Monday, 26 March 2018

Polka Spots and Freckle Dots Turns Six

I can't believe my little space on the Internet turned six yesterday!

How did that happen, and where has the time gone? It only feels like two minutes since I signed up to Blogger, created my blog with a generic blog design, and nervously posted my first blog post- an introductory post with a grainy, headless mirror-shot of myself in my favourite black polka dot dress.

When I published that first post all those years ago, I never imagined that I would still be blogging here regularly six years later. To be honest, I expected it to keep my interest for a couple of months at most, until I gradually lost interest and moved on to the next big thing like I had with past ventures like Livejournal and an old Tumblr blog. I had no long-term plans or expectations from starting a blog; I simply wanted a distraction and something to fill my time while I was on bed rest with chronic pain (or "disc injuries" as I knew them back then). 

After six months of being house bound and bed ridden from excruciating constant back pain, I was bored and going stir crazy; there's only so much reading, watching daytime TV, and surfing the net you can do day after day without losing the will to live. I had been reading plus size fashion blogs for six months after discovering the wonderful world of body positivity and fat acceptance on Tumblr soon after becoming ill, and it was through reading those blogs that I found the confidence to begin my own, and start sharing my outfits and love of fashion. Reading those fatshion blogs had gradually helped me to start accepting myself, after a lifetime of hating my body and truly believing I was an enormous, hideous fat freak nobody could ever find attractive, and I hoped that through blogging my outfits, I could work towards self-acceptance, and perhaps even show other plus size people that they could enjoy fashion, too.

If you're a relatively new reader, you might be confused by the mention of outfits, but at the beginning, Polka Spots was actually a plus size fashion blog, with a few beauty posts thrown in for good measure. I shared my outfits, fashion I was loving, fashion and beauty hauls, manicures I had created, and beauty products I had been using. Over time, as my health deteriorated further and I had less money to spend, outfits became less frequent, and it morphed in to an everything blog. I added in lifestyle posts, book reviews, travel posts, health updates, lists, crafts, day in the life posts, home, puppy posts, and more. Posts became more sporadic and less exciting for reasons out of my control, and sharing my outfits fizzled out.

Although it's been a couple of years since I last blogged the kind of content I was truly passionate about and could be proud of on a regular basis, I've continued to blog regularly for six whole years. I've never committed myself to any other hobby, interest, or project on an almost-daily basis with such dedication for this long before, and I'm proud of myself for applying myself to my blog. I'm proud of myself for all the time and effort I've sunk in to this little blog of mine, and for all I've achieved over the years.

Sure, I'm not the best blogger in the world. I'm not the best writer or the best photographer; I don't always write the most interesting posts, or post every day of the week. I don't have a large following, and I'm not a famous blogger making millions from my blog, but I appreciate my small following- every one of you, my readers, even if it doesn't appear that way when I'm slow to reply to comments and messages. I promise I'll get better at that. I always put 110% in to every post I create, and I enjoy blogging, and that's really what matters at the end of the day. 

All I wanted from this blog was a distraction from living life on bed rest with chronic pain, and I've managed to give myself that for six whole years. My blog has kept me occupied while I've been house bound and given me something to aim for and fill my time with every day. I've rarely been bored in six years because there are always posts to write, edit, and promote, flatlays to create, photographs to take, things to tweak, messages to answer, social media to engage in, and so much more. Without this blog to work on, I know these six years would have been much harder to cope with because I would've been bored out of my brain without the distraction. Having something to do every day has given me something to get up for every day, taken my mind off the constant fiery sting of chronic back pain, and provided me with an outlet through diagnosis, treatments, bad experiences with doctors and physiotherapists, and the moments I've been at my lowest. I don't even want to imagine how much harder the last six years of my life with chronic pain and chronic illness would've been without this blog to keep me going, but I'm certain the experience would have been very different and that I wouldn't be the same person I am today. Starting this blog when I did was without a doubt the best decision I could've made.

Over the last six years, I've published 1324 blog posts. That's a whole lot of posts about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, chronic illness, crafts, lists, books, and more. This post makes 1325. I've worked with some wonderful brands, and created work that I am proud of. I've worked hard to improve the quality of my writing and photography, but there's a lot of room for improvement and I doubt I'll ever stop working on that. I've also gained some wonderful readers and made some lovely friends through blogging I would never have had the pleasure of 'knowing' otherwise, and I'm so grateful for that. I love being part of this fantastic community of such talented and inspiring people.

I may have been blogging here for six years now, but I have no intention of stopping just yet. I intend to keep going as long as possible. A week ago, I gave the blog a whole new look with a beautiful new Pipdig blog design, and I'm working on making Polka Spots and Freckle Dots better than ever. I want to do my best to bring better content back to the blog, with more fashion, beauty, and lifestyle posts again; more reviews of products I've been buying and enjoying, books I've been reading, manicures I've been wearing, and when I'm feeling up to it, the odd outfit post here and there. It's time to get back to blogging the way I used to... but better. At some point I'm also hoping to rebrand because I've hated my blog name for about, oh, I don't know, five years, eleven months, and it makes me cringe every time I see it, but one thing at a time...

I don't know where the future will take Polka Spots or myself as a blogger, but I genuinely look forward to finding out, and working on creating lots of new content for you guys. I hope you'll join me for the ride.

Thanks for all of your support over the last six years; it means more to me than you'll ever know.  You guys are amazing.

Here's to the next six!

1 comment

  1. Congratulations on your 6 years of blogging. My own Baker's Dozen blogiversary is next week so I will have to write something I guess!
    I do enjoy reading your blog- you post pretty things and you have nice taste in bags and jewellery etc plus I discovered the wonderful world of Advent Calendars!
    I wish you success in the future on your blogging endeavours and well done for persevering with it! It is a great achievement! And yes, a return visit to my blog one day would be nice!

    Have a lovely day!x


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