In the summer of last year, I felt like I was riding high when it came to blogging as anything more than a hobby. I thought I’d hit that point where you start to become noticed, the opportunities were flooding in and I felt like I was beginning to get somewhere and achieving my goals.
Fast forward to today and I’ve been flagging for months. I can’t keep up, I have no self-belief and I compare myself to my peers constantly.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s healthy and a good idea to seek inspiration from those around you who are succeeding but if you get to the stage, like I have, where you’re thinking ‘why bother? I can’t meet those standards’ then you’re not going to get anywhere quickly.
If you’re struggling to find a niche they (the blogging gurus) say ‘you’. You are your niche and if your blog is your business, you are your brand.
But what if I don’t want to be a brand?
Brands specialise in something particular, they are consistent, they are ‘branded’ in terms of colour schemes and types of things. They fit in a certain box, they are a round peg for a round hole, they are what you’re looking for.
I’m not like that, I change my mind from one day to the next. That colour scheme I liked last week doesn’t appeal to me as much as it did then and I’ve moved on. I like things that are the exact opposite of each other. I am always changing my obsessions and finding love for the new.
Instagram is easily my favourite social media platform. It’s visual, beautiful, inspirational, I adore scrolling through my feed and usually put my iPhone down feeling creative and impulsively charged.
But I’ve not posted there regularly for months, just the odd update here and there is all I’ve managed.
Because I can’t take good enough photographs. I can’t stick to the same filter or edit them as well as so-and-so can. My feed is far from curated. I don’t have a ‘theme’ because my life doesn’t stick to a theme unless I pretend it does and exclude all of the ‘real’ stuff but then instead of happily looking back at a string of memories I’ll see a feed full of posed, fake, carefully-executed photographs.
I’m not saying this is the case for everyone but I don’t have the money for a beautifully-designed, everything-matching home, I can’t afford to buy all of the latest trends and I’m certainly not model material.
My house won’t stay tidy, the bastard.
My daughter messes up my styled displays.
I’m lucky if I’m dressed by mid-morning and the days where you’ll see a perfectly-polished face full of make-up are few and far between (despite my love for the stuff when I get the chance!)
I often feeling like I’m failing because my Klout score (a tool that rates your social media influence) isn’t rocketing but the truth of the matter is, I don’t want to be on social media every hour of every day.
I can’t master every social media platform simultaneously because I don’t have the time to dedicate to them all so I stick with my chosen few and focus on those instead, keeping the others burning in the background but not shining brightly or being anything special.
I want to be successful. I am in my element when I’m writing, I love taking photos (but could do with a crash course) and I have goals I’m determined to reach but I can’t follow every blogging tip or stick to every rule.
There’s blurred lines when you build a business based upon your life. For your business to be interesting your life (i.e. you) needs to be interesting, appealing, something people want to know about, will keep coming back to and enjoy reading about.
I can’t tailor myself to that every day. That’s too much sodding pressure, it’s not a true reflection of my life and it would take up too much time. This blog is an addition, primarily for us (or an outlet for me) and, for me, it can’t be the be all and end all.
I need sleep. Especially when I have a sleep-thief loose around the joint. I can’t stay up until 2am every day of the week.
I need to relax and spend time with my boyfriend. Not resent him because he gets a break from work whilst I feel like it’s never-ending after looking after Lily all day and plugging in to my blog as soon as she goes to bed.
I need to clean my house so I don’t want to cry every morning when I walk in to the kitchen. So that I don’t feel like every day is a battle between spending time with and stimulating Lily and trying to get this place back to normal.
This Christmas I took hardly any photographs or at least nowhere near as many as I did last year. I just had fun, enjoyed being in the moment and felt so relieved not to have to worry about catching all of those precious times on film.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say other than that what you see if what you get. I can’t keep on putting off blog posts and social media updates because my life isn’t Pinterest ready.
I won’t always be around on social media. Traditional jobs have set hours and I think I need to define some working limits and not worry about being switched off.
I might not be known for anything in particular, I might not excel at anything or be topping the charts anytime soon but I’m here and I’m sharing my life with you.
I’m not a brand, I’m a person.
A flaky, easily-influenced, ever-adapting person.
Hopefully that’s enough.