On blogging, self-employment and moving forward

 

Hellooo, hope you’ve all had a good week so far and have something nice planned for the weekend? I’ve had an awful virus the past week but I’m hoping to take this little fluffball canoeing and camping this weekend, if I feel well enough. You might have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet recently on my blog and on social media (more so than usual at least!). This is because I’ve been taking a little time away, mainly to concentrate on work, as Thryve is nearly ready to launch (please sign up to our mailing list for updates!). I’ve also needed some time to take a step back and reflect on what direction I want this blog to take and also, where I want to go with my photography.

I’ve been questioning myself a lot lately and trying to work out how I want to move forward. I’ve long been terrible at maintaining focus, flitting from one thing to another, losing motivation and getting disheartened and overwhelmed – being extremely harsh on myself in the process. It’s been like this for a really long time but I do feel like I’m always making progress (albeit very very slowly) and that’s all I can ask of myself in reality. I feel good about the last few weeks because I feel like I’ve come along leaps and bounds mentally.

About 9 weeks ago I bought a goal setting journal called ‘The Best Self Journal‘. Since I started using the journal, I’ve had very few days where I’ve been overwhelmed and paralysed into inaction or where I’ve beaten myself up about how I’ve spent my time. It was becoming exhausting, so I’m so grateful for this. I haven’t really been anymore productive, but it has helped me to be realistic about my free time, structure my days and accept that when I don’t do something I planned to do, it’s because I chose not to do it. So I need to take responsibility for that decision and feel okay about it.

Since becoming self-employed (two years ago this month!) I’ve struggled to find momentum and adjust to managing my own time. It’s been a surprising learning curve. When I was in full-time employment, I thought that being self-employed would solve all of my problems instantly and I would be able to do all the things that I thought the ‘9-5’ and ‘the man’, were getting in the way of (but was actually just me). Don’t get me wrong, it’s been nothing but the most positive and wonderful thing that’s happened for me, but it has presented me with unforeseen challenges I’ve had to work at overcoming.

This blog, as an outlet for me, has been quite reflective of all this inner turmoil and adjusting. It lacks direction, it’s sporadic, and has mainly become a place where I write about general personal feelings and goings on, interspersed with the odd exciting adventure. There are a series of false starts here, where I’ve felt the need to excuse myself or justify my inability to post (a bit like I am doing now). A bloggers curse?

Just like my every day life, I’ve realised my blog really needs structure. So I’ve decided to try to do things a little differently from now on. Writing thoughts, feelings and general goings on is important for me to do for myself, even though I appreciate that they are not the most interesting thing to read for others. It’s something I do want to continue to do, but it needs structure.

I tried writing some monthly round ups but trying to fit a whole month of happenings and feelings into a post is overwhelming and time-consuming. Which is why they rarely happen or I find the need to play catch up and end up writing three monthly catch-ups, after putting off the task of writing about my whole month in one go. They also haven’t really allowed me to focus down and reflect in the moment like I really want to.

So I’ve decided that going forward, as part of a new structured approach, I’m going to write a weekly journal entry, with the aim to publish every Monday, starting next Monday. I’ve been inspired by other blogs that I love to read, such as Rowan Tree and Bee & Roo, who both do weekly round ups. I’ve always enjoyed reading about others reflective thoughts and real life happenings, with the odd spotlight on something that’s been discovered thrown in. Writing and reading diaries has long been something alluring to mankind, even before the internet – so this makes a lot of sense. It’s a great excuse to get out the camera more often too – another thing I’ve recently reflected on needing to do more of.

I’m trying to have a little spruce up around here and organising things to continue with more purpose. You’ll notice some new categories and some tweaks to layout and design over the next few weeks and I’m aiming to post a lot more too.

I’ve got a huge backlog of posts I’ve wanted to write for so long. A mixture of gear reviews, travel stories, exploration logs and the like. This blog will always be a personal one, where I share part of me. But I also want it to have purpose and reflect my interests at the same time. Because I am lucky enough to write for a living about lots of things I am interested in, this blog isn’t my only outlet to satisfy that interest anymore, so it often gets neglected and I lose a sense of purpose. A downside of when doing something you love doing also becomes your job! Sometimes, the last thing I want to do after sitting on my laptop writing all day, is sit on it some more to write.

Another thing I’ve mentioned, is my photography. I want to concentrate more on building my portfolio and my business. Managing an online outlet which represents my photography in a professional way, as well as juggling my love for writing about lots of different things (especially the outdoors), as well as satisfying my need to express myself has been a struggle. I want it to be a joy and not a chore. I don’t want to juggle loads of sites and social media channels, but I’m always unsure if everything can fit together in the same home. I’ve seen so many different examples of how people do it and it’s really hard to work out if there is a best way, so I better just get on with it.

I’m planning on re-launching my photography portfolio site over the next few weeks to work alongside my blog a bit better and jiggle around social channels a little too. I currently have two Instagram accounts, one that I set up when I joined Instagram which has mainly been for day-to-day posts and lots of pictures of dinner. I then set up a photography Instagram which I then re-branded not too long ago for my blog, as I thought this was more relevant than my personal Instagram. I’ve ended up barely using my personal one and I’ve also found it hard to move my blog branded one away from being more photography orientated. I wish Instagram had a merge option! So I’m not quite sure what to do with them yet. Any tips/suggestions will be gratefully received!

Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough. This has just been a bit of an update (if anyone can be bothered to read this waffle!) and a way for me to reflect so I can move forward with intention and break my almost radio silence of the past few weeks. If you took the time to read this, thank you!

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