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Archive: September 2018

I'm Tired of The Stigma Around Sharing Good News

I've had a pretty good month this month, a lot of great things have happened and while I wanted to share the news of my achievements I was also scared of judgement. I don't know if it is a pitfall of the internet and our belief that we all know the ins and outs of one another's lives or if it linked to the way in which we seem to compare ourselves to everyone online, but there is such a stigma around being proud of yourself lately. It is like sharing good news is somehow made to be a negative thing. I just don't get it? Like shouldn't we be happy that in the negative and destructive state our world is in people are still doing things each day that make them happy? That makes them proud of themselves? I am tired of feeling like I shouldn't be proud of myself because someone else may look at me and think "oh what a brag" because I happened to share some good news on my social media platforms.

I recently got my grades in from university and I got a distinction, I was and am so so proud of myself for achieving what I wanted, I sobbed so bad that when I phoned my mum to share the news she thought our cat had died. I didn't share that I had a tough time this past year in my masters degree, although it was one of the best experiences of my life because it allowed me to find a subject I am truly passionate about, it was tough on me and I cried a lot. I always feel terrible writing about experiences I have had on my blog because I never know how people who experienced these situations with me felt, but on this occasion, I am going to. I had no choice but to work with someone who was extremely difficult to work with, on more than one occasion I felt like dropping out of my course purely because of this individual as we had an even number of student in my course and there was extensive group work, we were forced to work together on multiple occasions. I don't want to say much more as I feel that it would be unfair for me to rant and rave when I don't know the reasoning behind this individual's hatred for me nor how they felt, but looking back I just feel so extremely proud that despite all the tension and worry, I got my distinction. It makes the tough year feel so much more worthwhile because even though on many occasions I worked 10x harder than I could have been if I was not working with the individual it paid off in all the right ways. 

I'm Tired of The Stigma Around Sharing Good News

So is it so bad for me to want to shout my achievements from the rooftop? Is it bad for me to be proud? I don't think so. I think a lot of the time we have a habit of projecting our own insecurities onto others, so when someone out their achieves something we don't think we can we find it easier to call them a brag and moan about them boasting than it is to look inwards on ourselves and think "hey, y'know I'm not there yet but maybe I will be if I continue to work hard." I used to do it a lot and sometimes I still find myself doing it but it always comes back to the comparing ourselves to others thing social media has a habit of provoking us to do. I wrote about how I am trying to stop this and I still am, it's a journey, I still find myself disliking someone on social media and saying to my friends "it's because she boasts all the time" and then realising, no Robyn, she doesn't boast all the time, she's working hard, achieving things and you're jealous of her. Recently, I found myself disliking a rather popular blogger and it wasn't until I found myself inwardly complaining about how she constantly has some exciting news to boast about that I realised I was doing it again. I decided to turn the situation on its head and actually now I follow this blogger because I feel inspired by her hard work and dedication. 

I mean, there definitely are boasters out there in a world, people who purposely try to make others feel less successful than them or who have to keep talking about their achievements even a year down the line over and over, but they are few and far between. I mean no matter what you've achieved or how you achieved it if your first thought upon sharing an achievement is "this will definitely make such and such feel terrible" or "blah blah will read this and realise I am so much more successful than her" then you're not humblebragging, you're nasty and boasting. I think everyone should just be a lot more thoughtful of what they're putting out into the atmosphere. I mean having a little moan to your friends because you dislike someone and are unhappy or whatever, sure go for it but try to be a bit more thoughtful, like is that person really bragging or are they excited to share some good news? Are you just projecting your own unhappiness onto them or are they really the devil incarnate? It is a hard situation because the line can be blurred at times and sometimes it is both. I just wish we weren't so judgemental all the time because it does make others (like me) apprehensive about sharing our good news online and I mean I want to know the good news, share it with me, don't be scared to humblebrag. 

I mean personally, I love seeing people share their exciting news online whether it's there first paid blog post or they've graduated, got a house, whatever. I love a humblebrag, I love a brag brag, I love good news. I mean on the odd occasion it makes me feel crappy to see others do things I wish I was or whatever, but most of the time I am genuinely everyone's hype guy (well girl). I love hyping people up and making them feel like they just achieved world peace even if their achievement is tiny in the bigger view of the world. 

With that being said tell me a piece of good news you have to share in the comments or hop over and brag in my mentions on social media: 
5 Tips for a Better CV

Your CV is a really important element of searching for a job. It is the first thing future employers see and it can make or break a decision on whether to give you an interview for the job you applied for. It is important to have a CV that not only stands out but has all the right information on it necessary for the employer to know whether you're a perfect fit for the role. I have been to many a job interview where one of the first comments I have received is a compliment on my CV, but trust me, it took me a while to get to the point where I feel confident handing over my CV to a potential employer. I spoke to CV specialists, HR managers, recruitment agencies etc etc to finally find the perfect CV format and now I want to share a bunch of their tips on my blog, because I know how hard it is to figure out what is right for the CV, what needs to go and where to get creative. 

1.
GET CREATIVE
We have all read the horror stories about an HR manager receiving 50 applications and just dumping 25 of them straight into the bin without a second glance. No one knows if this is true or not, some say definitely not, others say they woulsn' be surprised. So you want to make sure someone would feel they missed out if they were to chuck your CV in the bin pile. Make it eye-catching and make sure people will want to read more. There are so many ways you can do this, I edited my layout on photoshop before turning it to PDF and editing in my text. Doing this allowed me to make it unique, add some colour, make it easier to read and it is one of the first things people comment on when we chat about my CV, People always mention how it caught their eye and was unique because mine has a little pink section down the side with all my contact info and main skills. Here is a link to a CGD article where you can see places to buy unique and colourful templates for your CV. 

2.
CHANGE IT DEPENDING
ON WHERE YOU ARE APPLYING TO
If you are on the lookout for a job always make sure you're making little edits to your CV based on the role you are on the lookout for and applying to. Many places including recruitment agencies are using software to sift through their application and pinpoint ones suitable for the role based on buzzwords. If you are applying for roles that are of a similar nature such as social media and digital marketing you don't have to do this. If you are looking for a bit of a mixture of roles then you should have a different CV for each role you're looking for and use buzzwords that relate back to that role. This makes sure that your CV isn't deleted from the process just because it isn't specific enough. Always be specific with the skills you provide. If you want a role in social media, show that you have an interest and skills in social media by including the words 'social media marketing' it isn't enough to describe it is marketing and hope they understand you mean specifics too. 

5 Tips for a Better CV

3.
FIND THE PERFECT LENGTH
The thing with the length of your CV is it has to be perfect. It cannot be too long nor too short, it has to have enough information on it that the company feels confident in giving you the role, but it also has to have just relevant information so they don't get bored of you describing the past 20 years of work leading right back to your high school results. Everyone I have spoken to has told me that two A4 pages are the perfect length, not only does it give enough room for relevant information, but also enough space for you to get creative and provide your main skills and experiences without droning on forever. 

4.
KNOW YOUR CV INSIDE OUT
When you go for an interview most people will talk through your CV going from your most recent experience into your first experiences in the industry. If you know the run through of your CV perfectly from beginning to end you can talk through these points seamlessly without um'ing and ah'ing. Try to focus on your most recent experiences and explain the things you haven't included on your CV. Don't just say exactly what is on your CV tell them the roles and responsibilities you have had previously that you don't highlight in your CV. Try to give examples of when you were given responsibility when you were able to build upon skills, put yourself out there etc etc. Don't just assume a short few sentence summary on your CV is enough, they want more grit, more explanations and information about your experience not just "I worked here for this time and did this". 

5.
INCLUDE PERSONALITY
Make sure your CV portrays you in the most effective light. CVs are the deciding factor in your interview, so you haven't had the chance yet to let your personality shine in an interview. You can, however, give your potential employers a feel for your personality in your CV. This can be done through your exciting, creative layout showing a bit of personality, or the colours you choose, remember the connotations for colours are important. If your CV is red, red is a colour most often associated with things like anger and fire, so not exactly how you want to come across. Mine has a little bit of a light, millennial pink showing my young, bubbly and feminine personality. You can give the interviewer a taster of your personality before the interview through your CV. 

Do you have any tips for a better CV? Tell me them in the comments or catch me over on social media: 
What Gives Me the Right?

I recently sat down with a list of blog ideas, all with 'how to' in the title or with a focus on me sharing insight about topics I am interested in or passionate about. I started the first post and halfway through I stopped, mid-sentence actually, I suddenly began to question my ability to share tips, trick or insight into the subject, I mean, what gives me the right? What gives me the right to share tips and tricks on growing a blog? What gives me the right to tell you why you need to add your blog to your CV? What gives me the right to share how you should be treating your skin or what fruits you should be adding to your smoothies or diet for healthcare reasons. I am not a professional in any of these fields, so what gives me the right to think I can share insight? What if my tips and tricks aren't 100% factual? What if it is a fluke that they worked for me? What if someone takes my advice and don't get the same results? 

I began to question everything about my blog posts, I questioned whether I was taken seriously, I questioned if I had the reason or ability to share insights into topics on my blog. Is my entire blog based on lies? Am I lying to everyone? Do people think I am specialised in the fields of blogging, beauty or whatever else? Maybe they all think I think I am talented in all these areas and they laugh because I am too big for my boots. I found myself overthinking the entire situation until it hit me, is this imposter syndrome? But even now, even while I am writing my posts I am thinking "is it or am I just a nobody who thinks I am knowledgeable enough to share bad advice on the internet?" I don't really know because, on one hand, I am just a 22-year-old girl writing a blog and giving advice when I have hardly lived enough to share anything of substance or knowledge, but on the other hand, I never pretend to be all knowing, I never try to have people believe I hold all the knowledge of the areas I speak about on here. I share advice that I have learned along the way, I share insight into the experiences I have had and never make promises alongside my advice. 

What Gives Me the Right?

I don't know, am I sharing advice when I shouldn't be or am I struggling with imposter syndrome? I really can't figure it out. I like coming on here and writing posts, I want my blog to be a place where people can come if they ever need advice or someone to relate to, but can I really provide that at 22? I never promise to be the place of contact for anyone looking for advice and I never try to pretend I am specialised in the fields of beauty or blogging or so on, so maybe people are aware I am sharing amateur advice based on my life and my experiences, but what if they're not? I began to read other blogs searching to see if other bloggers were struggling with this thought process and it seems to be rather popular among bloggers to question our abilities to share advice, hell, I even shared a blog post touching upon the subject not too long ago, but still I find myself questioning whether I should be publishing these types of blog posts and writing in the style of providing advice to others. Maybe, it is something we all struggle with, maybe we all giggle to ourselves about out advice posts trying to hide the fact we are nervous we will be called out for sharing bogus advice because it only worked for us and our luck interfered. 

The weird thing is, I am the first to put my hands up and argue that bloggers have every right to share advice and write 'how to' blog posts because we are learning day by day like everyone else but have a place to share this and educate or help others in a way non-bloggers don't, so why does it feel so wrong for me to do it? I mean even the thought of sharing advice based on intensive research, my degree and so on and so forth still lead me to question my own authenticity, it's pretty strange. I mean we laugh constantly about the people on Twitter who feel like they have to get their nose into everything and think they are so intelligent in every field because they have Google, so what makes bloggers different? What is so different about me sharing tips on spicing up your CV to someone on Twitter telling you why you're wrong and childhood vaccinations are terrible because she read this article on Google that says so? Do we need to start disclosing that we are not trained in the field we are talking about or should readers know? 

What do you think? Is it imposter syndrome or are bloggers sharing advice when we know nothing?

When Does Blogging Stop Being 'Just for Fun'?

I remember when I first started my blog, I had been reading blogs in my spare time for like two, maybe three years. I loved to read their thoughts, opinions, reviews, tips and tricks and life stories and I would always think to myself "I could do that". Then came along the dreaded UCAS personal statement, what did I have to show off? What were the skills that showed off my abilities? What exciting innovative hobbies did I have? Well, blogging was just taking off at this point, becoming mainstream and more popular online, I mean Instagram models and the word 'influencer' weren't even thoughts in people's minds at this point so I was advised to maybe start a blog, show my creativity and initiative. It gave me the kick to start my blog and begin my process into being a blogger, I fell in love immediately. It was and still is wonderful to know I have a little corner on the internet where I can share my thoughts, express myself and write to my heart's content. It was fun, plain and simple. 

It's not plain and simple now, four years have passed as of today and I'm being paid for writing blog posts and publishing Instagram photos. Brands have sent me hundreds of pounds worth of incredible products. I have had laser hair removal, I have had skincare and beauty products sent my way, I have been a brand ambassador, I have eaten meals in exchange for posts, I have even bloody ziplined 140ft in the air in exchange for a few lines and an Instagram. It's crazy, isn't it? My little area of the internet gets hundreds of thousands of views and I have an overall following of about 5,000 - 6,000 across all my channels, so it's more than just a hobby now? Is it a job? Is it a 'side hustle'? Is it a hobby with a couple hundred cherries on top? I don't really know, but it's definitely not 'just for fun' anymore. 

When Does Blogging Stop Being 'Just for Fun'?

I guess it stopped being just for fun when it started to become something I thought of almost every spare minute of my day. If I have a spare minute between tasks chances are I'll nip on over to check my analytics for the day or check my blog schedule to make sure I am keeping on top of my scheduled posts for the next few weeks. Sometimes blogging can really stress me out, like last week when I skipped a blogging day because I messed up, I beat myself up about it wondering if people were going to think of me as unprofessional and unorganised for making a human error that most people wouldn't even notice. Sometimes I look at my analytics data and start to overthink why I didn't get the views I was aiming for that week or I sit hunched over my laptop looking at what scheduled tweets are most popular and the times they're posted to see what times are most effective. It is honestly crazy to think of the effort I put into my blog now compared to four years ago when I began. I would write a post, take a single photo, publish it and write a tweet, done finito, that's all that went into it. Now, I have a schedule, I try to stay at least a week ahead of posts and have them ready to go live, I have a theme I stick to with my photos taking up to five for each post I publish, I share my new post across all my social media profiles and schedule tweets to keep traffic coming through. I could list another thousand things I do for each and every single blog post that goes live, but that's all for another post.

The point is, blogging isn't simple for me anymore, it is complex, it's my side hustle I guess is the lingo everyone is using now. It isn't just the blog, I almost have a brand that flows through all my social media profiles, I have a theme on my Instagram, I have to keep on top of posts over there too and replying to comments, my email inbox never seems to be empty, it is so much more now, although I love it and I am incredibly grateful for everything I have the opportunity to do through blogging, it isn't just for fun anymore and sometimes it just plain out isn't fun anymore. I have spoken previously about my feelings about how blogging can sometimes feel robust or like a chore, it can and that's proof right there that it is no longer something I do just for fun. Most of the time it is fun, but the majority of the time I spend working on my blog isn't just fun, but it gives me an income, it increases my skills, it gives me opportunities I would never have had before, it has built my knowledge on a whole range of subjects I wouldn't know anything about if I didn't start. Blogging is no longer just for fun, it is so much more than that and I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to grow it in such a way.

When Does Blogging Stop Being 'Just for Fun'?

I am a tiny blogger in a sea of a hundred thousand million bloggers that have their own little place on the internet set up from all across the world, but it doesn't take away the fact that I started heythererobyn for fun, well partly, and I have built something that has become a much more important part of my daily life. So, happy birthday heythererobyn.com, you changed my life and I cannot thank you enough my little side hustle. 

Do you blog just for fun or has it become more for you too? Where is the line between just for fun and side hustle? Did you notice when you crossed it? Tell me in the comments or catch me on social media for a quick chat. 

How to Find The Perfect Autumnal Lipstick

Autumn is almost upon us, the leaves are beginning to change colour, the weather is cooling down, it is becoming more acceptable to wear layers and jumpers. Everyone is getting their wardrobe autumn ready by buying jackets, jumpers, boots and hats, but what about our makeup bags? We also need to get our makeup bags ready for autumn by adding our autumn shades into our bag. We all love to change it up in autumn, some of us love berry shades, others plumps, some of us will be rocking a red right through until December, others play it safe with a deeper brown then we have the daring divas rocking a burned orange throughout autumn. We all love different shades and we all have different colours that suit us based on our skin tone, hair colour and eye colour. Some people just grab a shade they think it pretty and hope it works well for them, but if you like to play it a little more safe with your autumnal lipsticks you're in the right place. It is so important to make sure we are picking up shades that are going to work for us and a lot of people forget the factors that we must think of when buying lipsticks. 

YOUR UNDERTONES
Are you cool, neutral or warm toned? This is super important when figuring out the right lipstick shade for your skin tone. We don't want to buy a lipstick and have it make us look unwell and that is exactly what picking the wrong undertoned lipstick can do to you. The easiest way to figure out your undertones is to check the veins on your wrist. Are your veins green and purple? Congrats, you're neutral toned. If they are more of a green then you have warm undertones and if they are bluey purple then you are cool toned. If you are cool toned you should try to go for cool toned lipsticks with blue or purple undertones as they compliment your skin tone the best. If you are warm toned you should be picking out the warmer shades, think red and pink undertones, even brown undertones work well with your skin type. Finally, if you are a lucky neutral skin tone individual then you suit anything and should be very grateful for your skin.   

How to Find The Perfect Autumnal Lipstick

SKIN TONE
Your skin tone although often defined by your undertones can also be taken into account especially when looking for your favourite autumnal shade. If you have a cool undertone with pale skin try going a little vampy with a blue toned red or a burned orange shade, even a plum would look incredible on you, but try to avoid the warmer shaded red burgundies. If you are cool toned but with a deeper skin tone then a beautiful blue toned brown would be an amazing daytime look for you while a beautiful deep purple toned red lipstick will show your features off perfectly. If you're warm toned but paler skinned maybe a beauty pinkish brown would be perfect for your daytime look while a bright firetruck red would make you look incredibly for nights out. If you are warm toned with a deeper skin tone you should definitely try a brighter or muted pink for during the day as it will make you look perfect while a red or pink toned berry for night will leave you looking like an autumnal princess. Our neutral guys, gals and non-binary pals look good in anything most of the time but brown shades always work great for neutral undertones whether you're on the paler or deeper side of the spectrum a natural brown for day and a deep even grey toned brown for night will have you look fabulous. 

EYE COLOUR
We all have different opinions on what shades suit which people, but in my personal opinion your eye colour can make all the difference for what shades suit your lips. Our lips and our eyes tend to be the two main features of our face where most peoples eyes are drawn to when we converse so trying to find a lip shade that makes our eyes pop is perfect. For me, I have always loved how an orange or red plays against brown eyes well hazel eyes and green eyes look fantastic with a brown or nude lip. My best friend has the brightest blue eyes and although she doesn't like pink lipsticks I think a gorgeous pink would really make her eyes pop as does the more deep plum shades. For me, I think if you have a muted eye colour such as brown then it is always fun to go bright on the lips, bright eye colours like blue and green always work well with deeper shaded lips as the brightness is complemented by a darker and moodier lip. Maybe you're not so sure, but these are just my opinions. 

How to Find The Perfect Autumnal Lipstick

YOUR CONFIDENCE
We always feel quite pressured to go out of our comfort zones in the autumn time by throwing on a moody and dark lipstick because everyone else is doing it but don't do what you don't feel comfortable with (and that goes for all walks of life). If you are much more confident in a muted berry go for a lighter shade or apply your moody plum shades with a brush and control how much is applied. You can tiptoe your way into any trend so don't worry if you're not going to go all out and have the darkest lipstick of your collection on every day of autumn, makeup is fun because it is experimental and you can try anything you want. If you don't feel confident, you don't look confident, so don't push yourself too hard. 

EXPERIMENT
Like I said, makeup is fun, it is a way of expressing yourself and when you experiment you get to find shades that work for you. There are so many rules and restrictions of what is supposed to suit different skin tones, eye colours and undertones, but sometimes we just like what we try and it may not be within the rule book, but if you are happy then who cares? So many brands in House of Fraser or Debenhams will allow you to try out the lipsticks and experiment in store using cotton buds or throw away brushes to test the lipsticks. Talk to a girl in the store and try out different shades, find what you enjoy and own it no matter what the rule book says. 

So what is your favourite autumnal lipstick look? Tell me below or find me on social media for a chat: 

Is There a Blogger Mould and Should I Try to Fit It?

So, I took a day off posting on Wednesday, I wasn't feeling the post I had set to go up, I love it and want to get it up, but it just didn't feel ready yet. Deciding not to post sent me into a frenzy, my stomach cramped, I over thought the idea for about an hour: do I post it when it's not exactly what I want it to be and leave it at that or do I take a day off and continue to only post content that makes me proud and feels perfect to me? I questioned if I would lose followers if my blog would begin to go downhill again, if people would take me seriously as a blogger, since Wednesdays are usually my days for beauty content, I wondered if missing a beauty post would put people off my blog. It wasn't until later that night when I sat down and looked at my stats only to see them still at the same traffic levels as they always have been that I realised, does it really matter if I miss days? Should I be in that state of panic anytime I miss a posting day? I mean, do schedules even matter? 

It all got me thinking about this mould that the blogging community has somewhat created of what a blogger looks like and what a blogger does and how blogs look etc and I began to think, "jeez, I really don't fit the mould, do I?" That then got me worrying some more, maybe that is why I'm finding it hard to get past my current follower figures on Twitter, Instagram etc, maybe that's why I don't get the opportunities other bloggers get, maybe my lack of mould fitting means I don't look like a real blogger, maybe it makes me look like a bad blogger... maybe I am a bad blogger. Can you tell I get a little dramatic from time to time? Sometimes I question why I'm not an actress with my ability to create drama from nothing. It's a valid question though... should I try to fit the mould? Will it bring me new found blog popularity? Will it result in a boost in followers and readers? Will all the brands want to work with me? 

Is There a Blogger Mould and Should I Try to Fit It?

The thing is I don't actually know if I want to fit the so-called blogger mould. My mum always told me to embrace my unique characteristics and be happy to be me even if I am a pear in a world full of apples. I mean, should my content look exactly like the next bloggers? Should I pay £40+ for my template like everyone else does just so I am like everyone else instead of sticking to my love of £10 Etsy templates that I actually prefer? Should I force myself into doing street style photographs when I'm not 100% comfortable with it just yet because everyone else is doing it? Should I buy the 'it' bag I don't like just so I can post it on my Instagram, do the Instagram feed theme everyone is doing even though it makes my skin look like I have jaundice just because everyone else is doing it? My parents would always say to us as kids "would you jump off a cliff if everyone else was doing it?" and it is something I remind myself of when I fall into these frenzies. I shouldn't do things I am not comfortable with, ready for, or just don't like because everyone else is doing it, I should embrace being me and maybe one day it will become my USP. 

I mean, I am not saying I am unique as a blogger, but for the most part, I try not to compare myself to others, I do my own thing, post content I am proud of, post on my scheduled days because they are my best traffic days and just do what suits me. I mean, each and every single blogger out there has their own USP, their own characteristic allowing them to stand out from the crowd, some have found it, some are yet to discover it and many use it to propel their blog into the mainstream. It's something I truly admire, but when I am sat here in Scotland, not doing street style posts, sticking to the content I enjoy, not buying new luxury bags or having a never-ending PR basket, sometimes I wonder, is there a mould and would it be easier if I just fit it? If I lived in London, did street style posts, had 10 Chanel bags, bought everything the minute it was released, would I be more popular? I have to remind myself that this mould probably doesn't even exist and I am making it up myself based on my insecurities about my blog. I am sure living in London probably does give bloggers an edge, all the cool events are there, they are close to a billion other bloggers who they can befriend and swap photography duties with, but maybe everything else is just things I have decided equal a good blogger, myself. What if the blogger mould only exists within my own mind? 

I have written a lot about comparisons on here lately and my journey to stop comparing myself to others, so what if I've created this idea of a blogger mould to compare myself to other bloggers without admitting it? I want to write my blog because I love the content I am publishing because I am passionate about writing and all things lifestyle, beauty and fashion. Since I came back from my blogger break I have found a love and a passion for blogging that I never had before, I have found that I enjoy writing the content more than I have before, my views have gone up, my comments have increased, my followers, although feel a little dormant right now are slowly rising, so doesn't this give me enough proof I am doing something right? I am happy with my journey and whether there is a blogger mould or not really doesn't matter because I am happy, right? 

Do you think there is a blogger mould or do you think our insecurities create an unreachable version that only we see? Tell me in the comments or message me on social media: 
Why a Break is Exactly What You Need to Feel Inspired Again

I know it's really hard to believe but I actually did a masters degree there for a while, I know, it's shocking, I mean I never mention it on here at all, do I? (That's sarcasm for all those out there unaware, I probably mention my degree in every post I publish). As a result of working towards my masters degree I stepped back from the blog, I dipped in and out throughout the past year, but over the past 3 months, I probably published a total of two posts. It wasn't that I didn't want to blog, but I just didn't have the time or the energy or the inspiration. I spent hours hunched over my laptop daily writing essays, working on my dissertation, reading journals and textbooks that when I was meeting deadlines all I wanted to do was sleep or chuck my laptop out my window. Blogging isn't a full-time job for me, I don't think it ever will be actually, I don't think I will ever have the opportunity to take it full-time but above that, I don't know if I want to, I know, controversial. 

The thing is, I adore blogging, I have always had a passion for writing, by the age of 7 or 8 I was writing short stories for my eyes. Only, by 11 a couple of friends and I started a magazine where we charged our parents 50p for a magazine that we created and put together in one of the friends' garages, I was, of course, our editor and one of our writers. By 12 I was publishing little stories on a website called GoSupermodel in their stories forum, at 15 I had more drafts of fiction and non-fiction "books" in my laptop than I had actual school work. So for me, blogging always took my interest, but I've always been a firm believer in education and for me, my education has always preceded my blog because my education is a guaranteed future and I like structure. So, I was forced to take a break from my blog for a while, but unexpectedly it may have actually been the best thing to have happened to my little corner of the internet. I feel inspired, I feel like I have a whole new lease on life when it comes to blogging, I have more motivation to create good content than I ever have before. Suddenly, I feel like my blog is one of my proudest achievements and I just want to do well and create content. 

I came back to my blog with a brain and a notebook filled with ideas, some I have published, some are in drafts waiting to be completed and published and others are yet to be started. Without a dissertation clouding my judgement, without something, that to me, was more important taking my attention away I was finally able to open back up my adoration for my blog, social media and everything in between. I have the free time to spare on writing up content, on brainstorming ideas, when I see things I get ideas popping in and out of my brain in a way, I never did during dissertation time. My brain was pre-occupied in an obsessive manner, 100% of my dedication, my hard work and my passion went into my dissertation, but now it can all be split evenly among the elements of my life I am passionate about and that includes my blog. Taking some time off, although I hated it, was exactly what I needed to refuel the fire in my belly, to refill the idea bubble in my brain and leave me overflown with excitement about the future of my blog. I now see a future for my part of the internet in a way I never did before, I don't believe I will be the next Zoella, but I do believe my hard work and dedication will be rewarded and people will see my passion for blogging in a way that never came across before. 

Reading back over some of my posts throughout the last year I can feel the robust energy, I can hear my monotone voice droning on, uninspired, unimpressed and it feels forced like blogging was a chore. I never want to be like that again, it makes me glad I took a break instead of forcing such drivel, you could tell my heart was not in it, not because I didn't love blogging but because blogging didn't love me. I had no ideas, I was tired, I was over-worked and I was stressed. We often look at taking a break from things as failure, taking some time off is proof that we aren't superhuman and we can't handle everything at once, but by not taking a break we already show that. No matter how hard we try to control every element of our lives something slides and we become disconnected in a way others can see and feel, we become robust and lack in the passion we once had, people notice and that is when they see failure. No one sees failure in someone being human and taking a break to focus on something more important or taking a break because you're just so god damn overworked and stressed. 

Why a Break is Exactly What You Need to Feel Inspired Again

IT'S OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK FROM...
  1.  Blogging, 
  2.  Social media,
  3.  Work and education (only if it is done the right way, don't go breaking rules and getting fired),
  4.  Social events, 
  5.  Technology, 
  6.  News,
  7.  People,
  8.  The world,
  9.  And everything in between. 

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU NEED A BREAK
  1.  You've become unenthusiastic,
  2.  It feels like a chore,
  3.  You are stressed,
  4.  Other things feel more important,
  5.  You're tired, 
  6.  Your ideas are running dry,
  7.  You're feeling anxious,
  8.  You're overwhelmed, 
  9.  You've stopped treating your body correctly (missing meals, lacking in self-care etc),
  10.  You feel like you need a break (no not like those cringy Facebook statuses about needing a year-long holiday).

No one expects you to be superhuman, everyone needs to take a break every now and then and often it leads us to a place of inspiration. We stop looking at the thing we are trying so hard to do but when we come back it is so much easier. My mum always told me, if you can't find something stop looking for it and it will turn up, once the pressure is eased our brains become much more productive. 

So, has a break helped you? How do you feel about taking breaks when you're under too much pressure? Let me know in the comments or catch me over on social media: 

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