Launching into the first post of 2020 with a biggie…
Turned out my planned one month off was just so delicious I stretched it into two months off and, aside from using that time to get life back on track, it also gave me the luxury of some time to think. To give you a sense of the true me – I enjoy thinking perhaps even more than writing and you know I like to write. I suppose it all comes down to chatting; I like to chat with you and I am also not shy of having a big ol’ chat inside my own head. The husband would say this is not necessarily a good thing as I do have a tendency to overthink and occasionally spiral but, in this instance, I really feel I have gained some clarity.
So here’s what I discovered, or rather decided, and what you can expect from me moving forward…
SOME THOUGHTS ON BLOGGING
This blog is my passion. It is my baby, born 2011, and it is OUR place – the only place where you can arrive at the click of a button and see my content as I intend to share it. There are no algorithms to contend with and nobody is interfering. And here we have space. A glorious space for me to creatively breathe and to share as many words and images as I feel comfortable with; there are no constraints. And I want to use that. My goal for this year is to really share articles you want to delve into, that you feel inspired to click through to read and images that are special. I noticed, honestly, that I no longer read a lot of blogs and when I do it’s the thought pieces, the home tours, the recipes and, yes, the shopping guides that have me pulling the trigger and setting aside a small but precious portion of my day. Maybe you will notice the shift or perhaps the change will be undetectable to you entirely but here lies my passion and I hope I can create features that you genuinely want to read, that offer you so much more than one square on a grid ever can.
Therefore, one of my main goals for 2020 is to grow my mailing list, to share a link to every post straight to your inbox and from there, well, it’s up to you my friend – you have your personal invite to come on over if you like what you see, simple as that. So please do consider signing up because I will be saving all the best stuff for right here.
SOME THOUGHTS ON INSTAGRAM
Where do I even begin with Instagram? First of all I took a look at how many hours a day I was spending on the platform and just decided, honestly, that it was not the best use of my time. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the connections the platform gives me and the way it allows for instant conversations but right now I think maybe the way I was using it was all wrong. Of course I will continue to share content on Instagram but it really doesn’t pay to get hung up on the numbers – for me it is more about the community. Instead of mindlessly scrolling I plan to share my post, hang around a little while to chat and then, well, move on to something else…
Since its inception Instagram has evolved hugely and moved from an instant photo sharing app to something far more glossy, even offering a place for users to form a career within those squares alone. And that is incredible. But here’s the thing I have made peace with – I’m not an ‘instagrammer’; I run a blog and Instagram is just one subsidiary element of that. And where I used to share glossy images from my blog on that grid, somehow to me, that just doesn’t seem fitting anymore. Because if all my best content is shared right there then what more is my blog really offering?
So, moving forward I’ll be using Instagram as a more ‘behind the scenes’ look, sharing my outfits, my home and my travels but probably nothing too fancy. I am trying to get more comfortable with the good ol’ mirror selfie because that is something I can achieve on a day to day basis, no matter the weather or availability of a photographer (I can literally be my own right hand man). And I feel good about it. I think initially a bit of a drop in follower numbers can be expected because not everyone loves a change but, to me, recycling the blog images for Instagram is just beginning to feel a bit stale. I almost believe I had a lightbulb moment when I recognised that Instagram is no longer an offshoot of my blog but a different platform entirely and needs content tailored to suit it. And whilst for others that content might be as painstakingly styled as a Vogue shoot, for me that content will be a bit more ‘real’.
OPENING UP THE CONVERSATION
I would love to know your thoughts on all this – as readers, as fellow bloggers, as Instagrammers and Instagram users… We are living in a time so fast paced the average person scrolls through around one hundred metres of social content a day but what makes you stop? What convinces you take time out of that constant stream?
A NOTE ON THE OUTFIT
Honestly, initially I was trying to think of an amazing ‘comeback’ look but then I settled on the ‘you know what – this is what I’ve been wearing just about every day for two months’ look – warm layers and faux leather leggings that I wondered about out loud the other night, ‘Do my legs look a bit like black puddings in these?’ and the husband countered with ‘Or dog poo bags’. Nice. THAT must be why they keep selling out so fast…
*Denotes affiliate links
beanie – Gap*
puffer jacket – H&M* (ON SALE)
blazer – Zara
roll neck top – Mango
faux leather legging – Mint Velvet*
knot boots – Fitflop* (ON SALE) (gift)
haven street flapover bag – Radley* (ON SALE) (gift)
Lovely to read this post x Likking forward to reading your blog posts this year xxx
Thanks Gayle – I’m excited to see how the new direction and 2020 pans out…!
Great to know that you have given yourself time and space to regrouped, and decided how to move forward in a way in a direction that gives you creativity and joy plus works well with your busy family life.
You go girl!
The way you word it it sounds like a seamless dream – creativity, joy and time for family – it is my dream… I hope I can manage it but I’ll enjoy trying at least!
Change is as good as a rest, so best wishes going forward . MandS are doing a nice half faux leather half knitted legging.
And a real rest is even better – I must say I enjoyed it and feel ready for the change and to get stuck back in.x
So I scroll on Instagram every day all the time but hardly read any blogs anymore (i used to be a huge blog reader, remember Bloglovin?). I only read blog posts a few times a week, to get more in-depth info about something. For example, someone’s house renovation, with links to where they got things from, lots of detailed pictures etc. I see it as scrolling through the news headlines or watching the news vs reading a long article in a magazine or newspaper (or its online version). I really like your style so I am glad you’re not quitting Instagram for good!
Nah definitely not quitting Instagram – I love the instant connections and conversations it gives. And YES I do remember Bloglovin – I still use it myself ha! So interesting that you’re the same as me – just reading blogs occasionally for this exact same reasons. Thanks for sharing.x
I have always loved reading your posts. You have a way with words that I absolutely adore. I’m glad glad that you have decided to write more.
Thanks so much Trisha – that really means a lot to me and I’m so happy you’ve been sticking around with me for such a long time.x
So nice to see a post from you again and what a lovely cosy layered outfit to come back with 🙂
You nailed it so well with your comment about being a blogger not an Instagrammer – I do like Instagram but when I want to unwind at night when the kids are in bed I’m more likely to head to blogs – I’ll always spend more time on my own blog as that’s my first love I guess! 🙂
Hope that you have a nice weekend ahead of you 🙂
Mica, we are peas in a pod! Maybe it’s because we started our blogs so long ago I don’t know? But Instagram just isn’t my passion – I love it for many reasons but this site is really where my heart is. I’m so lucky to have had you visiting and commenting over all these years too. Have a wonderful weekend.x
I honestly don’t much care about fashion. I keep coming back because I like you and seeing your life (good and bad). I think you’ve got great instincts and I look forward to the future!
Thanks so much Andria – that’s so lovely to read – I love fashion but can’t help thinking blogs and Instagram are quite saturated with fashion so whilst I want to keep sharing my looks I also want to make the most of what else I can offer alongside that. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment.x
Have come to a similar realisation Wendy and that’s why I have started sharing my #ootd again on Insta and will leave the glossier, pro images to the blog. I’ll probably still share some of them on IG but I’m not worrying about every image on IG being so perfect. It’s a daily battle – I’m inspired by that editorial aesthetic but I just don’t have the resource to maintain it. And consistency is key. You’re doing amazingly well – it’s good when we finally sit back and realise what and who we are, at home and online, and makes life much easier thereafter. Your comeback outfit is bloody amazing too, wish I looked as chic day to day! Love you and your blog and your IG! Keep going. XxX
Thank you Christina – it can be so tricky for us to find the right balance between what we can realistically create consistently and what we have dreams of creating… but ultimately we can only do what we can do and have to hope that will be enough to keep us, and our readers, happy!x