hey it’s been a while | a honest chat about blogging and going forward

Hello everyone!!

I hope you are all well and please feel free to give me any sort of life update in the comments because it has been TOO long.

If you still remember me, I’m impressed as it has been like *mutters under my breath* 6 months since I blogged and I’m going to talk about that is a moment but, first, I’m going to talk about two things…. 

 

(1) thank you !!

Thank you so much for everyone who thought to nominate me in the book blogger awards this year. This is really delayed, although I had thanked everyone who tagged me in a post, but I wanted to do an acknowledgement here despite it being months later. It was so unbelievably sweet and unexpected for you to think of me even though I wasn’t blogging. It honestly came at such a needed time and it really did make my day. I really bad at expressing how thankful I am so just imagine me saying thank you repeatedly. Any and all support is always appreciated and I’m so very grateful. My hiatus has just emphasised how much I love this community.

(2) blog design !!

Next important, hopefully noticeable, thing is I’ve redecorated my blog. I always wanted to do a complete remodel of my blog as I have never really done one and I felt like a change as I wasn’t in love with my old design anymore. So, a month (or so) into my hiatus, I thought it was the perfect time to put my blog on ‘coming soon’ and do it.

We Taste-Tested 7 Vegan Jerky Snacks So You Don’t Have To

buuutttt…  then I procrastinated and then I was very indecisiveness about it all. (no I didn’t redesign my blog three times in the slowest manner possible, that was someone else)

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But the procrastination method did *eventually* work and after pain and hard work a bit of work (and too many punnets of strawberries) WE DID IT!!  

So, what was the design inspiration?

Honestly…. I don’t know. It has a bit of 90’s/vintage inspiration with obviously the main colours as red and pink. Also, strawberries are included because…. honestly, strawberry shortcake (lol). It is simple but it also feels more put together than my last design. I know it doesn’t make sense really but here we are. 

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BUT…. the biggest change (and most exciting change) is I have a home page. Yaaayy!! *everyone cheers* It serves no purpose but making me happy. Check it out. (no pressure though)

divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.
Now on to my chat about blogging….

what I’ve been doing (aka why have I been gone so long)

This is my second, third, fifth time writing this as I just can’t seem to word it right. I also seem to have the talent to keep rambling on and on and on (an issue I still have). I’m currently sat here contemplating what to write (and whether I should order some waffles). BUT I am determined to post this today (lol, I didn’t, this is a new day)

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You probably don’t need a giant explanation, but I wanted to say this. So, let’s start at the beginning. 

We Taste-Tested 7 Vegan Jerky Snacks So You Don’t Have To

Ever since 2020 started in January I was thinking about when my hiatus was going to be but there was always a post I wanted to get done (i.e., my birthday, Beth’s nook etc.) so it kept getting delayed, but it was always on my mind, ‘I’m going to have a break’, ‘I’m going to have a break’. It was weird to be craving a break like I was whilst also being excited for new content. They seem like two feelings that shouldn’t go together; wanting a break from something you love. 

This year I wanted to be more chill with blogging as it is very time-consuming, and I wanted to learn how to better balance blogging with other things in my life. Whilst in 2019, I prioritised it above a lot of things because it was new and exciting (and like the one thing in life I didn’t feel like I was totally failing at). But when I wanted to be chill, I found that I just felt guilty because I was doing less than last year or I kept telling myself I could be doing more now. Even when I was resting, it was all about what I should be doing for my blog. To be fair, I can be easily overwhelmed and because it was the one thing I felt like I wasn’t completely failing at, I think I was over-relying on it to be the perfect thing. Basically, I got stressed then I blamed myself and got even more stressed. 

Hence why I think I wanted a hiatus so I could just chill and re-evaluate things in my life a little bit. It was nice to be able to use by free time a bit more flexibly and to work towards new goals. I’ve definitely felt more relaxed. But, to improve on balance I actually have to try to balance better instead of stopping one thing altogether plus I love blogging and the community, so I genuinely want to come back to blogging. I want to get my life in order, not to be dramatic, so I’m writing this to hold myself accountable in a way. Part of me wanting to get my life in order involves my blog because I love it and want to do it. So… my new plan is to work on everything in moderation using goal setting and time management to become a healthy person who looks like they have their sh*t together and to not feel like a failure. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!! 

We Taste-Tested 7 Vegan Jerky Snacks So You Don’t Have To

 

A Brief Summary:

  1. blogging
  2. stress
  3. poor time management
  4. stress
  5. feeling like a failure in everything
  6. hiatus
  7. still feeling like a failure
  8. new plan?!?!?!?! 
divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

I have honestly been so nervous about returning to blogging. I’ve had some many ‘start dates’ that I’ve missed as I keep putting it off because I really don’t want to sink into the same patterns as before. I want to be better at like… everything and I don’t want to fail again. But I think I need to be a bit more reasonable with myself and focus on little steps. 

On a more positive note (sorry this post has been so down) I am genuinely excited about the new content, which you will probably see next year. I don’t have a schedule for when I’m posting or how much, but I have a few posts I will be focusing on getting up as they are end-of-the-year posts etc. Then hopefully in the new year, I can bring you my new ideas. I may be less active or have weeks off but I’m trying to embrace that side more, so I don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Obviously after a hiatus all my stats are going to be a lot lower, but it makes it feel less daunting in a way and I much prefer to focus on the enjoyment and people. Although I have gone on about how stressful blogging can be (a lot of it down to myself), the community is really what make it such a lovely, supportive and positive place to be so thank you all once again. I hope I didn’t come across ungrateful in this post as I do really appreciate everything blogging has given me but I just wanted to do an honest update about how I was/am feeling and hold me accountable to myself in some way. (You know what they say, write down your feelings and publish them on the internet)

My Goals Going Forward…

  1. To create new content that I’m excited about (including new features)
  2. To learn to get a balance that I’m happy with (I want to establish a really strong writing routine)
  3. To talk more about specific books (going through my old posts made me realise I rarely talk about books except in tags, oops)
  4. Maybe Improve on editing (I hate it and I suck at it. Not a great combo to be honest. I think I had improved this year, but I can definitely still improve)
  5. Remember it’s okay to have a week off and you don’t need to feel guilty about falling behind. Your blog should adapt to your needs, not you adapting to what you think your blog needs. 
divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

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Thank you SO much for reading!!!

What have you been up to lately?? Have you had any similar thoughts on blogging?? What are your go-to tips??

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I promise my next post is going to be about books (in fact it is going to be about 60)


35 thoughts on “hey it’s been a while | a honest chat about blogging and going forward

  1. Sending lots of good vibes your way! I’ve been in a weird place with my blog all this year. I’m not ready to make a full proper return, but I’ve been thinking a lot about getting into the habit again. I miss it!

    Your blog is looking so pretty by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much πŸ₯° yeah it is strange when you aren’t doing it as getting to creating a post was always so enjoyable but I know I wasn’t in the right mood so you have to do what suits you. I wish you all the best and I hope you find the right time to get back into blogging πŸ’›

      Thank you SO much ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Becky. I’m so glad to be back πŸ₯° ahh.. Thank youuu ❀️ yeah sometimes you’ve got to do what you suits you best but it can suck when you feel guilty about it. I’m glad you were able to do what you needed though πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back! I love your new blog design, the color scheme is the cutest!! I came back to blogging around October, and writing a comeback post is definitely… weird. I had so much and nothing to say at the same time haha. I felt really guilty for being on hiatus for so long, but if 2020 has taught me anything it’s to be easier on myself and taking care of my mental health. I hope you’re doing well, and I look forward to your future posts! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ngọc, thank you so much and I’m so pleased you like the new blog design. Yay thank you, I do love pink haha !! Yeah it can definitely be weird to write a comeback post and saying you have so much yet nothing to say it the PERFECT way to describe it, I feel like I have the giant catch-up but then it is just me rewording a sentence and deleting a lot of waffle, haha!! I know, I definitely felt guilty too !! But you are so right that you need to be kind to yourself and listen to what you need. Thank you so much all your kindness and support. I hope you are doing well and sending you best wishes for everything !! πŸ’•πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG! What?! Welcome back!! I’ve noticed that you were gone and I was wondering about you few days ago and THEN I saw this post! I hope you’re doing better and I’m excited to see your future posts πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HEY!! Thank you, it is nice to be back !! haha that is so funny, you summoned me !! Thank you so much, I’m excited about going forward and thank you for all the support. I hope you are doing well too!! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sophie, i am genuinely thrilled to hear from you again. i kept thinking about your blog and wondering if you’d ever come back, and i am so glad that you’re posting again!

    i do think it is very important to keep a balance, so i’m glad that your hiatus has allowed you to relax and reflect on how you were handling blogging, so you can be better about it in the future. i don’t know if i have that many tips as i feel like i’ve been neglecting my blog a little bit for the past couple of months, but i highly encourage you to always remind yourself that this is supposed to be a positive hobby and there’s nothing wrong with taking a break if you need to focus on something else!

    the only tip i’d probably have is to use a time management app. i use forest, and i really like it, because it blocks my phone as it is on, so i have to focus on whatever task i have at hand. i think it can help so you don’t get carried away and overwhelmed!

    i am also super excited to read your new content and whatever you have planned! the new layout is adorable, and i immediately thought of the strawberry dress that took over social media earlier this year, hahah. i just love the colors and your edits, really.

    just, again, soooooo so so so happy to hear you’re doing fine and wishing you all the luck with this new phase!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Lais, thank you soooooo much !! I’m so happy to be back and I’ve missed speaking with you. Aw.. that’s so sweet and it truly means a lot. The hiatus did go on longer than planned but I think it had been beneficial and allowed me to think about what I want going forward. Thank you for all your kindness, I have no words πŸ’•
      Thank you, it is important and I have been sucking at balance, so going forward I definitely want to prioritise it in implementing my plans. I guess we all go through times when we have to change how much time we spend on something but I truly love your blog and it is always a joy to read, I’m always get excited when I see a new post from you. Thank you that it really good advice and when I am feeling stressed definitely something I want to remember instead of pushing through it as it can lead to a lot of burn outs otherwise. Thank you.
      Ohh I hadn’t thought of that actually so thank you, I will download it now because that is really good as I can often pick up my phone instead of focusing which makes every task longer. And the management will be handy especially as I try to get a new routine, thank you.
      Ahh.. thank you so much !! I’m excited too, I’m hoping to start planning some design aspects out soon!! Yay, thank youu. Oh yes that dress, I can’t believe that was this year, it felt like ages ago haha!! But yessss, I love that !! aww.. thank you πŸ’•that makes me soooo happy !!
      ahhh… thank you SO much !!!! πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’• I hope you are doing well too and once again, thank you for your friendship and support.

      Like

  5. I feel like we’re now in a two person club of “I could’ve designed this blog to reflect the subject matter of books but instead I picked a fruit I like” πŸ˜‚ I absolutely love the new design, it looks SO good!!!! 😍

    I’m really glad you had a break, but I’m so glad to see you back!! I’ve been missing your lovely friendly presence 😊 I’ve been having a little impromptu break from blogging myself recently, got a bit of the good ol’ writer’s block. I’m trying to get a post out but honestly I always get a bit frazzled during the festive season and my brain is refusing to comply.

    I wish I had some tips for you on a good blog/life balance but I am truly THE WORST at organising my time and not overwhelming myself. πŸ˜… If you find anything that works please let me know because I would love to hear it!

    Anyway, I’m so glad you’re feeling ready to come back to blogging and I can’t wait to see what you create in the future!! 😁❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh.. Yesss!! I’m so happy to have joined this club πŸ˜‚ maybe one day more people will join and we can have a whole fruit salad 🀣 but yaaayy thank you, I’m so glad you like it πŸ₯°

      Aw.. Thank you, I’m so glad to be back posting!! Aww.. *blushes* I’ve missed talking to you too!!
      Yes sometimes breaks are necessary for how you are feeling and you don’t want to force yourself to make content!! Aw.. Well I hope you feel better soon as I love your posts but doing what it best for you is important!!

      Haha it is hard to organise time when you have so many things you want to be doing and in always ends in being overwhelmed. Honestly it is nice to just know I’m not alone in feeling this way and if I find any tips I will be sure to tell you. After my blogging friend recommended it, I’ve downloaded the app forest to help with time management so I’ve got to try that!!

      Yay thank you so much for all your support, it means a lot πŸ’›πŸ’› I hope you are well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sophie, I can’t tell you how much it made me smile to read this post! All the john mulaney memes are delightful πŸ˜€ And the new blog design is BEAUTIFULβ€”the colors and the strawberries and the home page are all perfect ❀

    Everything you said about getting overwhelmed by the pressure you put on yourself with blogging is, uh, very relatable to me right now. I wish I had advice to give but I think I’m very much in the same spot at the moment and trying to figure out myself how to balance doing something I love without letting it stress me out. Hopefully we’ll get there.

    I’m very excited to see whatever content you have coming up! Best of luck with your goals going forward ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh.. Yay, I’m glad it made you smile and you enjoyed the memes!! 🀣 I really do love that meme, even if I see it relating to a fandom I’m not a part of, I will still enjoy it πŸ˜‚
      Aw.. Thank you SO much Margaret!! I’m so glad you like it!! πŸ₯°πŸ’•πŸ₯°

      I’m glad you can relate to what I’m feeling whilst also being sorry that you feel overwhelmed with the pressure too!! It is nice to know we aren’t alone though.
      Yes hopefully we can both figure out a balance that works for us. I was feeling a bit pressured yesterday as I have a few end of year posts I wanted to do but then I was like ‘let’s think about this and it will be okay if I do some posts next year’ so that was new for me. So maybe everytime I feel like I need to do something, I’m going to take a step back and think do I really need to though. I wish you all the luck going forward though πŸ’›

      Ahh.. Yay thank you so much for all your support πŸ’•

      Like

  7. Sophie!!! So happy to see that you’re back, I missed reading your posts ❀ I also love the blog redesign, it looks so nice πŸ₯°

    I’ve just started my Master’s program, so I feel the need to achieve a balance between life and blog. What helped me was figuring out how often I could post per week to keep me happy and motivated to write posts. Plus, being kinder with my schedule and sometimes changing it when I was suddenly inspired to write a particular post 😊

    I’m definitely very excited about your new content!! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Caro!! Thank you so much, it honestly means so much !! I knew I had to make sure I was blogging by December because I’m really excited to do my first yearly readathon wrap-ups !!
      Thank youuuu !! I’m so glad you like it !! πŸ’•πŸ’•

      Oh wow.. well I wish you luck with balancing your master’s program with your blog and life. And of course luck with doing it too!! Oh okay thank you, I will definitely try to establish a routine/schedule of posts to I know what I’m doing in a more ordered way but to go with what I am feeling at the time too. Thank you for your advice !!

      Yay!! Thank you so much for all your support and kindness !! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  8. HI SOPHIE! I know we’ve talked a bit here and there but HELLO, I missed you so much!! I’m so glad you’re back and I’m so glad I’M back (I’m gonna catch up on notifs then write a post I promise XD). It feels kind of weird because all my favorite bloggers are pretty much MIA :(( and that was my absolute favorite part of blogging! I really need to go catch up with everyone ahhhh.
    Anyways, I’m so excited that you’re back! We should totally chat more. <33

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Aditi, yayyy helllooo !! I know I’ve missed talking with you on a regular basis like before. I can’t believe I let it go so long !! Ahh… that’s GREAT news, I can’t wait to read it !! aAHHhhh!! πŸ’• You’ve promised now !!
      I know I remember going through my feed and seeing less posts around but 2020 has been a tough year so I just hope everyone is well. Yes it is such a wonderful part of blogging, I love getting notification when people have replied to my comment on their post, always a great moment !! Yesss!!
      Yayyyy, thank you and YES definitely !! πŸ’•πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahhhhh I’m so so so excited you’re back and I’ve only now just checked it out but am OBSESSED WITH THE REDESIGN OMG!! THE PINK AND RED!! THE FONTS!! IT LOOKS AMAZING!! So excited for all the new content from you friend xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so late to this post, but just wanted to say that I’m glad to see you back in the blogosphere! πŸ™‚ Your new design looks fantastic and I’m really excited for your future content. πŸ˜€ You don’t come across as ungrateful AT ALL, it’s completely fine to take a break from blogging and to discuss what work and don’t work for you with regards to blogging. I hope you’ll find a good balance between blogging and life / other interests. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww.. Thank you for still reading this post πŸ₯ΊπŸ’• and thank you, it feels so good to be back and I’m so, SO grateful for your support!!
      Yay I’m glad you like it and I hope I am able to start on my new content soon!!
      Aww.. Thank you, I’m glad I don’t, I was worried about it πŸ˜… I do think it is important to have breaks when you need it but it is hard to take your own advice at times πŸ˜‚ thank you so much πŸ’›πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ahhh welcome back, Sophie πŸ’›!!! I love the new design so so much!! (Also, all of the John Mulaney memes? πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ.)
    It’s really great that you were able to take a break from blogging like you wanted to, even if your blog was always on your mind hahaha πŸ˜…. I can relate hardcore to wanting to find a good balance between life things and blogging, but needing to actually blog to find that balance (gosh knows how many start dates I’ve pushed back as well πŸ˜…). β€œ…write down your feelings and publish them on internet” gave me a good laugh πŸ˜‚.
    It’s really great that you’re back – I’ve really missed your and Beth’s posts and I’m so excited for all the new features you have planned! And please take a break for however long whenever you need to! There’s definitely a lot of us who’ll always be here πŸ™‚.
    (I’m a little bummed that this post was lost in my WordPress reader, but I’m very happy to see that you have more posts that I can catch up on hahaha πŸ˜…πŸ’ƒπŸ½. )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay thank you so much !! πŸ’› Ahh.. I’m glad you like it, thank youu SO much πŸ₯°πŸ’› yay memes always bring joy πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Yeah it was good to have a little break so I could reevaluate some things, or at least pretend to reevaluate things but I feel better for it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Well I’m glad I’m not alone, finding a balance is so hard though. I know you need to take the leap but then there is the pressure to keep the balance which is once again hard πŸ˜… aww.. I do love your blog but take all the time you need, hopefully you will know when the time feels right 😊
      Haha yep it is the therapeutic thing to do πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Aww.. It makes me so happy to know you love our posts and I’m so, SO grateful for all your support πŸ₯°πŸ₯° yay, I’m excited too 😊
      Thank you so much again, it means a lot πŸ’›πŸ₯°β€οΈ
      Aww.. That’s weird but thank you for still reading this!! πŸ₯°

      Like

  12. ahh i don’t know what your blog looked like earlier, because i’m a new follower but ssfkjhjskfhgd i ADORE it now!! the whole vibe is so retro, and it just hits different!! i love it so much!! i’m finding it very hard to juggle blogging with school, and i’m just not finding the right times for either because my time-management skills are just awful!! i also love how you used the same meme again and again lmao it made me laugh πŸ˜‚ i’ve been scrolling through your blog for the last hour (and then i wonder where all my time has gone lol), because all your posts are SO interesting and fun to read through haha!! i loved reading this post ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aww.. Well my previous design was quite simple really.. A pink background with a green open book with my name in. I hope that helps you picture it a bit πŸ˜…πŸ˜… but THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING AND LOVING THE DESIGN πŸ₯° it means the world!! I’m glad I was able to capture the retro vibe for you ❀️ thank you, thank you!!
      I can definitely understand that feeling. I imagine with school it is really hard and I hate how it constantly feels like you are in a state of being behind but you can do this!! So far I think the app ‘forest’ has helped so I dedicate an hour to one task then stop. Also making priority to do lists (although some days it just reminds me of what I didn’t do πŸ˜­πŸ˜…)
      Yay, thank you. Those memes have been a constant mood over last year πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Aww… Thank you so much, you have no idea how much that means. I’m SO glad you liked my posts *sends you all the love and sweet treats you like* thank you sooooooo much again πŸ₯°πŸ’•β€οΈ

      Liked by 1 person

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