Hello there! First off, my apologies for the delay in getting up my Weekly Chat posts these last couple of weeks – it has been tough to make time to really sit down and write something more heartfelt lately. I feel like I can bump out outfit posts quite fast, but these Weekly Chats take some deeper thought and deserve my undivided attention. Thus, during hectic weeks when our house is upside down and the to-do list in my agenda is overflowing, stepping out to a coffeehouse for a little “me time” and some writing therapy seems to be an impossible (or rather, anxiety-filled) task. However, I did title these entries “weekly” chats for a reason…and I promise I am doing the very best I can to get one up every week! They’re my favorite posts to write, I just don’t want to give 50% and hit publish for the sake of getting a post up…I’d rather hold back until I can really commit and produce something I’m proud of and post about a topic that my readers will learn from or appreciate in some way.
When thinking about what blogging knowledge I have that could potentially help someone starting out or even in the thick of the industry, the thing that came to mind was to share a few learning experiences I’ve had as a blogger. Today is actually my three-year blog-iversary (wow, so crazy how time flies!), and after reflecting on how wonderful (and tumultuous at times) this “journey” (gah, The Bachelor terminology is really rubbing off on me…) has been, I thought of a few mistakes (…er, “learning experiences”) to share that will hopefully keep you from running into similar instances and give you some fresh food for thought!
1. Post with purpose: I remember when I first started blogging, Blake and I were sitting on our laptops at a coffeehouse after work and I was so flustered about getting a post up on my site. I had zero photos in the queue and was so excited/nervous about recently having launched my blog, so I basically just whipped up an idea out of thin air (…that was super lame and not thought out at ALL) just so I could have something new on my site. The post did terribly (…wonderful for my self esteem, right? haha) and months later as I was scrolling through my blog I spotted the silly post…immediately I did a face-palm and quickly hit “hide” from the backend of my site (hooray, post removed from visibility!). Anyhoo, the moral of this story is to save yourself the struggle and 1. plan out posts in advance (a content calendar is an invaluable tool!) and 2. if you don’t have a post prepped, it’s okay to hold off and go a little silent for a minute until you have something worth posting to publish. As I mentioned above, unless you’re proud of your content, don’t feel obligated to get it out there “just because” there’s a gap in your posts. Your readers will still be there a few days later!
2. Becoming a work-a-holic: Soo…I think this one is sort of impossible not to have happen when you are working a 9-5 job, in addition to running a blog. You basically work, blog, eat, take photos, edit photos, upload blog entry, sleep, repeat for a year straight. The thing is, in putting so much time and energy into getting something off the ground, it’s easy for that to become your world. And eventually when your blog becomes both your career and your passion at the same time, it’s tough to find a sense of self outside of that space. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers whose identity becomes their blog (…and it’s the only thing they can talk about!) – and I try to recognize, acknowledge and keep myself in check because of it. My blog is my work and definitely my passion, but there’s a lot more to me than this space. Note to self: step away from your computer, go do something that has nothing to do with blogging (or fashion!), learn about something else, go spend time with your family, try a new coffee shop with your husband (…on the agenda tomorrow!) …in a nutshell, keep it interesting and don’t get too caught up in your own world.
3. Worrying about others approval: Not even kidding when I tell you that this one line has only recently hit home! I think as I get older I realize more and more that life is too short to worry about pleasing everyone 100% of the time. It has been so freeing to say “I like it” and have that be enough. In previous years, I would text 10 friends to make sure an outfit I styled was given a unanimous thumbs-up before publishing to my Instagram feed. These days, I take a look in the mirror after getting dressed and feel good in my clothing – without sending a group text. I’m not searching for approval anymore, I have found it within myself. Confidence comes from within – no one else can provide that for you (and neither can social media), so embrace who you are, your opinions, your sense of style, your beliefs, whatever it may be. It has been such an incredible weight off my shoulders to simply be myself (…and to genuinely like who I have become) and stop worrying what others think of me!
Hopefully this post resonates with y’all, whether you’re in the blogging industry or work in something completely different. There is no shame in making mistakes that you can acknowledge and learn from – I know this list will only continue to grow!
Wishing you a fabulous weekend, XO!