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I take a lot more photos of myself these days but I still find the whole process really uncomfortable and often find myself wondering whether, along with critical awareness and reflection, I’m also stoking narcissism and the need for external validation.

I’m much more comfortable with the captions than the photos. My professional background is in writing and communication, and I have always loved words.

When I was a kid, I would write diaries, books of poetry, and plays. I majored in journalism at uni and my first proper job was writing puns for baby and pet pages for a weekly magazine.

I now work in communications and what I really love to do is write. So I think it makes sense that I’ve found writing to be a therapeutic outlet on here, where my captions have started to get so long I’m hitting Instagram’s word count limit.

Last week, I took another leap of courage and set up a blog for those extra-long posts.

I like the idea of having longer form writing on here. I’ve never been someone to love having their photo taken. It’s been a bit jarring to suddenly taking so many photos and videos of myself.

I’ve had a bit of experience taking and editing photos, and doing layout compositions, but the photos have never been of me. Before I turned my profile public in May, my feed was pretty much all pics of my son.

So it feels nice to be growing my voice beyond 2,000 characters. I don’t know how frequently I’ll do longer posts. I’m still trying to figure out what it is I want out of this.

Again, I do wonder if there is some vanity in all the photos and a need for validation from other people to have the constant and extensive engagement with total strangers.

I’m getting a lot out of the writing though. I’m also putting a lot into it. I’m writing and pouring in a little bit of me. I keep saying to people - these days, my head feels so nice and quiet.

Those worries and thoughts keeping me awake don’t seem to be as loud. I’ve turned down the volume on my inner critic!

Like there was some small part of that critic that was actually just me, but me who had been kept secret and inside, and so had turned into this horrible self-loathing voice that directed all its suppressed words internally.

Now that I’m not bottling up, I’m being a lot kinder and compassionate with myself. It is a really nice place to be in.

I’m hoping by writing more on here, I’ll dim the volume on that voice even more.

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