Tuesday, February 07, 2017

5 Personal Lessons From Blogging

Because it is what it is, you know?

While Lumière & Lens is just a few months over a year old, I'm a veteran blogger from the blogging days of yore.  You know, the days when we took outfit photos in our bedrooms, photographed products on flowered bedsheets, and created our internet spaces before blogging as a career was an option.  In other words, I'm old I've been around a bit and there's a few lessons I've learned along the way that I'd like to share!

1.  Growing a thicker skin is essential.

I am very accepting of constructive criticism, but not hating for the sake of hating.  Fact: I will not be everyone's cup of tea.  While I get mostly positive feedback about blogging, I've also been on the receiving end of derision, disinterest, or outright judgment.  I've held back in the past, but now I do my own thing because I can't let the fear of judgement hold me back from pursuing what I love.  In the immortal words of Kevin Gnapoor, "Don't let the haters stop you from doing your thang."  If you've dealt with the same, here's an interesting article my friend sent me on dealing with negativity.

2.  Be authentic and write from a real place.

In my opinion, writing shines most when it's written from the heart.  When I took the leap and wrote vulnerably (1, 2, 3), you responded with your own stories.  I try to write the blog I want to read and that's usually real stories from people.  I think vulnerability and authenticity are often equated with weakness, but it takes courage to let ourselves be seen at our most human of moments.   

3.  Rules don't need to be followed.

Blogging can now be a lucrative career and there are a lot of blog trends/cliches that trickle down from the top.  I've seen myriad posts with rules on how to run a blog, keeping your blog from being "all over the place," curating the perfect Instagram, etc., that I now largely ignore.  My life isn't about one thing so I won't write within a single genre.  I think hyper-curation removes realness and spontaneity.  I'm a multifaceted human being and I want Lumière & Lens to reflect that.  I've been followed/unfollowed a lot (see #1), but I deeply appreciate the ones who stick around. 

4.  There is room for everyone.

Unlike the entertainment industry, blogging has representation from all walks of life (though that's not necessarily reflected at the top tier).  I enjoy having a platform that lets me interact with people of different ethnicities from far flung areas of the globe.  In a time where Asian stories are just starting to come into mainstream entertainment, I'm thrilled to find a platform with so many people who look like me as well as people who do not. 

5.  Inspiration is everywhere. 

A diverse blogosphere means viewpoints from all points of life.  I'm always learning something new from my fellow bloggers whether it's their culture, photography techniques, or talking points on intersectional feminism.  I very often come across a post and think, "Well, why haven't I thought of that before?"  Sometimes, all it takes is seeing life through fresh eyes to inspire you to push yourself to grow!

What are some lessons you've taken away from blogging?


  1. Rules don't need to be followed is my fave thing that I've learnt. Sometimes when I write posts, I'm always like oh, I shouldn't say that, but then I remember it's my blog and I can say whatever I want, in context haha! This was a lovely read! Have a great week :)

    Trishna xx


  2. Yes to all these lessons! I learn to have a thick skin too. I receive mostly positive feedback but there are some negative ones. Also, I became more confident in a way. I now care less about how people will perceive me and more about who I am.

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  3. Being authentic and writing from a real place are so important! I find that sometimes blogs tend to change based on what readers may gravitate towards, and they lose their unique and personal feel. Growing thick skin definitley helps as well! Being vulnerable online always opens doors up to comments so learning how to handle them positively is always welcome :)

    My Lovelier Days

  4. This post actually helped me a lot, I feel a lot better about the whole "you don't need to follow the strict rules of blogging" thing. I've only just had my blog for a little over a month and I'm worried because there are so many things bloggers "need" to do and ways things have to be. It's nice to know that that doesn't have to be the case!

    Thank you so much for this post!

    PS: If people have negative things to say, why do they feel the need to impose those thoughts on others? I personally thing your blog is beautiful.

    xx Imogen

  5. Really enjoyed this Alyse! I've always taken a fairly relaxed approach to blogging but I think all of these ring true to me as well. While I struggle sometimes to feel worthy in a community (esp here in the UK) that is really avidly following particular styles and ways, it's definitely important to remember that there's room for everybody and if my blog helps one person or makes one reader smile, then that's one more than if Daisybutter didn't exist, haha. CHEESEBALL. x

  6. This is one of the better "What I Learned from Blogging" posts I've read and, not to get too sappy, this also applies so well to life in general, not just blogging. I always appreciate how open and honest you are when it comes to blogging, which is what always keep me coming back for more. There's value in being a reader of yours.

    The one thing I've struggled with was finding a way to be so openly raw. Over the years I've found my authentic - albeit weird - voice on my blog, but when it comes to more controversial or difficult topics I always shy away because I'm afraid I don't have the right words to voice them in a way where people can relate or where my thoughts come out right. Overthinker, this one.

    Also, I need to update my letterboard to Kevin Gnapoor ASAP.


  7. I absolutely love this list, Alyse! And I totally feel you... my blog is just a year old but I've been around for ages so I'm pretty old myself :P

    I think though that the most important (and biggest) thing I've learned from blogging is that... you should do it for you. Do what makes you happy and your blog will flourish!

    Eena // Cabin Twenty-Four

  8. I think what I like about blogs like yours is the personal connection. I know you're a person behind the screen writing this, rather than something that's perfectly curated and about certain topics that are guaranteed to get you lots of clicks. I have to say, in my blogging experience, I honestly have not encountered many negative and just plain rude comments. I'll count myself blessed.

    7% Solution

  9. Girl I LOVE that your blog is multifaceted! It's true that there are some really well curated blogs out there, but to be honest, I feel like the ones that I always come back to are the ones that are warm and genuine like yours <3

  10. All of these are true! My blog is also all over the place because it's an extension of me, not a brand, and reflects all my interests. If that's holding it back from being more popular, so be it.

    Jane / deluminators

  11. I 100% agree with these, they are lovely lessons to have learned.

    Lauren x Huggled

  12. I especially agree with #2! I think everybody knows this to some extent. But I think being authentic is more than just "not lying," which is easy enough to do. I've found that my readers can tell which of my posts I was especially excited to write about. And I think that's why it's so important to be authentic and write from a real place :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

  13. Definitely agree with no.3 but I feel like its hard not to get sucked into trends and what you already know works because other people do it.

    Jacqui || Jaqventures

  14. Yes to all of this, especially number 3! The reasons my previous blogs haven't worked out is because I felt I had to fit into a certain genre; to be part of a "community" but now, I write for myself, as we should!
    Tying in with your second point, authenticity is key. You have to write what you're passionate about and not what you think will get a lot of comments. Negativity comes with putting yourself out there, but that's life. Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.

    Maya Not Mya