I don’t know what to do with this blog

Hey friends,

I have a confession to make. A few short months after relaunching Philocalist, I seriously lost heart with the internet. Not just blogging – the entire internet. You see, it truly feels as if the tides of the online world are shifting. What was once an open playing field, has now become a game that only the most privilege of society can succeed in.

Yes, as a CIS white woman, my statement probably seems pretty wild but I’m standing by it whole heartedly.

To succeed online – in blogging in particular – you need the money to invest, you need the luxury of time and you need to fit the ideal look of what people deem acceptable (this is usually ripped bodies and blonde hair).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people who fit this aren’t talented, but if you are skilled at music, writing, photography, art, dancing, etc and you DON’T fit the physical mold… well, you’ve going to have quite the battle on your hands. Is it impossible? No. But am I willing to put up the fight after over a decade of producing content online – I don’t think so.

This simply isn’t enjoyable anymore.

I want to continue writing. I want to keep this website. However, I’ll no longer be treating this space as a place where I regularly need to update and check in.

The truth is, I want to be good at something and feel good at something. Philocalist doesn’t give me that feeling. I’m confident in what I’m writing but the slog of trying to get someone to read it is just exasperating. I’ve had my successes – radio, tv, collaborations – but all in short bursts. Since none of these highs have built upon the other, the same old up and down journey has become tiresome and no longer worth the heartache.

But it isn’t just that. I feel as if there’s a glass ceiling with a personal blog. One that you can only really smash through if people care about you and want to know about you. I’m not a public personality – literally no one cares. I don’t mean this in a pity-party kind of way. It’s actually really funny when you think about it.

In all I’ve learnt in my day job, you really do need to put the reader as the first person in your post. Forgive me for not doing so here!

Writing on Philocalist has taught me a great deal and again, I’m not totally leaving forever! However, I have other projects I want to focus more clearly on. I don’t see my blog ‘taking off’ and I sure as hell don’t want to become a full-time blogger, so Philocalist simply doesn’t serve my end goal right now.

I hope you can understand.

Thanks for all the support – Jess.

Writing a self-help book made me feel worse

This year I relaunched Philocalist.co.uk. A fancy new look was long overdue and I wanted to transition from fashion and beauty content to mental health and self care content. A few months later I had an amazing burst of creative inspiration that spawned The Self Care Manifesto.

And things went downhill from there really.

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Only better by default

Is your life good only because it’s not as bad as it used to be?

This is something I’ve been pondering for a few weeks now following an interview I did with LoveFrom magazine last month. When asked about self care, I opened up about how my life used to revolve around the opposite of self care – self harm – and I had a bit of a weird epiphany.

When you go through such self hatred at a young age, to come out of the other end is a blessing. Anything beyond that point feels almost like success because you’re not slipping into the void again. Have you ever experienced something like this that seems to alter your inner benchmark for life?

This mindset can be applied to so many aspects in life – relationships, jobs, health etc. It feels healthy to think like this because we’re constantly being told to stay humble and practice gratitude, but actually this ‘better by default’ attitude is causing us to settle for situations that hold us back.

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Where is my mind?

Right, I’m not doing too good. So in a bid to rid myself of bad vibez, I’m just going to word vomit all over my blog and hope that the knot within me comes loose.

I’ve been miserable lately. Not just emotionally, it’s as if I can physically feel sadness. That really sounds like the most emo thing I’ve ever said in my life, but it’s true. My anxious spells are becoming unbearable. I’m panicking to the point of paralysis. I’m literally a shell of what I once was.

Again, very emo.

SO here’s a big massive list of all the things I’m worried about that one day I’ll come back to and say ‘HA! Is that what I was worried about? Everything turned out ok!’ I’d also like to write a disclaimer that I know there are MUCH worse things going wrong in the world than my small issues. I’m writing this as an exercise for myself not as a cry for help or sympathy. So if you read this rolling your eyes, I hope I can join you in doing so one day.

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Tips to survive the summer heat

It’s bloody hot isn’t it? There’s something different about the UK’s warm weather that makes it slightly more unbearable. I’m not sure if it’s the air pressure, the clamminess, or the fact that society goes into meltdown (no pun intended) as soon as there’s a dramatic weather change from our standard grey skies.

This summer I was more conscious than ever that the heat was going to be a struggle. I’ve put on a bit of weight – which isn’t a huge problem – but it does mean I’m less comfortable in the sun than I used to be. My thighs rub, summer clothes don’t fit me and part of me wants to just sit at home and sulk.

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