I think you all probably know that in the past year or so, my blog has fallen a tad below standard, and that's hard for me to admit.
A good five or so years ago, just when blogging was becoming the norm, I created this own blog to help coincide with my dissertation at university (meaning I've been stuck with a beyond corny name ever since) and I was determined to do well.
And, I have. I've had some great opportunities over the years and made some special friendships through my blog, friendships that have gone onto become friendships that take place in real life too. I've tried to push myself to blog regularly and even though a lot of the time I've struggled to think of content for the blog, I've persevered.
That, I've been proud of.
In the past year, there has been a fair few times I've thought about just quitting the blog. It's not successful and I know you shouldn't blog to find success, but when I can't think of content, I can't deny the fact that I wonder why I'm pushing myself when not that many people bother to read it.
I mean, would anyone really miss my blog?
I've been blogging for five years now and when I think about it, when I think about the time I've put in, blogging 2-3 times a week, nearly every week for five years, then I find myself pretty damn proud. My content hasn't been the best lately, but I think I'd be mad to throw it all away.
So I sat and thought about why it wasn't doing well. And there wasn't just one specific thing - there were a few things altogether.
The name. I cringed every time someone asked for my blog URL and I had to give the story of 'well five years ago I called it this and now it's stuck'. I feel the name, alongside the layout, pigeonholes the blog too. I want to write about music. I want to interview bands. I want to blog about edgy outfits and gigs.
What band will take me seriously if I ask to interview them for a blog called Inspire Magazine?
And then there were the photos. Sometimes, I can take a really good photo. But sometimes, I'll type up a post I'm really proud of and then let myself down by using a photo that's just not good enough.
And yes, sometimes my post topics just haven't been very good at all.
So as you can see, it's a few things really. Nothing major, at all. But when you put them all together, you end up with a blog that's kind of below par, and the lack of a decent name or professional photography just lets it down. A lot.
Or maybe I just can't write for shit.
But as I said, I love my blog. I love that I have a little corner of the internet all to myself and I love that although I don't get thousand of visitors a day, I still get a few people reading my blog. And that's something.
Back when I first started this blog, I wrote about why I chose the name 'Inspire' (or 'Inspire Magazine as it became known as) and what I wanted my blog to achieve;
"That's why I came up with the name 'Inspire'. I'm not the only one who reads magazines and gets these feelings. And these feelings are good. They inspire people to do things for charity. To work harder. To have more fun. To better themselves. I want my magazine - and this blog - to be filled with these things. I want people to read the magazine and the blog and want to pursue these feelings. I want to raise awareness of issues that are kept on the down low. I want to remind girls to be safe when they are on nights out, or to be careful about what details they put online. I want to my magazine or blog to be responsible for someone taken the extra precaution to be safe. Even if someone logs onto my blog, or sees something in a magazine and tries out that makeup look which gives them even the smallest confidence boost that day, then I've done what I wanted. I want to inspire people."
And honestly? I think I've lost sight of that. That was my eighth ever post on this blog, back on 21st January 2011 - whoa, so long ago now! And I think deep down, I still want that. I want people to come to this blog and feel inspired. I want them to have more fun and better themselves, even if it's just by reading a daft post like my dating disasters - hey, if it makes someone laugh or smile after a bad day (or bad date), then I'll be ever so pleased.
It's not about the numbers. It's about how writing is my escape and might just be someone else's too.
So, where am I going with this?
Well, with Christmas coming up, it might just be radio silence for a while.
Because over Christmas, and hopefully ready for the new year, the blog might look a tad messy. I'll be relaunching it under a new name, design and, even a new URL. Or a new domain, as I have finally purchased one!
I'm not going to lie and say it's going to be a complete overhaul where everything has changed. I'm still going to struggle to post sometimes, and I'm not going to turn into a fashionista overnight who blogs outfit posts regularly.
But I am going to try more and I'm already feeling a new lease of life for this big old blog. I have some great ideas for new ongoing content and I can't wait for you to see the new design.
And I know what you're all thinking. A design can't change a blog, much like you can't polish a turd. But my writing isn't turdy. My writing is pretty damn awesome. But I do believe a new name that I actually like and a fresh new design will motivate me more, because I'll no longer wonder what the point is like I have done so many times - I'll no longer feel like my corny name and cluttered and overly girly layout lets down the real strengths of this blog.
So, there you have it. If you log on over the next few weeks and it all seems a tad messy, that'll be why. If you're wondering why there's radio silence on my end, don't worry, I'll still be tweeting all about my food baby on Christmas day and such.
Until then, see you on the other side x
In the meantime, keep an eye on my social media (especially Twitter/Facebook) to see how things are progressing...