Hello beans! It’s long overdue for me to have a conversation with my followers.
Let’s not dwell on the obvious. 2020 was a bad year for everyone. Including for me. And this blog definitely suffered as a consequence.
I wrote a grand total of 11 posts in the year of 2020. That’s not even one a month. And each one was a painful struggle. I had to force myself to do it, when there was no sort of inspiration or desire to keep going. It was even difficult to reblog. Or approve comments. Or keep up with my friends’ blogs.
Sigh. It was especially hard to keep up with my friends’ blogs. (I’m sorry, mutual beans. I truly still love you and your blog. I feel like I let you down by not reading your posts when you so faithfully read mine.)
I was trying so hard in 2020. I wanted to make content because everyone seemed to enjoy it so much. My numbers were peaking, even though the content was half hearted and forced (which I still don’t understand). I felt so thrilled that my blog likes were soaring and numbers were high, because I never thought people would actually like my blog. I started it just because I wanted people to know my thoughts. And apparently, people wanted to know me too.
But when my numbers were the highest, I felt the lowest. At first I just never seemed to have the time to write a post, but I enjoyed it when I did it. But then I started to dread the thought of writing a post. Desperate for ideas but not caring about any of them. Nothing seemed fun and innovative. I kept putting off writing a post because the idea of writing them filled me with dread, but then a new worry started choking me up.
I was terrified of being forgotten.
I would put off writing a post, but I’d also be scared that the longer I put it off, the more people were forgetting me. I feared that every day I’d be losing followers, and the awful stats numbers were not encouraging either.
It was so confusing. Just last year I was on fire. I adored writing posts, sharing my thoughts, finding hilarious GIFs, and just generally being wacky. I loved it, my followers loved it, my family loved it.
I didn’t know what happened. How did I go from nearly two years of pumping out words like it was as easy as breathing to feeling in pain whenever I thought of this blog?
In short, I think I just…….changed.
My old posts don’t even feel like they were written by me. As me and my mom were going through some of my slightly older posts (from about August 2020 and back) it’s a fight for my survival not to die of cringe. (And don’t even get me started on that “Genre Roasting Series” I used to do. 🤮 I got so many requests to add on and keep going with this series, and I always had fun writing it in the moment, and a shocking amount of people loved it, but looking back now it only makes me want to heave. Maybe I should roast that series.)
2020 was (like for everyone else) a year of change and discomfort. And the same is true for me. But there was a lot of good change that happened for me that year. I took off writing novels for nearly a year to study storytelling in depth. I started to enjoy critique and video essays. While planning my novel series, I stretched myself in ways I never thought was possible. And that changed the way I thought a lot.
I think that part of the reason blogging was so painful was that I kept trying to pretend to be someone I wasn’t anymore. When I was younger I loved chaotic, wild humor with ridiculous jokes. I didn’t like critiquing or finding fault with anything (even though that still happened on many occasions on my blog, haha). And the wackier it got, the better.
And if any of the people who have been around for a while, and got to read one of my older novels knew my stories kind of reflected that too.
I think as young writers, we tend to write just……crazy nonsense. Anything and everything that pops into our heads we put down on paper. (That’s why some of my earlier works had……..interesting concepts.) That may also be partially why it takes more time to write as we get older. We’re not just putting down every random thought we have, but we’re considering not just what is cool but what is good.
I feel like a lot of times, my old writing (both in my stories and blog posts) absolutely danced over to that area. It was the wild stream of thoughts that was Penny. And other people liked that. I liked that.
But I changed, too.
I’m still the same person. There’s still some lines that make me smile and pieces of posts I still like. I’m still that person who adores making people laugh. I still love using GIFs and memes.
But my interests have changed some. Like how I’m really starting to enjoy critiquing and analyzing stories that I love (and maybe don’t love) and understanding why and why don’t they work. (Whereas I used to feel guilty for not giving something a five star rating.)
But I don’t want to just start roasting and ranting left and right. I prefer thoughtful, well thought out (but strong) critique and criticism.
Granted, this might spark a few more debates in the comment section than with my less controversial posts, but that’s what happens every time you post an opinion. There will be the people who say, “Spot on! You took the words out of my mouth!” and then there will be people ready to comment the heck out of your blog because you disagree.
And it’s also been a learning process to be okay with disagreeing with other people calmly, which is a skill that definitely takes time to develop. (And I’m still working on it.) My favorite option is to just simply not respond at all, since me arguing my point that I already stated in the blog post isn’t going to change their mind. (That’s part of the reason I don’t reply to comments many of the times, but it’s mostly just because it exhausts me. But it is truly one of my biggest pleasures to read each comment, so don’t think since I don’t respond I don’t care about your feedback and thoughts. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy.)
I started this blog when I was 17, and I’m nearly 21 now. It’s weird to think how much a person can change over the course of a few years, and a lot of my followers have witnessed my growth and evolution over the years. I’ve had a lot of flying highs and some depressive lows.
Weirdly enough, why I want to blog hasn’t changed. I just want to express my thoughts. But over time, what thoughts you want to express and how changes.
I want to start focusing on film, TV, and book critique from a writer’s perspective. Talk about storytelling, character arcs, and worldbuilding and how the quality of it affects your experience. These have always been passions of mine, but I’d like to go deeper into it. Give strong (but thoughtful and healthy) criticism and critique. And I’m also curious to see what you think on the same topics. Get your opinions and thoughts, and maybe you could even suggest books, movies, or TV shows for me to discuss with you.
I’m really excited to enter a new phase for my blog and the content available up here. I understand that it’ll be different and a little more refined, but I’m still Penny. It’ll still be a relaxed atmosphere where you can chill and discuss topics together. We’ll still laugh and cry together, and I’m always ready to hear from a new follower or friend.
We’re all beans here.
So, ready to join me?