• anabundanceofmelanin

My Blogging Experience in the Past Year

An Abundance of Melanin turns 1, yay 🥳 It's been a quick year with a lot of learning, growing and creativity. From August 2020 to now, I'm going to recap all the highs, lows and everything in between since I introduced my little baby to the world.

Most of you may know that I actually began blogging long before last year, however it didn't quite work out the way I had expected. Firstly, I was a completely different person when I first created An Abundance of Melanin and I was desperately trying to replicate what everyone else was doing at the time (which was fashion, beauty and lifestyle), expecting it to be successful. What I hadn't realised was that despite having an interest in fashion and beauty, they were never passions that I cared for deeply and that of course translated in the content I shared. It never came that naturally to me so it was easy to give up and claim that 'blogging wasn’t for me anymore'. Fast forward to 2020, the uprise of the BLM movement and the urge to write came flooding back, thus came Where Do We Go From Here? In the midst of a lot of changes the summer of 2020 brought into my life, came clarity as to what type of impact I would like to have on other people. So, instead of blogging about fashion, beauty and lifestyle, I dug deep and discovered that the most important topics of conversation to me were social justice, science, lifestyle and wellbeing. An Abundance of Melanin went through a complete rebrand and I spent most of my summer planning and creating the future of the blog. I remember the first time I spoke about the idea out loud during a conversation with my boyfriend and since that day there hasn’t been a moment that I wished I hadn't made it come alive.

Why did I decide to rebrand?

I've always loved non-fictional writing, that's my creative outlet amongst other things. Last year, I knew that writing about fashion and beauty wasn't for me but struggled to find another angle/niche to write about, that I both enjoyed and would matter to others. As I mentioned, I discovered what truly mattered to me instead and decided to run with it. However, unlike the first AAoM, I decided that my writing was not necessarily going to be done for the pleasure of anyone else. This is my creative outlet and my journey through my 20s, a period which will see me go through the largest amount of personal development and change. I wanted to document that and if people want to join along, even better. Starting off my committed blogging journey without being shackled to other people's perception of what's 'interesting', gave me complete and utter creative freedom, which has been so beneficial for me to explore many different topics, which are ultimately many facets of me. I had so much fun planning my rebrand, from logo design to website design to creating the content, it has been the best personal project ever.

What are the best parts of my blogging experience so far?

I have something that I can control. As a lab-based PhD student, it can often feel like I don’t have a lot of control over my work as the nature of my research comes with the chance of unexpected results, my bacteria acting up or things taking much longer than I hoped. This brings feelings of lack of control which as a self-professed control freak, is a recipe for disaster. Having my own little space on the internet which I can share my creativity brings gives me something else to focus on, when my PhD work isn't going so great and at least I can control how it makes me feel.

I have learned so much about myself. Self-discovery is a really important thing for me and I feel that having this blog has escalated my journey, making me realise that you never truly finish discovering who you are as it is always meant to change.

Throughout the past year, I have also been able to create so many boundaries when it comes to my social media habits. I have been to successfully establish knowing that social media is just an online platform where people share a version of their life they feel is appropriate. This means that it is not a full picture and therefore social media should only take up an appropriate amount of space in my head or my life. If I don't feel like sharing anything or life is just too busy, I retreat back and pick up where I left off.

Lastly, I've been able to make so many wonderful, genuine connections with people online that I never would have if it wasn't for creating AAoM. I'm so grateful for it and I hope this continues!

What are the not so great parts?

I am so glad that this list is pretty small.

Creative blocks!!!! It can sometimes be so hard to come up with new and exciting content when I'm working full time and there is a lot going on in my life. Due to my brain capacity being taken up by (frankly) more important things, it means that I go through stages where I really struggle to post on Instagram or get a blog post out. I've been pretty consistent with my blogs and Instagram has sometimes taken a back seat but I've learned to be kinder to myself because at the end of the day, this whole process is supposed to be enjoyable FOR ME, first and foremost.

Comparison - everyone does it, especially if you have a public platform. There have been times where I've wondered why other people have grown so quickly on social media or questioned if I'm making interesting content etc. etc. etc. Honestly, it can be really frustrating and demotivating. If those thoughts come into my head now, however, I remind myself of why I started blogging in the first place and why it matters to me, which puts my mind at ease. Also, I have had people tell me that they actually love what I do, so that keeps me going when I don't feel 'good enough'.

What should you expect in the coming year?

More me. I feel that I have so many interesting conversations with the people in my life that I don't get to explore fully or find out different perspectives. I really want to create a sense of community with AAoM on Instagram and my blogging platform, so that will be one of my main aims in the next year. I'm going to try and veer away from wondering what people find interesting and just share what I want to speak about.

I also would love to do more collaborative projects with other Black creatives and also scientists (PhD students) that I've connected with online.

I'm really looking forward to being even more creative and I think you should be too!! Make sure to like, SUBSCRIBE, connect with me on Instagram and tell a friend to tell a friend about the blog.

Happy 1st birthday to An Abundance of Melanin and thank you all so much for riding with me so far. I appreciate every single person who reads and interacts with my content so, so much.

Until next time,

D x

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