This post has been a long time in the making. I know I don’t get that deep all too often, you’ll get the odd personal post from time to time but it’ll be carefully constructed. I won’t write it in the heat of the moment with stuff like ‘I hate this Biatch’ but I’ll simmer down and reflect accordingly. I like the fact that I can turn negatives into positives with what I write, which is probably why I’m subconsciously going down this career route. You see, I was the girl who always knew what she wanted to do with her life. At age 8 my Mum bought me a book about supermodels and I became pretty obsessed, learning their names and random facts. I did want to be Naomi Campbell for a while but even at this young age reality hit and I decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer instead. Now almost 20 years later, I’m doing something that didn’t even exist back in the day and have no idea what I’ll be doing in twenty years time. Am I reckless or just so 2015?
OMG IT MUST BE AMAZING TO BE A KNITWEAR DESIGNER, do you have your own label?
Are you a full time blogger? How do you make money?
I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been making money from IWYTK for over five years. Back in the day it all used to be very hush hush, sponsored posts were like the enemy and random text links were hidden way down the sidebar after all of the blogrolls and badges. I’d started to get e-mails regarding adverts and was slightly dubious, only changing my mind after seeing a few respected bloggers accept them. I’m really proud that these ads helped me to pay for my graduate collection and meant that I didn’t need to take a penny from my parents in my final year. These days I’m a lot more picky, the things I had back then I wouldn’t dream of adorning my blog right now and I’d rather go without than compromise my values. I don’t think you can begrudge anyone’s past in this case, as the industry was in its infancy and we all had Barry M nail effects and crazy tights to pay for.
There wasn’t really a clear point when I became a ‘full-time blogger’, as it’s slightly different to just being unemployed. You have a focus, watch marginally less The Wright Stuff and have nice e-mails/events to stay distracted by. When I came back from travelling, I didn’t feel as if I was completely down and out, I had fashion week to occupy myself with, a few freelance gigs, plus a year’s worth of savings in the bank (the joys of having family in London). As time went on and I started to show my face at more daytime events, I would grow increasingly frustrated not by my own finances but by the reactions of others. I wanted to avoid talking about my job entirely as I’d repeatedly hear ‘OMG you blog full time? That must be amazing! Do you earn enough money?’ Firstly, I wouldn’t dream of asking a teacher, lawyer or aspiring singer about their financial situation within minutes of meeting them. It’s like me asking ‘So what are you doing about that spot on your chin?’ Secondly, does anyone really earn ‘enough money’? Even when you get a nice neat paycheck at the end of the month, it seems to go in a flash. I get that people are curious by this new industry but the way I see it is that even when I did earn more, I wasn’t truly happy. I felt insecure, direction-less and just plain bewildered. Now I’ve taken the risk of leaving home to push myself, I’m trying to sort out other areas of my life and I almost feel like the twenty-seven year old I’m supposed to be. I’m not raking it in like The Blonde Salad, but that’s perfectly fine by me.
You’re doing so well!
I’m going to try and get across some of the stories that have made me who I am through my articles for the Metro and the Debrief, as well as occasionally on here. I just think there needs to be more honesty out there, I love blogs like Hannah Gale’s that tell it like it is. Not everything is hunky-dory all of the time and that’s okay. When people say that my life looks amazing, I never really know how to respond, I guess I’m just a really good social media manager. In reality, I’m just making the most of every opportunity, dealing with challenges quietly and finding the perfect picture to go in my grid. You know I want these things to look back on when I’m 70.
Tips for a career crisis:
I soon realised that when people ask ‘So what have you been up to?’ no one cares that you’ve been rocking from side to side, whilst reading the sidebar of shame. Everyone always talks up what they’re doing, especially in London. A writing gig may earn you peanuts but you have to make it seem like Vogue. That’s just how it is. Keep up a positive front and confide in the people who really matter to you. Things will fall into place soon enough.
Jealousy is not the answer
People tend to ask the old ‘job’ question within a few minutes of meeting but when I was backpacking, this was the last thing on anybody’s minds. We were all so far removed from hierarchies, progression routes and the like. I also met a fair few people who were content with just seeing the world and figuring out all the other stuff later. If you haven’t found your dream career yet, make sure you’re keeping yourself in tip-top condition. See the world if you can, get inspired and meet a wide variety of people. Eventually things will fall into place.
Good luck everyone and let me know if you’ve ever gone through anything similar! If you’d like even more context, then here’s the post on why I started blogging in the first place.
TL:DR – I blog, do lots of other stuff and no one needs to know I hunt down reduced stuff in Sainsburys. Ooops.