Blogging

A Sunday Ramble

October 26, 2014
sunday ramble
sunday ramble

This is not my room…

I’m in one of those moods for a bit of a blog brain-dump. Or random ramble. Whatever you want to call it. I basically have a whole host of thoughts whizzing around my head and wanted to put them down before I self-combust. Firstly, I’m really appreciative of all the feedback I’ve had through my ‘What do you want from me’ post. Really touched to see how positive and constructive the comments were – one of the main things that shone out of it is that you lovely folks reading want to read/see a bit more about me and enjoy reading the more personal posts. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to keep a decent level of privacy (probably why I’m a bit of a fail at You Tube). When I first started the blog it was totally anonymous – but over time I’ve put a bit more about me in there. But at the end of the day, to me – the blog is mainly about the stuff I want to talk about. Sure, which means it’s all my opinion, thoughts and experiences. But I basically have zero desire to be famous. The idea of not being able to mooch around Topshop without being ‘spotted’ doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I’d love for my blog to be well known enough that people are like ‘Oh, YOU’RE the person behind A Beauty Junkie in London’! But not like ‘Oh, are you Jen from A Beauty Junkie in London’ – if that makes sense at all. But, despite this – I am going to make a conscious effort to add a little more ‘me’ to the blog. Kinda kicking off with this Sunday ramble post.

The Future of Blogging

This is something on my mind quite a lot this week. Not just my blog, but the blogging world overall. In all honesty, theย direction blogging is heading kinda makes me feel uneasy. As I said in my ‘Blogging Pressures to Ignore‘ post – I just don’t like the pressure to portray a perfect glossy life. Now, don’t get me wrong – I do love to read some of this sort of blog. They’re gorgeous, asipirational and to an extent inspire me. But also, they make me freak out a bit and feel totally inadequate. I don’t like this second feeling one bit. Sure, I can easily put this down to my own insecurity or whatever. But the reason I say I don’t like the way blogging is going is that it’s just so far away from what it started as. Particularly in beauty – it was all about real people showing what products are really like. Now the line between a magazine beauty edit and a lifestyle blog is so blurred you can’t see the difference. There will always be a demandย for that glossy content – because it isn’t real, it’s an escape from real and I guess that’s what we want from entertainment.

What I don’t like that I get the feeling the more ‘real’ side of blogging is being pushed out in favour of the glossy edits. I also don’t like how despite wanting to ignore the pressure myself, there’s a huge part of me that feels I have to give in to it to ‘keep up’ with the blogging posse. I will always try my very hardest to keep this blog as something thatย feels true to me, whilst also being what I feel a beauty/lifestyle blog is all about. I want to write more lifestyle content- but it will always be as real as I can make it. By that I mean I want to take lovely photos – but they will be real life. Not set up with pretty propsย or edited to look like they’re out of a movie or straight off of Pinterest. There’s probably a whole lot more I could say about this – but for the sake of Sunday night, I’ll leave it there. Maybe will come back to it at another time.

Pinterest

Speaking of Pinterest – does anyone else go through random phases with this? I love it as a little escape (see point above about glossy escapism for entertainment) and can get lost pinning for hours if I let myself. Current obsessions are of the interiors variety. I’ve created new mood boards for each of the rooms in our flat so I can start to pull the decor ideas together before the full re-do gets underway. What do you like to mostly use Pinterest for?? I also love to drool over the food… I basically should dedicate a whole board to my love of mac and cheese.

London vs Out of London

Another thing that’s been popping up in my life this week is the debate between London life and out of London life. Ok, so ‘A beauty junkie commuting to London’ doesn’t really have the same ring to it. But I do ‘get’ some of the appeal of having more space out of the city. Frankly, it’s depressing how much money you need to have something that anywhere else in the UK is a pretty simple thing. A garden. We (and Monty) would love a garden. But unless we suddenly find a suitcase of cash down the sofa…not going to happen. My husband (still feels odd to type that) would love to leave London as is more of an outdoors type than city boy. But for me, I’m not ready. I love living in Zone 1. I love being able to walk to Covent Garden or Oxford Street (or bus/tube if feeling lazy…which would be most of the time). I love being able to get a cab home without feeling like I might bankrupt myself. I love my neighbourhood -Angel. But, I would love more space and a garden. The dilemma…

The Week Ahead

Since I’ve been freelance/full time blogger type I seem to have gotten into a bit of a habit of working Sunday-Thursday. The joys of the flexibility means I can do this, so I tend to pretty much treat Friday’s like the weekend and then work on Sunday. Sure, I do it in a more relaxed way than the rest of the week – tending to potter around, doing house stuff and generally trying to get my life in order (how is this always such a constant battle?!). I always like to plan out what I have on for the week ahead so I know roughly what I’ll be blogging about. Taking some photos. Updating the never ending to-do list (always putting expenses at the bottom of the list… BAD blogger) and have a quick look at my diary so I can plan how I’m using my time. How do you like to plan for the week ahead, or do you take it as it comes?

Blog Re-Design

I’m on the hunt for someone to help me give the blog an overhaul. I want to make the layout more user friendly, simplify the categories, make it mobile friendly. Plus I want to give my ‘branding’ a bit of a spruce up. So if you are someone who is a bit of a wordpress whizz and/or a illustrator or graphic designer. Give me a nudge – would love to hear from you if you might be interested in the project. Keen to get it going ASAP!

How is your Sunday going? The rest of my evening I plan to spend away from the computer (ha, likely story) having a nice Lush bath, a bit of a pamper, painting my nails (probably Nails Inc Hyde Park Place if you’re wondering) and catching up on the trashy goodness that is X Factor. Speaking of trashy goodness…can’t wait for Geordie Shore to start again this week – who’s with me?!

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11 Comments

  • Reply Ashley October 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Definitely with you on Geordie Shore, and as one who commutes into London everyday for work (i live in Welwyn Garden City) I totally get the battle between the London buzz and having more space and greenery. There’s no way we could afford our house and massive garden if we lived in, but commuting really does make everything much more of an effort. But I like the best of both worlds and it’s worth the inconvenience to me.

    With regards to the ‘glossy life’ it’s interesting. I felt like now with all the bloggers fancy lighting, slick websites and advertising and the aspirational lifestyle that things have really changed in the blog sphere. It all feels very polished and is moving well away from the realism of blogs as they were 5 years ago.
    I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing, there’s a huge benefit of good lighting, well planned content etc but I do miss the raw, realistic, more honest feeling views of the past. I must admit I buy into it less these days. I rarely see anything but a glowing review from most other bloggers which is a shame.It can feel a bit like everyone’s afraid of putting out their PR companies by doing anything except gushing reviews. It’s an interesting situation, and I wonder what the next few years will bring.

  • Reply corrie October 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Really enjoyed this post Jen, sometimes the pressure of blogging can creep up on you and makes you feel a bit rubbish for not having white everything in your house! Having recently gone self employed myself it’s nice to read someone else who is experimenting with a different work style, I guess that is the beauty of being self employed though! Really loved this post and also very excited about Geordie Shore too. I saw Gaz a while back and very embarrassingly waved at him like he was my mate! I just feel like I know them so well! haha x

  • Reply Suzy October 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Lovely post :) I can’t wait for Geordie Shore too! I saw Holly and Kyle the other week in a shopping centre actually. I am from Newcastle though so I guess that’s fairly expected haha xx

  • Reply Charlie October 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    This was such a great post, Jen. As someone who has just got back into blogging regularly I find it so hard sometimes to separate real life from the glossy blogs and feeling like that is what I should aspire to be. Even the most popular bloggers are real people too so I wish they’d show this more but hey, I suppose its personal preference.

    Ditto about Geordie Shore. It’s the ultimate in guilty please tv.

    charliehearts.com

  • Reply Natalie October 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I love the honesty of this post. It makes for delightful reading, as opposed to the typical blogger’s ‘my perfect Sunday’ which is a lovely read, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nice to see something a little different and more real once in a while. Thanks for that. On a different note Geordie Shore’s Charlotte and Vicky inspire me (and I’m not ashamed to say it! haha). xx

    silverliningsofanemptysummer.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply Mia Thurlow October 27, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Totally agree about the ‘glossy’ direction blogs seem to be going in. It’s the realness of blogs that sets them apart from the glossy print magazines and the main reason for their popularity. Unfortunately many beauty blogs are heading back to the aspirational look & content of the glossy mags. Fair play to those bloggers with endorsement deals, beauty ranges etc & taking the opportunities that come along it just seems like now they are becoming another celebrity for younger girls to emulate and not the friend/older sister to swap beauty tips with or teach you how to apply liquid eyeliner!

  • Reply Sam October 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Jen, I don’t know if you will post this, but I really enjoy reading your posts. However after I’ve read them I actually feel a bit Sad and want to come and give you a big hug. I wanted to give you some constructive feedback. I think the site is as fine as it is. Don’t spend money changing it, focus on the structure of it and what you actually want to write about. Is this blog a beauty blog anymore? or is it a platform to be used as a lifestyle diary. Ultimately do you want to make money from it or is this just a hobby?

    It appears to me as a more maturer reader that you have lost the love / ‘fun’ from blogging and are possibly slightly anxious and worried about the future of your blog. Yes there are many successful Bloggers out there like Zoella, but you have your own voice and should remain core to that. I would concentrate on your site and leave the V logging to the 21 year olds :-)

    • Reply Jen October 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Sam, Thanks for the comment – definitely hitting the nail on the head. Really appreciate the feedback – it is very much about thinking of the future of it. Over time I’ve always been happy to adapt to the trends of blogging, but right now I just don’t feel it’s going in a direction that feels very ‘me’, so it does make me consider how I’m doing it. I really do love doing it as a job and want to continue and I guess it just makes me think ‘do I need to be like all the others’ to be successful? As I don’t think that’s what I want. I always want to grow and develop it – so not afraid of change or anything. But just want to feel comfortable at the same time. I really do want to focus on the content and structure of the site – just bringing it ‘back to basics’ as it was rather than complicating things too much or trying to do too many things. I think as you said it- having my own voice and remaining core to that- I think the thing that makes me feel sad is that there is the pressure to try and ‘be like the others’ that I don’t want to feel under as just want to do the thing I started out as, which is where there were no rules or styles to follow! Thank you xx p.s. vlogging will never be for me.

  • Reply Teresa October 27, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I’m new to London and the UK, and currently living in Brixton. It’s great but I can definitely see the appeal of moving further out, especially since I come from a place that has a lot of green. Angel is lovely though! The whole Highbury/Islington area seems to have a bit more greenery and space than many others in London. For now I’m content to live the urban life.

    I find that the blogs I am most faithful to and read every post are the ones that are a little bit more personal and strike a good balance between personal purchases and PR samples/sponsored content. Sadly, I find that many of the more “magazine” style blogs like you speak of tend to be ones from the UK, and it just puts me off unfortunately.

  • Reply Nashia Anthony October 28, 2014 at 2:30 am

    WOW! Quite inspiring I would say, a lot of advice and a general theme for what the world of blogging is like. As a newbie it is great to see experience bloggers sharing how they feel about the blogging world. give us a heads up of what to expect in the future.

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