Meandering Wild started a while ago now. It has had a few forms and lots of pauses. However from the outset it was my desire to share my images with someone, anyone who was willing to pause and read, that underpinned everything. I have a love hate relationship with social media and have frequent and extensive detox sessions, but Meandering Wild continues despite these retreats.
I enjoy writing, I love sharing my images with the stories behind them and I hope that just one of them inspires you to adventure out and discover a new adventure, place or creature. I am not “showing off” (I hope) about all the adventures we have but I want to share the beauty and fragility of the planet and our lives. I also want to show you how you can have adventures on a tight budget or no budget. Many of my photographs and adventures are free, happening just a few miles from home. Life is for living and my little corner of the internet is my take on making the most of life.
Why a blog and not social media?
Blogging is something that takes my mind off reality and lets me think about my quiet times in more depth. The family dinner of the social media world. Every so often a post appears on facebook about blogging being dead and instagram and social media is the way to go. However, I believe that the hearty family meal is far better than the quick fix of fast food which is all that social media provides.
A blog doesn’t allow you to click '“like” or to just “heart” an image and move on. You have to take time to find the link, sit, read and enjoy. Blogging is the slow pleasure both in creation and reading. This in turn leads to more connection with your reader. Something that is slowly dying in the modern world.
I am guilty of the quick fix on instagram and facebook, scrolling mindlessly (usually in the car waiting for kids), hitting like when something catches my eye. But how often do I stop to look at other images from the same person, how often do I even read their carefully crafted caption - not very often. And there is the problem - instagram, facebook and twitter all work on “captions” - a caption, which by its definition is brief.
Don’t Fall into the “Should” and “Must” Trap of Blogging
Putting yourself out into the big wide world can be scary. I tried blogging under my real name and crawled back to Meandering Wild. Those who know me, will understand that I like to keep myself to myself. Whilst my blog is about my travels and my photography I find it hard to promote myself. Apparently I should promote my blog and be brave, but you know what? I am doing just fine as I am!
There is so much pressure in the blogging world - you should blog three times a week, you must have google analytics installed, every post must be shared on pinterest with at least three pins. All really good things to do, but at the heart of blogging is expressing yourself and writing. Everything else is an added bonus.
As an older blogger I find the Millennial blogging scene frantic and superficial. I have been pulled up in groups for not providing pins, for not leaving an essay in a comment or even responding to a thread quickly enough when it still has days to run. I have a life to live and I don’t have time to do things like that quickly and even less time to check and chase like some do. My blog is flourishing without chasing stardust.
Be Creative with your Blog
Even if you are not into writing in depth, world changing discussions, blogging can still be a way to express the creative side to your personality. You can write about what you love, what catches your attention, stories that have made you think or smile or even just share your images as you would on Instagram.
Some of my posts are short, just an image and a few sentences about the place, the time or my thoughts, but you know what, I get more pleasure from seeing them on MY website than I ever do in the jumble and chaos that is social media.
Other posts are long and rambling (a bit like this is turning out to be!). Something catches my imagination and without the word limits of social media I can explore and share to my heart’s content.
Having the ability to be creative in my own space of the world wide web keeps me occupied for hours. Why do you think my blog appearance changes so often - I am tweaking, fiddling and modifying all the time. One day it will settle, but I love the freedom to change my appearance when I want, not when the mighty Instamasters decide an update is needed.
Speaking of Instamasters - if they decide they don’t like something you have posted or that they don’t want to be in business any more then that is your entire corner of the world gone and out of your control. With your own blog it is yours for as long as you want it to be.
Where your blog lives
When you decide to move away from social media the world is full of options and opinions. I have tried them all and can tell you now whatever anyone says there is no correct answer. There is however the right home for your blog. Take time to explore the options - blogger, wix, wordpress and squarespace are all good starts. They are all slightly different in their approach but don’t feel forced into self hosted wordpress whatever the google world says.
I now live happily in Squarespace ignoring the comments from wordpress die hards about how rubbish it is and how limited you will be in the future. It works for me and that is all that matters. If you want help with getting started on squarespace then just drop me a line!
Slow Travel, Slow Photography, Slow Blogging
Whatever your loves in life, blogging helps to share your story, message and images with the world away from the frantic superficial world of social media. Your blog can be something that people look forward to reading, exploring the world through your words and images curled up with a brew.
I am slowing down in my travels, taking time with photography and blogging slowly without the background noise of social media. Enjoying life and sharing what I want to share without the need to conform.
I see my blog as my portfolio. An introduction to my photography and writing. I have been approached to write and supply images after my blog has been found. What better place to show your real worth than in a blog that you have created and love. Focus your blog on the areas you want to be known for and give it time to evolve into your future.
So there you go..
A few of my rambling thoughts on why I blog and why you should too. I know many photographers just post galleries and travellers just post location guides but there is so much more to both. Make it somewhere special that you love and watch as the magic happens.
And if you don’t want to blog but love reading, then leave comments and share the love on your facebook page. The more people who see blogs, the more the world will be inspired to move away from social media (and yes I know that is a total contradiction!!!)