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Why I changed my blog three times in four years

Some of you will know that I used to go under a different name back when I started blogging. And some of you will know that this changed. And changed again. My blog is still on a similar theme as it always has been, but I have adapted it to keep it moving and to keep me satisfied when I feel change is needed.

The original blog name reflected an incident that I witnessed a few years back and wanted to write about. It was a time when I was questioning everything, and I started to think very deeply about life, death, reality and beliefs. I left religion and anyone that has done so will know it is a very weird phase. Everything I believed was no longer, and I felt very vulnerable and my anxiety rose. Withdrawal symptoms you could say.

My website was called religionerased or coincidentally, RE for short. One of my first posts was Witnessing discrimination first hand, a post about domestic violence that occurred one day at work. It shocked me that this could occur and that the man committing the act was surprised he was even told to stop. ‘But she is my wife?’ was his reply. This shocked and appalled me. I admittedly lumped culture and religion together at this moment (they can indeed go hand in hand) and it made me distance myself further from any kind of religious belief. I had a lot I wanted to speak about that was bottled up inside me for roughly 6-7 years and blogging was a great way to do that with people that wanted to listen. It gained a following as I published posts once or twice a week, mainly in the atheist community however not exclusively. I remember a great christian blogger following my work and I followed hers, she was so open about questioning her beliefs and listened to my opinions and I listened to hers. She later blogged to say she could no longer keep blogging as she wasn’t comfortable confronting her own beliefs. This was a shame as I feel we had some open and honest conversations in the community between differing beliefs. She was a loss.

Despite this, I started to grow tired of debates. I didn’t feel good at the end of the day continuously disagreeing with people, and it just felt a little toxic. No matter how long I could debate with someone, it was highly unlikely that I would convince them, nor could they convince me. A clash of two small egos on very small blogging platforms. It often led to nowhere with someone I will probably never meet anyway. This is the point in which I felt I needed my first change, instead of clash with bloggers I wanted to do my own thing without trying to convince others. If they wanted to read my thoughts and opinions on topics they could. This sounded much better than what I was doing at the time and I would get much more satisfaction this way. I would build an audience that appreciated my posts and I would spend more time speaking to those that had similar interests and were eager to chat. A time much less wasted.

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I remember travelling to Brazil for a wedding and the Olympics in 2016. A trip I loved. One day we headed to the Iguazu Falls, a stunning set of waterfalls between the Brazilian and Argentinian borders and we took a boat right to the plunge pool of one of the falls. It was an amazing experience, pretty terrifying as you could truly feel the immense power of the waterfall. I recorded the footage of us heading right up to it, and stopped recording a little sooner than I wished I did. I could no longer see anything from the mist of the water and didn’t think my camera would have been able to.

Stepping off the boat and onto dry land was the moment that I wanted to blog about travelling more. I still wanted to blog about my personal beliefs and thoughts however merge this with my travelling experiences. I thought if I can show the world that someone without religion can find happiness and motivation to live, I have another reason to blog.

I changed the name of my blog to Living with Atheism, and I posted about the change here. I wanted to post with a little more optimism and fun, whilst preserving my original intentions for blogging. I used the ‘Living with’ to state that I aim to live life to the full but also demonstrate the negatives and stigma around a blog like mine. A blogger friend mentioned that this may look like I am trying to compare it to living with an illness or disability, and this played on my mind. I kept this title for a while before ditching it.

So here we are at my current domain. I was really debating whether to change the title altogether and ditch any association with religion or lack of, but it is such a big reason why I blog I just couldn’t. I love philosophy, debate, conversation and new ideas. Instead I decided to make it as blogger friendly as possible and I want to engage with anyone of all walks of life. I always have, I just feel earlier editions of my blog weren’t very good at achieving this. If anything they would have led people away instead of inviting them in for discussion. This isn’t me. So, I eventually went with My Life Without Religion. It is short and to the point. This is my website address, however I have changed the title of my blog to simply Living!, as living is what I want to do and inspire others to do as best as they can.

I believe change is key to success, or simply survival. No one likes change, however without change we rust up. We get complacent and get bored. These can be small or big changes, but I think it is wise to mix life up every now and then. It is stimulating and provides additional challenges. These challenges develop us as individuals over time and are often looked back on with good feelings instead of regret. I would always prefer a regret due to change in style- as these can always be reversed- than regret not change at all. One regret is much more fulfilling than the other.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

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Happy blogging!

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45 replies »

  1. An interesting journey. I think you were wise to change “Living With Atheism” to “Living!”

    I intended my blog to be solely a platform for writing up random data analyses. But from the start, stories from my own life began to intrude.

    Now my blog is a mix of those stories and data analyses (particularly as the American midterm elections approach–c’mon “blue wave!”). Sometimes those two worlds collide, as in “Ranking Every Charlie Chan Film” or “Film Noir: A Personal Journey.” Those may be the most fun to write.

    The point being: one’s blog is one’s own voice. Expression, not argument.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love your last line, ‘expression, not argument’. It’s great! This is the best way to blog and think.

      It sounds like your blog has changed over time, and it sounds like good change 🙂 keep it up and let’s see if you see more changes in the future.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Change is always nice, did the same with my blog (three times in 3.5 years). I usually do not write about religion or belief. It is also quite frustrating to follow religious and even spiritual bloggers and dicuss with them. Usually they have a mission and just want to convince you to join their sectarian beliefs. While being a secular I just want to understand, see and enjoy the world – a neverending ambition …..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, some religious bloggers do have a mission and seem to not really want to engage in conversation. I admire your outlook in life, it really is the best way to live!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s interesting to read about how you got to where you are today with your blog. Things constantly evolve and change as do we. I hope you feel happy with where you are now, I certainly enjoy your blog and I feel it is a place of positivity! Thanks very much for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like to think so. A part of me did enjoy trying to prove points to people but I realised that wasn’t really effective and it didn’t really make me a good person. So I like to think I have grown, but I know I have more growing to do. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  4. First of all thanks for sharing. I read that post you linked about discrimination too.
    Being a Muslim pakistani woman living in UAE I am ashamed to admit this is haunting reality.
    And its more of a culture problem than a religious problem.
    It disgusting how people have twisted faith to their own advantage. I cringe fight argue and in the end get defeated because majority has just accepted injustice blindly. You know..born into it.

    There is this whole planet. Then us humans. Then religions. Then every religion have thousands of branches. And people pick a teeny tiny detail to fight and dominate other branch.

    What happened to humanity. What happened to basic? Lying cheating killing hurting people..all of that is ok!!

    Here is this little detail we want to fight about that chances are high God will forgive but we need it to torture others.

    I know where are you coming from.

    And I am glad you are speaking your mind. If you decided to change it’s your wish. But it’s your life your space.

    I made this blog totally anonymously for different reasons but I’m glad I did because then people see beyond labels.

    I never denied my religion and some people did ask questions they wanted to talk about. I answer as long as they are respectful. And they mostly are.

    I can keep on going.

    Well. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for reading both of my posts, it is lovely to hear I have a reader in UAE and giving a little insight into who you are. I am sad of this reality we talk about.
      This is why I have blogged about the topic, as it frustrates me and I wanted to give a voice to someone that was unable to. I also wanted to speak to religious people without creating a divide and I feel I am achieving this much more now. You seem like a very kind hearted person with morals, and for that I am grateful. If you ever wanted to do a guest post here on life in the UAE or on such a topic as mentioned I would be happy to post it, as I find it fascinating to speak to people in areas that I rarely hear from.

      Thanks again for commenting 🙂

      Like

      • You did the right thing. Sometimes this is all we can do and this can mean a ton to someone. Validation and support can bring huge changes but everything is so distorted especially general concepts that I avoid talking about politics culture religion and all.
        True religious people wont try to create a divide. People with little knowledge (and mind) retaliate and fight to prove their point. In the end it begins from humanity we shouldnt forget that.
        Thanks for saying that. Right now alot of things are already lined up will sure let you know when I can. Would love to share.

        Pleasure is all mine 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Sam,thanks for the interesting and thought provoking article. Life is like that. It’s good we change for better and simply move on.

    We are what we are and let us lead and live our lives.None of us can change anybody and none should make any attempt to change others.

    The change is possible if our attitude changes.

    Each one thinks he/she is always correct and tht fault lies only with others.
    We live and die in this kind of world,since we don’t have another world to move.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree that we shouldn’t try to change others, however I do believe that debate is very important and should be valued. I feel we need to give our opinions and should try and help to understand the other persons as this will help us to understand one another. We are all right on some topics and wrong on others. Tolerance is key!

      Thank you for commenting.

      Like

  6. Sam there is nothing wrong with changing your blog to suit you. It’s your blog. Do you boo.you know my feelings on religion and God so I never debate a person on their beliefs because it’s THEIR beliefs, not mine. Now will I debate you on whether the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers or New England Patriots are “America’s Team” or how Lebron won’t do crap with the Lakers because the Golden State Warriors are gonna win the Nba finals again, oh hell yeah , I’ll debate that with you until the cows come home. I’m not changing my blog title unless all the leagues get more than 30 teams in them, lol. Seriously though, nothing wrong with doing what works for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your support here, I do believe debate is fine as some people come out of them with completely different views to ones they went in with, but I would never go in with ‘you are wrong for these reasons’… This isn’t right.
      Oh, and I would never debate with you on such sports, you would destroy me with your knowledge xD
      But yes, thank you for supporting my blog and my choices here. I really do appreciate it 🙂

      Like

      • Lol, no problem. I love your blog. You don’t hit us in the face with religion or your views. “Religious” people do that all the time. I’m going to say this and I can’t take credit for it but “religion is like a penis. It’s great to be proud of it but when you wave it in my face, we got a problem.”

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s normal that your blog would change as you evolve as a person and find your “blogging voice”. I started my blog out titled “A lil bit of this and a lil bit of that” because I had no set purpose for the blog other than to just write more. When I began training for my second half marathon and writing entries about it I found myself writing more about running than anything else. Hence changing it to “The Writing Runner”. I feel that still leaves it open enough that when I want to write about other things like travel I can, but that anyone who stops by will know in advance they’ll encounter a lot of running posts. I began free writing a religion focused piece the other day while working (sssh don’t tell my boss) just letting the thoughts flow. I’m unsure if I want to just post it or if I want to develop it more fully into a blog post. Years ago I wrote a few religion related pieces including a 3 part one on my experience going through a past life regression therapy session. I would like to again explore writing about that and can only hope I don’t alienate my regular running focused followers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, oh I have blogged plenty at work! Don’t tell my boss and I won’t tell yours 😉

      I have wondered that too, changing subject and wondering if my readers will feel alienated or disinterested by the change in topic. But my readers are as adaptable as I am to the change in theme and I have a nice mix here 🙂

      I guess my advice would be the same as the advice I have received by the comments, you do you and write about what you want. I guess a change in post topics will just create a nice mix of readers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I find it really inspiring how religion (or the lack of it) doesn’t disturb your pride and self esteem, nor your respect for others. I admit I share your beliefs, I really can’t understand religion and why people even follow it so blindly. I find it even disturbing sometimes to see how religious some people are, and then I come back to myself and compare… sometimes it feels like I’m in the wrong spotlight, being one of the few (if not the only one) to lead my life without religious beliefs, and to find it a really healthy way to train the mind.
    For instance, if something bad happens in my life, I won’t blame God or some other supernatural powers, nor do I pray to these imaginary instances to make things right again. I take things in my own hands and find the real problem, then a solution to it.
    As for the blog title, you seem to have found something that really works for you and that’s really awesome! When I discovered your blog, it was already in its final version, “My life without religion” and that actually was what got me curious to follow you. So far, you haven’t disappointed me 😀
    In my case, though, I feel like I should change my blog’s name too, but I have no idea how. I really like what I have because I feel a personal attachment to my “small world”, but on the other hand, it doesn’t really let readers know what my blog really is about, and I think that’s a pretty huge downfall on my part.
    Still, seeing how you managed to embrace change in such a way that it worked for you makes me content I will find a way that works for me too! ^_^
    Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so pleased we share similar views on these topics. It is great to hear from someone that has a very similar outlook on life! I too like to dictate my own life and don’t want to believe it is planned out by a fate decider. If it was, what motivation would I have?

      Regarding your blog name, my advice would be to not rush one. I feel I rushed my second one, got bored and disliked it pretty fast. Sometimes a blog name doesn’t really matter as much as your content does. Some blogs out there don’t give anything away from their name and are still successful! Consistency is key.

      But keep thinking of potential names and one day a great one may hit you. Change is good because it keeps us moving, but make sure to plan the changes well and not too often.

      Thank you!

      Like

  9. Hi Sam! Stopped by to say thanks for the follow on I Write Her and happily decided to follow you as well. You are quite an interesting individual and I enjoy your writing. 🙂 I look forward to reading more of your work and hope that you enjoy mine.

    Also, very intrigued by your journey. I can totally relate with desire to fight less about religion. I decided to put my voice and deeds behind an organization called Recovering from Religion. It helps a lot of people who are living in oppressive religious communities deal with doubt, giving them support they might not otherwise receive because of their thought process being different than the community they are raised in. It’s very fulfilling work!

    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And no problem, I appreciate the follow back 🙂

      This is fascinating, I have never heard of this organisation but I am pleased you brought it to my attention. How did you come to get involved if I may ask, was it something you always wanted to do? And is an organisation you found online or locally?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are very welcome! 🙂

        Glad to have made you aware! I became involved in 2013 through mutual friends in the secular community and was immediately intrigued. Their mission and the people involved is what drew me to it. It is online and it is global. They offer support groups, online chat forums, a hotline as well as secular therapists for professional support in addition to the peer support. You can find them at http://www.recoveringfromreligion.org Feel free to reach out to me privately on my contact page too if you have more questions! 🙂 Have a nice day, Sam!

        Liked by 1 person

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