I am so excited to finally be able to share a project I’ve been working on for the BBC; Illuminate, a series of 12 mini documentaries about Scottish designers and artists. Together with the most hard-working twenty-something I know, cinematographer Perry Jonsson. I’m so proud of what we achieved, and really enjoyed being involved in project based on supporting local creatives, a subject of true passion for me, and working with a talented friend was the icing on the cake.
I’ve been thinking about doing this blog post, Blogger Anxiety, for a good few months now. In fact, its almost been giving me blogger anxiety. Oh the irony! Basically, I’m not diagnosing myself with a newfangled mental health issue, I’m just simplifying the huge bank of worries that as a blogger I experience daily, and I’m sure many other bloggers do too. I believe that being a creative individual automatically gives you a million things to be anxious about, so this overview can probably be applied to anyone from musicians to models. However, its not all doom and gloom, as I will be offering a few tips for newbies to help break through the barriers of self doubt.
Firstly, I wanted to address the issue of blogger events. As a regular attendee, I’ve noticed a few things that seem to happen to me at nearly every fashion show, drinks reception, group meal, networking meet, product workshop or press release:
1. I immediately scout the room for someone I know. Of course, over time, I’ve got to know more familiar faces, but even now when faced with a room full of bloggers, I feel my stomach hit the floor. Who will I talk to? Will I look like a total loner?
2. I instantly analyse what I’m wearing. Am I too formal? Am I underdressed? Oh god, everyone else looks far more fashionable than I do! Will brands take me seriously as a fashion blogger if I don’t dress up to the nines?
3. I feel young, naive and inexperienced. At any given event I’m usually at least 5 years younger than the rest, and perhaps a smaller-scale blogger or in the earlier stages of my fashion career. Does everyone think I don’t know what I’m talking about? Can they relate to where I’m at?
Next I wanted to discuss anxiety around numbers. Anything from how many followers, post views and Instagram likes to how many emails I get from brands, how many posts I can write while managing my studies, social life and career, or how I can monetise my blog, all give me the fear. I can’t be the only one who suffers from the constant comparison to other bloggers who have tens of thousands of social media followers and blog subscribers, make heaps of cash through sponsored posts, freebies and guest blogging, own all the latest designer clothing and make-up, and seem to have all the time in the world to dedicate themselves to their blogs without life getting in the way.
I have recently started my first year at university after taking a gap year. This time last year I had just started my first year at a different university, after taking a gap year after deferring from that university. Confused yet?
I may not have had the linear path that many school leavers take, and now at nearly 20, I’m a fresher yet again. A perfect time to, when I’m not snowed under with coursework, reflect on the last few years of studying, working, interning and travelling, and how they have benefitted or costed me in many ways. This post is aimed at those in their final year of school stressing about university, those who are at university and unhappy, or those that consider themselves inferior for not having a degree. I hope it helps!
I’m nearly a month into my BA (Hons) in Fashion Communication at Heriot Watt university, with the school of design based in Galashiels, a small town in the Scottish Borders with a strong textile heritage. Its a real effort to wake up at 5:30am each morning to grab the train down there for 9am lectures, but the facilities and expertise at the campus make it all worth it, plus it means I get to stay living in Edinburgh, the city I am totally and utterly in love with, with my best friends in a hilariously 70’s flat. So far I’m happy with my decision, which is so rare for me as one of the world’s least decisive people (I genuinely struggle with deciding on breakfast options every morning!), and this is a breath of fresh air after a year of stress about my options and the burden of choice.
The first time I took a gap year I thought I would miss out on the social side of university that all my friends were enjoying, and be miles and miles behind my generation academically and career wise. It turns out the opposite was true. Without the stacks of coursework to do like my peers, my social life truly blossomed and I met my soulmate. Whats more, I got a year’s worth of work experience in fashion, and even travelled across the pond to study a fashion short course and explore my dream city. Most importantly, I got my mental and physical health back on track. I realised quite quickly after starting university the following year at RGU, that wellbeing should value far above education, after experiencing a relapse into severe depression and bulimia. So the second gap year was necessary too. I also scored a job I adore at The Scottish Design Exchange, which I still love to this day.