When I enter planning mode for my blog, I usually get paralyzed because everything feels more official and I don’t know where to start. I feel like every single blog post needs to be perfect, evergreen, shareable, helpful, pinnable, and so on. After a good start of the year (concerning blogging), I got stuck and all these feelings as well as not feeling very well ended up with me neglecting this space.
I ended 2018 with the idea of wanting to revamp my Instagram profile putting more effort into my photography and sharing longer captions. I even scribbled “write longer captions!” in a page of my journal because it’s something I really wanted to make it happen. Easy to think about during the Holidays when I was taking some time off, I was very relaxed and I managed to write 3 blog posts in batch, creating Pinterest and Instagram Stories graphics and populate my monthly calendar for January.
But then, when I’ve found myself once again buried in my academic work, the daily routine and additional writing, it all felt TOO MUCH and after my 3 posts went live, I found myself completely stuck.
During this unproductive and boring week, I’ve stumbled upon an Instagram Live that Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess did for her other company, A Color Story (the video no longer available, sadly). She explained how she used to have a very curated Instagram feed with staged photos and scheduled posts, she was constantly checking her grid to see if everything matched and so on. Then, she went to China to adopt her daughter and, when she went back to America, Instagram became a place to share day-to-day photos about her life as a new mom. Since then, she’s stopped planning and spending hours editing photos. She explained how she now shares lots of in-the-moment pictures, most of the time with bad lighting and how Instagram has become a tool for memory keeping. Pretty much like it used to be back in the early days. She also explained that she created her set of filters on ACS to make the editing process of her photos quicker and easier. Also, she’s started a family blog in order to share more photos and stories in addition to her own Instagram account.
This made me realize that my true issue was actually Instagram, not planning my blog content in advance. The idea of revamping my account and taking more time to plan my photos and caption, as well as collecting hashtags and dividing them by category, had occupied all my mental space and energy driving me crazily anxious. Instagram should be a support for my blog, not the primary way to share my photos and writing. So I decided to step back once again and try to concentrate on what to write here rather than on Instagram, where I’ll try to share more in-the-moment photos and shorter captions. My goal isn’t to have 10k Instagram followers (even if it would be great because it would unlock the “Swipe-up” feature), my goal is to record my thoughts on my blog first and foremost and, hopefully, connect with other like-minded people.
Shifting from a number-driven goal to a more generic one is against all the “rules” you’d see online, but I did it on purpose in order to safeguard my mental health and, hopefully, it will work.
In addition to Elsie’s Instagram Live, I’ve also stumbled upon a podcast episode by Gala Darling on the importance of having a personal website in an age when social media are constantly changing. It’s a short one but I highly recommend it.