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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

My Blogging Timeout.

When I blog, usually it's a form of escapism for me. I write to escape. Perhaps not always intentionally but when I'm sat here writing - it's usually for a 'timeout' from other life related things. The things that I am escaping from, or choosing to put on hold while I'm blogging, can be as boring as unloading the dishwasher. But, regardless, I choose to blog to ignore that cutlery standing proud and clean waiting to be unloaded.

I started blogging daily last month. To be honest, this really wasn't planned. Daily blogging for me has always seemed out of the question. I have always had other commitments that I needed to prioritise. As a student, work always came first. When it came to family, family came first. And when it came to responsibilities, I always considered them before sitting down to type on this little webpage of mine.

Daily blogging was unplanned. But, it excited me beyond expression. I suddenly had all this free time to focus on my blog content and get my blog to the standard that I have always wanted it. For the first time ever, I was prioritising 'blog time'.

But it resulted in me taking another 'timeout'.

Daily blogging was fun. I had a tonne of post ideas and I wrote them down furiously in the day and published them in the night. I have never been good at holding onto a post waiting to release it. Once I write it - it's usually published a few minutes after I've done the proof reading.

So, for that reason, I perhaps took a different approach to daily blogging from my fellow bloggers. Usually for them, posts are written in bulk. They dedicate one or two days to full-on blogging and collect a nice pile of posts to release daily or throughout the week.

I would love to be able to say that I have the patience to keep all of my posts and slowly release them. On days where I get insane amounts of motivation and copious amounts of post ideas one after another, shortly after writing them all up I'll go ahead and release them all. Not the best blogging tactic admittedly and it's definitely something I need to lockdown on in this new year.

With all these details I have now acquainted you with - picture this. Me - no makeup (in fact, no consideration for my vanity at all), hot drinks strewn everywhere (now cold because I've been furiously typing away), eyes glued to the computer screen (yes, when I'm blogging, nothing else exists), a puppy sleeping patiently below my feet desperate for a cuddle. I was like the blogging equivalent of a 'mad scientist'. Driven a little bit manic with my 'creative burst' and dedication to write. And I loved every minute.

Needless to say, this scene was repeated every day. I woke up, had breakfast, blogged, took part in 'blogger chats' on Twitter and went to sleep. Eat, sleep, blog, repeat. Chant it with me now - Eat, sleep, blog, repeat. Eat, sleep, blog, repeat!

Yes, it was tiring. But, what I didn't realise straight away was what I'd taken from my blogging experience. My blog had become a little bit like an imaginary friend. I could see it, but no one else really could. I was putting in so many hours and really stretching and pushing myself to create the best standard of daily posts that I could. That's not a complaint - it's just a fact. All that the people who read the post saw was another published blog post - thank god they didn't see the hag like figurine that had been typing it furiously.

Like all imaginary friends, usually, the novelty wears off. You prance around with that friend for a while. For those few days/weeks, that friend is better than your 'real' one. It is your pal. You do everything with it. You eat together, get dressed together, pick out outfits together - you do everything together. Having a blog is like this.

Practically every moment of every day is dominated with maternal thoughts towards your blog. Whether it's coming up with new post ideas, replying to comments, keeping in  touch with the blogging community - a blog is hard work!

Bloggers wouldn't do it if they didn't like it. So, arrest me now, I'm a freak - I like this added work in my life that I've created for myself. However, (yes there is a clause) - I found that by doing it 'daily', this destroyed a dimension of why I love my blog - the element of 'escapism' was lost.

I was no longer blogging now and then to flee from my worldly 'issues'. I was practically a full-time blogger without the nice pay cheque. (I don't blog for money - nah uh.) Instead, my blog became my 'issue'. I'll even admit that I was overrun with blog post ideas in my dreams. Every thought process was related to a blog post. 'Oh my, what a pretty looking salad plate - I must post this on my blog and name it 'salad'!' While this post idea never made the 'cut' (obviously, because it's preposterous - haha), I had lists of ideas racing through my brainwaves at all times.

No longer did I sit down to escape. I sat down to knuckle down and publish some posts to be proud of in military style. I don't regret trying out daily blogging. I started off loving it and I still do. It's just that it really did take away an element of my blog that I've loved for so many years. I had been robbed of my 'timeout' space. I needed that 'escape' but it wasn't my escape any longer because it became my focus.

So, I'm having a little timeout. Me and my 'imaginary friend' have sat down together. We've realised that we both need some space. We had fun while it lasted but spending every second of every day together is intense for anybody. It's going to be a shock to the system this 'separation' but we'll be seeing each other regularly nevertheless. I'll be sitting down to blog at least every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. To be honest, it will probably be more. But I need my 'escape' space and this is how I get it back.

Sorry if this is selfish but we all have to find our 'blogging' balance. This is mine. See you soon 'imaginary friend' - our time has been wild.


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

I Am Thankful For...

This post isn't really very original. I have to admit, I have seen it floating around the 'blogging realms' for a while now. But, I absolutely love reading them! Just after I finished reading the one hundredth post, I thought - 'what am I thankful for?'....

I am thankful for...

- My family - not only do I share my DNA with this handful of humans, but I also share and receive enough love to drown in. I am thankful for my family because they are my number one supporters. Whatever decision I make - my family supports. They listen, they understand - I would be lost without them. I cannot even describe how thankful I am for my family. It is not something I take for granted because I know how lucky I am to have such a supportive team of lovely beings around me at all times.

- My puppies - just to clarify, these puppies are fluffy, they woof and they're called 'dogs' - they're certainly 'not stuffed-in-your-bra' kind of puppies...I love my little pets so much. I am thankful that they are in my life. They fill me with endless joy and although I jump out of my skin and hit the ceiling every time they yap and bark at the ants that pass by outside - I know they are also my feisty little protecters (who at the same time, couldn't scare a flea).

- The food on my plate - I am thankful for the food that is prepared by my 'Mama'. I should be making my own meals at the age that I am (and don't worry - I certainly can be self-sufficient when survival calls) but for now, Mum likes making me my feasts. I'm eating clean and I feel good. I am thankful for each meal and for the healthy benefits my diet is giving me.

- My clothes - I have an extortionate amount of clothes. It is shocking and definitely unnecessary. However, every penny that I have ever owned has either gone towards clothes or food. I am thankful that I've been able to fill my wardrobe with clothes that I love and treasure. I realise that in the grand scheme of things, clothes and material are not important but I'm grateful for them nevertheless.

- My 'clear' skin - I touched on this in a recent blog post which you can read here, but I am thankful that I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I still have the occasional, gross spot, but I am happy that I can look in the mirror and be confident with what I see. I don't want to sound 'full of myself' because I'm certainly not under any delusion that I am an angelic vision sent from the heavens above.  I am just happy and thankful that the skin that I have is finally clear, unlocking a confidence that was trapped for so long.

- Art - Art in all forms is inspiring and always leaves me influenced and provokes thought. I like art in the form of videos, pictures, literature, landscapes - you name it - I'm inspired. Recently I've been really investing time into my creative side, using energy that gets locked up sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life. I think the changes you are seeing on my blog are a reflection of this. I am constantly inspired and encouraged by people who fully embrace their creativity on an extensive level. My creative side has always been a prominent part of who I am, but taking time to sit down and 'bond' with it has been really important to me recently. I am thankful that I have been given the time to do this.

- Security - I have security within my home and my 'team of supporters' (a.k.a family and friends). I am thankful for the never-ending security I feel within my home and for the people I surround myself with.

These are only a few things I am thankful for obviously. There are so many that I haven't mentioned - I am thankful for a lot. These are just things that popped into my head within the ten minute writing space of this post.

I think it's a healthy thing to do to stop and realise that life is actually pretty awesome. Take a few minutes and remind yourself of all the good things, which hopefully, outweigh the bad.

What are you thankful for? 

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