I’ve learnt that there is no rushing the natural. You can’t change the weather, you can’t change time and you sure as hell can’t blog when you “have to” and especially not when you’re “expected to”. The posts I feel really good about, the ones I’m proud of, the ones that seem to reach out and build an emotional bridge to you through my computer screen, they just happen.
I’ll be honest, I forgot that.
That’s right I’m flinging my hand up in the air and saying “My Bad” because it really is all on me. I was so utterly focused on what I ‘had’ to do to be professional, to be a leader, to really make a change within the industry, to really deliver what you needed… that I forgot about me. This is one of the most vain websites on the internet I’m sure (even that statement is vain lol) but I really hope you all absorbed what I was putting out because within every post and photo there is a message wrapped up in personal experience and emotion.
That was the part I loved, constructing post themes, figuring out unique ways of delivering information whilst staying true to my creative needs, meeting awesome new people and making an income to support it all. It was really fun sharing my life, style and knowledge with you all but pressure was mounting.
It seemed as though people, across every avenue, were telling me they needed more… more of everything. Time, money, posts, consistency, travel, events, meet ups, moderation, updates, giveaways etc… it seemed as though I was only being seen as a figure. A business, a face/body, a brand and I guess most people would be pretty happy with that result, ultimately it means more money from a business point of view but for me it took the humanity out of it, the soul.
Yep, a pro-blogger just said that.
It’s not about being nostalgic of “the old days” as I much prefer the present but I do feel there a ways we should be modifying how we interact and the reasons behind it. I think it’s due to the influx of media attention bloggers have received in the past three years and the resulting, multiplied influx of new bloggers out there looking to make a buck. If that’s you, stop reading and walk away from your laptop. Go outside and watch the birds, join a local club or start up-cycling thrift shop furniture because that would be a better way to spend your time.
Seriously, blogging sucks time like nothing else and unless your heart is in it there is no real reward. Just to clarify further, there is also no “free stuff” and time/energy is more valuable than money. I’m not whinging, not in the slightest because I love what I did, my heart was firmly in it. Honestly time slips past so quickly but I have to tell it like it is. The more time I spent online, the more I needed spend, it was never enough. It engulfed my entire life and sometimes dictated it. Again, putting my hand up and saying “My Bad” as they were all my decisions, lesson learnt.
I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am. I’ve invested a lot of time and money to educate myself, to hone my skills, to have the best equipment, to travel far and wide, to meet many inspiring people and to try as many new ways/styles/mediums/formats/platforms as possible. I was one of a handful of bloggers who were the first in Australia to be paid by large corporations for posts and that was a thrill, it was a huge driving force within me to really push the envelope, to see how far I could go from a business standpoint.
You might be thinking, that’s awesome, but I’ve always felt slightly guilty, a bit responsible. I figured out a formula of personable, written and imagery based script that worked well for all parties, that being the reader, the writer and the brand. If you really analysed my branded post construction you’d pick up on the pattern, many have and have replicated it. Now please don’t go thinking that I’m trying to stake claim to the way sponsored posts are written today, god no, I feel exactly the opposite and I want to distance myself as much as possible.
I’m tired of seeing my blog as a business.
I’m tired of some of you not seeing me as a person.
Haters gunna hate and this post as nothing to do with them, not in the slightest. It’s about the emails, the messages, the comments and sometimes even the phone calls. I’m being treated like a service and more often than not, a service that you need immediately and desperately but you also have no money to pay for it or energy to invest in it. It’s almost as if you believe that you don’t need to because everyone else is… except everyone else is thinking the same thing.
There is no Danimezza headquarters, no office, no secretary, no staff, no company car (or credit card for that matter), no childcare and no benefits, just me at my computer in my little studio. Somedays I’d just kill for someone to share a sandwich and a conversation with during the day. It’s the most isolating thing I’ve ever done, even more so than becoming a Mumma. I’ve reached a point where I want to take my unique talents out of my studio and use my skills to take someone else’s business or company further, to be a part of a real team.
Blogging in Australia has passed the pioneering stages, it’s established but has room to grow. Sadly some of the people within it I feel could easily be cast in Game of Thrones. Now that big money and agents are involved (mainly parenting, travel and grocery categories, there is still not much money in beauty and fashion) people who were once carefree with their contacts, projects and editorial calendar built walls and they built them high. I should know, I was one of them.
I built Aussie Curves to try and fight against the trend and it worked for awhile, sadly not for long as it grew rapidly and the group quickly set it’s own expectations and roles. I shared everything I could to help people shine in their own unique light. I felt that if we all shined together we’d draw more attention and our positive influence would spread further and I’m so happy to say that it has.. it is.
Unfortunately my ‘giving’ nature wasn’t always reciprocated. In fact I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been burnt. It hurts not only my spirit but also my bank account which limits what I’m able to do, what I’m able to create which again, hurts my spirit. It’s not about competition, that’s just a state of mind as we’re all unique and immeasurable. What saddens me is the lack of trust, openness and true friendship, the give and take kind. I invested so much love and energy into my online relationships, often sacrificing physical ones only to find I’m still alone, just typing in the dark.
That’s not good enough for me anymore.
I want more.
At the end of this financial year I’m closing down my blog as a business. All the backend stuff (that you never saw anyway) will be wrapped and tied up with a big bow of love and gratitude. I’ll still be blogging don’t you worry about that! The act of storytelling and social networking is now so engrained in my life I couldn’t imagine not doing it everyday. By removing the official, registered, stoic, business side of things I’ll be allowing myself so much more creative freedom.
My soul needs space and time to roam.
Personal factors within my life are currently my priority. They’re big, heavy, life changing issues that are important and need to be dealt with without the burden of impersonal expectations from people outside my immediate circle. I need space to have a clear head and to give myself the chance to look outside the box for opportunities that enable my skills and personality to grow.
I need to feel free to write what ever falls out of my heart and onto the keyboard. I need feel safe in the fact that those reading aren’t judging me professionally but embracing me personally. I need to be forthright in communicating to those around me (including you) how I’m feeling and where I’m at… not as a brand, not as a blogger but as a person. Stripping away all the walls, all the expectations I feel others have for me and just be.
All that I am, flaws and all.