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Why I Stopped Writing, and Why I Struggle To Be Taken Seriously as an “Influencer”

Hey. Remember me? I used to write sassy blog posts about #relatable shit that mattered, with a bit of style inspo thrown in for good measure. I set myself a New Year’s Resolution to blog twice weekly, and like tradition with all New Year’s Resolutions, I resolutely failed. I’ve been in a totally weird mental space the past few months. Focusing on my career – Instagram, YouTube and the Podcast all taking priority over the blog.

The truth is, I’ve started to feel a little bit like I lack identity or value in what I do. With the weather warming up, so has my social life (can I get an AMEN?!) and I’ve actually been venturing into real life bars and spoken to real life humans and even REAL LIFE MEN… rather than sat dm’ing internet compadres all day everyday. And when the inevitable question pops up of “what do you do for a living?” I always freeze, get hella shifty, and the awkward silence usually lingers and I see their brains forming the word “escort” as they eye up my designer bags and shoes.

I DO A PODCAST!

– I eventually blurt out.

It’s become my default. You know I hate saying the term influencer – it always ensures an eye roll or a fake smile and nod before they pretend to have seen their mate at the other side of the bar and walk away. So naturally, I never say influencer. I say I do a podcast, and all that “social media thing.” I can’t really tell them I’m a blogger because, well, I hardly ever blog anymore? It feels like a dirty lie and then I start to feel guilty about neglecting my true passion – writing.

 

The majority of you reading this probably know exactly the hard work that goes into being a blogger/ influencer/ social media person, because I know a lot of you guys do it too, but it’s still largely a job which is looked down upon by so many others as a total blag. So when people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I do a podcast first of all because I want them to take me seriously, and it sounds more intelligent than “I post pictures on Instagram for money” – because no matter how much I stand there and defend how much work goes into digital content creation, I can guarantee you that “I post pictures on Instagram for money” is all that they are going to hear.

And it’s a weird one, because this lack of respect that the job receives has infiltrated my own psyche and my confidence and sense of worth. After all, it’s hard to value yourself when others don’t value you. I had this exact conversation with a guy at a house party quite recently, where luckily he totally had my back and said he really respected the hard work involved, only for his mate to come over and say “I think it’s SO cool that you’re an Instagram model”

 

Instagram model?

 

Insta..gr…am…m

m

m

mmm

model.

 

For fuck’s sake. I haven’t done two damn journalism degrees and spent years building a profile, writing, doing YouTube just to be called an effing Instagram model.

 

The thing is, I am a writer. First and foremost. I’ve always loved it. It’s the reason why I started this blog in the first place. And my neglect to my blog became like a niggling sensation of guilt. It’s almost a little bit like going to the gym. The longer you stay away, the harder it is to get back in to it and make yourself go again. It’s felt exactly the same. Every day I’m thinking “oh I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll pick it up again next week!” – that turned into “well, does anyone even care anyway?” – which is one of the main reasons why I almost never started this blog in the first place!

And then, we can’t forget the fact of the state of the internet. It’s so hard to write things without offending someone in some way. I feel I’m in constant overthinking mode, and have to triple-filter my tweets and my real life words so that I don’t piss people off or come across badly. Noted – not everyone has the same opinion. It’s just that everyone can be so quick to criticise you when you have a platform. I’m not even an offensive person anyway! But this fear has held me back from writing on topics I feel so deeply passionate about.

Perfectionism, too, is such a problem. I’ve mentioned it over and over again, but it stops me from posting because I’m constantly worrying it’s just not good enough. But good enough is often much greater than I think it is.

 

But I need to put all of this aside, and get back to the root of why I even started blogging – because I love writing. After chatting to a life coach, I’m dedicating an evening every week simply to writing. I need to learn to value myself and what I do better, for myself, not just so that I have more of a legitimate job to tell people about when they ask what I do for work – so here I am. I’m back (I hope…)

21 comments so far.

21 responses to “Why I Stopped Writing, and Why I Struggle To Be Taken Seriously as an “Influencer””

  1. Sarah says:

    I’ve so loved reading this!! Recently started following you on instagram and had no idea you blogged (obviously hence the topic of your post!). Really impressed at how easy and relatable this was to read. Thanks for being so transparent!! X

  2. Chloe says:

    I absolutely love this post. It’s so honest. I feel exactly the same when people ask what I do for a living when I reply “make up artist” – no one takes me seriously “oh you just paint faces for a living then” ……no, so now I tend to to say I’m in sales.

  3. Katy says:

    I think this is such a genuine post, thank you for voicing what so many of us feel..it is so tough to push through and do what you love when you think no one will care but I think when you do what you love the passion shows and people love it too, like here! Keep being you I love your work 🙂 xxx

  4. Natty says:

    I have followed you for a while now but this is the first blog post of yours that I have read. I love your style of writing, please continue. I work as a researcher and I can still relate to all the self doubt and lack of motivation you mention. Keep it up, it is so worth it!

  5. Courtney says:

    Love love love your writing! Please post more – you are so refreshing 🙂

  6. Kate says:

    I’m glad you’re back writing, love reading your stuff! 🙂 xxx

  7. Kirsty says:

    Welcome back babe! Always love your sassy posts and look forward to reading many more!! Love the podcast too, but reading the blog is easier to get away with during work time 😜

  8. Sharan says:

    Can’t wait to read what you post next. I love a well-written blog post and who you are the queen of them. You’re funny and clear and I’ve never seen a grammar mistake in any of your copy. It’s evident that writing is your passion, so I’m glad you’re going to get back into it <3

    https://sharangill.com

  9. Eloise says:

    I totally relate to all of this Sophie but I think that as long as you are doing what you love and you are passionate about writing then it shouldn’t matter besides I care (so that’s one atleast haha) and still enjoy that you have so much raw honesty in your posts and I feel like you are such a genuine blogger that I always read your new post.
    As for the ignorance towards blogging- I think that if a guy rolls his eyes at you then you’re probably better off with out him anyway. It’s harsh but when I met my present boyfriend he found it really interesting and has never judged but only supported my goals and blogging, so sometimes it’s just about meeting the right people if you know what i mean. Be proud of what you do because you’re awesome at it!

    http://www.thewhimsicalwildling.com/

  10. Sora says:

    I honestly miss so much your introspectional posts! As much as I love your style, I find it hard to comment your posts on IG because I don’t want to just say “pretty dress” 🙁

    I think that you can totally say that you’re a digital content creator o digital writer 🙂 sooner or later, people will have to start getting used to these new careers, because that’s what they are!

    Sora | http://dangerouslyme.com/

  11. Solianny says:

    This was a great read. And i completely understand and relate to you. You should get back to writing and get back to source. It will be good for your career and your source.

  12. Micaela says:

    I am a writer, myself, but I have also struggled with keeping up with it because of my hectic class and internship schedule. What I’ve learned, and something I think you should keep in mind, is that you are still allowed to call yourself a writer even if you’re not sharing everything you write with the world. I find that when I write without the intent of sharing, there is so much less pressure to produce something perfect and I can have more fun with it. I explore different styles, I explore different genres, I explore so many new facets that help me grow and evolve as a writer. During your weekly evening writing sessions, you should try this out. Try to write a poem, or a short story, or a critique. Write something that you don’t nevessarily have to put out for the world to see. It helps keep writing fun instead of that mundane task you told yourself you’d do once a week that you end up forcing yourself to complete.

  13. Ellie says:

    I just LOVE that you have addressed this Soph!! I always struggle to tell people that I am an influencer and when they find out all I get is ‘Can you get me free stuff’ it pisses me RIGHT OFF!! But you’ve got so many people here to have your corner and support you BIG TIME! I hope that helps in the slightest

    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie x

  14. Rody Browne says:

    I find u to be one of the more relatable “bloggers”. You don’t live in a perfect house with a perfect partner. You have a cool style and maybe the fact that we are the same kinda body shape I like to see what clothes look on a person with actual hips and thighs who isn’t complaining that an item dosent come in a size smaller than 6! Grrrr.. keep up the good work!

  15. Chantel Dahl says:

    Happy you found your way back. Cant wait to read what you come up with next. And please let it be unfiltered! Xo

  16. Lareese says:

    I can only imagine it’s so so easily done when you’re busy juggling campaigns, shooting, dealing with English weather, invoice chasing, being present on all social channels, nurturing your community, engaging, editing, filming and doing a bit of life in between (if there’s time). Cut yourself some slack girl – you’re doing so well: you’re capable, you’re worthy and you’re fulfilling and surpassing and endless set of KPIs. You’re not an Instagram model. You’re a social media manager, you’re a digital marketer, you’re a sales manager, you’re an editor, you’re a picture desk and a personal assistant. You’re a whole HR department, you’re a managing director, you’re a photographer, you’re a PR, you’re a video editor. You are all those things and most of all, at the end of it all, you’re still only human at the end of it! Take time to do more of what allows you to switch off and that fulfils you in ways that all of the above, simply can’t. There is nothing more sad than a writer who doesn’t write, especially when they’re as talented as you. You produce some corkers and I can’t wait to read more of you at your happiest. Writing – best therapy you’ll ever have x

  17. Jessica says:

    Loved this post and made me think
    a lot about one of my favorite books: Big Magic by Elisabeth Gilbert. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it because she talks exactly about this subject of needing people’s recognition in order to have self worth. Basically, you don’t need to be a NY Timed bestseller to call yourself a writer. You are a writer already cause that’s your passion and what you do for your own joy. I love the way you said “I’m a writer”. Keep doing your passion even if nobody is reading you or validating you, because that’s who you are and it makes you happy.
    Those people who look down at influencers is mainly because they lack knowledge, they have no idea how much work, creativity, business mindset, intelligence and ethics go into that job. If they had the slightless clue, they’d never judge it.

    I’d love to hear more in detail about the 2 years you mentioned it took you to build your profile/ brand. I’m in the early stages to build mine and I can see how freaking hard it is to grow my audience, especially in instagram!! Any advicrñe would be appreciated.

    Keep writing! I will keep reading you😉

  18. Mili says:

    I’m so glad you’re back Soph! I’ve been refreshing your blog every day wondering if you’ve lost your mojo or it’s something deeper. I’m happy you’ve decided to commit to writing more, because I believe it’s not only me that gets inspired by your posts, you’re really good with words so I would be sad if you stopped posting here. I still follow you on your other social media but the blog is what got me hooked on your content at first!

    Xx Mili

  19. TMA says:

    I totally get you. However you should defo be self-confident af, cause girl, you made it far!

    I dont want to say that I dont like all your channels, but personally I enjoy your writing the most of all things you do! I have always admired your skills.

    So please dont stop! 😉

    Kisses from Paris!
    T.

  20. Frida says:

    Yep, you are one hell of a writer! 😎 I loved this!

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