Tuesday 1 October 2019

The 5 Things I've Learnt From Having A Blog For 5 Years

It's been five years to the day since I started Seventeen James. 

5 years. 

I started this blog on the proposal of starting a blog by our lecturers during first year of uni. They told us to start a blog on whatever we wanted so we could continuously write, share ideas or work. Just something to keep us creative. Starting a fashion blog was the first thing that popped into my head; 1. I love fashion and would love to have a career in it. 2. I don't think there's anything else that I would enjoy consistently writing about other than fashion (maybe music, but it'd be a big time fangirl blog.)

So I started this. Seventeen James. The name came from my house number in England and my brother's middle name. It had an instant ring to it, rather than it being a simple fashion orientated name. And hey, I thought it would sound really good for a brand one day (who knows what the future holds). 

5 years on, I've been on and off blogging. I've been trying my best, well somewhat, and I've tried to make a career out of it. I'm still trying to do that, so bare with me. But I've had my fair share of setbacks, lessons learnt, some still to be learnt and trying to find my place in the crazy world of fashion and "influencer". I still don't like this word, but it's what everyone is using now, so *insert shrug shoulder emoji*. 
Outfit: Fishnet Kaftan - Custom / Vest & Leggings - Primark / Shoes  - Dune / Earrings - New Look / Ring - Custom

As I move into my fifth year of blogging, I'm deciding to go into a relaunch of Seventeen James. I'm planning on being remarkably dedicated to this space, as I've tried to more of lately. Now the website isn't actually going to be relaunched yet, I'm planning that for hopefully early 2020 with a whole new look and a better sense of me. But for now, I am relaunching my mindset. And to do so, I have to look at what I've learnt over the past 5 years. 

1. Nothing is ever perfect.
Isn't that the truth. I am a perfectionist, always have been and probably always will. If there's something slightly wrong, I'll lose it on the inside. I've had to learn the hard way that nothing is ever going to come out exactly as I picture it in my head. Good things take time. Sometimes, 5 years. Definitely more really. Patience is so key and you just have to go with what you have. Use what's in front of you to the best of your ability and don't beat yourself up. Nothing's ever perfect. 

2. Not everything is going to suit you.
Trends come out every day. There's always something new to try, maybe everyone jumps on that wagon but you don't have to. When it comes to fashion and style, be your own individual person. Don't try things on for the sake of likes. In a world where fast fashion is taking over, don't be one to give in to that. Yes, some things you will absolutely love like everyone else and that is completely fine. But if you're not 100% set on something, don't waste your time. Find where you stand, even if that's outside of the crowd, and let that be your guide. Personal style is so important because if you don't really like it, it'll show. 
3. Capturing image content can be a pain in the arse. 
Take for example these photos you see here. Taken on my 8 year old Nikon that really needs an upgrade, a wonky tripod and self-timer. "Emily, why don't you have a remote control for your camera?" I do, it's just broken. This was a pain and a half to get done. Of course normally you can always ask a helping hand, but sometimes there's no one around. I love self-portrait photography because it makes me feel more comfortable about taking pictures of me. Sometimes people don't get the right angles or light and blah, so you look to do it yourself. Even then, it might not work out. Capturing quality content that satisfies you takes time. I've learnt that the hard way and I'm still not there yet. Don't be too picky about it. If you feel like you look good and you want to document your look, snap that on an iPhone picture and post it. Who cares?! It's your space. 

4. You might not always get likes or follows or readership.
Boy do I know about this one. After 5 years, I'm still only at 1092 followers on Instagram, I probably only get sometimes 20 reads on a blogpost and my Twitter following is low. The majority of those people following, liking and reading (probably even reading this post) are family and friends. I'm 90% on that one (if I'm wrong, let a girl know). It's a hard pill to swallow. You want the success, you are driven, yet you're still not where you want to be. It's another one of those things that takes time. But persevere. Keep writing and posting, even if no one looks at it because at the end of the day, you've done it for yourself. Nothing happens overnight. 

5. Writing, about whatever you want, is therapeutic. 
Maybe it hasn't been your day, your week, your month or even your year (yes, that's the Friends theme tune). You've lost sight of where you're going, what you're doing, what's next. Having something to take your mind of that is so, so good for you. Seventeen James has been the space where I can just write about fashion, beauty or lifestyle the way I want to. It channels my energy into positivity. I keep it up as a hobby/career but also to detox. If you can find somewhere to write - anything you want; news, plans, dreams, creative writing - then do so and use it. Even if it isn't a blog and instead a diary or journal, a word document on your laptop or the notes app in your phone. Just go for it. 

In the five years I've been here, I haven't done everything I want to do nor have I come close to creating the content I want to. But that's about to change. I'm going to start being more experimental, so I hope you stick around to see the outcome. There's a whole bunch of ideas written down in my notebook and phone, so I'm on the path to start creating them and have fun. Thank you for being here and reading all my nonsense for the past 5 years. I hope you stick around for the years to come. So here's to you, Seventeen James - Happy Birthday! Here's to a new beginning. 

Lots of Love, 

Emily xx

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