For those of you that have been reading LilliesandLove for a while, you will know that I usually update every day, but in the past few weeks I’ve been fairly absent. There’s a few reasons for this, which I feel like I should try and explain.
A few things have been happening in my world recently which have completely taken over my brain. Work has been busier than ever, I feel in limbo drifting from place to place with no real “home”, one of my best friends was the victim of a particularly brutal and violent attack which rocked me to my core, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want from life. I’ve decided to write myself a 6-month, 1-year, 3-year and 5-year plan to give myself some direction as I’m very much living a life without focus at the moment.
I hate to say it, but I started to feel lost and completely disillusioned with the whole blogging-thang. I started this blog because I love writing and I wanted an outlet for it, but I found myself constantly worrying. I got into the habit of posting everyday, then felt guilty if I didn’t. I wondered whether I should be doing more PR to push myself out there to meet brands, but equally I was happy with the way things were ticking along. Add to that the sheer amount of bitchiness I have seen in the blogging world recently and I spent a good few weeks considering deleting this blog altogether. I actually sat down and discussed giving it up with a few friends of mine, who all talked me out of it.
I understand that in any environment there will be people who are negative, nasty and want to bring others down, but I couldn’t believe some of what I was seeing. I’m incredibly lucky in that I’ve never seen anyone saying anything about me (although I’m sure I haven’t escaped it), but I saw some really awful comments about both blogger-friends of mine and others that I don’t know; comments that astounded and disgusted me. They were being slated because they were doing well, or because they couldn’t spell (so what, it’s a hobby!), or – the one I find most offensive – slated for the way they look. I saw one person called “a hideous monster” with an enlarged image of their face to accompany it and another that was asking whether anyone thought a particular person was boss-eyed. For starters, HOW closely would you have to be looking at the picture to notice that, secondly – does it matter, and thirdly – WHY SO RUDE?!
As you know, I’m on a spending ban while I clear my debts and after they’re finished, I’m going to continue it so I can save for a house. Because of this, I can never write posts about things I’ve bought, rather product reviews will always be something I’ve been gifted, whether by family/friends or by the brand/PR agency. I started to worry that people might think I was just blogging for the freebies. I’ve also had to start turning down invitations to events because it costs me over £20 to get into London and I just don’t have the money. As a result, I felt like I was always letting people down by saying no when they invited me to their events.
When I started blogging I had absolutely no idea that there were opportunities to work with brands, companies and PR’s, and if I had, I certainly wouldn’t have thought for a second that any of them would want to work with me!
I blogged for 4-years before LilliesandLove got it’s own domain name and it was 5-years after I first started writing that I was invited to my first event. All these little ‘perks’ are something I was unaware of when I first started out on this little adventure of mine, and they still make my day now, but they’re not what it’s all about for me. I blog because I enjoy it and if a time comes that I don’t enjoy it anymore, I will stop.
As some of you know, I suffer with anxiety – although only a mild version with very few panic attacks – but I think this might be the main driving force behind a lot of my worries when it comes to this blog.
Well, having a bit of time out has definitely been a good thing. It’s given me time to think and to work out where I’m going from here. I’m going to put less pressure on myself to blog regularly and will allow myself a few days off if “real life” gets in the way, without feeling guilty. I’m going to get LilliesandLove back to being a hobby I’m passionate about rather than it being a necessity for me to update everyday, and I’m going to start chasing my dreams when it comes to writing – it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and if I never try, I’ll always wonder “What if…?” so what have I got to lose?
Sorry for the rambling post. I’ve written and re-written it several times trying to capture what I want to say and how I’ve been feeling – it’s a bizarre thing to start to doubt your own passion for your hobby, but that’s what has happened in recent weeks.