Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore


An honest post on why I'm not quite sure where I fit into this industry anymore! - Words & pictures by Hayley...


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The pictures in this post were taken on my trip to The Maldives back in March; 'just because'! 🙂 

I'm struggling.

As in really struggling. To keep up with creating content that I'm proud of. To stay focused. To understand my goal. To remember why I started.

And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Lately, I've felt a wave of uncertainty ripple through the blogsphere, in the first time, well in five years since I've been blogging. All those ladies that I'm proud of every single day and can call my friends, but there seems to be a little bit of apprehensiveness right now.

It kind of feels like when we were back in school, and we were pressured into picking our subjects, some of us had no idea, how could we? We were young and indecisive, some of us panic selected. That's kind of how I feel right now, so many bloggers are absolutely #BOSSING it, singing book deals, becoming TV presenters, launching beauty ranges, and whilst my heart is bursting with pride, I feel like I don't know where I fit in anymore.

Like I'm scared of being left behind if I don't 'panic select' my route in the blogging world. Will I loose my identity or my credibility? Will I be forgotten for not having a solid pathway or direction?

I feel like my blog is a life puzzle but there's one piece missing and for the life of me I can't fill it. I often think that as a creative worker, there will always be a slight something missing, because I feel like we strive so badly to always be better. To push ourselves to the absolute maximum, then we turn sideways and see that someone is doing something that we deem better, then we're back to the drawing board, wondering why we aren't them.

Being self employed is way more complex that it appears from the outside. I'm a firm believer of the iceberg effect, what you see from a readers perspective is just the tip of the iceberg, but underneath all of that is the constant pressure we put on ourselves daily, the emails, the editing, the scheduling, the publishing, and so the list goes on.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm struggling to figure my place in the industry right now, it's so easy to feel disheartened, or like your content isn't quite good enough, or that other bloggers are working with better brands. We're always comparing, which, whilst this is healthy, it's also very easy to be destroyed by comparison too.

I feel like I need to take a few days to take everything back to basics and work out what I want from my blog and this career. What I do know is that travel is my main passion in life, it's something that I love creating content around and sharing with you guys, so that will still very much be a main focus here on FMIF. I feel like I'm tired of feeling the need to conform and fit in. I'm so glad that I have my beautiful girls working and supporting me too, I took them on so they could travel and share their amazing content on the blog, I made myself ill from trying to do everything and had to admit to myself that I just couldn't do it anymore. It wasn't healthy to say 'yes' to everything, just because I was scared of damaging relationships, now I have the girls to step in and share the work load with.

I feel like it's time to 'you do you boo' and keep my blinkers down as much as possible so that my vision and focus is always on what's in front of me, pushing me to move forward, onwards and upwards in my own direction (however that may be) rather than taking too much notice as to what's going on around me and letting that affect my work and how I feel.

What I also know is that I miss taking outfit posts 'just because', I mean that's why I started this blog, as a hobby, I used to get my housemates to take my outfit shots against a brick wall when we were at university; at that's how FMIF all began. These days I feel like there's so much pressure to shoot sponsored content and to make everything perfect, that I miss just shooting my outfit, just because I love it. Not because it's paid for activity or because I want to include affiliate links. I can't even begin to tell you, when you're a blogger your mentally whilst shopping massively adapts and you find yourself thinking; "that would look good on IG" or "that would shoot well for the blog".

I feel like I want to strip it right back and remember why I started blogging, and to fall head over heels in love with this industry all over again! Like a relationship that needs a little work, I have a relationship with my blog, and admittedly it is a love/hate relationship, it's not all rose tinted glasses I promise thee! But right now, I feel like myself and my blog need a little counselling, we need to hash out what's working and what's not, inject a little spice and start afresh!

So, yeah that's me and what's going on right now! I'll still be publishing four times a week because the girls on the team are absolutely SLAYING with their content right now and we have so much to share, from city breaks, home comfort cooking recipes and hotel reviews. But right now, for me, I need to figure out where I want to go with my content, to sit down with pen to paper, create a few mood boards, a few brainstorms and let that creativity flow once again!

As always, thank you lovely lot for sticking around and for reading! If there's anything you'd like to see more of, I'm all ears! <3

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3 METHODS I'M USING TO INSPIRE & RE-DISCOVER MY CREATIVITY...


GO OFFLINE

When I was at university my favourite methods of studying were taking pen to paper, creating lists, and building mood boards from magazine tears. Take a step back from the chaos of the 'online world' and re-discover what inspires you. What magazines do you love reading? Where does your passion lie? Take some time to fall in love with the offline world before falling in love with the online world again!

QUALITY DOWN TIME

This point maybe overlooked but for me; it's probably the most important factor. I truly understand the importance of down time and switching off, but i honestly find that I'm most creative on the weekend. After a fab night out with the girls where I haven't stopped laughing, or a lazy Sunday with the boy; quality time with loved ones always leaves me feeling rearing to go again, like I've just charged my batteries!

PINTEREST

Pinterest for me, always has been and always will be my go-to for the ultimate inspiration! I love nothing more than creating boards for places I want to travel, outfits I'd love to shoot, or things I'd love to bake. Whether you make your board public or even keep it a private mood board, I'd highly recommend turning to Pinterest! So on that note gals, pour yourself a glass of vino and get pinning for some inspiration!


Much love, as ever, Hayley xo

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37 Comments

  1. Josie 7th November 2016 / 10:24 am

    You’re absolutely right, there’s a lot of pressure these days on blogging and god so much competition – not just with blogging but pretty much everywhere. We all need some time now and then to be with ourselves and our thoughts to figure things out and it’s great that you’ve realised these feelings and know that taking some time out is what you need to fall in love with it again – and to enjoy it for the right reasons! Because it’s so important to love what you do and makes it easier and to really be proud of it!

    Hope you find some answers, that you realise how wonderful you are as a blogger and I hope you can rekindle that love for it again!

    Great tips by the way – definitely agree with going offline (does wonders for the mind and your sleep!) and Pinterest is a good one too!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:17 pm

      Thank you for you’re lovely comment as always, Josie – it means the world! I completely agree – our generation tend to pile on the pressure and work, work, work away but don’t fully seem to understand the consequences until they are upon us! That’s so lovely lady, thank you! Definitely going to take some time to regroup some ideas and have a think on what’s next for us! xx

  2. Suze - Luxury Columnist 7th November 2016 / 11:20 am

    Going offline for a while is always a good idea though I find it easier in theory than in practice ;-). I like the fact that you feature a wide variety of posts and it’s all great quality

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:17 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment Suze and so glad to hear that you’re a fan of the variety on FMIF! Couldn’t agree more, down time is always a winner! x

  3. Amy 7th November 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Beaut pictures! I think creative people are always perfectionists, I know I’m never entirely happy with everything I do! You should be so proud of how far you’ve come and if you want to go back to basics your readers will still be here!
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you lovely! I completely agree, always striving for more and never *quite fully satisfied with what we’ve produced! Thank you lovely lady! <3 xx

  4. Beth Norton 7th November 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Girl, you know I’m feeling exactly the same way at the moment. I couldn’t have articulated it better myself.

    I’ve been feeling sad and uninspired and yet the longer I mope around, the worse I feel about myself and the content I’m producing. I’m constantly striving to be better and yet I always seem to be 10 steps behind the industry, trying to figure out where my words and my images fit.

    It’s tough as hell being self-employed, I think so many people underestimate that.

    There’s a lot of thinking and “me time” to be had to figure out the right direction!

    All my love to you gorgeous one. We’re in this together.

    Beth x

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:20 pm

      Oh lady, so sorry that you’re feeling it too but glad we’re in the same boat – so nice to know I’m not alone! Looking forward to catching up and having a good ol’ brainstorming sesh over a glass of wine (or two) tomorrow! Definitely love, it’s all about regrouping thoughts and coming back stronger, babes, we got this! xx

  5. Erin 7th November 2016 / 4:15 pm

    you know I love love love you and your blog. I have been thinking recently about fitting in and how I fit, but I think I have decided I don’t want to fit. You should blog about what you feel passionate about – things that excite you – whether it is the new Irregular Choice Cinderella sparkly flashing shoes that everyone thinks are SO uncool, (true story, but I just dont care, I am a freeking princess with them on), or something so on trend everyone is obsessing… its about you, and what you love and what you like. Write about things that give you warm fuzzy feels, like the big summer hat you were in love with over summer, or when you started your twelve in twelve. Write what you love, and then you will fit in with your blog, the only place you should fit. I still think brands love people, not how you fit, so go with your gut, wear your sparkly shoes 😉 haha

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:21 pm

      Thank you beautiful! And I love you and you blog too girl! I hear you love, it’s about doing you and doing it to the best of your ability! It’s good to have inspirations and people to look up to, but at the end of the day, we are us, not them! xx

  6. Kelsey 7th November 2016 / 5:37 pm

    thanks for sharing this all! good luck with figuring out what avenues you want to channel! super cute look!

    kelseybang.com

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:21 pm

      Thank you lovely! xx

  7. Carrie 7th November 2016 / 7:14 pm

    I think it’s so important to just write what you want to write about or what you enjoy reading about. There’s so much pressure to fit in with what everyone else is doing, but you can offer what nobody else can: you! You’ve got this, girl! We’re all in this together.

    Carrie | http://carrieelise.com/

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:22 pm

      Completely agree love – it’s about re-discovering my passion and running with it! I think passion speaks volumes and people see the genuineness of the content shine through! Thank you lovely lady! xx

  8. Jalisa 7th November 2016 / 9:59 pm

    I can definitely relate to all of what you’ve shared here, girl, you are not alone. I think taking some time to just disconnect and replenish is wise. Whenever I take a small break and close my laptop and put down my phone, I can actually hear myself think clearer and I feel a stronger sense of peace. I wish you the absolute best with your blog, you clearly have a love and passion for it, which are the greatest parts of the success equation. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have the best week ahead, beauty!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:23 pm

      Ah thank you lady – so lovely to hear that I’m not the only one feeling this way! Completely agree – it’s all about finding that passion and love and relighting the fire I think! Thank you lady, I need some offline time to figure it out for sure! 🙂 xx

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:24 pm

      Thanks Chris! 🙂 I hear ya, I think as bloggers we really do all feel it from time to time and figure our own way around! Going to have a read now – thank you! 🙂 P.s can’t not read this in an Ozzie accent haha! xx

  9. Anastasia 8th November 2016 / 6:23 pm

    I am so sorry to read this love. Your blog is brilliant, you did a very clever move to get more people and make a team and to us, the readers, everything looks amazing! It really does 🙂
    Sometimes I feel like my Instagram is not good enough, and yes I too struggle with posting 5 times per week (and this is why maybe I should also get a team), but then I try to be easy to myself and remember that a day has only 24 hours! I do a Ph.D, I work 9-5 on top of the Ph.D and then I have the blog, which gets insane sometimes due to so much work and emails! So I decided to say no, to many collaborations in order to balance life, work, studies and prioritise what is important in life.

    It might help you too? Don’t stress too much about a blog, have a coffee and let your phone away, talk to a friend, go for a walk in the countryside, do anything that will take your head off work, and then I am sure something will switch on and you will feel the difference! You will be more creative, more self assured and it will feel like everything has fallen into the right place 😉

    Just hold onto that feeling when you get it and never let it go away!!!

    Sending you much love xxx

    • Hayley 8th November 2016 / 7:26 pm

      Oh lady – your comments always make me smile! What a lovely thing to read, I’m so glad that I took on a team as next year we have SO many exciting travels planned already and I’m super excited for what the future holds for us, I just need to re-kindle my love a little as when it becomes too much I tend to shy away you know?! I don’t know how you do it lady, you super woman, you! <3 xx

  10. Lisa Alice 8th November 2016 / 7:05 pm

    You’re an inspiration girl, keep going!! X

    • Hayley 11th November 2016 / 5:53 pm

      Thank you beautiful! x

    • Hayley 12th November 2016 / 11:00 am

      Thank you lovely! Completely agree – always nice to clear the cobwebs and have some downtime! x

  11. Jayd Alice 9th November 2016 / 9:46 pm

    Thankyou for being so honest and sharing this! While my blog certainly isn’t as amazing or successful a yours, I’m having all the same thoughts! I can imagine it’s especially tricky for you being that it’s your career and full time job but just know that your content is amazing and that you are a babe x

    Always, Alice

    • Hayley 12th November 2016 / 11:01 am

      Babes, thank you SO much for your lovely, lovely comment – means the world as always!! So nice to know that we’re in this together! <3 x

  12. Emma Harrison 10th November 2016 / 4:59 pm

    I totally feel this post right now.

    I still feel like a relative newbie in this world (even if I have been at it for over two years now) and I guess the main reason I feel so lost and bewildered right now is because I feel the same in my everyday life too.

    I’ve worked in sales for 10 years now ever since I left University and all I know right now is that that isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life.

    Hopefully once I sort out that part of my life the rest will fall into place!

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

    • Hayley 12th November 2016 / 11:01 am

      I feel the same love, like things just need to fall into place but not quite sure how to do that you know? Here always my love! x

  13. Tatjana 12th November 2016 / 4:05 pm

    Beautiful post girl! The beauty of blogging I believe is that you don’t have to fit in. Be yourself and the industry with adjust to you!
    I am new to your blog and a new blogger. I’ll just keep reading older entires, love how original your blog is.
    Have a great weekend.
    Cheers,
    T.
    https://tbymallano.com/

    • Hayley 13th November 2016 / 5:02 am

      Ah thank you so much lovely! I’ve always been so proud of the content we produce – just need to home in on where I want to take it 🙂 x

  14. Emily 13th November 2016 / 4:44 pm

    Hey Hayley! Loved this post. It’s very relevant and you are not alone! I feel like in our industry everybody has these bumps, not once or twice, but every so often for as long as we are writing about ourselves and our lives and putting it on the internet. Comparison is part of the gig. Whilst it’s not fun and can be super disheartening and depressing at times, know that you aren’t alone and try and take the pressure of yourself to have a “purpose” or “niche” because what you’ve done so far has got you to a really good place, and that should be a vote of confidence in itself. That what you are doing is right for you and your slice of the internet. Post more outfit shoots if it’s what you enjoy, because I know that people love reading or looking at anything that has passion behind it.
    The wobble will pass, I had one myself 3 months ago “whats the point”, “everything is stale”, “I’ll never get anywhere”. But things turned around and its all good until my next one. When it happens I’ll be coming back here and reading back this comment to remind myself that it will pass and to be proud and there’s no point in putting pressure on yourself because that will only stop the creative flow.
    See you soon! xx
    stylelobster.com

    • Hayley 13th November 2016 / 10:16 pm

      Oh lady, thank you so, so much for your lovely comment! It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone, and like you said we’re all in it together and we all go through wobbles when we’re unsure as to why/what we’re doing but everything works out in the end – just gotta let that passion shine through love! x

  15. bee 15th November 2016 / 9:49 am

    I can’t tell you how much this speaks to me. I have had a really rough couple of months with my blog, because I really don’t know where I’m going with it or want from it. Is it a pipe dream that I’ll be able to do it more frequently? I don’t know, but you are amazing and you have so much to be proud of. Keep going girl!
    Bee xxx
    QueenBeady.com

    • Hayley 16th November 2016 / 4:31 pm

      Ah thank you for your lovely comment lady! It’s so nice to know that we’re all in this together, an can support each other through the harder times! Thank you beauty! x

  16. Edita 20th November 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Hi Hayley,

    I personally have always felt like an outsider, not really meant for this industry. I see blogs start up and skyrocket to absolute fame and blogging glory and I am a bit… static, I am not growing as fast as they are. I started feeling like I was just not good enough.

    But then I stopped and started to think, like you. What was the goal of me starting? Surely not to compare myself to others. I started my blog as a small side outfit diary that I would update when I had time outside of work. It’s something that should bring me joy and happiness, not a need to fit in. I decided that I didn’t need to fit in and that I am okay with who I am and what my blog is 🙂 This mind shift also made me feel happy for others without the constant feeling of not being good enough.

    Maybe that’s something that would help you too, H? Just a refresh and a smile knowing that you don’t need to fit in to be your fabulous self as a blogger, writer and content provider 🙂

    PS. Sorry for such a long comment! 🙂

  17. Aleeha 21st November 2016 / 5:34 pm

    Don’t let the pressure of other bloggers take away what you love. If you want to blog then blog and blog about whatever you want because that’s what got you here.
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

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