Consuming Inspiration.

Lately I’ve been collecting blogs.

I must first admit to having always been a collector of things. So much so that I was very surprised when “Input” wasn’t one of my strengths discovered via StrengthsFinder 2.0. Horses, leaves, magazines, music, photos, cameras . . . and always dreaming up/attempting new ways of cataloguing and organizing (but usually never completing before moving on to my next obsession). Maybe I should have gone into library science? I’m sure it plays into my life somehow, but I have yet to find it as I remain relatively unorganized in general. And, I need to add, I am not a hoarder. Promise.

Anyway, back to the blogs . . . .

Collecting blogs. A few weeks back I cleaned out my google reader subscriptions and got rid of everything. I had reached the point where I wasn’t even checking it because there was too much content and I didn’t want to read all of it (why did I think it was a good idea to subscribe to boing boing and CL missed connections?! Content overload). So I started fresh and started collecting blogs that entertained me and inspired me.

Practical photographers, fashion, honesty, peeks into others’ lives, some lifestyle, cuteness . . . all things that have drawn me in.

Like clockwork, the blog envy began to set in. “Why can’t I do this?” or “This is so focused . . . where’s my focus?” and “Why don’t I have as many comments? What am I doing wrong?”

But this time I told myself to shut up. These other blogs are the way they are because they are other people’s blogs. 

Maybe if I was more type-A I’d have more of a focus with scheduled posts. But I’m not.

Maybe if I was really into fashion I would have a fashion blog, but I’m not. Spending money on new clothes and spending hours in front of a mirror and in my closet has never been my priority–I choose a more simple route.

Maybe if I wanted to mess with the color of my photos and apply a million filters to them I would achieve the same cutesy, vintage look a lot of others use. But I don’t want to.

I don’t need to imitate everything I see in order to gain blog perfection. If I did that, there would be no real creativity or person behind the posts. I don’t need to follow a “how to blog” or “how to photograph” checklist to the t. That’s not who I am, and I don’t know why so often I find myself going down this road of thinking I need to shape myself, my content, in a certain way to fit this mold. That’s the opposite of what I wish to accomplish.

A prime example: I see many bloggers who are partaking in Project Life. I think this Project is AMAZING and love what it stands for. The pages I see others have created are gorgeous and stir up envy. However, this is not my project. I already document the crap out of everything–that won’t change. It would be an expensive undertaking with supply and printing costs. I can’t see myself sitting down and planning and creating those pages. And there are other ways I could make physical documentation of my days to my own specifications, such as blurb or custom printing from Universal Printing. While I don’t discredit what anyone else is doing, I just know that isn’t my way–and I keep having to fight off the urge to do it.

Even now I am sitting here thinking, “Am I really about to post an entry this long without a picture? Will anyone even read it?”

Shut up.

I kick myself and remind me to keep doing things my way. To keep surrounding myself with beautiful blogs for the purposes of inspiration and not imitation. I need to keep doing my own thing. It may not be “popular” or always “the prettiest,” but it is mine and that will mean more in the long run than providing content like it’s a homework assignment.

Since I’m on the topic, I’m curious: What are your favorite blogs for inspiration? And how did you find me?

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4 thoughts on “Consuming Inspiration.

  1. chimes says:

    I used to read missed connections. great fodder if you write. :)

  2. adangross says:

    Oh, I do still love to read them! So entertaining and such great fodder! But having them as well as boing boing in my feed let to having hundreds of posts a day to read and I ended up just stopping. Now, if I want to read them I just go to the sites. :)

  3. Aubrey says:

    THIS is EXACTLY how i feel about my blog. EXACTLY. I put so much pressure on myself to write a ‘perfect’ blog with pictures and deep thoughts and information for my readers.

    it bothers me so much that I never end up writing. I never end up sharing anything for fear it won’t be perfect.

    I really enjoy your blog, by the way. It’s fun to read and I like your posts, regardless of whether there’s pictures or not.

    But yes. I get blog envy really badly. I need to stop caring so I can start writing and creating again.

  4. adangross says:

    Why thank you! I must say: I remember your blog being one of the first to really give me blog envy. It was one of the first “real” blogs I was exposed to in college (not on livejournal, actual content, it looked good). Well, that and your paper journals! Do you still keep the paper journals?

    What it comes down to is realizing that you’ll do your best when you are doing what interests you. And maybe the trendy, super bloggers won’t be all up in your business, but also maybe you’ll really reach someone and give someone else blog envy. You just don’t know unless you put it out there!

    So here’s to stopping stressing over perfection and just CREATING.

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