the importance of Signing off for summer
This time last year I was in the final stages of working through the rebrand for Online Stylist and by this point in the proceedings, it had begun to feel like a V E R Y long year so far!
Hence why this year, with no rebrand on the cards but a very pressing need for some re-connection with my creative inner self, (a bit woo-woo but it’s in there somewhere – I know it!), I’m now signing off until September.
Up until a couple of years ago, it was frowned upon in certain blogging circles to go AWOL for more than a few days at a time. There are those who still strongly advise against it… and I say more power to ya if you have the resilience, life space and time to keep on producing content 52 weeks of the year.
I don’t and instead, have woken up to the fact that that futile practice of comparing my blogging situation to someone else’s is a complete and utter waste of time.
For the sake of my wellbeing, family life, quality of content and back to basics, plain old love of what I do, I’ve finally come to realise that taking a small block of time away from producing and publishing blog content actually does me the world of good.
Since the online creative tide gradually turned from hustle/slay/own it to live slow/pause/breathe, much has been written, Instagrammed and Pinterest quoted about the benefits of taking a proper break. Because there’s one ginormous Catch 22 to this funny old business. If you love it, it becomes you. You become it. And before you know it, going offline almost becomes an impossibility.
The why of signing off
Whilst the beauty lies in it’s flexibility, taking an actual block of time off (as in no content creation, no social media, no recording your highlight reel to share later), suddenly becomes rarer than a flat lay without some form of caffeinated beverage.
Life becomes one massive content capture exercise but you know what? It’s possibly the most enjoyable exercise I’ll ever undertake. And completely necessary. Over the years I’ve come to realise that to fuel and run a lifestyle blog and it’s social media presence, it needs to be continually fed and nourished properly.
I live, breathe, eat and sleep this world of inspiration for stylish living and I don’t want that to change – I love it to the moon and back!
I am it. It is me.
But it’s worth noting that to get to the finished product here, there’s an inordinate amount of other stuff that needs to happen. To list the major players we’ll go with:
Content Planning | Boring Arse Admin | Discussions Via Email | Pitching Ideas | Negotiating | Styling | Shooting| Editing | Filming | Creating Beautiful Insta Stories (Yes… I AM obsessed!) | Arranging My Instagram Grid Just So (No I won’t apologise for that – I flippin’ love it!) | Coming Up With A Thoughtful Instagram Narrative/Discussion | Social Media Scheduling| Replying To Comments and DM’s… etc etc etc…
So where does that leave time for thinking, learning, being inspired, growing or resting my creative brain so that it can rejuvenate enough to come up with more goods? Nowhere is the answer.
The how of signing off
By remembering to ask myself “What can I drop?” By simply recognising that I need to pause in order to proceed.
By taking the self-induced pressure off to say no blog content for four weeks… and it feels like a bit of a game changer if I’m honest. To be able to return in a brand new season, and my favourite one of autumn no less, will feel like a complete breath of fresh air.
Come the first week of September (because school doesn’t go back until the 5th!), I want to be able to slide into my blogging chair feeling revitalised, invigorated, organised, in control and pretty goddam excited to be back!
So I’m choosing to spend the further three full work days I have scheduled in (and randomly scattered, insomnia-induced early mornings), between now and September catching up with admin and planning some new season content. Hell… I might even take that online course that I purchased last summer holiday and that has been sitting in my inbox mocking me since 11:08am 18 July 2017.
Oh and there’s the small matter of a family week away in Majorca and a two-week bathroom renovation. Wish me luck – we only have one toilet in this house and there’s already been mention of a bucket type situation or a garden Portaloo…
If you’ve signed off but still want something to read…
Should you by chance land here (I know lots of OS readers are also signing off for summer – I salute you!), here’s a round up of my favourite posts from the year so far that I really enjoyed creating.
I hope you enjoy a read if you missed them first time around or a re-visit if you’re in need of some inspiration or encouragement…
And in the spirit of living, eating, sleeping and breathing it all, I will of course still be hanging out on Instagram. Let’s share large cold glasses of Rosé, short strong espressos and all the good summer memories over there until September. I’m @onlinestylist, a natural born over sharer and Instagram obsessive – come and say Hi!
Wishing you many wonderful last days of summer,
Until September… much love,