I recently did a little blog-following organization. I organized the blogs I follow into the following categories: fashion, to scan, creative/writing, and get to know. Fashion blogs for inspiration, “to scan” blogs for blogs I want to keep up with but not invest a lot of time in, “creative/writing” for obvious reasons, and “get to know”–the category that is most important to me. And it was a relief. A relief to feel like I had a little bit more control over what I read through on a regular basis.
The organization was prompted by the realization that my bloglovin feed had created a world in which I don’t feel like I quite belong. Pretty pictures and beautiful clothes and artistic outings that are all great and fun, but make me feel alienated. I keep some of those blogs around because they are a nice reminder of what my life is sometimes. But for me, they don’t inspire joy. Surrounding myself in a world I cannot completely relate to is often a setup for temptation: should my life be prettier? Should I be taking more pictures? Am I doing enough “fun things”?
There are so many good, quality blogs out there. So many that deserve to be read. But I have started to realize the effect of handpicking a world that somehow didn’t turn out to be one that greatly inspired or encouraged me. It sounds selfish when I say it like that, but my time is limited and I would rather spend time reading blogs that enrich my life, challenge me in my thinking, and inspire me creatively. Those kinds of blogs do add joy to my life. They make me raise my standards a little bit. They fill my mind with ideas.
I would rather follow fewer bloggers and spend more energy getting to know them, than follow more bloggers from a distance.
My one fear about blogging is that the more you get into it, the harder it is to be intentional. It is not impossible, just harder. The more blogs you follow, the less control you have over the environment in which you surround yourself. And it is easy to fool yourself into thinking you are not affected by what you see and what you read. You start to like what you are used to seeing (hey, advertising!), so be careful what you see. It is so easy to conform.
My goal as a blogger is to grow creatively and become a better writer, and be challenged by each of you. As bloggers, we should be doing more of what makes us weird, not what makes us the same as everyone else. I am sure most people would agree with that, but it is easy to lose focus when you are enveloped in an unintentional blog feed.
What a shame it would be to lose sight of what we love, what we want to blog about, because we forget that we can pick our blogging community. My little organization project made me realize I haven’t been as intentional as I would like to be. And I feel like my time will be put to better use now. Choose your blogs carefully. We have more environmental choices than we think.
Do you agree? How intentional are you about the blogs you follow? Do you ever find yourself accidentally conforming to what you have been reading, or is that not something you struggle with? Do you think we should all do more of what makes us weird? Oh, hey, and while we are on the topic, do you follow Jeneric on bloglovin? :)