I think this is the longest time I’ve ever been away from the blog since I opened it. It never happened before, and I have to admit I feel quite guilty about it. There are several reasons behind this absence, both voluntary and involuntary, and this post is focused on explaining them to you guys.
Initially I took a break from Come dine with Teo because I realised the content quality was getting low. I was desperately seeking something to write in order to keep your feed full and show that the blog was perfectly up and running. So even pasta with oil and parmesan was good.
I’m not saying that it’s not, don’t get me wrong – how many evenings I had it when I was a student, a life saver for people on a very very low budget! – but it felt to me like it was something put out there just to fill a space. CdwT (allow me to abbreviate) was created to share my love of cooking, even if not in fancy occasions, but always with some extra value added. And that value for me was – temporarily – lost.
The next step goes to personal reasons. I had friends coming over to London to visit a couple of times during the past couple of months, and I obviously wanted to focus on them. Moreover, I had an interview for a new job, last week I’ve been offered the position, and I said yes! Yay! Back to science! I’m so happy but so scared at the same time! It’s going to be challenging, but I feel that’s what I need right now. Last but not least, I performed with my dance group at the Udderbelly Festival in Southbank on June 13th, and at London Pride on June 25th, so I’ve been busy busy busy with rehearsals!
It comes quite natural that I didn’t have much time to cook, or at least, to think of something different from the usual everyday recipes. Going back to the first point, the purpose of adding extra value even to an everyday recipe wasn’t achieved, so there was no reason for me to post anything.
Studying (sort of…).
In any case, I wasn’t inactive. If you follow my Pinterest profile, you’ve probably seen that a couple of new boards appeared. I actually started using Pinterest like years ago, without a real purpose to be honest with you, but when I started CdwT I found it was an amazing resource for recipe ideas, with its strong “visual cues”. But that was it. I was just simply repinning images I found interesting without even checking if they were leading to some real websites (I found later on that some of my pins were linked to inexistent pages or worse, to unrelated websites).
When I started looking for other things though, my approach to Pinterest changed. Now I always check if the pin is linked to the correct page, read it through, and pin it only if I find the information useful.
So, my first new board is Get Organised, mainly focused on bullet journalling. The guilt of not doing anything blog-related pushed me to open Bloglovin after months of inactivity, and I found that my friend and blogger Kia Grace saved an article about this way of planning. I was hooked! The secret door of planning and organisation was opened!
I have to admit that as organised as I could appear, I’m not that organised at all! I tried to use diaries several times after I finished high school, but they never really worked for me. There are days when there’s nothing important to write down, and I’ve always felt that leaving those blank pages was a waste of space and paper. Plus, taking both my notepad AND the diary ended up in leaving both either at home or in my bag, dragging them back and forth just to have extra weight to carry.
For those of you who don’t have a clue of what I’m talking about, here’s the first explanatory video of what bullet journal is about (and the creator’s website can be reached here):
The ideas for bullet journals (or BuJo, for short) are countless. Tons of images on Pineterst, Instagram and Tumblr, articles in every possibile blog, and it’s easy to get lost – especially for me, striving to find that “extra” information that I’m sure it’s missing. So, after a week of pinning madness, I decided to stop searching and start doing. I bought a new squared notepad in Wilko, some coloured felt tip pens and I gave it a go. I’m still finding my balance, trying different things every week and month, adding collections, brainstorming pages, and I even integrated CdwT in it.
After a couple of months I found that the BuJo madness doesn’t really work for me. Too many decorations, doodling and such are a waste of time that made me lose focus. So I went back to simplicity. No lists, no doodles, no designs (although I still awe when I see those beautifully decorated pages on social media…) but straight to the point. Monthly spread, weekly overview and daily tasks. That’s it. And it seems to be fine.
The other new board is Blogging Tips. You can find piles and piles of blogging tips on Pinterest, and again here, it’s very easy to get lost. Most of the articles are related to self-hosted website (not-my-case.wordpress.com), but others are more large spectrum, and definitely helped me in reviewing my approach to the blog. So you’ll probably see some changes in the future, hopefully that will lead to a better content. I’m still collecting ideas and thoughts, taking notes from online courses and tutorials, but I’m confident I’m going to develop a process that will work well for me (I’m not that cocky to say that it’ll be perfect, it rather won’t!) and will help deliver to you interesting ideas.
During this break I also realised which direction I want to take for the blog. I’m definitely not going to be a full time blogger, and I don’t want to make money out of CdwT. Blogging for me is a hobby, and I’d rather spend time working on good content rather than scavenging for sponsors.
I’ll do my best to stick to my original schedule and post twice a week, but with quality and well presented content, and I hope my posts will catch your interest back again.
How about you? have you ever taken a break from your blog? did you come back refreshed and ready to start with something new? Let me know in the comments below!