Okay. So. Not to be entirely self-pitying, but I’ve had a rough couple of months. Between moving, problems with my mom, fluctuating responsibilities at work, and trying to keep personal relationships from sinking…things around here got a little quiet. Anything that wasn’t absolutely essential to keep in the air got dropped.
I really turned inward and didn’t want to broadcast my problems for the internet. Airing dirty laundry takes on a whole new level when it’s available world-wide (not that I flatter myself that someone in Paris is reading this, buuuut….)
And while I wrote about what I learned from blogging every day, I didn’t write about what I learned from not writing when my heart wasn’t there and how to know when you need a blog break.
How do you know when you need a break? When you’re heart isn’t in it. It’s that simple. You need to take a step back to reconnect with what you love doing. Creatively rejuvenate yourself. That’s a post for another day, but I know my writing struggles when it just isn’t exciting me and I can bet it’s the same way for you, too.
So what did I learn from taking a blog break?
Of course, there are the practical things I’ve learned like I should have kept up with the promotion and sharing old posts through Facebook and Twitter. I mean, it makes sense. But again, my heart just wasn’t there. So do as I say and not as I do: still go through your popular posts and promote the hell out of them. Even if you aren’t producing new material, still share old material.
Find a new outlet. I turned to Instagram to document what was happening in real life. #BecauseImKeepingItReal
I don’t want to always have this picture-perfect portrayal here because life isn’t picture perfect. And while I want this to be a reintroduction to me and a hello to a new business of sorts, I also want to recognize life’s stumbles. Yes, you need to make sure you’re spelling is correct and your pictures aren’t fuzzy, but you also need to connect with people’s hearts. That’s my belief.
If you don’t have their hearts, all you have are numbers. And what good does that do you?
Another thing I learned from taking a step back is that it’s okay to change your path. You aren’t stuck in one niche forever. You can evolve. You can pivot.
I know, these are all things that are like, “Angelica, you seriously didn’t realize that??” but there’s a difference between knowing something and getting it.
So, back to pivoting on what you’re doing. Jenny Blake is the pivot queen. (She actually wrote about what happens when you try to nail your niche.) I love that we don’t have to keep doing the same thing over and over. Especially if you want to go in another path but feel like you should stay on the route you’re on. That “should” word is a red flag that you need to mix it up.
I’m redefining what I want to write about and letting this be a place for people to learn more about me and my work in a real way. I’ll still write about makeup and the trials of cultivating a beautiful life, but on a more consistent basis again. I’ll also be focusing more on letting this be my outlet and a way to highlight my writing strengths in the hopes that people hire me to write for them (because I love sharing my thoughts with you, but thoughts don’t pay the rent, y’hear me?)
As a thank you to people who have been with me through it all and a welcome for any new readers and friends I’ve made along the way, I want to share some of my favorite things (and let you win them).
Of course, my favorite pens, Post Its, and copious amounts of Target dollar spot stationery. My favorite balm + stain that looks great on anyone (it’s the Revlon Balm Stain in Honey) and a few other lip products. A freakin’ hilarious letterpress notebook from Sapling Press in Pittsburgh and purchased at my favorite card shop in the city, Wildcard. And this lovely scarf, of course in gray like everything else I wear. I seriously almost kept the for myself, yo. But I love you guys, so you win. And a few other things I may pick up along the way.
Can you pick out a theme? Me neither. It’s pretty much me in a box. And hopefully if you’re like me, you’ll love this all, too.
What’s your sign to know when you need a break?
PS: You guys rock. Just sayin’.