5 Awkward things about being a blogger

I’m pretty much an open book…for better or worse. I talk far too much and probably say too much, but hey, that’s me and that’s just what you get.

Today I’m going to talk about the behind-the-scenes part of being a blogger/vlogger. While it is my chosen profession right now, there are parts that suck, parts that rock and parts that are awkward and embarrassing.

Jess on a bike

This post is all about the awkward and embarrassing parts of being a blogger/vlogger. Sounds like a laugh, right? Well here we go…let’s see how awkward I can feel while putting this thing together! If you like this kind of post, let me know in the comments and I can make it a series and add the parts that rock and the parts that suck 🙂

Taking selfies

I kind of hate taking selfies. I get so embarrassed if I’m by myself and want a picture of me. Everyone does it, it’s shouldn’t be weird. I never think it’s weird when other people do it, but somehow I feel like I stand out as a weirdo.

At least I’m not whacking people with a selfie-stick 😛 It takes so many clicks to get the right shot so it’s not blurry, you are in the frame, it has the right exposure, and so on. Quick shoot and go methods don’t turn out good photos.

Climbing selfie with London

Funny enough, I do like it when Sean is there to take pictures of me. The hard part is that we tend to have different visions and both attempt to direct the photo shoot. We end up taking turns trying different scenarios. My motto is to keep clicking away!

But, as soon as I notice we are in someone’s way or people are looking, I want to stop. Instantly.

Then I feel bad and want to go hide.

Shooting photos

Walking around with my camera makes me feel like a perpetual tourist and while that is not a bad thing to be at all, it makes me uncomfortable.

There are so many people who think it’s weird to take photos of everything. We all know the people who roll their eyes when we go to take pictures of our food. But trying to tell a story and bring the experience to the reader or the viewer (on YouTube) means you will have your camera out all the time. And what if they don’t want you to take a photo or video?

Underdocks - lobster roll

Photos are one of the best mediums out there. They can tell a story like nothing else can. It’s a snapshot of time. A moment that will never be, again. Right now I’m convincing you that it’s okay to take photos responsibly, so that I may feel the same way.

Filming in public

Like selfies, I hate when people are looking at me! Everybody is staring…or, at least, it seems that way.

It’s totally not an abnormal thing to vlog, or to take selfies, but sometimes it seems I’m the only one in the world doing it considering how weird I feel about it.

Do you ever wonder how big vloggers walk in somewhere with their camera held high? Me, too!

I mean, we got told not to take a photo in a bakery in Germany. It was only to show them what I wanted because I wasn’t sure if they spoke English. Oy. That kind of thing stresses me out!

When outside just walking down the street, there’s no reason to care what people think…and yet I do. Whyyyyy? A fellow vlogger told me that she likes to think that they stare because they wish they had the courage to do that same thing. Maybe that is true.

When filming, I try to keep focus on what I am saying and doing while blocking everything else out. That’s the only way I can do it!

It’s so dumb to be weird about it in Amsterdam. We have full film crews here in the spring and summer. Nobody worries about me and my little camera.

The hardest place to film is in restaurants. My awkward/embarrassed/anxiety level is sky-high! I love the vloggers who do bits in restaurants. Piece like that give depth to the story. Our favorites who do this are The Endless Adventure. One day I’ll ask them how they do it!

Promoting myself

To create a network you have to promote yourself, to create a living off brand deals you have to pitch yourself. It’s hard when all you want to do is travel and create. You secretly (or not so secretly) want everyone to notice your work and come running to you with the best possible offers.

For an introvert like myself, networking is so draining. Social introversion is also a thing, and that’s exactly what I am. I love to go out and hang out with people, but it’s hard for me to bust into new circles and when it’s all over, I need to have my “me” time.

Jess at WTM speed networking table

Obviously, we aren’t the perfect fit for everyone. A Wanderlust For Life is a European travel and expat life blog, so that right there takes me out of the running for a lot of collaborations. But maybe my audience doesn’t fit or most frustratingly, agencies don’t know where to put me. I live in the Netherlands, but am not Dutch and don’t write in Dutch. Whether pitching face-to-face or over email, it’s so easy to not take rejection personally because for many of us bloggers, we are our brand.

Whatever the reason for rejection, it stings a bit and then I feel awkward to pitch to a company who is a perfect fit. It’s my personality and it’s a bit of human nature to feel that way after a “no”.

I wonder what life would be like with no awkwardness! Oh what a thought.

Calling myself a blogger

I’m not sure what the problem is here. Is it that I have imposter syndrome and don’t believe I’m a blogger even though it’s what I work on all.the.time.? Or is it that is feels like it’s not a real job?

If only people understood how much work it takes to run a blog, a YouTube channel, and a business — then everyone would see it as a job. Do I make enough money to call it a job? Most businesses aren’t profitable in the first year. Does that make it any less of a job or business? No. Am I talking myself into believing it’s a real job? Maybe. But it’s still an awkward thing to say I’m a blogger.

Jess on computer

Can we all agree that “blogger” sounds better than “influencer”? Actually, “content creator” is a better term for me. Once you are creating a blog, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Twitter posts, and videos, “blogger” just doesn’t seem to cut it.

So many random, strung-together thoughts going on here. I hope you could follow it all. If nothing else, maybe it will help you understand the blogging world a bit better, and maybe even understand me a bit better.

Part of the fun about being a blogger is overcoming challenges. All the things I mentioned, I have overcome to be able to do what I do, to produce content. To create. To be able to explore.

It’s important to grow and learn and tackle things head-on. Life is all about learning and moving forward. And I’m so fortunate to be doing that in this way.

When you guys reach out and tell me how helpful the blog is for your travels or for when you move to Amsterdam, it’s really the best thing in the world. Those comments make it all so much easier to keep going because I know it’s not just falling into some internet void!

Thank you all for being part of the A Wanderlust For Life community. Virtual hugs to you!

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3 Comments

  1. Totally get the awkward stares. Even in London people have a curiosity for anything slightly different and then theres the FOMO crowd who will stop and stare in the same direction as your camera because they think Brad Pitt’s going to walk down the street, when in actual fact you’re waiting for a bus to fly by so you can get ‘that shot’…

    And no, I’ve never met Brad Pitt, or anyone else famous in London!

    Reply
  2. I feel you, Jessica! I can totally relate to all of these, and I think the hardest ones for me is the networking part 🙁 As for calling yourself a blogger, I’m glad to hear someone else is having issues with this as well. In my case, I think I don’t like the negative connotations that the word “blogger” got in the past years. If I say I am a blogger, everyone thinks I make money from posting photos of myself on Instagram (I barely post 2-3 photos of myself in a year!). Content creator is better (or writer, or creative person etc), although the work you’re doing on a blog is much more than that. Anyway, as you say, life is about learning and moving forward – we change names, we change jobs, it’s all relative 🙂

    Reply

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