I’m Tired Of Trying To Be A Brand

brand

When I first started blogging, it wasn’t the huge entity it is today; it was for small fries who just wanted to share random thoughts with the world in a fairly quiet corner of the internet. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure when it exploded into this incredibly popular form of social media but that’s nevertheless where we’re at. Blogging is huge.

And somewhere within the last seven years, I started to buy into that market myself. As I saw other bloggers become successful and gaining hundreds of followers, I started to want a little slice of the pie for myself. I mean, it’s only natural to want to be one of the cool kids, right?! I’ve never been very good at just going on my own way.

So, in August 2016, From the Fringe was born. A fresh slate and a brand new chance to make blogging more than just a hobby. I was sure I could make it count this time. So, I’ve been working my arse off since then to make this thing a success; I work my day job forty hours a week, I commute fifteen hours a week, and I spend hours of time and effort on my other venture, The Olive Fox. Then I try to jam From the Fringe work, my social life, the gym, eating and sleeping into the rest of the very limited time I have left. It’s exhausting.

And see what I did there? I said From the Fringe work.

That’s what it has become to me. A job on top of all the other jobs that I already have to do. Something else that fills up my time and stops me from just sitting and having a cuddle with Juno, or spending time going out somewhere with Greg. I don’t remember the last time I did something on a week night and didn’t have to plan my week of scheduling and networking and researching to fit around it accordingly. Or, in the event that I couldn’t do that, I don’t know when I didn’t feel a tremendous sense of guilt for having ignored my blog responsibilities.

But ya know what? The entire world doesn’t collapse if I don’t post something on the day I said I was going to. Yes, it’s true! I tried it!

I’m tired of trying to be a brand. Because I’m not a brand. I’m just somebody who likes writing and wants a space to do it where other people can come and enjoy something I’ve penned. I’m never going to fulfill the endlessly difficult criteria that it takes to become a ‘famous’ (I hate that word) blogger, and I’m not even sure that that’s what I want anymore

So I’m just going to stop doing all of that shit and just focus on writing. This means that I won’t be posting in a regular schedule, I won’t be posting fancy photographs (because I don’t have time to learn photography either), I won’t be sitting down every night and planning out all of my social media for the next day, and I certainly won’t be forcing myself to write things that I’m not interested in simply because I think that’s what people want to read.

I will, however, still be writing what I think is awesome content, I’ll be remembering what it feels like to enjoy writing again, and I will continue to evaluate what I want from this blog life as I go along. Maybe the answer will just pop up and bop me on the nose.

Yep. I’m letting go and I feel liberated.

I’d love it if you’re cool with that and you want to just read my thoughts as they flow out of my head and onto this screen. Because you’re more than welcome to stay.

(You should also check out Rhianna’s awesome post on this subject.)

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  • I’m so proud of you. It’s all too easy to allow stresses, especially those that are self-inflicted, to go unnoticed/unchecked. You’ve recognised the stress and are unapologetically making changes to help find balance in an already busy life. Too many of us can’t seem to make that personal commitment.

    • Ah, thank you so much Tanya! It wasn’t an easy choice but something had to give if I was to carry on. Thanks for your support 🙂 xx

  • I hear ya!!!! Make it fun again 🙂

    • Not gonna lie, you’ve been part of the inspiration. Reminding me of our old group of bloggers and how we were all doing it, that’s how I liked it and I’d lost a bit of that. Yay 🙂

  • Jo

    Wow. I didn’t realise just how much you (and others!) put into their blogs! No wonder mine is still very small. I’m simply unable to have a posting schedule because the shifts I work are always changing, so I can never dedicate specific times each week to either of my blogs. But I never thought to plan social media! I know you suggested a while back that I check out Hootsuite to schedule tweets, but it’s no longer free, and I simply can’t afford to pay for things like that. (As it is, I have a direct debit set up with In Linkz each month for my book blog’s reading challenge. It’s not much, but it’s all I can put in to something that isn’t earning me money. Monetising my blog or using affiliate links is just confusing to me. And I don’t really want adverts for something random appearing.) So it’s just me writing when I can, and tweeting once it’s live, and then then tweeting old posts when I remember – which is hardly ever.
    But I get the time-sap thing. It’s great writing on my two blogs, but there are other things I enjoy, too, like reading, like writing to my penpals, which I haven’t done for a few months because there’s just no time with having to post fresh content regularly (and because I’d rather sit down and write a whole letter in one go, and that would take up most of the day for some of them, and I just don’t have a day to do it. Other things need doing. I’m going to have to just write bits here and there when I can. But it’ll take so long! 🙁 But it’s already taken me months so. I may need to cut down again. This makes me so sad.)
    I went a bit off topic there. But yeah, who has the time to make their blog into a brand while they also work, and have a life? I just don’t understand how people do it. And most of it doesn’t sound like fun, anyway. I just want to write. And I guess you do, too!
    I’ll definitely be sticking around! I always look forward to your posts, so I’ll enjoy them whenever they’re posted! 🙂

    • Haha be under no illusion, Jo, mine is still super small! I totally get why you can’t invest in your blog that way and, if it’s all about the writing for you anyway, there’s no reason to go mad and start spending loads. Writing is free and if you’re good at it (which you are), it’ll come. It’s way more sensible to invest your time in doing non-blog related stuff that you enjoy, or looking to widen your audience by doing fun things like pitching to other magazines and whatnot. I always really appreciate your support and will enjoy continuing to do so for you!

      Here’s to being small fries who love writing, together 🙂

  • I really relate to this post! Blogging can be very tiring and thankless, especially when you are stretched so thin over other areas in your life. I like your thinking, you’re not a brand you’re a human and that’s just fine! xx

    • Thanks so much Hannah, it’s nice that other people realise how time-consuming and difficult it can be. I’m sure if I had loads of time I could make my blog as wonderful and beautiful as I want it to be, but I don’t have the time so there’s no point stretching myself haha. Thanks so much for your lovely comment 🙂 xx

  • Ksenia

    Hear hear, cheer, cheer. Honestly, I had the biggest shock when I decided to try out blogging myself for the first time last year (very late in the day compared to others who have had a chance to observe the trends over a much longer period of time). SO naive. Even IF one WAS able to keep up the demanding schedule of production, arrangement and scheduling, for me the stark realisation was asking who all this tremendous effort ends up being for. A substantial amount of content by ‘big’ bloggers seems to relate either to promoting a brand or explaining how they/others can grow their following and stats. It took me a while before I remembered I had neither come in to blogging for a valid source of income, nor was prepared to undertake the work associated that comes with it (the pain-staking time spent taking photos, planning my activities accordingly, translating what is my life offline to continuous – and seamless – content across various social media platforms). I got curious about blogging purely for same reason both you and Rhianna talk about: the simple joy of sharing random, imperfect, ‘bare’ thoughts, and reading the same from others. So thank you for reminding us, this industry IS huge now – and it’s up to us to work out the place in it which is right for us. 🙂 x

    • Ksenia

      PS keep your random, imperfect, ‘bare’ thoughts coming our way Suzy, whenever it suits you.

      • Ahhh it’s so reassuring to hear that you’ve had a similar experience to me, Ksenia! It really is completely demanding and, as much as I’d love to have the time to post in the way that the ‘big’ bloggers do, it’s just not possible. I do think there is still a place for people who are just sharing thoughts (they’re some of my favourites to read, to be honest) and it’s about finding our niche together and supporting each other. We may never reach the dizzy heights of blogger fame but we’ll be content and happy with what we’re doing. And we’ll definitely have more time haha!! Thanks for being so supportive as always 🙂 xx

  • Nadia

    Now, this hits home! And it was also such a great reminder to go back to where it all started & why we love to blog in the first place. I used to feel so much pressure from not posting when I would hope/schedule to post, the lack of promotion or engagement and one gazillion of other things a blogger “HAS” to do. All because I have a full-time job (and a part-time one on top of that), a husband who I want to spend time with A LOT, social life (hello, friends, I am still here!) and lifestyle choices (gym, being outdoors & whatnot). On top of all that, I LOVE blogging because I love writing, the creativity behind it all and my community aka my tribe <3 A few months ago I decided (yup, it's a decision) to stop comparing my "progress" to others, write/post when I can or when inspo strikes and dedicate more time to loved ones and cuddles 🙂
    Happy days!
    I am getting more or less back on track now with my blog (which is great) but it's all because I WANT it. No pressure 🙂
    Thanks for this amazing post, Suzy <3
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

    • So glad that you could relate to this, Nadia! Ohhh I’ve been there with that pressure and it’s HORRIBLE. You’re totally right that it’s a decision to sort of draw a line in the sand and stop comparing ourselves with others. I’ve had a different mindset for nearly two weeks now and I feel a million times happier, so much less stress and I’ve got so much more time to spend with other people rather than just sitting behind my laptop constantly. I’m so glad that we’re on the same page with this and delighted to hear that you’re back on track and feeling less pressure 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts. xxx PS: Your blog is gorgeous!! <3

      • Nadia

        Aww, thank you Suzy <3 xox

  • Agreed! I actually just wrote a similar post. Yay for old-school blogging!

    • Honestly, you, Caitlin & Nova were the final motivation behind this change. Remembering how we all used to do it. It was awesome! I’m definitely down for more of that in my life. Yay!

  • Yes suzy! This is kind of how I have been feeling of late aswell. Last year I had this huge re-brand and I thought this was my time to really “make” it in the blogging world. But then a family member of mine became ill, my life got stressful and i struggled to keep up with the demands of my so called blogging “schedule”. I was so frustrated as I felt like I was doing myself a disservice, but then when I thought about it, I realised that not “making it” in the blogging world wasn’t as important to me as it used to be. I realised I had fallen out of love with writing and all I wanted to do was to fall back in love with it again and to fall in love with being creative again. To me that was what was important. That was what mattered. So much more than “being a brand”.

    Lovely words in this post Suzy, and I love your blog, you keep doing your thing girly! 🙂

    Heather Xx
    100waysto30.co.uk

    • Ahhh Heather, that’s near enough exactly how it happened for me too. Isn’t it strange how just that slight change in focus can really change the way you do things?! I feel so much better for taking a step back. Glad you’re on the same wavelength, girl. You’re absolutely rocking it to be honest!! 🙂 <3 xxx

  • Trina Christensen

    This post was great. I am just starting my blogging journey (one of the small fries) and I always want to remember the very important lesson in this

    • Welcome to the small fries club, Trina! I’d advise anybody to just be themselves. I tried to be something I wasn’t and it just made me sad!

  • I’ve been blogging since 1999 back when it was mostly venting and talking about your day. No photos, no nothing. People just wanted to hear what you had to say or what you were feeling. I don’t know either when it became this BRAND thing; but I found myself — like you — wanting to keep up with the trends.

    I enjoy branding and social networking and all of this other stuff but sometimes it can really make you feel like what you’re doing isn’t good enough because you’re not gaining followers as fast as everyone else… that’s the part I don’t like!

    However I have been trying to spend more time on my word vomit blog since I miss the therapy that was just writing.

    • Hazel, I’m so impressed at how long you’ve been blogging! It was still the same when I started in 2011, just people sharing their thoughts and ideas and creativity. I loved it! It’s a lot about competition now which can sometimes be really difficult, as you said. I’m glad that you’re trying to get back to writing because you enjoy it, that’s the key. Good luck!

      • I honestly started that early because I use to journal and my mom found all of them! Writing has always been a type of therapy for me so I felt really violated; though I’m kinda glad cause it introduced me to blogging!