It has been a tough few months – there have been health issues, redundancy and a new job bringing change to our routines. I generally struggle during the winter months, I find it hard to explain but I just feel a little sad. I think maybe it has something to do with the lack of sunlight and it is something that I am going to look into a little more because I hate feeling this way, every year is the same.
I have also felt really demotivated with my blog. I started this little space a few years ago as a little online diary were I would write about my babies and our adventures. I would document our milestones and our achievements. I loved my blog it was place where I could just be me. It was never about stats or followers, however the problem is once you start to make a little money from it, it is hard not to get obsessed with how many page views you get or likes on a picture. It is hard not to be disappointed when you get a rejection email regarding a campaign you applied for (that’s when you actually get a response!). I have always seen myself a positive person but the last year or so negativity has just crept in. I remember last month I won 2 Instagram campaigns on the same day, I also received a decline on a campaign. Instead of celebrating the wins all I could think about was the one I didn’t win. Which I know is crazy! As a blogger I constantly compare myself with other people, its hard not to, as every day you are surrounded by other blogger’s adverts and celebrating achievements.
People make careers out of blogging and Instagram. People work 60 hour weeks writing content, taking pictures, editing, promoting there is no end to it. At the moment the only time I can dedicate to my blog is a few hours a week whilst my children are sleeping. So the fact that I have managed to make any money at all is quite an achievement. The fact that I could pay for my family to Disney Land Paris with the money I had earned from my blog and social media is quite frankly amazing! Yet I have struggled to see this, all I can see is the lack of comments or low numbers. The other ‘better’ bloggers who are winning big campaigns and are thriving. How do I compete with this? I have been feeling demotivated and uninspired, I simply don’t know what to write any more.
I actually think the universe was listening to me because yesterday as the children were eating their dinner I absentmindedly picked up and started flicking though my Love, Style, Life book by Garance Dore (if you haven’t read it I highly recommend you do) and I started reading about how her journey began. She started blogging way back before everyone did, before people made careers or money out of it. She wrote about the 10 steps:
1: Start where you are
2: Get lost and find yourself
3: Follow the signs
4: Risk Failure
5: Use what you’ve got
6: Fall in Love
7: Seize the moment
8: Question your beliefs
9: Make your own rules
10: You have to create your own definition of success.
This is exactly what I needed to read. I needed to fall back in love with writing. Writing about our weekends, about my new jumper and the beautiful little cafe we discovered at the weekend. I needed to write what I wanted to write, what I wanted to remember. I need to write for me, not for money or page views or followers. That has never been what it is about. It doesn’t matter if 1 person or 1000 people read it – it doesn’t matter if I make £1 or £1000.
That’s not to say I shouldn’t try or push myself, I need to strive to be better at times. It is healthy to set yourself goals I just need to be realistic. I guess I just need to have some kind of balance and as Garance Dore says ‘Create my own definition of success’. It is about remembering why I started and sometimes just getting back to basics.