Melanie is reading a newspaper, it is covering her face

Little Red in 2019

I’ve been thinking so much in the last six months about what I want to do with this blog and when I’ll have time to do it. There were plans: I was going to spend an afternoon putting on all my pretty outfits and taking photos ready for writing into blog posts later, but then I stopped shopping so much and started saving for a house.

I thought I’d write a lot about the strategies I used for saving but 1) having a budget and 2) not eating out/going to the movies/leaving the house unless I had to was pretty boring.

I thought since saving money meant cooking more that maybe I’d take photos of my meals and post more recipes but food blogs are a dime a-bloody-dozen these days, my rental kitchen is ugly, the lighting is bad, and have you ever tried styling a meal for a shoot when you’ve been teaching for ten hours, your feet are killing you and you just want to eat and go to bed?

Melanie is reading a newspaper, it is covering her face

I also kept telling myself that things would change ‘when.’ When the semester ends and I’m not teaching, when the busy Christmas period is over at my office job… when I’m on my Christmas holidays. But as I was driving home from those Christmas holidays a couple of days ago, not one word written for this blog, I realised that most of those time-related ‘whens’ were never going to happen.

I’ve committed myself to this life of an academic where the teaching periods are hectic and fun and rewarding and bloody hard work, but also where the non-teaching periods need to be filled with research and writing and conferences. I’m okay with this, but, like, say, a high school teacher, I need to come to grips with the fact that my job places certain restrictions on when I can do things and how much time I have to muck around with my tripod and camera before work in the morning or ‘styling’ my dinner at night.

But also, the last three years of absolutely hustling around a zillion jobs at three different organisations, told me that when I get a chance to slow down or stop, I actually need to take it instead of having 500 things on my list that I should be doing.

I thought seriously about shutting the blog down. I thought about taking it off my should list and just removing it from my life altogether. But the thing is, the reason I started the blog is because I have this insatiable need to write. I am a writer, I work in the field, I actively seek publication and I write. I’ve thought about putting more of my work here and using my blog as an active portfolio of work and taking advantage of the link here from my professional website, but submission guidelines to publications that say you can’t send in previously published work including on blogs has held me back. It means that anything I’m really, really proud of has to sit on my computer until I’ve decided if it’s worth submitting first.

I want to blog about things I care about like my culture, books, writing, and politics, but I also don’t want to ditch the pretty stuff like clothes and baking and the house that is very soon to be mine. So, what I’m going to do is stop bowing to the pressure that my blog should have one theme, look, or aim with a posting schedule and good SEO and all of that stuff, and just go back to making it MY blog.

So hey, 2019, here’s to making it mine, however that might look.


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