Lately I've been feeling somewhat uneasy about my blog. It's that feeling that I have somehow fallen off the wagon and can't figure out how to get back on. Having something slowly slip away from me and no matter how much I want to hold onto it, there's a sense of paralysis and being powerless to act on it. Distancing myself not on purpose yet not being able to find my way back in a comfortable and natural way...
Of course I've been pretty busy with work and each time I have a job, there's either a lot of prep work or a lot of post processing to be done. Sometimes both. So I'm concentrating a lot of my efforts and dedicating many of my hours to my work. It's what I have always wanted: to be able to make a living from my freelance work. And I'm loving it, so no complaints there. Then there's our house search. Well, we have found the house, but now we're waiting for the sale to go through and to find out when we're moving. I am making plans for the new space and we're working out what to do first and how much it will cost. My head is in the future rather than concentrating on the here and now which makes me feel unsettled - like I'm in some sort of no man's land - and I can't seem to find spare space in my head to just be creative for the sake of it.
Being creative for the sake of it had always been what made blogging such a joy for me. No pressure to please anybody but myself. When I started out, it was all about being creative, sharing some of my finds, talking with my readers and just having fun. Then the visitor numbers, awards, PR companies and blogging schedules like work deadlines seemed to take over. Not exactly my blog specifically, but the blogging world overall. Suddenly it's not about fun and creativity anymore, it's about hard and cold numbers. To me, it feels like I have lost the ability to simply enjoy the journey, the blogging for its own sake. So I need try and find the joy again and blog like I used to: because I want to share something I like, not because I have a schedule or numbers to fulfil. Finding the right place and headspace for that seems to be my biggest problem. For that I need to unplug and - as the cliché goes - be in the moment.
That means I need to remind myself to make time for moments when I'm taking a step back and try to just be. I know things have gone wrong when I feel run down and only actually notice it when I start to sleep for 12 hours and get a cold sore erupts on my lip like an angry volcano. I need to make headspace for small moments like the one I had when I was on the way home from a job last week. I had a two-hour train journey back which did of course seem like a terrible inconvenience . At first I busied myself with my phone and some reading material. Then I noticed the most beautiful sunset and decided to put away all distractions and just sit, stare out of the window, watch as the landscape rushed past and enjoy the sunset. I don't remember thinking about anything, but I do remember smiling just a little.
It's only afterwards that it occurred to me that it's these kind of small moments of joy I've lost in blogging and that I want to find again. Not for numbers or glory, but simply for the joy in sharing the things I enjoy. I want to be free from the pressure to fulfil requirements set by others. If somebody likes what I do, I'm flattered and incredibly happy. If ten people do, then that's fantastic. If a thousand people do, I'm hugely grateful. All this, however, is not the end goal. In the end, I need to be happy with what I'm doing and what I'm sharing needs to be authentic. I don't do click-bait posts just to attract an audience, but rather offer beautiful images and hopefully some interesting reading. I do what feels right for myself. Isn't this why many of us started blogging in the first place?
Now for this cake! I made this a little while back for AO.com and had so much fun baking (well, baking in the furthest sense) it and taking the pictures that I thought I'd share them here, too. Btw, this is what I mean about sharing things I enjoy. So, this is basically a mountain of crêpes, layered with orange flavoured crème pâtissière and drizzled with orange syrup. So sweet, easy, casual and at the same time elegant. You can find the recipe here and I hope you might give it a go.