What being a blogger has taught me

Before you are alarmed, the title doesn't, in fact, suggest I'm leaving behind being a blogger oh no. 
Instead, I fancied a chat about the years I have spent blogging and how I like to think I've found my feet- as a pose to where I was when I began. I'm talking setting a tripod up in my room/garden snapping a few photos and talking about that dress I picked up at Primark I'd been d-y-i-n-g to share. Not to say much has changed in that sense at all- I still die (though die is a bit extreme) over clothes in Primark other retailers available in fact clothes in general, that fact won't ever change. I just don't tend to speak as much about it anymore on here. I like to think that I've grown- or well certainly still growing as a person and my blog in turn has grown up with me and evolved in many ways. 

I've been at a point for a while where I've been proud of my content and what I put out there. My blogs became less of a place to just share my style or the clothes I buy or am very luckily gifted on occasion but also a place I can share my views, my opinions and talk about things close to my heart or of my own interest- and I hope yours too. 

But I guess I've never addressed that on my blog before or talked about what blogging has truly taught me. I think because a lot of the time I feel at war with it- something I think many other bloggers can relate to. I've spoken before about criticising my own work and the things I create and find that I don't always boast about the things I should. For me, blogging will always be an ongoing battle. Is blogging around forever? Who knows? Will my blog vanish one day forever? I don't know. But I do know that having a blog and being a blogger has taught me a hell of a lot, something I didn't even realise till I sat down and really thought about it. 

So not so little Paige Rhianne that as you know began as 'Held Together by Pin's wayy back when I was still at school has came a long way. Which whilst I am on the subject of, I shall address. 

I made the decision to change my name a long while ago, well over a year but I wanted to let HTBP run it's course first before giving it the axe, so I thought it best to just let my domain run out and once that rolled around well now was the time. 
Like I said during the time my blog and myself has grown, I found myself growing out of the name. 
I created it because fashion has always been at the forefront of my inspiration and my passion, from studying it at school to my journey to university, my love of magazines, and imagery and many other things, in short fashion has always been there. 
I guess at the time of creating it I didn't realise how much the name made it sound like I made clothes, or wanted to make clothes - which I certainly did not want to do. But I suppose for a while I showed you that side, I did a variety of diy's on my blog and did indeed show you the pieces I had made as part of my course but it wasn't or hasn't been where my heart lay. You may not of drawn that connotation to the name but in my mind- I did. 

As well as a part of me that I have left behind. I've made jokes with Jay many a time about the girl he met. I was besotted with floral dresses and peter pan collars- a girly girl through and through. Making my blog name at the time I also used to put pins in my clothes to 'hold them together' usually because I'd buy something to big for me and just take it in with a pin because I needed the item so bad, or I'd crop my trousers with a pin quite simply because I couldn't be bothered to take them up properly - that one I still do sometimes.
So yeah, the old Paige can't come to the phone right now- why? Because she's dead. 
Joking aside what I'm really trying to say is I always associate HTBP with the girl I used to be. 
In some sort of corny way, I've grown from a girl to a woman and my blog name was time to grow up. 
So now once thats out the way, blogging I want to thank you for a couple of things. 

"People don't hang on your every word. They aren't sat refreshing your blog at 6pm waiting for that new post you promised would be up at 6 and not a moment later. It's not worth forcing a post if you don't feel like it or don't have anything to say."

Firstly, We all struggle from time to time
Believe it or not we don't all know what we are doing. 
Something I am constantly reminding myself on many, many occasions. Usually when I'm screaming to Jay about not being able to sort my domain out. Which FYI was very recently when I spent weeks in the lead up to my domain renewal panicking and losing sleep by being frustrated that I didn't know how to go about changing it. The same for blog templates, html codes and invoices honestly the lot. Funnily enough like life when you start blogging you don't get handed a handbook (I wish) a lot of the time you have to sit and find the answer on google or figure out how to do it yourself. But ask on twitter, or instagam and you will find a lot of others also don't know how to do certain things either. Yes, you will find html experts and blogging wizards from time to time but for the most we all struggle with certain aspects of blogging. 
In fact we all struggle from time to time for a lot of different things just because somebody hasn't put it on social media doesn't mean they don't have the same struggles as everybody else. We are all human. 

Alongside that one You never stop learning 

Whether its the guidelines changing on paid collabs, or learning exactly how you are supposed to add that widget to your website. Blogging is a constant learning curve and a journey of your progression (though please don't look back on my earlier posts) 
One of which however has taught me to Write better 
I will always have my blog to thank for helping me find and nurture my own writing style. It's something I would almost say I'm incredibly proud of after all this time and it's something I enjoy, a lot. 
I will never tire from feedback I receive as writer because for me it's something I always want to push, to be better at or learn more where I can improve. The last post I wrote on here 'An open letter to my mum' taught me that. 
I was overwhelmed by the response of that post and for the kind words said about it. In the way it was written truly meant a lot to me and taught me that the most meaningful posts are the ones worth writing and the ones with purpose are the ones I enjoy writing the most which brings me to..

To not force things 

People don't hang on your every word. They aren't sat refreshing your blog at 6pm waiting for that new post your promised would be up at 6 on the dot and not a moment later. Really it's not worth forcing a post if you really don't feel like it or you have nothing to say. Nobody is going to cancel you online for that and if they do they aren't worth your time and energy you put into making a blog post anyway. 
Things take time whether it be shooting, writing or even just planning the post in the first place I think the saying goes 'you can't rush a good thing' 
(And yes Paige that goes for trying to force a shoot to happen- if the weathers rubbish those photos ain't happening).
I think that if I'd have wrote this years ago or into my first years of blogging I'd have told you that consistency is key (which most of the time it is) however we're in 2019 for god sake and metal health always comes first, your life, yourself always comes first. 
People will still be around when you decide to pick it back up.  

"Blogging has taught me to be more creative with my style. Planning outfits for my blog is so much more than just that, it's creating an idea, a style or look to coincide with a location or a theme and then executing that."

To find my own personal style 
I've joked on here, in job interviews and to my family alike many a time that my style has made an improvement for the better. A lot of that I have blogging to thank for. Joking aside on that factor not being so well received on my bank balance however blogging has taught me to be more creative with my style. Planning outfits for my blog is much more than just that, it's creating an idea, a style or a look to coincide with a location or a theme and then executing that. My style on here has never differed from the style I wear in every day life, though sometimes I'm braver in my outfit planning on here but in turn it pushes me to do the same in my own life. Many times I've walked out the door wearing an outfit I would have been seen in years ago which you could say boils down to confidence which is true, my blog has gave me the confidence to dress that way I want to and be bolder in my choices. 

To be more creative & create more 

Blogging has gave me a purpose to create more and have fun with what I do create. I spoke on my 'I want to fall in love with being a creative again' post about the way I was trying to get myself out a creative dip simply because I knew there was more ways I could push my creativity and not be scared to. 
I've always been a creative and my blog has given me that space to experiment with that. After that post I began creating content without having to answer for it. Which is the way I want to continue creating without restrictions and a meaning for doing something I love. 
I never tire from the feel of a finished post and looking back over the pieces I've put together over the years- to you that may sound vain but when you've put hours of work into something, OWN THAT SHIT. 
It's all part of your online personality and your portfolio of work that reminds me I should probably do more of that. 

And finally being a blogger has taught me to Be proud of who I am to not shy away from saying this is what I do, or this is what I have created. 
I think starting out saying I had a blog was like shouting out a swear word, I though instantly that would mean everyone would know everything about me, I mean you can find out a lot from my blog but what I choose to put out there, is what I WANT to put out there. I know you all love my personal posts and I love creating them and the most joy I get from that is knowing that if somebody sympathise, learns or can relate to it and has helped them in some way or another means a hell of a lot. 
Even if it is just inspiring someone with my style- which believe it or not was my main goal to begin with when starting a blog- though I hope that I inspire you now more than I did then. Well least there's more than floral dresses anyway. 

What's your opinion?

@paige rhianne_