I'm in disbelief as I sit and type out this sentence, but it's now been roughly 6 months since I was laid off from my office job and made the decision to pursue blogging as my full time career. Wow, 6 months. In some ways it seems like time couldn't have possibly passed so quickly, but when I look back and think about how much has happened in 6 months it feels as though it should be longer.
These past few months working for myself as a full-time blogger have been absolutely incredible, and I have learned so much about myself - however, they haven't been without lessons. Although I feel as though I've come so far from my anxiety-riddled first month of working for myself, I definitely still am learning new tricks to increase my productivity and lessons on being self-motivated. Thinking back through my journey, there are a few particular lessons that have stuck with me and I hope that sharing them with you will be helpful, or offer you some insight if you're thinking of turning your own blog into your career.
|Dress - Tularosa via Revolve c/o, Bag - Ellen and James|
Know Your WorthOh my gosh, if I could offer you any piece of advice that sticks from reading this post it would one hundred percent be to know your worth. Between writing, to thinking of creative concepts, to taking photos, to interacting with an audience, what we do as bloggers and content creators is a skill and takes time. Your time is valuable. Find a number that you charge as a rate for your work, and stick with it - no matter what anyone else has to say about it. Never give in to the pressure to work for less than your worth, or to devote your time to something that you don't stand behind 100% - I have, and it ultimately leaves you feeling like crap. Don't listen and internalize anyone who says anything to chip at what you stand for - you're your own boss now, your own advocate and you need to fight for your own worth.
Don't Let Your Temper Get The Best Of You - Ever.Speaking of fighting for your own worth, I've learned that you should always do so calmly and diplomatically - and that goes with any interaction that you have concerning your blog. Myself, I have an unfortunate temper that goes from zero to one hundred real quick and it tends to rear its ugly head if I feel as though I'm being disrespected in any way. The thing is that once you let your temper get the best of you, whether it be through email, a text or in-person, you can never take those words back and your reputation is forever tarnished to the person that you lashed out on. Instead of reacting strongly in a situation, I now take a step back and wait a good 10 seconds before replying - it's incredible how just pausing to reflect can calm you down and see things in a different light. I also always give people the benefit of the doubt; so if a seemingly rude email or message comes in, I now just assume that the tone is simply lost in translation and respond back with kindness - and I always get kindness back.
Don't Engage in NegativityOnce you put yourself out there as a full-time blogger, or just a blogger in general really, there will be lots of strong opinions - about everything. From what you should be writing about, to how you make your money, down to what you should be calling yourself, there's an opinion about it and oftentimes it's negative. Rather than engage in the negativity, I've learned to simply ignore it and I can honestly say that I'm happier and more focused for it. Get a negative or hurtful comment on your photo or post? Don't respond. See a passive aggressive tweet from another blogger taking jabs at the industry or other bloggers? Mute them. [EDIT - I'm talking blantantly negative tweets, rather than offering constructive critisism on the industry] In a group of people who are bashing someone else? Walk away. Negativity is an energy that is absolutely toxic to goals and creativity, and while it can seem tempting to engage in negative talk and thoughts, just don't. Seriously, try it for a week - I guarantee that you'll find yourself to be a more positive and focused person.
Figure Out Your Own Productivity Schedule
Now, this one I'm just starting to get my groove on but ever since I tailored my work schedule to productivity schedule I've been so much happier and have gotten so much more done during the day. Let me explain: I'm the most productive and focused in the early morning to early afternoon, and then again in the evenings. That leaves a window from about noon to 4 pm where I know that my focus won't be one hundred percent. Rather than trying to painfully fight through this period of lessened productivity, I now just work around it; so I wake up incredibly early to get as much done in the morning as I can, reserve the afternoons for errands and catching up with friends, and then resume work again after dinner. Trying to break out of the 9-5 schedule was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but now that I've tailored my work hours to my own productivity schedule I'm getting so much more done during a day - and am way happier for it!
Stop To Smell The Roses
It's easy to get caught up in the industry and lifestyle of blogging. Blogging is definitely a lot of work, but there are also a lot of amazing perks and incredible opportunities that come along with being a blogger. While I feel as though I've always been grateful for every opportunity, now I force myself to stop and really think about all of the blessings that blogging has given me and to try and live more in the present. Who knows how long this crazy ride will last. I want to make sure that I'm savouring every single moment.
So that's it! I hope this post didn't bore you, and you found something to take away. I would love to know the lessons that you have learned through blogging and any tips and tricks that you use to stay motivated. I also want you to know how much I appreciate your love and support through the years. You guys have taken my tiny escape from reality and turned it into my dream job and for that I am eternally grateful.
Thanks as always for reading.