Okay folks, it’s story time. When I started blogging over 10 years ago at Crestfallen, I blogged about anything, but that anything was told in a voice that was dark, cynical, and most times, sarcastic. Yes, I was a Debbie Downer for a good chunk of my time at Crestfallen (and that was a good 6 years before I rebranded…if you even want to call it that). But sometimes I was able to make light of it. I mean, being asked if I masturbate by a psychiatrist? At the time, it was WTF worthy. These days, it’s kinda funny albeit creepy. At that point of time, whether or not it was the writing voice I wanted, it was the voice that I portrayed.
Then I found out that I can make money off my hobby. I mean, it took several years after my mental breakdown to find a job that was legal and paid. It wasn’t much, but at the time I was living at home. It was enough to feed my blogging addiction and love for journals and video games. Some things never change. That is, except my voice. While I was trying to make peanuts off my hobby, I slowly lost a sense of me. At that point, I was writing more sponsored posts than actual posts that were me. Or, in some cases, I would dig further down and try to be creative with these sponsored posts. At first it worked. At least I thought it did. But for this certain company, which will remain unnamed, it became repetitive. Even as a non-niche blog, you can only write so much about diet pills and guitars. I lost so much of my original writing voice, that I ended up sounding almost robotic.
I ended up not having as much passion for blogging, or writing for that matter. Essentially, I was so desperate for some form of income (and trust me, it definitely helped a bit when the little one came!) that I just said “screw my writing voice, I’m getting paid now!”
When, in actually, I really wasn’t, and I was sacrificing me. My writing, my voice, me.
So what went wrong in getting paid and keeping my writing voice?
- I felt that the real voice of mine would have been undesirable to brands. I happen to like the F bomb. I happen to use said word a lot. Let’s face it, excessive swearing is looked down on as unprofessional. Me, trying to play a wolf in sheep’s clothing, said “okay, let’s cut down on the swearing because it’s unprofessional and unintelligent”. Yeah, fuck that shit.
- I was asked to review things that I’ve never even used. How the hell does one review things that you have never used? You…don’t? I’ve reviewed things where I actually had the tangible item. This doesn’t apply to those couple of reviews. But I remember when I was working with this particular company, some of these would be reviews of PVC pipes. I am far from a handywoman. In fact, I went to pull weeds and broke out in hives[1. Due to allergies, not nerves], if you want to see where I stand at home improvement. Writing a review on something you have never received? That’s like saying you love curried goat but never actually ate goat. In all seriousness, I don’t mind writing reviews, but please…give me the damn product.
- I became what I hated about other blogs who blogged for money. Some bloggers who do this for monetary gain do it well. They aren’t pushy, and you can see them even though they get ad revenue. Then there are others where there was nothing but ads. Even trying to be creative, it was downright blatant. And…I saw it happening to me. I did sponsored posts 90% of the time because at this point, I didn’t even think I was interesting. I did it just so I can get my paycheck. There was very little me in those posts. And even when I did do something that I wasn’t getting paid for, it was lackluster. Which brings me to my next point…
- I burned out. I realized that I was pimping out my blog like a bad pimp. In doing it, I burned myself out from my actual purpose. I wanted to make money off my hobby, but I didn’t want to do it this way. But at the same time, thinking about the how burned me out. So…I quit blogging for money for the time being and thought that taking that piece off would help rekindle my flame for blogging and writing in general. It didn’t. In fact, it took years to actually find my mojo. Then I did. Sorta. My mission was clear, but I was still feeling the burnout. Something had to give.
Then I made this post. It was something that I had to address. I wasn’t in love with what I did, and I needed to find that again. So I joined a 6-week mentorship class held by Julie, which helped massively even with my overwhelms in the midst. Now the ball was rolling. I now had my purpose. I wanted to blog again. I wanted to make money doing it. But I wanted to go about it another way that didn’t sell me short. I didn’t want my blog to be a low-class whore anymore. I wanted it to be a high-class escort if anything. Then someone by the name of Allison from Wonderlass came into my life. She also likes helping others build their blogging business. Something about her tone of voice gravitated to me.
Then I saw this post. Wait…did she just drop the F bomb? SHE FREAKING DROPPED THE F BOMB! That isn’t the only reason why I fell in love with her, I promise. She just had this tone and I simply said: “That is how I’m going to get me back”.
“Why the fuck not me?” indeed. So hi. I’m Natalie, but you can call me Nat or Nama. I am a creative mind who now knows exactly what she’s gonna do. My tone is mainly sarcastic, but believe it or not, I can be raw and from the heart through it all. I am a writer first and foremost. Writing has always been my happy. Hell, creating has always been my happy. I want to help not only myself, but others find their passion through creating. Whether it be writing, which is my main shtick, or digital drawing, which I dabble in once in a while, I want to help you find your voice. Your happy. Your me. Yes, my voice may be intense. I swear, maybe sometimes a little too much even for me. But it comes from the heart. There is passion behind these words. Is there passion behind yours?