I’m back! Perhaps you noticed I was gone for a while, perhaps you didn’t. But after seven months of not blogging, and my blog URL delivering readers to absolutely nothing at all, I’ve returned with words I want to share. The last seven months didn’t involve a complete internet disappearance, as you might have seen I’ve been tweeting and gramming away, but the blog was abandoned entirely. Since I was still active, you might be wondering why that was. Back in December, Christmas completely left me in the bollocks financially. To be honest, I’m not even sure how that happened (it was definitely alcohol and unemployment) because it didn’t feel like I got anyone good Christmas presents, but by January I was completely absent of pennies. Throughout this, I hadn’t thought of all the things I needed to pay for – like my hosting services, domain provision services, and other basic blog requirements.
It all disappeared.
And because I’d been miserable about my awkward financial situation and frantically trying to pull together a dissertation which was due a month later, I didn’t even realise my blog had gone blank for a couple of months.
By then, my domain was on auction and my hosting provider no longer had a backed-up document of my blog. So, I needed to start a fresh.
Welcome to the fresh blog! It kind of looks exactly the same as my old blog (I love my blog illustrations Kayley created – they’re not going anywhere just yet!) but it will have a lot of new content, with its owner looking at it with a new perspective. Through not blogging, I learned a hell of a lot about blogging. Particularly, the way I blog and what I do and don’t like. Here are some more specific thoughts:
Lesson 1) I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would
I know it sounds bad. But I kind of didn’t miss blogging. There were plenty of options on student loan days where I could have sat and relaunched it all, but my third year of uni consumed me entirely and pushed me into a stress box, and no time ever felt like the right one. I clearly didn’t miss blogging enough, because none of my ideas ever pushed me into ‘right, lets get the blog sorted so I can post this’ mode. Honestly, when I realised my blog was gone, I cried to my boyfriend a little bit, and then thought ‘oh well, I hated everything I wrote on there anyway’ and I meant that. Before this year started I was getting into a place with my blog where I was hating everything I wrote. I was trying to hard to be relatable and write about similar topics others in the blogosphere were, and I lost myself. The one blog post that did motivate me to relaunch my blog, is the one you’re reading right now. Sitting back and thinking about the things I like and dislike about my blog and the direction I want it to go in, led me to decide that I’m going to blog about anything and everything I want to. I’m not trying to run my blog ‘correctly’ anymore by following bullshit ‘overnight success’ guides and desperately trying to tighten my content so its niche enough. If I have something to say and I want to get it out there, its going on the blog whether it breaks out of theme or not. I’ve spent too long pulling all-nighters trying to perfect everything on this website, so everyone will love it. But in reality, people are always going to disagree with me or not enjoy something I’m creating. But I need to take that into consideration with my creations a lot less, because my blog and my platforms are for me.
Post university, I’m feeling in a much better place to start again.
Lesson 2) Blogging isn’t my priority, and that’s okay
I never thought I’d say those words. Since I was 14 and starting different blogs and contributing to bigger ones, I always thought blogging was the number one, only thing I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a ‘full time blogger’ who works with brands and creates content full time. In reality, I’ve been there and it’s not for me. Last year, I developed my blog to a point where it was well monetised with brand collaborations and ads. But it’s not the luxury lifestyle it appears to be (I kind of blame youtubers for this portrayal but that’s an article for another day). I enjoy working with brands, but only a very select few. The Instagram work I did for Lovehoney, Sanitary Owl and TOTM are the only sponsored posts I’ve created where I’ve genuinely enjoyed what I’ve been produced and had a positive work relationship with a company. I only want to incorporate brands that are big on feminism or I genuinely love and use into my blog or social media platforms in the future. And I think that’s a fair decision. I know now, after a giant unintended blog break, that blogging isn’t actually my priority. I don’t want to be a full-time blogger who works with brands every week and monetises everything. I want to work as well as blog (I just landed a full-time copywriting job at GoDaddy, yay!), running my magazines, and freelance writing opinion pieces is and probably always will be my biggest priority. I love creating print publications and contributing pieces to other ones. It’s a huge passion of mine and as salty as it might sound, blogging comes second to that.
Lesson 3) People cared more than I expected
It was oddly unexpected and really nice to have received so many messages from people wondering where my blog had gone. It’s weird, I knew my statistics and blog numbers were good but sometimes when you’re working away on your blog, you see them as numbers a little too literally because you’re concentrating on increasing them so much. Sometimes I easily (and wrongfully) forget that each number is a person who reads what I write, and it was nice to have that confirmed when everything went wrong. To those who do read my blog and were a bit like ‘erm, where have you gone?!’ for the last half a year, I’m sorry and I’ll do my best not to delete my blog again.
Not really a lesson but more of an announcement) I’m back now!
I’m back bitches. I really am – I’m not going anywhere again. I’m not going to have a blog schedule or an editorial calendar or any of the blog elements that make me feel like I have an extra full-time job anymore, but I will be writing. And taking photos. And putting all of that on here for you to see.
Lesson 4? 5?) I know what I want to blog about now
As I previously mentioned, not blogging taught me a lot about blogging. Specifically, my blog, and who I am as a bloggy person. I wrote my entire dissertation on blogs while I was off being invisible, and it opened my brain up to all of the subconscious thoughts I was having about my own. There are things I’ve been blogging about for years, because they were the ‘in’ topics to discuss, that I’ve never enjoyed and don’t want to do anymore. So I won’t.
What can you expect?
A whole lot of feminism. A whole lot of sex talk, and a whole lot of books and literature. Maybe even some politics and a tea bag review (not bootea though, bloggers who promote bootea fucking suck and THAT’S THE TEA).
I’ll see you soon for the next blog post. Welcome to the era of Beth no longer giving a fuck and writing whatever the hell she likes. ✌