I thought today I’d scribble down a few thoughts on full time blogging. I read a study last year that over 90% of women under the age of 24 who start a fashion or lifestyle blog now do it with the dream of it becoming a full time job. Some of you may remember when I wrote this post back in May last year when I finished university and I announced that I would be blogging full time I was so excited by the prospect. However, a year and a half since I wrote that post, and a couple of months into my new part time job, I thought I’d share why I found that living the blogging dream was not necessarily all it was cracked up to be.
While I really loved the work I was doing day to day, as many of you may know I live in a house in the middle of the Kentish countryside, and it was there I worked pretty much by myself or only with my family for company pretty much seven days a week unless I hopped on the train to London for meetings. From various internships I did while I was at school and in university, rather than having a background working anywhere food or journalism related, my background is actually in Westminster and campaign politics, so it was only natural that I would get pretty full on involved working on the general election in May. It was not until I joined the campaign team and worked out and about and with people, as part of a team six days a week did I realise how isolating I was finding my life as a full time blogger and journalist.
A lot of people who have met me at events and similar gatherings have commented how passionately I talk about my love for food; in different circumstances, I can more than match that with my fascination and passion for politics. While I do agree I may have been kidding myself that I was categorically not going to be pursuing a job in politics after university, I still was not actively seeking a change. However, the time I spend recovering from the election (and the all-nighter pulled on election night!) for a month in Los Angeles during the latter half of May/ June, a year after I’d decided to write full time, spending the time writing by myself again in cafes and at the apartment I’d rented, I knew I was making the right decision changing the direction I was going in. And do you know what? I’m so much happier that I am able to split my time between two things I love.
By no means does anything I’ve said in this post mean that I’m going to stop blogging; I’ve been writing this site for over 6 years now and I could not imagine live without it. I still run my blog as a business, and while I’m now only writing it on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (and sometimes weekends, though actually having another job where I go to work with colleagues in the office has actually made me better at actually finding time for myself both at the weekends and in the evenings after work - I now have a much better work life balance) I still put as much effort and love into it as I did before.
I don’t know about you, but I think my content has actually got better now I have had to learn to be a lot more selective about opportunities I take because of my new time constraints. I’ve found that since I had to let some of my gigs go, I’m enjoying life as a freelance writer a lot more, too. In the same way, I’m choosing to spend the time I do have for this sort of work on the jobs I know I really love like my Borough Market column without having to worry about how much jobs pay as much, too, as I have a bit of steady money coming in from my three days a week.
I know it is not the same for everyone, and I have a lot of friends who - while obviously not every day is perfect (I’d like to know whose life is?) - are living the dream as full time bloggers. However, in a hobby-turned-industry where everyone is supposed to aspire into turning your blog into a full time career, I think it is important to show that sometimes the ideal is not necessarily everything it is shown to be in Instagram photos.
Everyone is different, and while my chooses may change again with my life as the years go on, right now blogging full time is not the right decision for me, and I am much happier with my new normal. I have some really, really excited projects in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share with you all, and I promise that nothing is really going to change around here; things are just going to keep getting better and better, and I for one can’t wait.