't you be a pharmacist and a 'writer' or a 'blogger'? You don't even have to be good at it. Why can't you become something you weren't before? Who says you can't be something else in your life? 
Why do you have to be 'a pharmacist' or 'a writer' or a 'blogger'? Why can't you just be 'Nhan who likes helping people in a health care setting, who also likes to write, who also likes to blog, who really likes food and travelling and, Paris..?'

Oh yeah and you don't "come from" anywhere. 
Where you start isn't an indicator of where you will go, nor where you will end up (temporarily that is, before you change directions and go somewhere else again).





4 comments:

  1. Love it Nhan, all the obstacles, the fears and the hesitations are manifested in your own mind, but once you let go and just realise that its not scary and you can start somewhere and do it for yourself...its an amazing feeling xx Lils love you and love your work and you are an inspiration

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    1. Naww, thanks Lils! We all have the capacity to take on something new, but sometimes it's the hesitation and self-doubt that is the biggest hurdle of them all! I've seen you take on the projects of your life and am sure you know this amazing feeling too xxx

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  2. Thank goodness you decided to go ahead and realise your vision.. Can you imagine how different everyone's lives would be if you didn't? I'm so proud if you Nic, crazy proud xxx

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    1. Thank goodness you presented blogging that day to me in a way that seemed much less overwhelming and much more manageable xxx

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