Guys. No seriously, guys. Do you want to hear something totally nuts? I’ve been writing this blog for FIVE YEARS. Five years time! It seems like just yesterday I was sat here making stupid jokes about “Four More Years” and then just like that, BAM, another year down. Where does the time go?Five years seems a bit more like “a thing” than my previous blog milestones. This year, I want to take the time to reflect a little bit and also, to share some things with you. You see, a lot of changes have been going on behind the scenes in my life. And in the last few months, I’ve been truly considering this blog. REALLY considering it. Not in terms of money, or my place in the blog world, as I have done before, but in terms of what I want it to be.
It’s all well and good saying that, and I’m sure most of us have an idea of what we want our blogs to be. But I’m talking about something a little more severe; I’ve been contemplating truly what this place is. How can I justify its existence in terms of myself and my life? What does it bring me? Where is the challenge? Having “a space of my own to document my life” just doesn’t cut it anymore. There are posts of mine that do just that. Many, in fact. They’ve not exactly stood the test of time. And pardon me for sounding arrogant, but I should like to be a little more timeless if I can.
There are two things I’ve been battling with over the last few months. The first is I realised that I’ve been thinking of blogging as an art form. There’s no real way to not sound pretentious here, so just know I’m aware how wanky this sounds and go with it anyway. I am a creative person, but crucially I am a student of the “traditional” arts. Classical music, literature, oil paints and all that. That’s how I was taught and what I know and what I spent examining in my two classical art degrees.
I have never thought of my blog as a creative space. It’s been like an embarrassing side project that lumbered along next to me, sitting somewhere outside of the real work I create. Initially, tapeparade was somewhere to dump my photos. In recent years I’ve turned out the odd bit of creative-ish writing. So, sure, sometimes there were little bursts of creativity in the photos or the words. But the blog itself? The actual posts? No. “Being creative” was something I did elsewhere in chords and harmonies or ink and paper.
This is what I want to change. To me, a blog is a combination of words and photos, and if I can find a way for the two to perfectly interact then that can be art. I have found a way I can feel creative here. Posts about one topic accompanied by unrelated pictures of the author in an on-trend outfit are no longer something I aspire to. It doesn’t mean I don’t read those posts or enjoy them because they’re great. It’s just not what I want to do. So that is the first thing I’ve been thinking about.
From “On Sight: Battling Blindness” click picture for link.
The second thing I’ve been mulling over is: what is this blog actually about? My standard answer was “oh it’s about my life and what I’ve been up to.” FUCK THAT. What about if it was about what I am actually doing? What I’ve been thinking about, where I’m going? A little less “here’s some photos in a village I went to” and a little more “what I’ve been contemplating about relationships”. This blog is ultimately a place where I try to understand things, and I don’t necessarily mean in a “Revise Chapter 5” kind of way. This is a place where I try to get to the heart of something and really makes sense of things.
Particularly: my own life. My heritage and background. There are aspects of my life I’ve never chatted about here: spirituality, psychology, witchcraft. I’d like each post to be about understanding something or sharing insight and just generally more personal. That might be insight into my life and my thoughts, or how I felt wandering around Disneyland by myself (spoiler: fucking great). It may be insight into what cleaning products we use and how I research the ethics of brands. But if it’s not sharing insight into something then I won’t be hitting publish. There are thousands of blogs that can give you a generic, depersonalised overview of a place, and that’s great. But this blog is no longer one of them. I read the “generic overview” ones and I value them too, but I am not going to write one.
Let’s be real. The worst bit of any project is explaining in the process – it’s better when you just do it. But I wanted to explain it a little bit and it’s nice to reflect on what I’m aiming to do and where I’m going. This is my first ever “creative blog methodology” post in five years so I think you can allow me this one. Going forwards you won’t be subjected to long ramblings about the inner process of creation when I make these blogs. You’ll just get the results. In fact, you actually already are! I’m already writing posts that combine words, pictures and insights in the way I want them all to. In the last year I’ve been sharing much more of my personal journey. It’s not necessarily going to be an outfit, or a day out, or a trip abroad. It will be what I gained, what I thought, where I felt. I feel like finally, after all these years, I can see my blog as a creative space. And I’m very excited about that.
Sure! Try this one about roses, and changes. Or this post about getting rid of friendships and losing the leaves on a tree. This one about sunflowers; this one about snow. This one about sight was one of my most perfect posts to date. And to make things a little clearer, I’ve made a shiny new “About” page, and a “Press” page because you know, turns out I have more than a single outside link and why the fuck not. I’ve also added/refreshed the categories based on what you’ve been searching, and I’ve added a “Features” tab for the series and themes that come up but aren’t really their own categories. AND lastly, I’ve added a “Work With Me” page, because after five years of “oh no, I couldn’t possibly be a blogger, my blog is so random and shit” I’m going to put it out here: I work hard on this space, I’m proud of what I create, and I 100% DO want to work with and for you – as long as it fits with this blog and I can make it artistic and insightful. So anyway. Here’s to another five years. And thank you so much to you for being here with me.