Guys, I can’t believe I’m celebrating my one year blogaversary! It seems like only yesterday I was coming up with designs, frantically writing content, planning editorial calendars and working out navigation and architecture, etc. for the launch of my blog – and I was so nervous! Yet here I am, writing my forty-fifth blog post exactly a year later. Gee whizz, how time has flown…
What began as a passion for sharing my Aussie lifestyle on Instagram soon evolved into my very own little slice of cyber-space, which has grown and grown, month on month. And what an amazing first year in the blogging world it has been! I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible brands, both local Perth-based and Australia-wide, whilst staying true to the Aussie-lifestyle heritage my blog derived from. Highlights? There are just too many to count! It still amazes me that people actually read this little blog of mine – to read the gorgeous comments and see the stats in Google Analytics increase month on month is just awesome. It really does give me drive, confidence and inspiration – so if you’re reading this (and you’re not my mom or a close friend), well… thanks x
From Anya Brock to Maurice Meade, Sydney to Margaret River, catamarans to sail boats, Fitbits to Fashion Festivals, Lancelin dune yoga to (two) yoga retreats, and even Alice in Wonderland premieres and cocktail degustations… So much passion, research and creativity has gone into each and every blog post I have edited over the last year. I’ve collaborated with some iconic brands, stupidly-talented Perth creatives – and done some seriously epic shit – the 50km bike ride for MS and Activ City to Surf half-mara come to mind… I’ve written about topical projects, such as the Atlantis Marine Park (one of my most-read blogs to date) and also edited memoirs incredibly close to me, such as the beautiful love story behind my mom’s wedding last December and my little feathered partners-in-crime.
Because I tend to write about things I’m passionate about, and often things which are very close to my heart, I really open myself up in my blogs. I always write as though I’m talking to a close friend, and try to story tell as I would speaking to my friends’ children. I’ve always loved creative writing, and my blog has really given me the creative outlet I’ve needed when my day job gets a little routine. I’m super-organised (OCD anal?) and maintain a editorial content planner to keep me on track – and I really give it my all; reflecting on memories and emotions from the heart. Because of this though, posting my work can often be a fairly nerve-wracking ordeal.
The truth is that I really don’t have the sparkling confidence people often assume I have. I’m a complete perfectionist and always worry too much about what people think of me and whether I’m good enough. I worry if people see a typo, they’ll think I’m a bad writer. If I work on a collaboration, that I’m not authentic. If I post pictures of myself it’s because I think I’m the bees-knees. (I really don’t, it’s just me posting pictures of me.)
I recently had a D&M with a Psychologist friend, as I have been feeling fairly under pressure with this little old thing called life (work, family, grief, house-hunting, relationships (or lack of), blog commitments, freelancing, exercise/training, and a variety of other commitments…), and she really made me realise how I’ve simply been trying to perfect just too many things at once. She’s totally right. I absolutely hate saying ’no’ or letting myself or others down. The downside to working in the creative social media advertising and marketing industry is that as soon as you tell people what you do, they nearly always (like, nine times out of 10) know of someone who needs help/support/advice with their social media strategy/offering. To which I always smile and respond with; ’Sure, of course I can help!’ – when what I really mean is ’NOOOO!! I do this every day as a job! I don’t ask you to go and do your job for free, during your R&R time!’ Then I feel really mean, and so over-commit myself, bend over backwards to help and then go home and cry because I’m only just finding enough time to balance all my other social commitments and things I actually want to do for myself. Even as I’m typing this, I’m worried what people might think – don’t get me wrong, I’ll do anything for my friends and 90% of the time I do genuinely want to help – but there are only so many hours in the day!
She also made me really question why I cared so much about what people thought of me. I didn’t know what to answer – to put it simply, I guess I’ve just always been terrified of not being liked and of people thinking badly of me. I think also working in advertising and marketing, I put myself under ridiculous pressure to deliver 1000% across my own social media platforms and blog space – I do this kind of thing as a career, so of course my work should be exemplary. What if people think I’m no good? Does that mean I’m shit at my job? Everything has to be perfect… etc. etc.
And so, she gave me two challenges;
1. To feel OK about saying ‘no’ more (with confidence), to projects/collabs I didn’t feel I could realistically commit to (or want to) be involved with, and;
2. Each time I begin to worry about what people think about my latest blog, Instagram post or Facebook update, I have to take a deep breath, relax and say – you’ll like this one – ‘They can get fucked.’
So far, it’s actually working for me. I feel as though a weight has been lifted and relieved that it is OK to wind things down a notch and take some R&R time out for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love editing this blog – it’s one of my proudest accomplishments and I’ll continue to run it for as long as I continue to enjoy it! But blogging, whilst creative, fun and rewarding, can be very demanding. It takes time to strategically plan, research and write content, set up and time collaborations, photograph and edit projects – in addition to a full time job. Sometimes, I get in after a long-ass day, tiring work-out, two hour commute and set about making dinner, doing laundry, shower, catching up with messages, etc. and then settle down to write 1,000 words and edit thirty pictures before midnight. And I would say it probably takes people with IAFPD (I’m A Fucking Perfectionist Disorder) twice as long to edit pictures, structure copy and perfect layouts! It’s NOT always that dire – but you get the picture.
Like with all other things creative, it’s good to have a mini-break and refresh the creative-juices. And so, I’m going to take a bit of time out from blogging over the next three weeks to enjoy some time out with my bestest friend in the whole wide world (yay!). Laysha and I have been best friends since we were ten, our parents are all super close and she’s basically family. My sister from another mister. It broke our hearts when I moved to Australia but we promised to meet up at least once a year forever going forwards. In 2014 we holidayed together in Thailand for my birthday, I visited the UK in early 2015 and next year I go back again for Maid of Honour duties at another close friends wedding. Laysha arrives in Perth tomorrow for our 2016 vacay-hang-out for two whole weeks and I have SO MANY exciting adventures planned – including a trip to Bali and a stint on my favourite little island… Rottnest – thanks to the guys at Rottnest Fast Ferries!
I’ll be back with a crazy fitness update at the end of the month and will of course be editing a stunning Bali blog too – so much to look forward to!
Until then, here’s to another year of amazing adventures in my beloved home away from home!