blogmas, blogtober

Happy Halloween! A Blogtober Recap

Happy Halloween & final day of Blogtober! I can’t believe I actually managed to accomplish such a challenge. To be honest, I thought I had too much personal things going on that would cause me to call off the entire thing. But since I had it all written & scheduled, I pushed forward & successfully made it through my first year of Blogtober. Here’s what I learned:

Writers Block Who?!

As a writer, I tend to give myself a hard time when I’m dealing with spouts of writer’s block. After this challenge, where I was able to come up with 31 pieces of content, I will no longer feel this way about myself. If I can successfully do this challenge, I can do anything. And if writer’s block does happen again, I now understand as writers, we are not machines & merely humans. Taking breaks are healthy & crucial to allow ourselves to ignite the inspiration again. And I’ve also come to the conclusion of determining a more a proper blogging schedule for the near future. I’ll talk about some of the blogging changes in another blog post coming soon.

Engaging is A Second Job

Replying back to comments & reading other people’s posts took up lots of time. One of the hardest parts of this challenge was being active on social media & engaging with other blogger’s work. There were definitely a few days I was more MIA than others. But it was a great reminder to know to have balance with your blogging life & real life. I learned to plan out at least one day where I spent time reading & replying back to comments. I found it important to support other bloggers even more this month whether they were participating in this challenge or not. But I made sure it wasn’t an everyday routine, as I knew this would lead to burnout.

I Got to Be More Creative

I was able to go outside my niche & experiment with other topics & writing styles. It was a great way to expand my craft. I mean, I even shared a poem with you all. LOL And I learned having a niche can be good but you shouldn’t limit yourself either. It’s your blog, so write what you enjoy. I hope to continue with this mindset in the future with my blog posts.

Blogging Became Fun Again

I returned with the mindset that blogging should be fun & a creative outlet. Before this challenge, I was in a rut with my blog. I didn’t have an interest in continuing it. But Blogtober sparked that love for writing in myself again. It was a reminder to myself that even when it comes to a passion, you can & will experience burn out at times. And it’s quite alright to make a few changes along the way.

Supporting Other Bloggers Feels Good

My favorite part of blogging is connecting with other writers in the community. Reading your Blogtober posts, sharing ideas & collaborating made it even more worth while. I’m always so impressed with the entire community & the amount of talented individuals we have here. Cheers to all of us!

Will I Do This Again?

It’s hard to say how I’ll be feeling a year from now & where I’ll be. But writing about spooky season & fall was something I really enjoyed. So, maybe I’ll do this again – maybe just not daily. LOL I also learned life can be pretty unpredictable & sometimes you need to re-evaluate your routine to combat changes along the way. This challenge solidified the fact quality is better than quantity. Perhaps in the future I won’t post daily & merely share a few Halloween blog posts & spend more time promoting the few I decide to share.

If you have the time though, I definitely recommend Blogtober to all bloggers. It’s a great way to feel connected to in the community & to express your writing skills. I’m so proud of myself, the bloggers who also participated & how far we’ve come. I managed to hit 1,500 subscribers on the blog this month which is quite a milestone in my book. I look forward to see this blogging family grow.

Happy Halloween everyone! 🎃

-B

blogging

Why I Only Use Social Media For Blogging

Creating social media platforms for my blog felt like I was going backwards. I was finally at a place in my life where I stopped prioritizing my “digital” persona & started to be more present in “real life”. But owning a blog & NOT having an online presence was like owning a store with the closed sign always on the entrance. I wasn’t going to get anywhere without it. 

    Let’s go back to 2016 for a second. This was the height of my “Instagram addiction”. And yes, I dramatically call it an addiction because I was always looking for the next best photo op. I was living for the photos instead of living in the moment. And honestly, looking back I wish I had closed my IG account sooner because those years between 2014 to 2016 were prime years of going out with friends & not having a care in the world. But all I prioritized was my outfits, makeup & whether I would get those group shots with friends so I would have something to post the next day. Because we all know we HAVE to prove to the world we have a life. 

    Social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram are so unhealthy. All it really did was fuel my FOMO & cause me to have low self esteem. When in reality a photo speaks 1,000 words & most of those words would be different from the reality of what went on that day. But regardless of the amount of times I told myself not to compare myself to others or feel left out of an outing I would have regretted going to, I would soak all those images in & start molding myself into those cookie cutter feeds. 

    So in 2016, I deleted my Instagram, Twitter & SnapChat. No more worrying about aesthetically pleasing feeds, ambiguous tweets & embarrassing videos from drunk night outs. I did choose to keep Facebook because I didn’t want my boomer family members to think I left the face of the Earth. I kid. 

     With the platforms I did keep, I just went through & did a proper digital declutter. And in previous blog posts, such as my Minimalism Guide to Digital Declutter, I can’t stress enough how important it is. My friends list was cut in half, removing those highschool acquaintances from my home town I never see & keeping only the ones I see regularly or truly want to keep in touch with. I removed or untagged myself from any embarrassing photos or statuses. Thank you timehop for the cringey reminders. And now I try to only post when I want to change my profile picture which is looking to be twice a year. 

     But when it came to my blogging “career”, I knew I had to be on social media to create a brand for myself. And unfortunately, old habits don’t quit because I went back to my addictive self with a snap of my fingers. I really felt ashamed of myself. I was so caught up in the numbers game & posting the best images & having the most perfect feed. There was no professionalism whatsoever. You live & you learn. It took me a few months to realize I needed to make a change. 

     So recently, I decided to think of my blog as a brand & what I wanted to showcase to the world. As a minimalist I want to teach other people the benefits of stepping away from social media more often & not putting so much pressure on your digital self. And for someone who uses these platforms to gain traffic to their blog, it’s definitely become a balancing act. 

 In my personal life, I don’t miss Instagram at all. If I want to share something with someone, I will text them. I no longer post those incredibly long birthday shout outs or even relationship devotions for the world to see. I actually have learned to enjoy keeping parts of my life private & a mystery. Who do I hangout with? How’s my relationship going? What am I doing with my life? You’ll never truly know through social media. And I kind of like it that way. Plus, my friendships are a lot more genuine now that I don’t reply on social media to maintain them.

  I only have 130 Facebook friends. I primarily follow bloggers & other creators on my blog Instagram. I block the accounts that are too toxic & don’t bring me joy as Marie Kondo would say. The majority of my photos on my camera roll haven’t been seen on social media. 

I’ve really grown as an individual. Treating my blogging Instagram & Twitter as a business & still keeping my life private is healthier for me. Recently, I decided to keep my feed professional with digitally made images, stock photos & a few photos of my day to day in a more artistic flair. I actually created a spreadsheet dedicated to my IG feed so I have more of a schedule & purpose to what I post. At the same time, I try not to worry too hard at maintaining any sort of perfectionism. I still want to be authentically me & still see it as a creative outlet. Not to mention, I’ve connected with so many like minded creative souls these past 7 or 8 months. And in rather isolating times, I’m grateful to have such technology at my fingertips. The bottom line is I don’t want social media to dictate how my life outside the digital space is going. Social media is only one very small side to the story.

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