(Crimson) Reflections: 200 Blog Posts
I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to the count of posts I’ve published (except when I’m getting on my own case for how many pending drafts are sitting unfinished in the queue), but I actually passed 200 posts this year.
I started this blog in late 2012, so about 9 years ago now. It’s a little hard to tell the exact date because I put some backdated posts from EGL. The intro post is dated (what is that title? I’m pretty sure that’s not good English) but there is a coord post of a Haenuli print from that could have been back dated, but I don’t think it was? It’s funny, I don’t think I would make a post like that today… I’d probably just post to Insta or Facebook if I was really excited about a new dress. It’s kind of funny how things change over time. Just reading that post, I can tell how excited I was. I had first seen the dress at the first Frill. It was on the dressform in the sales room in the black colorway. If you faced the cashier table, it was to the left, next to a grouping of tables with accessories. I fell in love with that print at first sight, and I remember looking at it for a price and then going to one of the girls working in the sales area to ask how to buy it. And I remember being so disappointed to learn it wasn’t for sale. (It later went up for orders on EGL, and I got both OP cuts in different colors).
But time tempers all things. These days I’m still excited when new things come in, but it’s not that degree of unable-to-sit-still have-to-tell-the-world excitement like it was in the earlier days.
I had been wearing lolita for 4-5 years when I started this blog, and I remember that I felt so small standing in the shadow of giants like Caro-chan of Fyeah Lolita. Like, when you could go read Caro’s blog, why would anyone want to read mine?
Even now, I don’t really inherently think of myself as someone who has been wearing lolita for a long time, even though I passed the 10 year mark several years ago (I still find myself wanting to write “almost 10 years” when people ask how long I’ve been wearing lolita). To me, that will always be reserved for the people who were around in 2005, though the number of people who meet that definition grows smaller and smaller as time marches on.
I remember when Lolita Blog Carnival started, also in late 2012, I had just started my blog, and I was like… I absolutely don’t qualify for this. Because you had to have had your blog for 3 months and have at least 9 posts, IIRC. I ended up accidentally blogging on the same topic in late 2013 (awkward…), so in January of 2014 I finally got together the courage and asked to join the LBC.
I’ve never been good at consistency, and I think I only managed to do 20 of the weekly posts, which would be fine if that was like… in a year, that would be like alternating weeks? but no, that’s over like 6 years when the LBC was active.
I still haven’t finished the 52 week challenge I started in 2012 either.
In fact, my post dashboard looks a little like this…
I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to statistics, so just for fun, and because I like to make data more available, here are the stats for my blog since I first started tracking them in 2013 (the data at the bottom is just 2021).
Speaking of inconsistency…. I did a quick manual tally and 2013 was the only year I published any posts in August until this year. I published 3 posts that August and then never posted in August again until the one review I posted this year. I also published a grand total of 3 posts in September since I started my blog, though they were in two different years. I guess I get too tired in late summer!
For those who are curious, the top two viewed posts of all time are 10 Myths We Need to Stop Telling New Lolita (12,389 views) and Getting the Right Japanese Shoe Size (9,684 views), which makes me happy because I think the shoe size post (and the follow up for Getting the Right Chinese Shoe Size) were written to try to help solve a problem I saw all the time as a younger lolita (shoe size conversion charts are terrible and people were constantly saying no shoe ran true to size / was consistent in size because of it).
I blogged the most in 2013, I actually managed to post an average of 1 post per week in 2013, which, I have no idea how I did in hindsight, though I expect the 23 posts I made in March of 2013 probably had something to do with that. How or why I published a post almost every day for a month, I have no clue. And in 2018, I forgot I had a blog all together.
Granted I was much less verbose in 2013 than I have been in recent years. I think that was before Lolita Updates had really taken off as well, and I used to post each new AP release to my blog with short commentary.
Where as in 2020 and 2021, I’ve been more focused on reviews, guides and research type posts. I think some of that has to do with the fact that as I’ve been in the fashion longer, I’ve started to notice that a lot of the “institutional” knowledge from the time when I started wearing the fashion is getting lost, especially as the community shifts away from EGL and I really want to try to capture that information as much as possible. Partly because I’ve noticed that we have started to end up with a lot of rules and advice that gets passed around because it’s always been that way, and the why is lost. Especially the shorthand beginning advice. Things like cotton being best for lolita, or black and white being ita, etc… it had a history and a reason, but, it’s not always applicable today in the same way it was when it was first said.
In a way, I’ve kind of come full circle back to what I started out trying to do. When I started this blog, I needed a name for it, and I was kind stuck, so I ended up using the name and tag line that I had been using on my poetry and prose site in high school. I really like to wear red in lolita, so in that sense it’s a bit of a pun, but also, a lot of what I wanted to write when I started out was basically my thoughts on things that didn’t have black and white answers, or were too complex for a simple throw away statement like “black and white is ita”.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a web developer by trade, and I do have a graphic design background. One of the things that I was pretty set on when I started this blog was that I wasn’t going to hold it to my professional standards. It was going to always be something that was just “good enough”. I edit graphics for this blog in MSPaint or pixlr half the time. I use a free template that I minorly modified and I very rarely add any custom coding to make it look “perfect”. It’s been really important to me that this space hasn’t been something high pressure where it adds to my daily stress or responsibilities or sucks up a lot of time looking “perfect”. I throw things together. And I push it into the void.
That’s also why I’ve never promised to post on a schedule. I have really bad executive dysfunction and anxiety and I’m physically unwell. So, trying to be a reliable person is highly stressful for me. Work, and taking care of my house, and my cats and myself, is really the max responsibility I can handle (and even that is too much sometimes).
So, letting myself be mediocre. Intentionally, wholeheartedly, full throttle mediocre… has been really freeing for me, and I think I post more and I enjoy this more than I would if I held myself to higher standards.
And because I let myself be mediocre, I don’t feel any need to monetize my blog to make up for the time / money investment in running it. Therefore, I have no sponsors to be responsible to.
But, on the flip side, it leads to some kinda funny interactions. Sometimes I’ll post in Rufflechat or Big Sisters of Lolita Fashion and people will reply to me with one of my own blog pots. And, like, I have to laugh a little, because, I don’t post my face a lot on my blog, or my real name, so, yeah, of course some people aren’t going to make that connection (and, I mean, I’m face blind so, I don’t recognize people half the time either).
But, then there have also been times where the total opposite has happened and strangers have come up to me at events and told me they loved my blog and that just completely blows my mind because to me, I’m still that newbie lolita who is writing into the void for fun and no one is reading this stuff. It actually really embarrasses me and makes me really shy.
I also have a lot of anxiety about blogging. Originally, I set this up as a place where I could write and ramble and not worry about talking too much. I didn’t have to worry about being so incredibly annoying because I never shut up. I figured if I got it all out here, then people would have to make the choice to come here and read what I wrote. So maybe I wouldn’t be quite so annoying that way.
I only recently set it up so that when I post here, it cross posts to my Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook page (which I only made because I kept getting hundreds of random friend requests to my personal facebook account which isn’t lolita fashion centered due to posting so much in Lolita Updates). And even then, I will turn off or delete that cross posting a lot. I’m really only super comfortable promoting review posts. Lately it’s been malfunctioning and posting even when I turn it off, and I keep forgetting…
Especially when I feel passionate about something, or what I’m writing might be seen as controversial, I get really anxious about publishing it, or promoting the link.
Sometimes, I look at other Jfashion blogs out there that have good professional, edited photos and well made templates and I just am so impressed by the time and effort people have put into those things. Like, man, those people work so hard on their blogs and I’m over here being a gremlin.
But, at the end of the day, being a gremlin with mediocre graphics gets more stuff finished and it means that I’m not anxious as I am about more polished work. So, I guess it’s working?
I have several posts in the queue that I’m working on, but I don’t want to give a lot of hints because I know I’m slow about it. Two of them are about lolita/jfashion in the 90s, and it’s been a lot of fun to work on them. I’ve also been working on a project for lolibrary lately. We plan to launch some supplemental information about various brands and that’s required a lot of my research/writing time lately. The more I write about and research about lolita and lolita history, the more I’m finding mistakes and inconsistencies between sources though. It’s concerning how much of what we “know” is 3rd or 4th hand from a single source, passed on down from source to source often uncredited, like a game of telephone. Hopefully, this resource we are working on over at lolibrary will help us as a community to keep our own history and to keep things well sourced.
I hope all of you are well, and stay well. Please, be safe.