I wasn’t too sure about what to write for this post. Because I have committed myself to posting at least once a week, I sometimes find myself a bit stressed around the time I need to come up with the goods, only because I never want to produce something mediocre. As a new blogger, and a full-time one at that, I’ve slowly found out how difficult it is to be inspired all the time. I work from home, and as much as I love the perks of working for myself, it can be somewhat daunting to handle all the ”work” by myself. Blogging is a strange profession in itself, of which there are no guidelines.
This is my first ‘job’ where no one is telling me what to do, how to do it, and when to do it by. There is no rule book, and no two days are the same. I am responsible for all aspects of the job, including written content, photography, editing, modeling, styling, and marketing. And it’s up to me whether I succeed or fail. It’s nothing that I didn’t expect, and I often wondered what I would write about once I had run out of clothing to post about. Honestly, how often can I talk about my obsession with denim or my latest Superbalist splurge? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy sharing those things with you all; it’s part of who I am and is a way of growing my relationship with you. But I enjoy talking about many things, and I hope to use this blog as a way to connect those things with a greater audience. Living in Johannesburg has been lonely and I feel like I don’t partake in many intellectual conversations besides those with Dan. Being at home so often leads to an absence of vital communication and change of scenery which subsequently leads to a lack of inspiration. I suppose that’s normal, but it just means that I have to work extra hard to inspire myself with finding external sources of said inspiration. I’m trying to execute a few changes in my day to day lifestyle, because change is as good as a holiday, both of which I desperately need. This may sound counter-creative, but there seems to be one key factor that I haven’t had in a while, and that’s routine.
Boring old routine. I hated it in high school, couldn’t get away from it fast enough when I quit jobs, and now it’s something that I most definitely require. When you’re a stay-at-home gal like me, you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands. This is bad news. In my experience, too much time is wasted time. The days seem to fly by when you’re sitting in your PJ’s at midday, binge watching How To Get Away With Murder. Maybe time flies when you’re having fun? I have gotten to the end of many weeks with the same concerning thought: That was a fast week! Without that sense of urgency to achieve tasks before a deadline, you sort of wonder about with no real need to do anything. So it’s time for a routine. I’ve scheduled my time down to the last 15 minutes, and if I could just wake up on time, I’d be able to achieve the day’s tasks on time, too! I’ve never been the best at time management. Note to self: Google ‘Time Management for Dummies’.
As a blogger/freelancer, besides having to be the most organised person on earth, you still have to allow yourself ‘free time’. Because I work from home, I’m essentially always in the office, and sometimes find myself working well into my off-time. As much as working overtime can be hugely rewarding, not being able to balance your work life and your personal life can have devastating effects. Of course, I’m not nearly burnt out, but I know that is a possibility. Somewhere in the sand, a line needs to be drawn.
”What is it that you actually do?”, the million dollar question that every Tom, Dick and Harriet asks me after I immediately regret telling them that I’m a blogger. I never quite know how to respond to that pesky question. I sort of nervously clear my throat, and reply with the simple version: I write about fashion, beauty and travel… ”But, how do you make money?”, this being the second most asked question. When has my salary ever needed disclosure? Well, people have all of a sudden become very comfortable asking me how I make money, and how much. I have to bite my tongue and restrain myself from screaming, ”I don’t know!” at the top of my lungs. I mean, I do know, to some extent, but I haven’t made any yet so I can’t say with absolute certainty that I ever will. I hope I do. I remember asking the same questions before I started Girl On Your Mind, and I suppose it is one of those abstract careers that most people aren’t too clued up on, so questions come with the territory. Note to self: Come up with a short and concise answer and learn off by heart.
On the other side of the nosy spectrum, blogging requires you to value yourself as a commodity, or a brand if you like. There are no industry standards when it comes to rates. It all depends on the value you add to other brands. That is subjective and unique to each blogger. It’s not like you can go online and type in ”average blogger salaries” and figures appear. So finding out your worth is left to your imagination, but don’t get too carried away, you have to be realistic.
And just like that, I’ve written a whole post about the few minor hiccups I’ve experienced during this short blogging journey. I hope I didn’t bore you too much! The blogging industry is anything but ordinary. It’s obscure, elusive, enchanting, difficult, unpredictable and absolutely captivating. Girl On Your Mind is an extension of myself, therefore almost impossible to separate. I think this blog is really a coming of age story, in which both GOYM and I grow and transition. If that’s not inspiring enough, I don’t know what is.
P.S Any bloggers/freelancers out there with some helpful tips on keeping yourself motivated and inspired? I’d love to hear!
Crop Top and Denim-Vintage