9 Years Of Blogging

9 years ago a shy and nervous 14 year old Shona made the best decision she would ever make, she started a blog. I sat there with my tiny, slow netbook typing out my introduction to the world with absolutely no idea about what it might lead to. I was simply feeling isolated at school and looking for a sense of community, not for one second did I believe that 9 years later I'd still be writing on here and I would have a dream career as a result. It's quite surreal to think that my whole life changed that day, I'd be on such a different path now if I hadn't crafted myself this little corner of the internet.

Photography by Kaye Ford

The effects of starting my blog can be seen throughout every area of my life. Not only did it open the door to me now becoming a freelance writer and photographer but my blog also gave me a confidence I'd never had before. That confidence allowed me to start going to the theatre on my own and more regularly, where I would meet my wonderful girlfriend and friends. My blog afforded me the opportunity to become a published author in my early twenties, a dream I never thought I'd fulfil. One of the biggest things though is the community I've built up, and it's something I've been reflecting a lot on recently.

If you follow me across social media then you'll know that this year I've been organising getting a wheelchair accessible car and learning to drive and the support I've received has been overwhelming. There are so many people who are always cheering me on and rooting for me. Many of you have been here since my beauty blogging days, which means some of you have been supporting me since I was a teenager. I can't quite put into words how incredible that feels, to know that there are people across the world who have your back. 

Photography by Kaye Ford

Without blogging I absolutely would not be the confident and empowered disabled and lesbian woman I am today either. The online disability community helped me to accept my disability and realise that a lot of good could come of it. Being a teenager dealing with having your whole life turned upside down is incredibly daunting, but the disability community helped me find my way and for that I am beyond grateful. So to now be a trusted voice within that same community means more than I could ever say. 

9 years is the longest amount of time I've ever stuck doing anything and I've been asked a few times recently whether I'm considering stepping away from blogging now I'm working as a freelance writer for other publications but I can safely say that right now I can't see me ever stopping blogging. Whilst I adore writing for print and online publications having my blog is so important to me because it is my space to write about what I want. I don't need to pitch to anyone, I'm not being edited by someone else, I am free to write as I please. As a writer I think I will always want this space to do that. The sense of community I've built up is too precious to me to step away from and I hope my blog and social media will always be a welcoming space. The exact kind of space that helped me find my way in the world.

But, where now? My blog is like a child to me and I will always write here and keep coming back to it, but those amongst you with an eye for detail might have noticed that I've switched around my social media bios a little. I used to say I was a blogger before everything else but now I'm at a point in my career where I want people to refer to me as a freelance writer and photographer first. I still love my blog and I will always be grateful for it because it's got me to the point now where I can say it's given me a career. I know you're not meant to have favourite children but my blog will always hold a special place in my heart and right now I can't foresee a time where I stop blogging. I am beyond excited to see where I am this time next year when I'll be celebrating it being a decade since this little space was born. 

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