When I first made the decision, almost 18 months ago, to jack in my journo job and go freelance, everyone I spoke to had the same advice.
The same tales regurgitated from friends of friends who had at some point, made the same leap.
I needed to set up an office area away from distraction. I needed to set myself working hours, to wander off for walks on my lunch break, to, for all intents and purposes, treat it exactly like a regular job. It was, or so I was repeatedly told, the only way to stay motivated and the ony way to get work done.
And, I guess as with anything in life, you’ve got to learn the rules before you can break them. Like when you start a new job and you’ve got to ask 45653767 questions and get a solid understanding of why things are done the way they are before you go about making wild suggestions about tweeting gifs from the company account.
Which, to be fair is a bit 2k14 of you. Move on.
Anyway, point is, this year, blogging will be different for me.
Blogging won’t be an office job, it will be a hobby.
Uh huh a bit like pilates or adult colouring books or Googling news about the former stars of 16 and Pregnant.
And my full-time job, you lads ask?
Well, I’m going to be a lady of leisure come housewife come professional Netflix watcher. DUH BAES.
I spent a lot of last year beating myself up for not surpassing the expectations I set myself. I’d roll out of bed and be muttering hideous insults to myself in my brain if I wasn’t at my desk producing content by 8.30am.
My creativity felt stumped because I’d tell myself to sit at my desk and churn out a list because FUCKING HELL HANNAH IT’S 10AM AND YOU HAVEN’T GOT A POST UP TODAY YET AND EVERYONE IS LIKE WOAH, SHE’S SLACKING, MAYBE SHE’S BROKEN OR LAZY OR DEAD OR SUMMIN.
I felt that to be a better blogger and a better person, I had to put work and sitting in my office above all else. If I wanted to be taken seriously, heck, if I wanted to take myself seriously, I had to be working 8.30-5 and then some, like the rest of my generation. And I had to be doing that at my desk in front of a computer the way my previous journalism self had.
Sure, there was the odd list brainstorm in a Costa on a local industrial estate and sometimes, when the wine had hit me in just the right way, I’d thrash out something poignant and from the heart on the train home from London. But mostly, my life revolved around my office space and making sure I was working proper office hours.
But you know what the joy of being freelance is? Of running your blog full-time? You get to do you.
And you get to do you, your own way.
Sure, some months you’re like will Ipswich library hire me to put away books so I can pay off all the extra data charges on my phone bill right now or nah? But, to balance out the unpredictability, you get to make your own rules.
And I don’t think I pummeled that into myself enough last year.
Over Christmas and New Year whilst I was ‘off work’, I managed to get up nearly the same amount of content as I normally would. There was two new videos a week, and four blog posts, whereas there’s normally maybe six.
Did I work my ass off in advance to justify a couple of chilled out weeks off?
Nope. I mean, I worked pretty hard, but not hard enough to get any posts scheduled in advance.
Which got me thinking. Why didn’t I just pretend like I was off all the time? Why didn’t I change the way I thought about my blog and my business? It isn’t an office job. I don’t have to sit at a desk.
And so for the last couple of days, I’ve put me first. I’ve been swimming, to gym classes, out for coffee, for a stroll around the shops because gurl still got a few giftcards that need spending on some cute lil high street clothes. I’ve watched season five of 90210 (hats off to ya Netflix) and I’ve got out of bed when I’ve really felt ready.
And then I work when… well, when it feels right. When I want to. When I am inspired and on it. And not when I feel like I should.
And the result? DRUM ROLL PLEASE. I don’t know how to type how a drum roll would sound so just please humour me and imagine it, alright?
I have done MORE work. Yeah yuh huh yep ya ya ya.
Whodda thought it, eh?
Like, seriously, I am so full of ideas. I am so excited about life. So positive and motivated and good and inspired. Mate, I feel like Taylor Swift on the day 1989 came out and everyone was like TAYLOR WE LOVE YOU.
The most lol part is that currently most of my work is coming from a cheap, tiny, old laptop from the comfort of the sofa, whilst I’m snuggled under a blanket with a sassy little J-Lo film and cup of peppermint tea, and not from my Pinterest-inspired business woman iMac-kitted office.
So, I guess the point of this post is just to say that most of the time, it is only YOU standing in your own way.
We are our own worst enemies, our own worst critics, and the person who talks the most about us behind our backs. We are our own bullies. The person who makes us feel the most negative about the life we lead.
So don’t do something a certain way because you feel like you have to, don’t get a job you hate because it looks good on paper, don’t hate on yourself for taking a risk or trying something new or cutting yourself some slack.
The purpose of life isn’t to prove to everyone else how hard you work, it’s to be a good person, to be happy, to make your life count.
And so 2016 will be a fantastic year for me, because I’m reclaiming my blog as a hobby I enjoy that just so happens to pay the bills.
I feel so happy and clear-headed and excited. And y’know what? I feel the most like the glittery version of myself that I’ve felt in a long time.
If life just ain’t working for you, change it.
And on that note, I’m off to eat popcorn and browse Pinterest for some ideas for an upcoming outfit post. All from the comfort of the sofa, obvs. Might even stick on another episode of 90210 because hello that hottie that Adrianna cheated on Dixon with. Living on the wild side and that…