Sometimes writing a blog post needs to be approached with the same conviction as ripping off a ‘do-it-yourself’ wax strip- often the anticipation is worse than the doing itself. I think Ive been struggling to get into the grove of things because I’m so incredibly self-critical and want to make sure the content I put out is nothing short of perfect. Unrealistic, I know- I’m working on that lower your expectations thing. Unsuccessfully, clearly. I’m hoping that once I have a nice little catalogue of posts behind me, I’ll find it much easier to establish a routine for writing my posts, photographing them etc.
The struggles of being a small-time blogger are real and present challenges other than making one expensive bouquet of flowers last over several posts. The truth is I absolutely love writing, but often in my head there’s such a whirlwind of possible ideas and creative visions that I get totally overwhelmed by the whole thing and don”t know where to start. Along with those famous “you’re not good enough” voices which haven’t left my side since the age of about 10. So, sitting here on my day off, in this under-heated, over-cluttered office on this Mac computer which, lets face it, I have absolutely no idea how to use, with an eye on the living room door to ensure my gorgeous little chihuahua doesn’t defecate under the windowsill leaving behind a less-than-gorgeous smell, I have sat down after a good gap between my last posts to write.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m overwhelming myself by covering as large a scope as the umbrella of ‘lifestyle’ but one thing’s for sure- I no longer feel empowered to simply write abut jeans and t-shirts, as I once did. I’ve really fallen into the makeup world over this past year and I love nothing more than discovering amazing cruelty-free products. Once upon a time I stuck to the same makeup look for about 5/6 years until I stumbled across one of Jeffree Star’s videos in the trending section of You Tube and I’ve honestly never looked back. Yes, it means that I probably spend more on beauty than fashion these days but I do believe it’s important to listen to your instincts- I went through a phase where I fell totally out of love with fashion and I’m not totally certain that I’m even out of that phase yet, maybe it’s related to the traumatic experience I had studying fashion at University- but that, I feel, is a whole other story.
When I first started documenting my personal style through the medium of a blog when I was at college a total of about 5 years ago, it was seen as unchartered waters, and certainly not a hobby that could have been made in to a career. It was a time where I wore whatever the hell I wanted- clashing prints with colours and shopped more at vintage and charity shops- no shits given whatsoever. After several years working in mainstream retail stores, I feel as though I have lost that same spark. Yes, I probably have become a basic bitch. One thing has remained however, and that’s the absolute love I have for translating the creative chaos trapped inside the perimeters of my brain onto a page, for the world ( 3 people who read my blog) to see. I also now am starting to realise the value and importance of sharing my own experience- eyeshadow and shoes aside. My life is about feminism, weird musings, a strive for recovery, a daily struggle with mental illness but yes, beauty and style do play a part too- it’s the human experience. I want this vast culmination of concepts to be reflected in my blog, this is perhaps why I find myself totally overwhelmed the majority of the time. I’m still trying to hack the right balance- I don’t think it’s easy but I do think it’s possible. A bit like recovery.
Another truth to blogging is that we don’t always feel like putting on a face of makeup, picking out an outfit, standing in the street in front of gawking onlookers (I mean really, we’re living in 2018, who isn’t a blogger these days, please carry on walking..) to only find that of the 256 pictures taken (by my mum obviously,) only 6 were in fact usable or decent. Motivation can be hard in general because often as very small-time bloggers we don’t receive the recognition or acknowledgement we deserve after dedicating just as many hours and just as much heart as anyone else in the industry- especially thanks to Instagram’s awful new algorithm my reach is now even smaller than it once was. This is infuriating.
I’m also experiencing a difficult phase with my self-esteem. My hair has taken so much longer to grow back than I could have ever anticipated, and whilst I do feel as though I have tried to make the most of life with a haircut I’m totally unhappy with- it can be really hard at times. This is definitely a story for another day, but even though I shaved my hair in a moment of self-harm I felt absolutely liberated and empowered by the buzzcut I’d given myself in the weeks following- despite my suffering mental health. No, I absolutely do not in any way promote this, unless you are in an absolutely stable state of mind because believe me the re-growth stage is absolutely painful and obviously because self-harm is never the answer. I simply don’t feel like myself with this short cut, even though of course it looks incredible on many women– I also understand that some women are left without hair for many reasons and I do think this experience has taught me so much about the experiences of others too and the value that we, as women truly do place upon the strands of hair growing out of our heads. For me, a year later it has left me feeling a little lost, in the midst of an identity crisis of sorts- it may seem dramatic but I believe everyone is entitled to feel however the hell they want to feel. This lack of confidence in myself of course makes it harder to like the content I put out but I’m sure this is a hurdle I’ll learn to surpass over time.*
Although consistency is also a challenge for me due to the multitude of reasons listed above, I will continue to pursue this path. I would also love to see more micro-influencers being celebrated and appreciated in a world where constant recognition is given to only the channels, pages and accounts with huge followings. It should be more about the underdog, the people who aren’t perfect but are absolutely passionate abut what they’re doing. I recently discovered a smaller You Tuber who’s beauty videos have absolutely inspired me and given me so much inspiration and motivation with my own work, because of how down-to-earth and unlike everyone else out there in the mainstream beauty community, she is. Watching her videos reminds me of a simpler time where passionate creators would put out content simply because they loved doing so, not for the views and this is not because the quality of her videos is any less- it’s her attitude, personality and how she makes me feel as a viewer and fellow connoisseur of cruelty free products. I think that’s very rare nowadays.
So here’s to doing stuff because you love it,
*If you are having thoughts that you may harm yourself you absolutely MUST seek help, because it’s not the answer to any problem and it’s certainly not worth it- this is a very in-depth topic that I will openly discuss in another post, as constructively as possible if people so wish, because I know mental health is not talked about enough.