Why I’m Quitting Blogging

I know, I know. Only a few posts ago I was announcing my love for, and return to, the blogging world. However, it turns out I’m actually quitting. At least for a bit. I love it, I really do but I just can’t find any meaningful gravity in it right now; my blogging journey has turned into a fight against an addiction to instant gratification and I’ve decided I’m not here for that anymore. Allow me to explain.

I can’t just create to create. Writing for the sake of having posts go live every week isn’t working for me right now. It feels somehow empty and draining. Like repetitively serving coffees as a barista. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore creating, particularly through writing. But each metaphorical coffee I make seems to take away a little more of my purpose as I hand it over the metaphorical counter (the internet). I’ll put it this way: I still feel compelled to make pretty latte art for others but when I get home from work, I’d rather go to bed than make a coffee for myself. Paradoxically, although a hugely creative hobby, blogging seems to be hindering my creative process in general.

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january bullet journal spread plants nature

How Losing My Bullet Journal Was the Best Thing to Happen

I know, I know. It sounds awful, practically unliveable, for my fellow bullet journalers to hear. But it’s a true statement (kind of). I didn’t exactly lose my bullet journal, it was more that I misplaced it for just over a week. I went on holiday to the Peak District and left my beloved notebook behind at home – a sad realisation, but not totally catastrophic.

People from outside the bujo community may not understand this intense panic-upon-realisation feeling evoked from simply leaving a journal somewhere unexpected. You see, this isn’t just a place for doodles – this is where I organise my life and develop my thoughts. The following week was a journey of emotions, not wholly negative, regarding the missing nature of my little orange Leuctturm1917. Allow me to explain.

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Wtf is a Bujo?! A Beginner’s Guide to Bullet Journaling Basics

The first tentative steps into a new hobby can be uncertain and daunting, sort of like walking down a muddy hill: either your feet might slip and things become a little tedious and overwhelming, or things turn out to be fine and, dare I say, enjoyable. This uncertainty over how things might turn out is a pretty good summary of how I felt entering the crazy and obsessive world of bullet journaling a year ago. January is definitely a time in which many people contemplate trying new things; one such thing you may be considering is bullet journaling. So to make things easier for those of you wondering whether the bujo is that new hobby or not, here’s a condensed beginner’s guide.

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countryside landscape watercolour painting

Are You Having an Instagram Identity Crisis?

I have a confession to make. I seem to have commitment issues. You know when you have a love for one thing but then something else catches your eye? Yeah, that’s me with Instagram. I am being utterly genuine when I write that I have actually lost count of the number of accounts I have had in the last few years on Instagram.

My Instagram History

I started off like any other teenager out there: one little space online where I posted the odd sunset, food or family holiday photo. Then I became vegan and yearned to feel a part of a community after what felt like such a huge lifestyle change at the time. And so I created a foodie account. This lasted a while but was cut off once I completed school and started travelling. Once you’re relying on cheap food eaten in poorly-lit hostels to survive it is practically impossible to maintain a beautiful food account. And so I did the only sensible thing and started a travel photography one instead. This somehow died a slow death though. I’m sure there have been other, more temporary ones too – like the black and white minimalist profile I had somewhere along the way – but they have mostly faded into insignificance now.

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countryside landscape watercolour painting

Should You Start a Bullet Journal in 2019?

One of the things I’m enjoying the most in my everyday life at the moment is bullet journaling. Coincidently, it is also the most popular topic on my blog. Knowing that January is a month of trying new things, I thought it would be fitting to delve into the world of bujos a little more deeply over the next few weeks in the hope that it could help out some of you wanting to start one this year.

Today, I thought I’d kick things off with the big, obvious question: why bullet journal? Why not just use a diary with the ready-made calendars or an app on your phone? What is the point of all of this? What is the hype all about? If these are the questions you’re currently facing in your struggle to unearth an organisational method that will work for you this year, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog post isn’t about ‘converting’ people to the bujo way of life, it’s more a source of information – giving you the tools to decide whether this is for you or not.

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My Goals for 2019

Happy New Year everyone! I thought I’d kick things off on an incredibly predictable note: a list of my goals for the coming year. I felt a need to set the tone for the next 12 months in some way, and this post seemed like a good way to do so. I don’t really set resolutions in January – I’m not sure the pressure is particularly helpful and I find it causes me to feel more negative emotions than positive. I do, however, like to contemplate the general direction I’d like to move in over the coming year in the form of a few vague goals.

Last year, I got a little swept up in a blogging trend in which people outlined 18 goals for 2018; looking back, that seems like a lot of things to hold in mind at any one time. Granted, I did keep most of them small, and many of them related to one another, yet I think the sheer quantity could perhaps have put me off a little. This year, in a pure act of rebellion, I will be listing a number of goals which does not necessarily adhere to the year we happen to be entering, or even a round number that could make for a satisfying blog post title. I know, 2019 already seems to be the year of stretching boundaries…

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Reflecting on My 2018 Goals

We have reached that reflective point in the calendar, a week in which lots of us cast a thought back over the previous 12 months and linger on the good and the bad the year had to offer. I thought I’d take a moment to wrap up by looking back on the goals I set way back in January.

Physical Health

I wanted to spend lots of time outside and move more in an effort to improve my general wellbeing. I think my success with this varied over the months but I did get out the house quite a bit and I did give basketball, yoga and running a crack. Through these activities, I attempted new things and overcame old anxieties; I’d say that’s a win even if exercise did fall off my radar as the year toppled into the colder months.

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The Bullet Journal Stationery I Used Most in 2018

2018 was my first year of bullet journaling. Rather accidentally, I stumbled into it in January in a very, very minimalist fashion. I almost had to trick myself that I wasn’t entering the world of arty bujos through my stubborn use of a single pen to create spreads for the whole first month. That way, I wouldn’t overwhelm myself and run away from the whole thing in a blind panic.

Throughout the year though, my confidence and creativity grew. As did my desire to fill old jam jars and the living room coffee table (much to the annoyance of everyone else) with various bits of stationery.

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Condensation on window glass

Meditation or Distraction? Personalising How You Manage Anxiety

When I was first contacted by Thrive, a company that develops therapeutic software, my curiosity was spiked by the sheer breadth and depth their app Feel Stress Free seems to promise. Allow me to explain: having used various tools for managing stress and anxiety before, I’ve often headed down a path of declining interest, as I get stuck in a rut of  repetitive activity. However, Feel Stress Free’s unique characteristic seems to be the huge variety of ways it offers for managing stress and anxiety – which have actually been created by psychologists/psychiatrists and are clinically proven to be helpful. I thought this could be a remedy for my tendency to lose that spark of interest.

The other main advantage I can see from the layout of the app is the possibility for personalising the ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, which is something I feel passionate about. I don’t think all methods work effectively for everyone, but that’s not a problem here; I picked up on five key areas of managing negative emotions that Thrive are striving to help with. I thought I’d outline these below and talk about how you can implement these things in your own life – both with and without the help of your phone.

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space theme bullet journal spread

5 Steps to Get Through a Creative Crisis

I’m having a creative crisis. By this I mean that I was hit out of nowhere with panic over what I’m doing creatively with my life. More specifically, I’m lost in my blogging journey. It’s not writer’s block as such, I have plenty of ideas for posts; I have all the wood I could ever want to build a bonfire. What I seem to have misplaced is the matches. What I need to light the spark of desire to create content has temporarily slipped out of sight. It scares me; it upsets me. Most of all it makes me question everything I’ve created before and if any of it was ‘meaningful’ at all.

And so I’ve taken a step back. It might seem like I’ve only had a few days away from blogging to an outside viewer, as I had regular content going up on my blog until last Wednesday, but in reality I’ve taken a couple of weeks off and relied on scheduled content to get me through. In this time, I’ve become a little distant from the blogging community and haven’t been interacting as much as normal. There are excuses for this – being on holiday, getting ready to move to uni – but my gut instinct tells me these excuses aren’t the reason I’ve removed myself from the online world for a bit.

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