It’s another new year! Another new start and another new promise to myself to keep my blog alive.
It’s 2022 and I have not posted anything since 2020! I should take my own advice, and stick to a goal, get over my fears of imperfection and just post.
Perhaps at this point I should just delete this website completely, but there is a reason I’ve kept on paying the domain fee and hosting subscription and may be that means I’m just not ready to let it go… at least not without a fight or some ceremonial digital funeral.
With the increase in popularity of video apps and the decrease in our attention spans, TikTok has seen a surge in popularity (as we all know); competitors Instagram and YouTube are following suit by pushing their short-form portrait videos.
So it begs the question, are we still reading blogs?
Writing is a from of catharsis and gives a form of expression that viral videos can’t necessarily. When we want to put our minds to it, we will happily listen to a 90 minute podcast, watch a 3 hour film and so long-form content isn’t going anywhere.
So what’s been going on?
So – a quick overview of 2020 and 2021
Well I don’t need to go into lockdowns etc, we’ve all been there and got the loo roll, but with the exhaustion we all felt with the pandemic – not enough socialising without the use of screen-time and too much blue-light – I couldn’t bring myself to spend even more time sitting at a computer.
I was asked to go on BBC radio to talk about my blog.
Stephen Fry (Stephen Fry!), Anya Hindmarch, Richard Madeley, Griff Rhys Jones, and more, made videos for my Christmas campaign at work,
I learnt to be my own hairdresser – experimented with pastel colours and dyed over my salon perfect blonde highlighted mane with various colours of the rainbow. I bleached my hair. It didn’t go too badly. I grew it out and went back to my natural brunette shade. I got extensions. I lobbed it off again.
I have tried more colours, style and lengths in two years than I have in twenty.
I was a bridesmaid to one of my longest friends. Attended seven weddings!
I turned 30.
I was whisked to Paris by my boyfriend. Returned days later to find France shut its borders to the UK. *we made it to Disneyland just in time!*
Fulfilled one of my lifetime dreams of making a purchase in the 31 Rue Cambon CHANEL store and posed on Coco’s famous steps. Tears of joy!
A few days ago I was asked to be a godmother.
Ignoring some really (really) shit parts of the last two years – this list shows there is so much to be grateful and happy for.
So, there are a lot of reasons I’ve been too busy to pretend that I’ve been living my best life on social media. Because I’ve just been living life.
How are my blogging friends? Hope you’re well and taking care.
Yeah, it’s a crazy place and it’s enough for anyone to feel overwhelmed. Notice, that a lot of (if not all) stories about ‘influencers’ in the press are negative. Couple that with the pressure on numbers and it’s easy to be demotivated.
Negativity in the industry
The negativity around this industry doesn’t worry me into stopping blogging, but maybe the portrayal of bloggers as “detestable freeloaders” and cancel culture has caused my subconscious to make me take a step back from blogging out of fear of being branded a bad person and have people ‘coming for me’ if I make a mistake.
That, and the fact been I’ve busy, ill, renovating a house, working a full-time, can’t be bothered, focusing on Instagram (delete as appropriate).
So, it’s time to get motivated and start posting. How? I’m making a promise, mostly for myself, that I will try to post at least once a week.
I need to be forgiving and get over everything trying to be perfect. As I said before in another post ‘am I shit at blogging?’: “it’s just not always possible to create the vision in my head, which is why I end up with a long list of ideas and unfinished blog posts.”
So, I’m going take a leaf out of Maria J’s book and try to write more on the fly, when the mood strikes, with or without curated photos. I loved what she said here because that’s exactly how I want to go forward with my blog:
I haven’t given up all quality, I just want this to be more casual and more me.
Ways to break the blogging break
(And what I vow to do from now on).
1. Set a goal and stick to it.
Set a goal of how consistently you’re going to post. I’d like to do two posts a week, but I’m going to say at least once a week.
2. Post when the mood strikes
To help with the first goal, write when you feel like writing.
Type it up, put it into your editor, quickly read it back and HIT PUBLISH. I never posted often because I faffed trying to make sure I had the ‘correct’ photos and ‘proper’ research all put in.
3. Write every random thought down
No motivation nor ideas? Just type up/write down any thoughts that come into your head. It doesn’t need to be in full sentences or even make sense. You don’t need to post it but, I find this helps me to get ideas flowing and get some motivation to write.
4. Read a few blogs
When I’m really not motivated to write anything at all, I’ll check out content from other people in the hope it inspires me.
5. Set a schedule
I’m going to try this. Set aside a time slot to blog a week. Maybe 6pm – 8pm on Mondays is blog time and that’s the only thing you do in that time.
6. Stop focusing on Instagram
The reason my blog is being neglected is because I’ve been paying more attention to Instagram. The blog is the only platform you have full control of, and I’ve been forgetting that. Instagram is great, but not when I’m spending too much time on that. I’m sure I’m not the only person that is guilty of this.
Not in the mood to write a post? Just do something that will help your blog. Update a few of the image descriptions, update your plugins, tick the admin thing off the list that you’ve been meaning to do. There’s always something easy that you can do to help.
Question for you! Leave a comment 🙂
So, do you have any tips to get your blogging mojo back? And what do you think about the representation of bloggers and influencers in the media… do you think this has a subconscious effect on you or your ability to create content?
This one is for everyone that has ever got stressed out about not being able to fit in the things you want to do around the things you need to do.
I suck at this.
So… I’ve been slacking. Anyone empathise?
I’m sure you’ve all have had that moment (or a lot of moments) where you’re doing something (or not) and just question if you’re doing it right, or whether you should be doing it at all?
Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering.
I started my blog because I wanted to have a project outside of my full-time job – something to allow me to be creative and have something to show for it.
But, checking my homepage I realise my last post was over THREE months ago!
Blogging requires posting frequently and I haven’t been. Just because it’s a side-project, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t stick to a schedule. Or does it? Now, I’m just second-guessing what the point of this is. I shouldn’t be stressing about it because it’s meant to be for fun and stressing isn’t fun.
Instead of accepting that I’ve inadvertently taken a blogging break and taking the time to recharge, I’m just getting worked up over it. My health hasn’t been great recently (something I’m not sure whether to go into here or not yet) and when I get in from work I’m too exhausted to do anything.
What I’m doing wrong
1. Not having enough time
Or should I phrase that to be ‘not making enough time’?
I’m at work all day – I’m not an early riser, as I suffer from insomnia from time to time, so during the week, getting up early to blog before work is a no-go and the evenings are the only time I have left. Except that’s when I have dinner, spend time with the boyfriend and see friends. Plus, being sat at a screen all day in an office then continuing to do that well into the evening cases headaches (literally and metaphorically).
Also, we’ve been looking to buy a house since the New Year, (no luck so far) and if you’re familiar with the process, you’ll know that you need to book viewings as soon as you have a spare minute free, which, yes, of course, is after work. There is a lot to cram in! I am busy, yeah… but am I really more busy than everyone else who has a full-time job and other responsibilities? This is something I wondered before – we’re always ‘on’ so we always feel rushed off our feet and so the things we enjoy and don’t ‘need’ to do get pushed to the side.
So what about the weekends when I’m not at work?
As I’m sure, this happens to everyone, no matter what you want to do, the weekends end up jam-packed with plans with people you can’t see during the week, the things you need to do, the things you don’t need to do but feel obliged to and suddenly you haven’t got any time left to yourself.
When do you have time after all that, you just feel too mentally and physically tired to do anything other than veg in front of the TV.
2. Not finishing posts
I contacted the lovely Primrose, who you probably already know blogs at Style Petal, to ask for her input into a post that I’m writing on Influencer Marketing and I’m also writing a collaboration post with Luke Christian about getting your motivation back (ironic lol) and I feel sooo bad that I haven’t published them yet!
The first post is written, so I don’t know why but I decided it needed to go more in depth. It needed to be the MOST DETAILED post ever written on influencer marketing. And it snowballed into a post that is longer than a dissertation and I can’t seem to structure it or put it into a logical order.
So, now I’m thinking it’s too long and messy and the perfectionist in me is not satisfied with posting it. I know I’ll end looking like this when it’s finished 👇 (and so will anyone who reads it).
(I’m sorry for being crap! I promise I’ll get around to publishing it).
So, not wanting to deal with the imperfect post that I’ve already started, I decided to write this one 😂. Which leads into the next point —> that I’m too much of a perfectionist.
3. Having too many expectations
I just have to admit it. I can’t do everything all at once. I’m not a robot.
The perfectionist side of me wants every single post to have high-quality photos that I’ve created myself that are also relevant. For example, if I’m writing about office culture or fashion, I’d want a photo of me in the office. Can you imagine? Me lying on a desk in the middle of an open-plan office posing for a camera, like, “what are you looking at, Barbara from Procurement?!” It’s just not always possible to create the vision in my head, which is why I end up with a long list of ideas and unfinished blog posts.
4. Freaking out about what I’m not doing
Argh, I haven’t scheduled any Twitter content to promote my posts… I need to go and take loads of photos for Instagram, I’ve got to spend three hours commenting on other people’s blogs, I’ve not replied to that email about car tyres, I’ve been meaning to make business cards for four months now!
Okay, THIS does not help. I will always do this though, it’s just the way I am!
I’m happy that just one person has read my blog, so that is what I’m going to focus on – there is at least one person who’s read what I’ve written!
So many bloggers comment that when the stats go down, so does their mood. We really shouldn’t let this get to us. (Easier said than done).
I haven’t posted frequently on my site or on Instagram and the unfollows ensue and the page numbers drop. Ugh. I’ve put in so much effort for people to become disinterested. I know why they are low, so I know how to fix it. Frequent and quality posting is key to an engaged audience and I can’t expect numbers to rise when there’s nothing new to see.
There really is no point getting bummed out about something that really doesn’t matter all that much.
I’m happy that just one person has read my blog, so that is what I’m going to focus on – there is at least one person who’s read what I’ve written!
2. Don’t compare
“Comparison Is the Thief of Joy“
Yeah, there’s something in that.
I look at bloggers who have been doing this for years, turned it into their full-time career and churn out quality content consistently, alongside going to events and travelling and I think ‘wow, that’s amazing, why can’t my blog be like that?’.
Well, it can’t. Because this is just a hobby that I do after work and at the weekends (when I can – see point 1 above!). I shouldn’t feel bad about my work because of comparison. So, I haven’t posted in a while… I can’t compare that to someone whose literal job is to do just that.
You know that saying ‘you have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé’? It’s meant to be motivational, but it’s not.
True, you can’t make more time, but no one is in the same position as her. If you’re a single parent, who works a day job and are trying to make it as a musician, comparing your success as a musician to Beyoncé’s isn’t logical. She has a huge support network, people who’ll look after her children when she can’t, assistants, cleaners, chefs, etc etc etc. So, she has as much time as she needs to put 100% effort and concentration into her craft. You get the point.
Everyone’s journey is different, so just be proud of what you’ve achieved 🙂
3. REST and don’t make myself ill
There’s a reason I took a break (even though I didn’t mean to). I’ve had some difficult months and instead of just focusing on my health and my family, I’ve been beating myself up about not doing enough for my blog. And that’s been making it worse.
In the future, I’ll just listen to what my body’s saying, post a little notice on the blog saying ‘be back soon’ and don’t worry. This is for fun and I don’t know why I’m putting pressure on myself.
Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! Do let me know if you’ve ever felt the same and if you have some advice to share.
We’re busy. All. The. Time. Even when we’re not busy.
If that makes any sense to you, then you’re certainly experiencing the same phenomenon as me.
These days, being ‘busy’ is the modern-day curse. Or luxury depending how you look at it.
When I started this blog back in May, I didn’t quite realise how much time it would actually take. That’s not a problem, because I love doing it, but it does seem to add to the pressure of another thing to make time for.
Work has been hectic and I’ve been staying late, I’ve booked myself in to see different groups of friends and said ‘yes’ to various outings all at the same time… and it just feels like I have no time to tidy up and keep on top of my blog. I’M JUST SO BUSY, YOU GUYS.
Except that I’m not. Not really. I still found time to watch ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ most evenings and that’s one hour I could have spent writing. And that’s okay, we’re allowed to have downtime. But it just feels like I have no time because my brain is still whirring away. There is a pressure to always be ‘on’, so relaxation time is spent worrying about what we’re not doing.
More time, so much more to do.
In fact, we have more leisure time than we used to. On average, we work less than they did in the 60s. Yet, with so much available to us, the wide variety of choice and the overwhelming amount of information, everything seems hectic. Thanks to technology it can also seem as if time is going quicker and so it feels like we have too much to do in the time we have.
Competition and status.
If I slip into a conversation: ‘oh I’ve been so busy recently’, in stead of a question about what I’ve got going on, I’ll be met with a dismissive ‘oh yeah, me too!’. This could be a competitive, or simply, a statement of fact: we’re all busy. And we’re all guilty of it.
Studies suggest that people between the ages of 21 and 34 have become workaholics or want to appear to be. And the below quote suggests why:
A full Outlook calendar seems to have replaced the sports car as the new status symbol. Being busy means you’re important, needed, valued.
“Oh I have to do abc…”, “I absolutely need to get xyz done…” unless these things will directly impact us right there and then, like paying a bill, we probably don’t HAVE TO do half the things we say we do. I know, easier said than done!
You know I mentioned how many things I have going on at one time? Well, that’s my own fault. I wouldn’t be so busy if I didn’t keep organising my schedule like that. You get that ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, and you want to be a part of what’s going on. When you’re not a part of it, you see everyone else’s busy timelines on social media. There you have it. You’re busy looking at everyone else being busy and you’re worried that they’re busier than you and you’re not busy enough! Phew… It’s just exhausting thinking about it.
There is no shame in having to say no. And sometimes we should.
There is a pressure to always be ‘on’, so relaxation time is spent worrying about what we’re not doing.
Time to switch off.
The reason we’re SO BUSY, or feel busy is that nowadays, we are never disconnected. Unlike never before, there is always a constant connection to the rest of the world via internet, phones etc etc. Technology is so ingrained into our lives, that we can be connected by work, friends, companies trying to sell us things and so on, at literally any time of day.
So, even when we’re not actually doing anything, we’re so aware of everything that’s going on, that we don’t feel like we’ve had a break.
There is no room or time to exhale and let go of everything. I’m often multi-tasking so much, that when I’m left to myself, I feel restless.
Let’s all just try to chill out. Let’s relish in not being busy when we have the chance. Give me Netflix and chill any day. And switch off that social media!
(She says, whilst tweeting this out to the world!)
What do you think? Are you getting stressed about how busy you are? And do you have any tips on how to cope with it?
Blogging is something I’ve thought about doing for a while and I knew I wanted to start a blog that is different to every other blog out there. But the problem is, will anyone find it interesting and what’s the point?
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