Don't Call Me an Influencer

Friday, April 7, 2023
Sometimes people refer to bloggers as influencers. According to Merriam-Webster, an influencer is "a person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media." And sure, maybe I do that. But not only on social media. I used to say, 'please don't call me an influencer,' because I felt there was more to me than that, more to what I do. There's nothing wrong with being an influencer, of course, it's just not exactly who I am. First and foremost, I am a writer. I've always been a writer, even when I was a teacher. I write for me, I write for you and sometimes I write for other businesses. Secondly, I'm a blogger. My blog is my pride and joy, and I fuss with it daily, the same way you'd fluff up the pillows on your living room couch or mess with your child's hair to get it just right. But it never goes as planned, does it? The dog comes in and crushes the pillows, or the wind blows and screws up your kid's hair, or a pandemic happens and just changes...everything.

This post is part of a series called Momma Musings, where I share some of my most intimate thoughts and stories with you. You can check out all of my past Momma Musings here.

This post was originally published in 2021, shortly after the lockdown ended and life started to go back to 'normal.' But it never really became 'normal' again, did it?

If you're trying to pick up the pieces of your life since the pandemic occurred, I'm here to tell you that you're not alone. I think we all know how much it changed things and how many lives were lost. We mourn for those we lost- friends, family, loved ones. But it's okay to mourn for the 'minor' things you lost in life, too. The jobs, the opportunities, the travel plans. The pandemic has caused me to come to an odd crossroads with my own profession (yes, blogging/writing is a profession, lest you think otherwise). I am grateful that my family is healthy and thriving, but there’s no denying that the pandemic was like a storm that blew through and left many people’s lives, jobs and mental health in shambles (myself included). I'm a writer who depends on travel and events in order to produce relevant content. I rely on social media to share posts. But over the past few years, many people abandoned their social media accounts, and sites like Facebook and Instagram changed their algorithms so much that it’s difficult for any of my posts to be seen. I have been covering grand openings, theme parks and entertainment venues for years, only to find that suddenly the grand opening I was anticipating isn't happening, or they no longer want me to be there for the unveiling. Seems like a minor issue, but it's huge for me (that's like working for years on a project in your office- promoting it, sharing it, attending celebrations for it- only to find out that you'll never see the final product). 

I used to think that in order to be a successful blogger, thousands of people had to read my posts and share them. I thought I needed to have a certain number of views to make a difference in the blogging world. But one thing I've discovered - especially now as I write these Momma Musings posts- is that what I really want as a writer is to reach people. And that means any number of people, not a mass number of people to gain popularity (although, that would be nice too, not gonna lie). If there are a handful of people reading this and they like it and it resonates with them or it helps them in some way- well, then that is what really matters. At least that's one thing I've learned from this pandemic. Maybe this new mindset won’t make me more money or make brands accept me, but at least I’ll know that I’m doing what I set out to from the start, which is to write something meaningful, something that helps people. It would be the highest honor to know that my words meant something to another human being. If I helped another person in some way and my authenticity mattered to someone, I'd be overjoyed. 

Then you could call me an influencer. 

Post playlist: Possibility, by Lykke Li; I Think I'm OKAY by Machine Gun Kelly, YUNGBLUD and Travis Barker

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