Personal post: originality, blogging and life lessons

Hellooo everyone. Please do forgive the personal post, brides, I sometimes do like to muse about the progress of this blog, the achievements, the trials, and the lessons I’ve learned doing this.

Originality

So this blog has been going for eight months now. As you know I’m certainly not the only blogger out there – there are so many amazing places to get inspiration (I need to update my “blogs I luff” page) and the first thing I want to talk about is originality. Someone argued today that there’s no such thing as an original idea. I’ve been guilty of accidentally emulating (but thankfully not replicating) other blogs, it’s bound to happen, either totally by coincidence or by my subconscience absorbing awesome things I’ve seen. It’s probably one of the biggest difficulties about running this blog – I’m always so conscious to avoid repeating content, either of my own or by others that it can sometimes be a bit limiting.

But one of the beautiful things about being in such a creative industry is that people also inspire me on a daily basis. A conversation I have with a bride to be can lead me to write an article that feedback tells me people find really helpful. I have so many lovely “light bulb” moments that, even though there’s always a risk of accidentally repeating what others have done, there’s also a limitless source of conversation and evolution. And so I wouldn’t change the fact that there are so many blogs out there for the world. They get people thinking, talking and they really help people.

Confidence

When I first started this blog I think it’s fair to say I had a fairly thin skin. There’s nothing quite like that feeling when you first realise not everyone likes what you do – and it’s a challenge to write honestly when you’re inhibited by worries about what other people might think.

I’m happy to report that, while I’m only human and do still have insecurities about what I write (and how I write it) I find it a lot easier to deal with criticism. I’ve started to feel more confident about what I have to say and how I say it. I’ve also started to feel infinitely better about meeting people. I’ve written a lot about my social anxiety and, since running this blog full time, I’ve noticed it fade. It hasn’t disappeared entirely, I still have doubts and fears when I meet people, but they feel more like reasonable worries.

Helping people

Over the last few months I’ve watched my site traffic grow in a steep upward curve – I’ve had amazing experiences with phenomenally talented people, photo shoots, wedding shows, events etc. However, for me the biggest success is hearing this blog has helped someone. Maybe an advice piece has solved one of their dilemmas, dozens of people have told me they found their wedding suppliers through the site in some way. Some people have even written me beautiful emails saying they’re inspired to write, or to create something of their own. It makes me happy to know that, in a small way, this blog makes an actual, tangible difference to people. They’ve done something for their wedding they might not have done without having read it. That’s an overwhelmingly flattering thing and I’m constantly striving to do this blog and my readers justice.

Saying no

I’ve started learning to say no to meetings I don’t have time for, weddings that are gorgeous but not a right fit for the blog etc. While I’m not going to start rejecting everything for the sake of it, I have to say it feels good to have the strength to say no. I’ve never been very good at it, but I find that, if I’m turning things down for the right reasons, people are exceptionally understanding, even appreciative. It was never saying no that was the problem. I’ve now realised it was how to say it in an honest, respectful way. It was about integrity.

Where to next?

So I’m a happy duck. I’ve smashed my targets that I sat myself, I have great relationships with the most incredible people I could possibly have the pleasure of knowing and I love what I do (even if I’m still at the computer, typing away in the middle of the night). I’ve even fulfilled a lifelong ambition through an exciting new project I’ve been asked to contribute to (watch this space, I hate to jinx things). This process is one of trial and error and, while I know which direction I’d like to be going, I’ve decided to take the pressure off myself and let it evolve. So this quarter, there will be no targets to smash, no expectations. I’m going to let the blog and my amazing readers take the lead.

If there’s anything you ever want to see on here that I’ve been missing out, please email me or leave me a comment. I love your suggestions.

So I’ll be quiet now. But thank you all for reading my ramblings every day. There are now tens of thousands of you and that is actually the most humbling and overwhelming feeling ever. Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

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