Well. After intending to take about a week off to relax and recuperate — particularly when my mental health was getting the better of me — I wound up taking about 2.5 weeks off. TWO-AND-A-HALF WEEKS. But, honestly, we had a lot going on, I swear! Including:
- Our 2 year wedding anniversary
- A busy Christmas Eve and Christmas
- Getting some extra furniture and house bits in the post-Christmas sales (we bought a coffee table!)
- 3 days in Vegas with some friends from the U.K
- Stag’s birthday and celebrations
- New Year’s Eve
- The same friends coming to San Francisco and staying with us for 4 days. We took the entire time off to spend with them.
- Stag sadly experiencing some family issues and needing to arrange a last-minute trip back to the U.K in a week’s time
- Both my parents’ birthdays
PHEW, even writing that stressed me out. All (mostly) good things, though, so really, I am not complaining. Honestly, in terms of celebrations, we fit more into a 2 week period every year than most people do in 6 months. Lesson learned: try to avoid having a wedding during the Christmas period.
Accidental blogging disappearance aside, taking those 2.5 weeks properly off was one of the best decisions ever. I hadn’t realized how, well, burnt-out I was, waking up every day wondering why I should even bother trying to forge a career. It was (and still somewhat is) pretty miserable.
I’ll be writing more about that, later. For now, though, I’m trying to stay positive and motivated, even if I’m a week later than everyone else. It was wonderful to get to enjoy all the celebratory bits above, but now I’m ready for a fresh start and new year.
First things first, though. I’m not one for ‘resolutions’ per-say, but I do like to have ‘intentions’ (gag) for every new year. And, for my career and for blogging, I always like to have goals. Below are the main blogging goals I’ll be focusing on for 2018.
What are yours?
My Blogging Goals for 2018
— Produce more Video Content —
You know your greying Auntie who wrinkles her nose when you mention the word ‘Youtube’ and barks back, “VIDEO. Do people watch that stuff?” Well, let’s just say, I am greying.
God, even just writing that made me feel sad for my youth. I know, I know: I am a dinosaur. I am so stalwart in my love of
rambling writing, that I have stubbornly refused to jump aboard the vlogging/video/youtube bandwagon for years.
But, from reading various polls, studying my favourite successful bloggers’ trajectories, and thinking about how I can grow my ‘niche’ (aka, making fun of myself. It’s a niche. I swear), video really is the best answer. Many people seem to love it, particularly on the vlogging side. I honestly wonder how anyone can stand to watch a 20-minute video about someone’s day — but then I remember how nosey I am and think, ‘Well, I actually kind of get it.’
Whether they will be helpful videos, vlogs, tutorials, or whether they’ll just be snips on Instagram Stories, I am unsure yet. I’d love to hear what you like best, though, so please do comment and let me know!
So all I have to say is: watch this space.
— Get Organised, Be Proactive, And Stop Being Reactive —
My typical blogging day looks something like this. Get up, late, because I hate mornings. Procrastinate. Get to noon. Go, “SHIT, I STILL NEED TO GET A BLOG POST OUT TODAY.” Scrambles to write one. Takes me 6 hours. Eats food. Dies.
Considering I’ve watched my mother essentially do the same thing as a university professor for most of my life (love you, Mom), I just assumed scrambling to finish things was just an inherited way of life.
Sigh. I wish it could be excused so simply. It’s gotten to the point where even Stag noticed this constant approach of ‘reacting. “Eire, if all you do is scramble to finish a blog post, how will you ever grow? Isn’t the definition of idiocy doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome?” (Clever man. I hate it when he’s right).
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from 1.5 years of freelancing/blogging, it’s the following: to be successful, you need to be proactive and stop being reactive. Sounds like a fridge magnet quote, yes, but it’s true.
There are steps I’m already taking to meet this goal, such as learning to bullet journal to find motivation and block-scheduling my time. But my biggest blogging goals for me in 2018 are to break my bad habits, form good ones, and find a ‘business mindfulness’ that I’ve been missing. And, with that, hopefully improve my mental health.
— Find the ‘Next Thing’ —
Because of ‘dinosaur’ comment above, I tend to be the one that goes, “Ooooh, shiny cool things!” when everyone else has already done them. Case in point: I only joined Instagram about a year ago, during a time when it’s seemingly impossible to grow your account. I often think, if I had just joined a few years ago, could I be much more successful than I am now? Coulda-woulda-shoulda. The point is: I have a consistently bad habit of playing catch-up.
Instead, I want to focus my energies on finding what’s next. A new social media platform that will take the world by storm? A new style of photography or video content that’s unique and fresh? Like everyone, I fear falling into the Typical Blogger trap of rose gold and white-washed, and I want to give you guys something more than that.
— Up my Photography Game (And Improve W&S’s Overall Look) —
In 2017, I mostly focused on getting to grips with anything more than point-and-shoot, and how to use Lightroom and do basic editing. This year, though, I not only want to just simply take better photos (hello, new lens I just bought), but I really want to determine and hone my own photography style.
Looking at the blog holistically, my aesthetic blogging goals for 2018 are to make a space that’s both relatable (through the words) and yet aspirational (through the images). The best of both, if you ask
To meet these blogging goals in 2018, I’ll be experimenting more with new filters and presets, Photoshop (time for me to learn that beast), watching more photography tutorials, perhaps even taking a photography class. In terms of the overall look, Stag and I are nearly finished preparing the rebrand of the website, which also means new typography, special fonts, a cleaner look and a freshness we’ve been missing for some time. Stay tuned!
— Write What You Want to Read —
I mean this so very honestly: Wolf & Stag is such an extension of me as a person, Stag and I as a couple and how we’re evolving as creators. The blog, in turn, evolves as we do. However, despite all that, it is nothing without you: fellow bloggers, readers, friends and not-yet-met friends.
I’ll be real with you: I recognize that my posts are stupidly annoyingly long and that I tend to jump all over the place with the style of content. I’ve always thought this reflects a real person with real thoughts, varying interests and an uncurated approach to things. Because, well, who’s personality is curated?
But, I also recognize that this can make the posts hard to follow, and perhaps make them hard to read.
Therefore, a huge, important blogging goal for me this year is to write in the way that you want to read, about the topics that you find interesting. I plan on using more social media polls, and engaging more on social media, full-stop. More conversations with you, less sitting up in my own head.