I don’t usually write updates like this. I’ve always endeavoured to keep my blog consistently focussed on the subject at hand and not dwell too much on the “blogger” side of things. But here we are, a blogging existential crisis awaits as I’m pondering the future of Suzy Stories and where to take it next…
I started Suzy Stories to document my travels and it’s evolved significantly from there. Let’s not even talk about the awkward posts from yonder, I know they need a lot of work to be even remotely viable blog posts. But since then, I’ve enjoyed sharing opinion pieces and chapters from my life that have involved travel – such as moving abroad and long distance relationships.
But I’ve hit a wall. I love sharing my trips and the advice I can offer, but I feel I’m losing interesting in the “how to spend X days in Y location” articles. Is this all I can offer? What magical spark of joy can I add, and what personality should I inject?
Have I lost sight of what kind of blogger I want to be? Yes, probably.
These are the types of questions that have been on my mind for a little while. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s left me at somewhat of a crossroads on what I’m hoping to gain from the blog. A blogging existential crisis, I’m calling it.
So what next?
I’m sure many travel bloggers face this. In recent times due to the restrictions we currently face and will endure, where does a travel blogger digitally go?
I purposefully created a blog name that would be vague and ambiguous enough for this very reason. I wanted to share stories, not just travel advice. My interests and passions are changeable and diverse and I didn’t want to limit myself to just one topic.
This blogger identity crisis definitely has been influenced by the crowded landscape of travel bloggers. A need to be better, more popular, more success has clouded my judgement of what MY blog means and what it can offer. Let’s be honest, this post is hardly going to get much readership, is it?!
How can I compete with the big blogs? Will this hobby of mine ever be Something More? I’ve lost my sense of self. Whilst reading Dolly Alderton’s book Everything I Know About Love, I cried at her passage about this. The realisation was almost as devastating as the feeling itself.
“You’re all over the place. You’ve got no rooting. You don’t know how to be with yourself.”
Granted, this looks to a wider issue beyond the blog – but let’s just focus on this as an example.
Here I am, thinking “I’m a travel blogger”. But I don’t really feel like one. Instead, as Dolly points out, it’s important to just be. I’ve let myself think it’s what I wanted, but is it? Now, I’m not so sure.
It’s time to stop being the blogger I think I should be, and be the blogger I want to be.
Topics from the heart
Avid readers (hi Kaz) will notice a sprinkling of posts on long distance relationships recently. While I admit this is a tactic to try and shift the currently non-existent travel readers to a different niche, it’s also a subject close to my heart.
As I wrote about something completely new, here is where my revelation began. What Suzy Stories is, is a bunch of passions.
I write about the loves in my life.
Love infiltrates every corner of this blog. Whether that’s my relationships, travels, photography, experiences, art, philosophy… Everything I appreciate and admire I want to write about. Not that I often do!
I guess this makes my niche “nicheless”. New bloggers are often advised to “find their niche”, which, I’ll admit, I’ve always struggled with. Is my niche New Zealand travel? No, expat life? No, budget travel? So here I will declare my niche as Me. Because that can’t change…
I will promise myself to write about the things I love. I don’t want to box myself into a travel blog, nor relationship, or lifestyle or whatever-themed blog. I’m far too complicated for that. As we all are. Surely people write about more than one aspect of their lives!
I’ve always admired bloggers who can flip seamlessly between food, books, travel, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, sustainability, and so on. I wanted so badly to be that. But in an attempt to “stick to what I know” I shied away from it.
However, at the same time I always avoided being too broad because I honestly wouldn’t be able to keep up with myself. And I’m proud of sticking to it. I’m glad to have slowly stumbled along the travel blogger journey without confusing that particular interest with anything else. It made the blogging process clear and simple for me. Learn travel blogging best practices, then see where we go from there.
And thus, the blogging existential crisis began as a wrestle with my need to write about everything, but something, maybe nothing, all at once. Do I share more about my personal life? Less? What are the rules here?!
There’s still a long way to go. More to learn about blogging, and about myself.
One thing’s for sure: such blogging existential crises come in waves. This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last. But the goal is to learn and grow from each one.
The future of Suzy Stories
What does Suzy Stories look like in the future?
I don’t know. Do you?! (Would be great if you do…)
I don’t suppose much will change in the immediate future. I still have a backlog of posts to finish! But maybe in time as I find my feet again and get a little more confident in what I write, I’ll share some different topics that are more Me. The other Me’s.
Maybe be merely writing this post, it’ll trick my blogging brain into finding the answers… A gal can dream!
I wanted this corner of the internet to be something creative, something that connected myself to others when the world can feel like a lonely place. Whether I achieve that, I’m not sure. But in many ways I’m grateful for the chance to reflect and consider what this blog is and what it might become.
Fellow bloggers, have you experienced a blogging existential crisis when you wanted to switch things up but were too scared to take the plunge? Happy to have a chat with anyone feeling similarly, or listen to any advice from someone who’s made it through the other side.
Simon05/17/2020 at 8:08 pm
A really honest post Suzy. Write about what makes you happy and your interests. I hope you figure that out. I value your posts from different topics. From the travel, that you know we have spoken about… to your take on long distance having done the same myself. You’ve got a reader here. Stay safe.
suzystories05/17/2020 at 10:32 pm
Ahh thanks Simon! It’s a tricky one for sure, I reckon I’m overthinking things a bit, finding the commitment of posts being out there in the world online somehow means they define us in some way – which is nuts really as we’re all so much more than the words we write! Always appreciate your comments 🙂
Kerry05/17/2020 at 10:25 pm
Ahhhh Suzy I hear you loud and clear! In fact, I write a post along similar lines about 6 weeks ago. I think it’s normal to have a wobble, I think even more so in these crazy times. As everyone always tells me, just write what you love. This is your corner of the internet. I started thinking at the start of this year that I’d like to take my blog more seriously. Iv always shied always from that in the past as I didn’t want to feel like work. See, even that I can’t make my mind up in ?
suzystories05/17/2020 at 10:35 pm
Ohhh Kerry I must go read your post! It’s comforting to know we all go through it, although I wouldn’t wish it for anyone. Oh yes, I’ve had those thoughts too. Not that I’d know where to start! It’s funny how a niggling worry about blog content is reflective of such a bigger worry: “who am I and what do I want?!” Hope you find the right path soon 🙂