Last summer I took a blogging sabbatical. I know that sounds dramatic and not actual accurate because I don’t think you can take a sabbatical if you aren’t a university professor, but go with me on this…
I took a sabbatical because I began to hate blogging.
It’s hard being on the internet, man. It is a weird place, sometimes a truly wonderful place, but sometimes a mean and ugly and troll-y and psychologically damaging place. I would compare myself to people I didn’t know, would never met, and who weren’t even in the same INDUSTRY as me. I would get envious of people’s lives and I didn’t know the first thing about them. It was insane and dumb and negative and draining…and let’s be honest, we get drained by enough shit daily and I didn’t really want to put up with it any more.
I stopped posting on LaurenKelp.com, barely posted on my Instagram, deleted my Facebook, alerted my clients, and even put an away message on my email that said I was breaking up with blogging so take me off your press list please & thank you. It was delightful.
Ooh, all the free time! I didn’t style everything I touched, I left my phone in my purse on coffee dates and dinners out to new, cool, very ‘grammable spots. I took vacations and didn’t post a single photo. And the kicker – ready for it – I deleted Instagram off my phone for weeks at a time AND DIDN’T MISS IT. It was bliss, pure bliss.
I re-learned that my worth wasn’t about a GD ‘like,’ and I really, really learned it. I stopped shopping because I didn’t feel this weird pressure to ‘dress like a blogger.’ I wore my hair in scrunchies because that is what felt right in the moment, I didn’t stress about a perpetually well styled home or the latest collection of anything. Basically, I allowed myself to stop caring so much.
I gave myself permission to chill the fuck out. And it was the single best thing I have done for myself in my adult life. That and invest in the box set of Harry Potter DVDs. and marring Griffin. Okay, well it’s high on a short list of very amazing adult things to be proud of.
Okay, so you are blogging again…what changed?
Honestly, I realized that I was doing something I liked (being creative) but on someone else’s terms. I thought that being a “blogger” meant that I had to style photos a certain way, dress well, or buy things that I could get an affiliate kickback from. I changed what I wrote about to get more likes and views, and totally let the “algorithm” become the driving voice. Am I proud of that? Absolutely not, but to be real with you…it was incredibly easy to lose sight of why I started.
You get given so much “free” stuff, get to go on so many “free” dinners or events, and get treated like this weird demi-celebrity that, honestly, you get kind of caught up in it. Who doesn’t love getting boxes & boxes of “free” product. Who doesn’t love free dinners, cutting lines, and press trips to cool places? No one. Absolutely no one doesn’t love that. It’s easy to get drunk on this weird micro-celebrity sense of power and you lose sight of the reason why you put yourself out on the internet in the first place.
BUT NO MORE I SAY! NO MORE!
You want to know what changed? I decided that I loved being creative and the pro sides of the internet community were bigger than the weird negative shit that I let creep in and take over. So, I decided to take blogging back. I decided to put boundaries up, lay down perimeters, and instate a little personal manifesto. How is that for being determined and dramatic?
If you made it this far, I seriously commend the shit out of you. Thank you, it was a long-winded road, but you packed your windbreaker and I appreciate that.
Now, to see the next chapter of LK click this lovely little link to take you to the second installment of the “does she have a breakdown or has she always been this way?” story.…it’s a good one #nospoilers