My cursor blinked on and off on an empty page, mocking me that I still hadn’t worked on the blog post I’d meant to submit weeks ago. As I stared blankly at my computer screen, I realized that I hated fashion blogging. It wasn’t anything remotely close to what I wanted to write about and it wasn’t much fun anymore.
Last August, I launched a fashion blog because I needed a project. My dad had just died, my relationship was failing, I hated my job and I desperately needed to lose myself in something. I spent every minute of my free time flipping through fashion publications, reading (and re-reading) Sophia Amoruso’s Girlboss, and stalking my fashion icons on social media. Everywhere I looked I saw someone other than myself achieving success. I hungered to get my name out there and start writing.
It seems like everyone these days writes a fashion blog so I thought it would be a great way to stick my foot in the door and get started in the fashion journalism world. As someone planning to work in the fashion industry, I thought blogging could provide me an excellent portfolio and help with networking. After a slew of blog-stalking Man Repeller and binge watching Sex and the City I felt like I had found my niche- smart-mouthed honest writing. I’m pretty brazen and foul-mouthed so I knew my writing had potential to get people’s attention. I’ve always stood firm in unapologetically going against the grain.
So I launched my blog and quickly realized it was not for me.
To be honest, my blog’s content during its short ten-month lifespan was not the writing I wanted to do. Like I said, I love honest, in your face writing that feels real. While I tried to incorporate my voice into my fashion blogging, I never felt like I could get past the fear of my work not being accepted. Instead of writing the pieces I really wanted to, I was settling for writing generic outfit posts that every 20-something fashion major writes. After a while, my work felt foreign to me- a false projection of what I’m like as a writer.
On the outside my blog was filled with outfit posts and style advice but on the backend was folders upon folders of hidden work. There in the depths of my unposted section lay the writing that I never had the guts to post. Here you’d find my blatantly honest words about my messy life and endeavors in the fashion world, and let me tell you it was damn good writing.
To be frank, I spent majority of the past few years hanging out with the wrong people. While I thought I had found real friends and the right guy, it turned out that I was spiraling deeper and deeper into unhappiness. My insecurities within my personal life kept me from becoming the writer I wanted to be. If couldn’t break down my walls and speak honestly with those closest to me, how could I have been truthful in my work?
One night I sat at 2 am, hunched over my computer screen, furiously typing a piece about the crumbling remains of the relationship I was in. When I finished, I sat there feeling emotionally cleansed- purged of my negative feelings towards the world. As I skimmed it over, doubt crept into me. The people that would read my writing knew him. I mean, my mother would read it. Did I really want my dirty laundry aired out for everyone to see? With a pit in my stomach, I hesitantly dragged the article to my trash bin and watched it float away.
I cradled my head in my hands. What the fuck am I doing? It hit me all at once that I had started my blog as a platform to communicate real, meaningful things, and yet I was too afraid to say a word about anything other than what I was wearing. Blogging was meant to provide me an escape, a voice, not a cover-up for my mess of a life. I wiped my eyes and began methodically deleting the fashion blogging posts I’d been uploading for nearly a year. I was done hiding behind my self-doubt and ready to start a new chapter in my life and in my writing.
Who knows what what exactly I’ll write about now or if anyone will even read it. But hell, who cares. I love writing. Running a fashion blog didn’t make me money or earn me hordes of free clothes, but it taught me to follow my gut, even if my head told me otherwise. There is something to be said about the therapy and fulfillment found through putting your life into words.
That whole saying about learning the most from your failures, is unfortunately true. If you would have told me that it would take a failed fashion blog to realize that I was hiding behind insecurity and self-doubt, I would have started blogging a hell of a lot sooner.
Now with nothing to lose, I’m going to keep writing, and this time I’m going to be real.
Author: Sarah Maberry
Author Bio: Sarah Maberry is a writer, clothes hoarder and frequent mess. She aims to use her writing as a platform for blatant honesty and relatability. Currently she studies Fashion Design and Merchandising at Seattle Pacific University and plans to pursue a career in fashion journalism. You can find more of her writing at www.sarah-maybe.com.
Link to social media or website: http://www.instagram.com/sarahmaybe_