I quit blogging for awhile.
I kind of lost my way and the joy of it had escaped me.
Over the past few months I have come to a new understanding that allows me to come back. These points are probably not relevant to anyone else but me and my own semi-warped way of looking at the world but here they are.
Second Life Fashion is a community that not everyone gets to be included in, even when they show up every day, work hard, and put in years.
Achieving "greatness" within the community does not guarantee you anything other than the brief moment when you wear your crown that everyone will suddenly know you and want to be your friend. Once the moment passes, those same people will not remember you or have any use for you. Some may, however, step in your face as they climb over your cold dead body on their way to the top.
Second Life fashion, awards, popularity, blogging, designing, blah blah blah often has little to do with who is the best or has worked the hardest. The best models are not the most popular, the best photographers are not the ones winning prizes or even being published in the magazines, the best writers are not award winning bloggers etc. If you are involved in any of these because you want to "win" then you have to think of it more like Social Media. Your rewards will be directly linked to how many people you know and interact with and who you know and interact with. You have to be willing to network, to follow and support the key people, and to adopt the practices and thinking of the community.
There are real costs for arguing against the collective voice. People are banned, they are not included or invited. Everyone I worked for in SL had a list of people that we were not allowed to work with that was either handed out in writing to staff or communicated verbally. These names were not based on anything important - just people who had said or done something to them or their friends, often years ago, that were never to be forgiven or given another chance.
People keep tally of those who take opposing views when, for instance, accusations are made of copying. If you choose to simply not pick either side because you do not know, you can be seen as "supporting the enemy" and therefore banned/not picked/not allowed to participate in future events. Second Life Fashion is a team effort.
I have never claimed to be the best at anything I do in SL. There is such diverse talent with blogging, pictures, designing, styling . . . but I do know I can hold my own. I never asked to sit at the cool girl's table but I thought after all these years that I would at least be allowed in the same room . . . a chair over in the corner. Instead, I had a lot of negative unkindness thrown my way and pressure from designers like they owned my soul. Some of them asked me to blog for them. Some of them I blogged when no-one else knew of them or wanted to blog them. I find it disheartening to know that every blog on the feeds is going to have the exact same dress and then that same dress will be repeated again and again by the other designers except with different textures on it. I lost the whole part of blogging that was for me, creative and fun. Instead I felt like a machine.
I have watched blogging go from beautiful detailed descriptions of clothes, detailed analysis of new products, fantastic stories of adventures in SL . . . to a few pics with the credits listed. Feeds used to refuse just pictures as blogging. Now they are everywhere. I imagine because everyone feels under the same pressure of getting so many blogs done to please the designers. We have moved from where the bloggers posted THEIR rules regarding blogging items to where we have to practically sign contracts with a designer with a huge list of requirements and the ever looming threat of being dropped if you fail to comply. No-one much cares that a blogger clearly states they will only blog the items that suit their style. No-one stops and thinks if a designer is demanding all that coverage of her things, things she usually sends out not things the blogger asked for, that a blogger will have no time to do any other designs. If a blogger is seen only to blog for one or two designers, who will bother to even read their blogs after awhile? They know they are blogging what they are being given, not blogging them because they love the clothes, or think they are worth showing to other people. I don't understand how anyone thinks this is effective business?
So this is my conclusion. I am going back to blogging only what I love and I will work on a picture or a blog as long as it takes and not just start throwing out cookie cutter posts. I will write about whatever I want, probably not a lot to do with the fashion, but a lot about life, like I always have. Some humour, some commentary . . . I have people who read me because they laugh or maybe like to swear at what that stupid woman is doing now. I am ok with that. I will never have 50 million friends to like everything I do. I don't have that many friends because I could never be a good friend to that many people and I worry about that. When I have friends I think of them, not about myself and what they can do for me. I also want my friends to be able to tell me truthfully whether they like something or disagree with me because that is how I learn and grow. A fan club of people who tell me everything I do is fantastic and wonderful is just not reality. It is just a bunch of people agreeing to bullshit one another. It isn't real.
I want to be real. Even in Second Life. So I am back. I call it like I see it. This is my experience and I will take responsibility for myself and do things my way and yes, I know the cost of that but damn . . . I like me this way. I really do.
(forgive me for not having the item information, I have a few pics I just did while I was not blogging that I will post before getting back into full swing.)