I've Been Thinking...


Earlier this morning, only a matter of hours ago, I published a post entitled "Deep Thoughts for a Tuesday Morning", in which I discussed my reasons for absence over the last three to four days. I've since removed that post, because I felt like it wasn't totally honest, and I hadn't fully said everything that I wanted to say. So I've decided to start afresh, and hopefully this post will be a little more structured, and I'll be able to unscramble my thoughts and unravel them better and more efficiently here. So here goes.

In the last few weeks, I feel as if I've lost my passion for blogging. Writing posts, taking photos, swatching lipsticks, everything just felt like a bit of a chore. There were times when I felt like I had to push and motivate myself, to make myself create content that I didn't really believe in, that I didn't have much of a passion for, all because I knew in my heart that I didn't want to quit blogging, that if I didn't push and force myself, I'd just gradually stop posting and my desire to blog and create would just fizzle out. And that's not what I want.

Last summer, before I created a blog of my own, I read a lot of fashion and beauty blogs, and was introduced to the world of YouTube and beauty YouTubers and tags and hauls and everything else. I still love watching beauty YouTubers and reading blogs and everything else, but I was quite enthralled with this whole online community and the fact that there were girls and women out there making a living from talking about makeup and clothes online. What's not appealing about that? Let's be honest here - it all runs through our minds at one point or the other.

So when I start blogging myself, I went head first into writing about beauty. I used to post two or three times a week, but in the new year, I started posting and sharing more and more. There were times when I pushed myself to post everyday. My blog grew a little (and I'm fully aware that it remains small, I'm in no way 'big-headed' nor do I deserve to be), and I was delighted that there were people out there who read what I wrote, and commented and followed and everything else. So I got this idea in my head that I had to keep posting and this is were the passion began to fizzle away.

I've read a number of posts recently on bloggers feeling the same way that I do, or having similar feelings and doubts. Katie from Scarphelia recently wrote an excellent post entitled "The Great Blogger Dread" which encapsulates wonderfully what I've often felt - the negative pressures one puts on oneself to be a brilliant, efficient blogger and to post wonderful content every day, and also feelings of inadequacy.

Similarly, Zoe from Zoe London wrote about feeling 'Pinterest worthy' and how through social media, people are able to create this seemingly idealistic image of themselves and their lives and make it appear to everyone else that their lives are just rosy and perfect - like something out of Pinterest.
I know I'm not the first blogger to stand up and say, "I feel inadequate". As bloggers, or even as women, we compare ourselves against each other, and this results in an awful lot of competitiveness, bitchiness and jealousy. Personally, as someone who's spent months and months reading and following bloggers who are deemed as "successful" (and who certainly deserve to be, as they are all wonderful in their own ways), it's quite hard to feel like a worthy blogger, like I'm actually doing something worthwhile. I realise now that it's completely wrong to compare myself to others, bloggers who have spent years working on their content, building their brand, etc. Years of hard work have gone into their sites and they have deservedly reaped the rewards. I realise that there's no point in comparing a blog that's been run almost halfheartedly, for eight months to one that has had four years or so of hard work and dedication pumped into it. You can't compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter twenty.

When I started 'Ciara Pocket', I had just one outlook, that I was going to blog about beauty, and that my pictures had to be as perfect, clear and crisp as the ones I saw every day on other blogs; that I had to post consistently - I've often felt incredibly guilty for missing a day or two, and I realise now that it's completely ridiculous. I took a much-needed step back from everything and had a serious think, and now I realise (how many times have I said that?!) that blogging should, first and foremost, and especially in my case, be a hobby, and a hobby that I enjoy.

If I'm being brutally honest here (and it's something I plan on always being, with myself and with my work, from here out), I'll admit that I've always had issues with self confidence. In recent years, I've grown ever so slightly more confident as a person - but I've never been able to conquer my fears regarding my work, and my abilities. One of my favourite poets and writers, Sylvia Plath, once said, "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt". I love this quote because it's so damn relevant, and it's something I need constant reminding of - so much so, that I have it written on a virtual sticky post-it on my laptop homescreen, directly in my field of vision every time I go to write something. This hasn't always worked, and I will continue to persevere, but my point is: I'm not the most confident person when it comes to writing, and my blog's content. I'm a little insecure about it, always feeling mediocre or worse, and these feelings have greatly influenced the content I have produced thus far. I've stuck to what I think people will want to read - I've become a bit of a mundane reviewing machine as of late, and I hate it. Losing passion for something you used to love is a horrible, horrible feeling, and somehow, I hope that pouring my heart and soul into this post will help to correct that.

So where to go from here? Well, I'm going to pledge to be brutally honest, and to work harder, but on what I want to create. I'm going to post a little less often - hopefully five days a week, leaving Saturdays and Sundays free to do something else, for the time being. I hope that this will revive my love for blogging and creating online content, thus improving the overall content of my blog. I'm going to shake things up a little here, and be a little more diverse. As much as I love writing about beauty, I don't want to go overboard and subsequently lose my entire love for it, then give up. I'm not sure what direction I'll be taking next, but I'll write what I want to write about, and rekindle the fire, as it were. Don't worry - there will always be a place for beauty and fashion here on 'Ciara Pocket'. Hopefully, I can take some different angles. I did some serious brainstorming last night and currently have quite the list of ideas that, should they work, I'm seriously going to enjoy producing. I'm also going to work a little harder on my language and how I write - writing and languages are my biggest passions in life, and I feel as if I haven't been truly speaking 'from the heart' here on the blog. Finally, I'm going to tackle the issues of self-doubt, and try be a little more positive. I think if I take my mind off the work of others, and focus on my own work, I'll stop comparing myself and hopefully eliminate the niggling doubtful thoughts that live in the back of my mind. 

I hope I've made sense this time around - this post is probably longer, but I think I've finally said what I wanted to say, and better. Another of my favourite Plath quotes is, "Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." It's something I like to apply to my own life.

Things are going to change around here on CP, and hopefully for the better. I could ramble on and on forever, but I think it's best I end it here. If you've read this far without falling asleep, thank you very much! I appreciate those of you who read and comment on and follow my blog, because it really does mean the world.

Here's to a new chapter.

Ciara xo

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