This is a post that's been really bugging me and I've been wanting to express my feelings for some time. I couldn't rush into this post until I knew if I had made the right decision or not.
Back in the summer I wrote a post called 'How working from home has ruined me mentally'. To save you reading the post, after I quit Topshop in May 2014 I jumped in at the deep end and went head first into the blogging world with no job on the sidelines. I have NO REGRETS with my decision and luckily I had a bit of savings to live off to start with, but it gave me time for my blog to grow and I learnt many ways that bloggers can turn their hobby into a business. Now I'm going to be honest with you, to say you 'blog full time' can feel very ego boosting. If someone had said to me 10 years ago that I was going to work for myself I wouldn't have believed them. I mean, from an outsider looking in, that person is earning a living, doing what they love and they are earning their money all by themselves, choosing what hours they can work and GEE WHIZZ that sounds like the dream! I thought it was the dream to begin with. But for anyone who wishes they could blog full time or have been considering taking the jump, let me tell you this.
Blogging full time isn't for everyone and just because you can blog full time doesn't automatically mean that your blog will be better or more successful than someone who has another job at the same time as blogging.
The biggest difference when you can blog full time is, that, yes you have all the time in the world. That doesn't mean you are going to use your time well. At the start I was really excited and I felt super productive and it was fun and very rewarding. But you have to somehow stay motivated and productive through the tough times too. When you feel like you are going through a rough patch, and money is tight, or your self esteem is low, you somehow have to get up and work. Or you can go back to bed because thats easier than facing the blogging world. And repeat...
Just because you HAVE more time to blog doesn't mean you are going to use your time more effectively. Take the Germans for example, who only work on a 30 hour contract, but they work more efficiently and effectively than us on a 40 hour contract. They get shit done and have a better life/work balance. When you blog full time you are with your own thoughts 24/7. It's literally the only thing you can think and stress about. Training yourself to switch off from work is a skill that not everyone can achieve, especially if you have an addictive personality like myself. It's very hard to switch off when you want a good old rant to someone, but most days you talk to your pet cat more than your own boyfriend!
Whilst I was blogging, the only people I would talk to most days, face to face would be my Mum and my sister in the evenings. I would see my boyfriend two or three times a week and that was probably the only time I would get out of the house. I had no other reason to get in my car and drive anywhere when I had all my work back at home. This made me feel so isolated and extremely lonely. So. So. Lonely. I had experienced depression in the past and I was also suffering in this period too but I also developed anxiety which I would never want anyone to go through. I was constantly stuck in my own thoughts, getting easily distracted, always feeling irritable and paranoid. In the end I imagined a dark cloud always hovering above my house, plus it also affected how I interacted with friends when we planned a catch up. I remember bursting into tears in front of my two best friends after a lovely weekend away because I had been feeling so low. I look back and I know my head was in a total mind fuck. Anxiety mixed with depression means your head is always feeling friction. It took me a few months to accept it, but I knew I needed to get a part time job somewhere.
Soooo for nearly three months I have been working in retail part time. My manager is really understanding about my blog and I don't think my shifts have so far clashed with any events in London, nor have I had to work on many weekends. I know some people would say working in retail is stressful and not very enjoyable but so far, *touch wood* I have been the happiest I have been this year! Having a part time job means I have a purpose to get out of the house, and its given me back my confidence because I genuinely love talking to customers and the staff. Because my time is limited now for blog work, I use my time more effectively. I have to plan my week and use every second I have away from retail to work on my blog. Yes I am feeling a lot more physically shattered but when your boyfriend says 'you are back to your old self' you know this has been a good decision. I'm also worrying about money a lot less, knowing that I will always have consistent money coming in. I really do feel like I've got the balance just right.
Of course some people really suit blogging full time and the ones that are currently doing this I salute you! I know its blooming hard work and as long as you are enjoying it then I'm happy for you! HOPEFULLY I would love to go back into full time blogging when Matt and I have finally bought somewhere to live. I would like to think I would be in a better financial situation and at least then I would have my own work space and I would be living with my partner in crime so maybe one day it will all happen again.
I think if you are going to consider going into full time blogging please think about these questions:
- Are you going to be okay with your income being different every month, or is that going to stress you out? Financial stability can play a massive part on your mental health.
- Do you enjoy your own company or are you quite sociable and prefer to work in a team?
- Do you have a house to yourself or are you still living with your parents?
- Can you easily motivate yourself?
- Can you accept that most days you will be talking to your pet more than an actual human being (no joke, my cat Katie was literally my best friend throughout this process *face palm* )
I think to conclude, timing is key. When I was at Topshop I was on part time hours but I had been in that job for three years and blogging was something I really wanted to focus all my time on. I've had that time to build it up and I'm so happy with what I've achieved in that time. But before you can think of any career, you need to think about you and your own well-being first.
I wish everyone a fantastic New Year and bring on 2017!!
Follow me on
x x x x
Jumper - ASOS
Trousers - Zara (similar here)
Boots - Zara old (similar here)
Bag - Primark (similar here)
Pom pom Keyring - New Look (similar here)
Sunglasses - Quay Australia