Why do you blog?

Recently, I received an email informing me that my tumblr has just turned 7 years old. Although, that didn't really come as a huge surprise. In fact, I was quite well aware of all the significant dates of my blogging history (e.g. the day my tumblr crush finally followed me back, the day I hit 3k on my followers count, the day Zooey Deschanel liked my tumblr post), and unfortunately, including the day I chose to move to another hosting service.

I haven't technically shut down my tumblr, thus the email, but I haven't used my account for roughly a year now. I noticed how my notes had gone from hundreds down to zero. Don't get me wrong, I don't really think fame is that necessary, but one way or another, the number of people appreciating your work does matter. Especially for those who have set a few specific goals for their blogs like trying to make money out of it. I still feel guilty for being reluctant to admit that it was my fault, after which I ended up convincing myself that people are just not into tumblr anymore (which in someways, evidently true). I can name a few blogs who'd gone out tumblr and moved to blogspot or perhaps started self-hosting. Coincidentally, my domain also expired and Stache had then just decided that our April issue was going to be our last issue. There were clearly too many proper signs that maybe multimedia was simply not meant for me.

A QUICK INTRO

Just in case this is the first time you meet me online, here is a brief introduction: My name is Christienne Nathalie Aquino Beroña, but I usually just go by 'Tienne'. I was a photographer for Stache and I sold a bunch of photos to postcard companies. 

For those of you who do not know, I'm actually majoring in Accountancy. Apparently, I'm in love with Math, so does my entire family. My sisters and I competed a couple of times. I was also a part of various Math organizations and even made to a philippine team. But... I'm also passionately in love with Photography. Hence, the neverending chronicles about "following my dreams". (But that's another story or perhaps another blog post.)

Blogging has always been one of the most creative means of sharing my crafts to the world (and "following the dream"). Blogging is just more generous. Nevertheless, there is something about blogging today that had me believing it's a thousand ways different than what it was seven years ago - which now brings me to the three reasons why blogging nowadays is just a lot more complicated:

COMPETITION, CONTENT & COMMERCIALIZATION

So back when I started posting photos through tumblr, I was really glad to find people who shared the very same interest as I did so easily. Fast forward a few years and the blogging system, not only in the Philippines, has become densely populated. Bloggers are everywhere. Add in the competition against enormous internet news media company and countless new entrants.

There is no way I can deny that there are really a lot of talented photographers, artists and writers nowadays. Not to mention, after Instagram has made it from a bare mobile social networking to an effective creative platform, the sharing part became too easy.

Then again, to provide a rather cutting-edge content, one has to keep coming up with cohesive posts which can swimmingly vy the attention of the netizens, or the huge quantity of modern online population who sticks to popular and on the dot news, in particular. And then here comes our personal inclination for favorable judgement. In line with that means trying to build a bigger audience too.

One of my favorite articles from Stache is Sarah Buendia's Why the Internet doesn't need any more Fashion Bloggers. Believe me, I have nothing against fashion bloggers but I couldn't agree more when Sarah wrote, "As a means of self-expression, I am aware of fashion’s power to influence and inspire other forms of expression that could promote art in highly significant ways. This is why it pains me to see that the number of fashion bloggers that have invaded the Internet look more and more like they operate on a very limiting sphere, a sphere, which I may add, serves more to please rather than to invoke a diverse production of ideas. There is of course, nothing wrong with pleasing an audience. But the danger to any kind of pleasure that seeks only to please (or very little beyond it) is that it forces its subjects to stay inactive in a strive to push for thinking that they, too, can create something new and unique."

I wouldn't go all presumptuous that the following were applicable to all other bloggers. But it's pretty much obvious, isn't it? What people keep forgetting is that, it's not Quality vs. Quantity, it's both.

IS THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?

Despite my casual attempts to sound less cynical and defensive, I am prepared to acknowledge my lack of suppleness. It didn't really take me a long time to end up at a conclusion that it was rattling hard for me to catch up. But admitting that was not even the hardest part, it was looking back how ambitious I was. I did have plans.

If there is one word to describe what Foregathers is, it's definitely overdue.

To start the not-so-long story (Hear ye! bear with me here), Foregathers began when my friend Martin's mother got a job as a publicist in a prominent public relations company abroad. After a few arrangements here and there, we planned to build a societal website which shall tend towards sharing never-before-heard real life stories from those who greatly influence different characters of our culture. Most of which shall include artists, photographers, musicians, filmmakers and a few public personalities. We've already landed a few interviews and just to name a few, we interviewed Jodie Comer of My Mad Fat Diary, Brett Pawlak, cinematographer of Short Term 12 and freaking Angus Stone from Angus and Julia Stone.

But it was inevitable. Time management and reconciling with the time difference were really tough, particularly after Martin's family migrated out of the country. In addition, building up blog audience from scratch also had our alarm bells ringing. Getting one-on-one interviews with these public figures was an uncommon opportunity but more so an implied liability, one I regret to have failed to render heretofore. The point is, the planning and envisioning part is pretty effortless especially compared to the execution part.

So when 2014 was about to end, I had every intention of letting go of the entire plan.

If that was the case, then why do you still blog?

Every beginning of the year (or more like every beginning of anything), I have developed a habit of profoundly reassessing myself, plenty of us have. My 2014 was such a roller coaster ride but I don't regret a single thing. Yet again, I have private issues that happened in 2014 that I might not afford to risk again. I was searching all over the web for self improvement 101 when I happened to reencounter Anna Akana's video. It was just the right reminder I needed.

I was reminded of how essential starting out small is. I have constantly undermined the significance of distinguishing the thin line that separates being submissive vs. being sensitive to what other people would think. In spite of the fact that some do consider that the audience as the very lifeblood of a blog, I think it's a matter of purpose and the things which I believe matter most. I want to be creative and I want to grow. I met a lot of people and heard their diverse points in the world and I just want to keep doing that. Besides, it's no longer about weighing the pros and cons, drama aside, it's about a continuous drive for aesthetics I could no longer contain. Yes, blogging is indeed not for the weak but it's an endeavor I'm willing to take.

Now, I know that was a little lengthy (andaming feelings eh) and since I'm 50% struggling student, 25% aimlessly wondering photographer, 10% writer and 5% jedi master, this will be probably my longest post in a long while. At the end of the day, I'm just remarkably pleased that this website is officially up and running.

Kudos to those who read it this far,

XO Tienne