How Wedding Blogging Changed My Life & Why I’m Taking a Break

by Monique on March 5, 2015 · 4 comments

I started wedding blogging to avoid driving loved ones crazy with wedding talk. Almost five years later and it has taught me one of the most valuable life lessons.

How wedding blogging changed my life & why I’m taking a break

Blog, sweat and late nights

Looking back, I had never worked as hard – in the office (as an online writer and social media manager) and on this wedding blog – as I did during the year I got married. I was throwing myself into my work and my new hobby – passionate about weddings but desperate not to come across as the ditz of a bride-to-be at work.

Late into the night I emailed (see begged) photographers and recently married friends (and friends of friends) to feature their weddings, learnt to schedule social media updates, designed blog headers and badges (even though I’m not a designer) and read hundreds of related blogs and tutorials. Between wedding planning and wedding blogging, I pretty much didn’t have a life (my poor Mr).

At work, I was implementing what I learnt after hours and was I was doing well. It was only after the wedding that things started to fall apart…

Hitting a rock

Okay, I didn’t hit rock bottom – I was newly married to my awesome Mr so there was that but creatively, I was spent! I had a  case of wedding blues (it’s so a thing!), and burnt myself out but mainly, I made the mistake to believing someone who told me that I was not a good writer – which is only what I do for a living!

Now I realise that writing, like any art form, is a matter of taste but, at the time it hit me hard! My confidence was at all-time low, I felt drained and realised that, professionally, my career wasn’t on going anywhere because of it.

So I prayed about it. I prayed for a good two years.

Blogging taught me that

In the meantime, I continued to spend a lot of free time blogging. I got lovely feedback from readers and started meeting some of the people I had been chatting with online. I was almost always met with warmth and encouragement. One photographer even told me that she used the way I described her in a blog interview for her professional bio. Slowly, my confidence started to grow. I was rebuilding and it helped me realise something that will forever change the way I live…

Direct your energy where it’s most appreciated

 

Let me tell you darlings, it’s a game changer!

Try it, you won’t be sorry but it won’t be easy either. If you feel like you’re always running after people to prove that you’re worthy, you’re running in the wrong direction! Likewise, if you’re putting so much energy into a project and it leaves you feel flat-out-drained, something needs to change.

This revelation made me think about the way I spent my energy (time/money/creativity). It inspired me to…

  • Tune out negativity and focus on positive people their words of encouragement.
  • Invest in my passion for photography (I bought my first lens which was a huge deal for me).
  • Take my blog more seriously (I paid a lovely designer – Lana – to give Oh Darling Days a new look and bought a domain for it).
  • Take a leap of faith and leave full-time job for a part-time/work-from-home job.
  • And, after working more flexible hours, I finally took up painting classes – something I’ve wanted to do for years!

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies

Yes I feel blessed but I work flipping hard and have made sacrifices to live a lifestyle that makes sense to me. Oh, and if you think I have this “whole life thing” figured out, don’t be fooled – I’ve had to face disappointments too. For example, I haven’t made a feasible business profit from blogging or my photography (yet) and… I paint really slowly. I thought I would have all those cats in bags by now!

That said, I feel inspired and energised when I edit photos or work on painting, which makes it easy to keep going, but, it’s different with Oh Darling Days. I’ve been struggling to find meaning in the work (and there’s lots of work behind a blog) and, rather ironically I think, I’ve started to feel the burden of providing ‘pin-worthy’ content and competing with all the other beautiful blogs out there.

I started praying again… for inspiration, direction but most of all, for a way to make what I do meaningful.

It’s time for blog holiday

Recently I opened my blog email account, with a now regular heavy-hearted feeling, and something clicked into place: I need to take a break – a long one!

With my Mr and I celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary this month and my sister is coming home for a holiday, it makes sense to reduce my work schedule and make myself 100% available to the people I love and the moment.

Thank you

I don’t want to say good-bye, because I hope to be back in one way or another, but I do want to say a quick thank you to everyone who has supported Oh Darling Days over the years…

To the awesome photographers who were with me from the start, those who loyally sent me features and took part in styled shoots – you know who you are and you rock! It’s been an honour to see you grow as artists and feature your beautiful work.

Thank you to the loyal readers – every darling bride, wedding vendor, blogger and friend who made my day without even realising it. I am forever thankful for your kind words, tweets, messages, blog submissions and positive influence in my life – no matter how big of small. Oh Darling Days would never have been anything without you and for that I’m humbled and grateful.

And finally, I’d like to thank my Mr for putting up with all my wedding blog talk – particularly over the last few weeks/months when I’ve been feeling heartbroken about blogging (something he doesn’t do or relate to but has patiently tried to empathise with).

So what’s next?

That’s a question I’m asking myself. All I can hope for is that the time away from Oh Darling Days will either make my heart grow fonder, so to speak, and inspire me to come back or lead to the best next step for a blog I’ve poured countless hours of love into.

Until then, I hope this blog post inspires you to follow your dreams, listen to your intuition and do everything you can to make your days darling ones!

Monique

Read more Behind the Blog posts Photo credit: My Mr

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melany March 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm

You are brave Mo x Praying for you in this new chapter in your life. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration and influence in my life. All the best ♡

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2 Gaby - SouthBound Bride March 10, 2015 at 6:30 pm

This made me so sad – not because you’re taking a break (even though your readers will miss you!) because I think only good things can come from taking time with an open heart to find your next direction and inspiration – but because of how much impact someone’s casual words can have on someone, especially those of us who ‘put ourselves out there’. I’m so sorry someone did that to you! You’re a lovely writer, and whatever you do next with ODD and life in general, you’ll bring that creativity and passion and empathy and your beautiful words along with you. I can’t wait to see where this takes you, and I totally admire the way you’ve learned to invest where your energy is most appreciated. It’s something we could all take something from. Enjoy this time xx

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3 Nici Bailes July 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Hi Monique

Thanks so much for your amazing contribution to the darling world of wedding blogs and hope you are having an awesome sabbatical with your hubby….

Hope to see you again soon and really wanted to let you know this quote from you has been so inspirational regarding my own personal Journey with Marriage Meander and has caused me to revisit many avenues in my career….

“If you feel like you’re always running after people to prove that you’re worthy, you’re running in the wrong direction! Likewise, if you’re putting so much energy into a project and it leaves you feel flat-out-drained, something needs to change.”

Thanks for the wake up call!

Nici Bailes

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4 Salvatore August 17, 2015 at 5:35 am

Hi, Monique, how are you doing? It’s been over 5 months sine your break, i was wondering if you have figured out what you will do next? I do appreciate you wrote so many good articles, and i have learned a lot. Thank you, all the best.

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