Three years ago, I was stupid-bored at my job, and I needed a creative outlet. Inspired by A Clothes Horse's dreamy photos and unique outfits, I bought myself a camera and started my own blog. Not long after, I got obsessed with numbers and followers and money (or the lack thereof!). Soon, I was sneaking to the bathroom every hour to work on my Instagram game and breaking my back trying to take my own outfit photos twice a week.
All I dreamed about was getting to be a full-time blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers and sponsored posts and free trips. I saw everyone as my competition, even women I considered good friends. I'd watch their follower counts go up and mine stay the same and feel that envy creeping up.
Things finally hit a breaking point last fall. I said a big EFF YOU! to blogging, shut down my website, and didn't look back.
But something inside me wanted a do-over. I rediscovered a love for writing that I hadn't felt in ages, and I wanted to focus my efforts on writing solid content for petite ladies. I had also built up a wardrobe with stuff I really love instead of things I saw other bloggers wearing. Oh, and I found some really talented photographers to take my photos...because doing it yourself is a pain in the ass. I felt ready for a reboot, and now I love this blog more than ever.
All this is great, so why wouldn't I want to take this full time? Here's why:
IT'S NOT BECAUSE OF COMPETITION
Okay, so I'm starting with a why not. One of the things I've been working on for the last year is personal development. I know it sounds cliche, but I've stopped buying into competition. I think a little bit of jealousy can actually be a good thing because it pushes you to perform better (that's how I learned to read, no joke!). However, feeling like there's no room for you or like your friends' successes guarantee your failure is just ridiculous. If you have the right mindset, there's no reason why you can't be amazing. In that spirit, I've stopped looking at other bloggers as my competition and started to learn from them instead. I'm not focused on "getting ahead" anymore, so I can watch myself grow.
I CAN GO AT MY OWN PACE
You know what stresses me out? Editorial calendars and schedules. I hate deadlines and much prefer to do things in my own time. Back when I was blogging with the hopes of making it big, I had a rigid schedule for everything from outfit shoots to when I would wear certain outfits. I had to stay on track or else! The thing is, I'd often leave tasks to the last minute because I never really felt like doing the work. With my reboot, though, I do things when I feel like it, so, by definition, I've stopped procrastinating. As a plus, the quality of my work has really improved. Because I'm not looking to generate an income, I can take it easy.
FULL TIME ISN'T ALWAYS FUN
This is a lesson I learned the hard way. I used to love photography, so much that last August, I quit my job to do it full-time. A few months in, I was ready to throw in the towel. I hated all the logistical stuff—setting up Facebook ads, building my email list, taxes—but I also didn't like how I couldn't have free reign over my vision anymore. I have a feeling the same thing would happen if I went in this direction with blogging. You guys, I can't stand doing all the finicky stuff like setting up affiliate links and doing RewardStyle. Plus, as soon as something becomes a job, it feels like such a chore, and I don't want that. I just want it to be fun.
That being said, if I could keep everything the way it is right now and make a ton of money, cool.
Also, this should go without saying, but if working hard on your blog is your thing and it makes you feel good—full steam ahead! This is just how I'm approaching it from now on. You do you.
What about you guys? How do you feel about blogging full-time?