Finding your voice in a saturated blogging market can seem difficult but it doesn’t have to be and I’ve been motivated to write this for you after reading about Luisa Zissman being trolled and mum-shamed on Instagram because she chose to take a short girlie break ten weeks after the birth of her third child. Minus the child.
I’m not actually shocked by it by the way but the overwhelming and largely vile response implies that many people were. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, she left her baby with her hubby for 72 hours to claim back her time, sanity and strength. As she aptly states “just because I was the oven doesn’t mean he was any less of a baker”. Possibly the best line ever and I’m mighty jealous I didn’t come up with it. Anyway all was well. I imagine many people were horrified that she left her daughter when she was so young, perhaps not something that would suit me personally but as she points out she isn’t the earth mother type. It worked for her. Still, it was judgement central as though she’d committed some heinous crime against motherhood. Seriously people, get over it. She has after all.
It’s a brilliant read by the way and although I didn’t personally identify with absolutely every point she made, I did identify with something that I haven’t seen much of lately – an open and honest post, no-holds barred, don’t give a flying f*ck what the haters think. No punches were pulled and she was unapologetic about it. I expect this is what actually enraged the trolls as she held her middle finger up to them over the top of her child-free cocktails with her banging bikini body.
I remember when I started writing, I had a similar style (minus the banging body!). I just said what I thought. Or wrote it anyway. Slowly over time, I learnt to dull my voice because of the constant trolling and criticism that came my way. I felt overwhelmed by the ferocity of hate that came back to me when I posted things about anything remotely controversial. Honestly the private comments that people would leave me (and still do) were just unnecessarily vile but I’ve developed a thick skin and I realise that it’s just an unfortunate part of putting yourself out there. You need a rhino hide my friend.
You see, although I’ve titled this post “finding your voice” I never really had to find my voice and I’m guessing if you block out the haters, that you won’t either. I’m not just a “blogger”. I’m a woman, mother, worker bee, friend and much more besides. Each of these elements of my life fuels and creates my opinions, thoughts and passions and so really that is how I came to blogging. It’s my creative outlet. I wrote as I spoke. I didn’t become a blogger to do a string of reviews about toys and apps I couldn’t care less about. I’m guessing you probably didn’t either (unless you did and then that’s a-ok too).
For me, I think it’s really time to revive that voice, to write about the world and the view from where I stand and Lusia’s post really got me thinking. I’m sick of pussyfooting around people who want to hate all over my domain regardless of what I say or don’t say. Quite frankly, I don’t want to pretend to be an airbrushed version of myself and I’m not gonna.
If you are a new blogger or maybe someone who has lost their way in this writing game, I don’t want you to do that either. Be you. Write with your voice that is already unique to you and f*ck the haters who don’t identify. Because you know what? So many more people will love your work for it when they can hear your real voice coming through.
A unique tone of voice is something to be celebrated but it does mean that not everyone will agree with you. I actively discourage being unkind for the sake of it but if you have a point to make and you feel passionately about something then go ahead and write it out. Be articulate, think through your point of view and then express it in your own unique way. Stop worrying whether everyone will agree with you. Stop worrying whether brands will shun you because you swore like a trooper in your last post. You do you. You do it so well after all and the right audience will love you for it.
As adults we should be able to live in a world where people voice their opinions without going into a meltdown situation when they don’t match that of the person stood next to us. The reality isn’t often as clear cut as that but that doesn’t mean we have to dampen our message. This is the internet after all and if people don’t like it then they can click away in a fraction of a second and go hate all over someone else’s corner of the web.
If you try to write or express yourself in a way that copies other people or that follows a set of rules that you don’t adhere to in real life, then you are cheating yourself and your audience. And people can tell. Authenticity is what really drives a following. People will want to read what you have and want to say and not what you think you ought to say to please the many.
So carry on regardless, say what you really think on your corner of the internet and watch your following go through the roof as your people find you. And for the people who want to hate all over you? Well middle fingers up to them my dears, because you are fabulous just as you are.
Until next time