I Don’t Want To Be A Blogger Forever, So What’s Next?

“So what’s the end goal? Who do you want to be?”

I’m an inquisitive person. Whenever I’m with people - new or old - I’m the asker of questions and listener of answers, as opposed to being the one that chats away. If I were to describe myself in one word it would be “interested”, because I am, in everything. Particularly people, though, and more so the nitty gritty thoughts and passions and reflections, as opposed to the surface level factual stuff.

I find myself asking the above question often. Okay, so this is the point in your life that you’re at, but where do you want to be? What do you want to be? Who, even?

I love asking this question because I feel like it brings out more of the essence of a person, rather than the version of themselves that they are most prepared to share with the world. Asking someone who they want to be ultimately requires much more of them than just ‘oh I want earn [x] amount and live in [x] type of property with [x] amount of kids’ - it requires thought, and I love that. I’ll sit there, chin in hand, waiting for their answer, watching them turn over answers in their mind and wondering if they’ve found the right words.

Whilst I’m great at asking these type of questions, I’m not great at answering them. Not in a succinct, articulate fashion anyway. I can ramble for hours following my tangents of thought as I try to get to the answer, but I can never actually get there. The real answer is ‘I don’t know’.

 

Coat - H&M

Shirt - Mango via Next The Label*

Jeans - ASOS

Boots - Old Zara

Earrings - Jane Koenig*

Initial earrings - Daisy London*

Bag - X Nihilo* (Black Friday discount coming soon!)

That I can’t offer an end-point, but instead can discuss at length everything that it might take me to get me there, is testament to what that that answers means. I have direction, but no destination. I know which way I’m heading, but I have no idea where that is going to lead.

Here’s the thing. I get restless. Every 2-3 years of doing something, I start thinking ‘okay, so what’s next? What now?’. I can stay still for a long time physically (you all know I’m a lazy, comfy girl), but mentally, I find it hard to focus on one thing and dedicate myself to that for longer than a few years.

I’ve seen this pattern repeated in my life time and time again. The first year of sixth form I was on time, I was doing homework, I was invested, and I aced it. Second year, I started slacking, spending more time at home, wanting to focus my attention elsewhere and barely scraped by.

The same happened with university. The first two years I was dedicated and committed, and in the final year, I barely turned up for anything. Even my first serious relationship - first two years, a-okay, but after that, it was patchy until finally, in year three, it ended. And this pattern of attentiveness repeats, in life, in relationships, in work, in passions - everything. I think I see new things - whether that be a career, a person, an interest - as an uphill hike, and for two years I’m there, working away at it, climbing the hill, learning and developing, but then at some point - whether I’ve gained all that I can gain or not - I’m suddenly struck by this expanse of forever, stretching out before me, and I wonder ‘is this what I want forever?’.

And that’s not a bad thing. I’m just in my early twenties, blindly fumbling my way through as most of us are. I’m dipping my toes into many different pools and testing which temperature fits. The world is a smorgasbord and I’m taking a tasting tour.

However, I have come to realise one thing.

WHAT I'M WEARING

The truth is, I don’t want to be a blogger forever. I love my career, and I love that so much of my career is just me being me, the chubby, short girl from Ipswich who loves music and hates olives (salty devils).

But I am always seeking purpose or something deeper. Anything I do in my life has to mean something, even if that meaning is the realisation that it doesn’t actually mean anything at all. For example, some of the blog posts I write are so fluffy and ‘hey! this is how my day is going and I just had a lovely diet coke’, and in the grand scheme of things, these posts are surface-level fleeting glimpses of how I was coasting through my thoughts at the time - they aren’t important, and they aren’t purposeful, but the meaning comes from what I learn reflecting upon them retrospectively. Sometimes I pat myself on the back and acknowledge that not everything I write has to be moving and emotional, and sometimes I kick myself in the shin and regret not ruminating over the words a little longer before I’ve hit publish.

I love blogging, but I know that this isn’t my end point. I was discussing this with the hilarious, beautiful and talented AJ Odudu the other day, after she’d reflected the ‘so, what’s your end goal?’ question right back at me, and it struck me for the first time that I was maybe getting restless. I’m a compassionate person and I care how other people feel, and I think I’m realising that whatever I create to has to have more impact than a 10 minute enjoyable read on the loo.

So, what’s next? Well, recently I mentioned on my Instagram Stories that I’d like to start offering free photography sessions for smaller bloggers, in an attempt to help them create some hopefully beautiful and useful imagery which is sometimes difficult when you’re working full-time and don’t have the budget for hefty, expensive equipment. It’s also a nice thing for me, offering the prime opportunity for more chin-in-hand chats with new people.

This is definitely on the agenda for the New Year, but I wanted the exchange to have more impact. Since announcing the idea about a month ago, I’ve been quietly mulling it over in the background, wondering what I could do to shape it in a way that’s more than just a photo credit and one blog post of helpfulness. My audience and reach are not overwhelming by any standards, but what little platform I have, I want to use for good, even if only in a small way. So I’ve decided to combine three elements of myself - my intersectional feminism, my blogging, and my desire to help others - to shoot with those that are underrepresented in my industry. Women of colour, plus sized women, trans women, women with health conditions, working class women, and more - all of those women who work twice as hard for half the exposure, and who rarely get reposted on brand feeds and in monthly newsletters because they don’t fit the white/blonde/thin bill. I benefit from this privilege, so I want to use it, in some way, to help lift others up.

So that’s the plan, guys. Come the New Year, I’m going to start setting aside a day here and there in London with a series of time slots, and inviting some talented ladies to come along and join me. If anything, I think it will just be a lovely way to connect with people, and if it makes them feel good about themselves, then I’ll take that as a win too. That’s my direction, for now. What it will result in?

Well, I still don’t have a fucking clue.

  • I genuinely think you can read the minds of your followers Chloe. How you articulate your thoughts and feeling, hell YOU in a post is amazing! All your posts speak to me and I feel you are such an interesting person, beyond surface level. I’m gonna sound like a complete fan girl but I would love to meet you, shoot with you and just pick your brains – sorry, fangirl moment over… I can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeves, I’m sure it will be amazing!

    Dionne
    http://www.deedeelouise.com

  • Oh, Chloe. You’re such a sweetheart!! I really wish there were more bloggers like you xx

    Emma | http://www.emswardrobe.com

  • Allie May Redmond

    Love this post, Chloe! Good luck x

  • Justina Kenyon

    This is so awesome! I love that you are finding a way to be impactful with what you know and are passionate about. Also, I am so stoked to see what you are able to create with these women. I think that a lot of us are looking for content from a more broad group of women in fashion or blogging.

  • Ooh good luck with your new venture – that sounds so lovely, and something I think I’d probably benefit from too so I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled! xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • Sounds amazing that you want to help others, your right it can feel like certain woman are under represented ! Oh and olives pure filth !
    http://www.katescloset.uk

  • This is such a lovely post, thank you for wanting to share your advice and help with us all, really looking forward to see what you have coming up! Fran x

    http://www.joieandthevivre.com

  • Adeline B.

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love you more ! You’re already helping people with your writing (hands raised along with a high scream, I’m one of them), reading your blog ALWAYS makes me feel better, question things more, try to accept myself little by little -and that ain’t easy- and, on a lighter note, want to shop any coat you’re wearing (Ah !). This is the only blog or even website that does that for me, even when I can’t relate (posts about love-relationships since I’m a single bird but I love to read them anyway).
    This idea of wanting to share your platform and photography skills to help your audience is a gift, honestly, never seen something that nice on the blogworld. I’d love to be photographed by you but I’m not confident enough for that but I sure can’t wait to see what you’re coming up with. Good luck on your next venture. <3

    https://i-think-its-today.blogspot.com/

  • Frances Hemmant

    Every single time, Chloe!!!! You absolutely nail it, every single time!!! I honestly couldn’t love your writing anymore, and for my sake I really hope that you don’t ever stop blogging, because everything you write resonates with me so so so well. I am 100% the exact same as you, that I get itchy feet so easily, and always feel like what I am doing has to have meaning behind it! The amount of times I have cried to my boyfriend over the past few years that what I do isn’t good enough, and it doesn’t bring any good to the world, I don’t feel like I am making a difference or having an impact, blah blah. It’s annoying, BUT it does show that you care! I cannot wait to see what is to come from you, because you are so bloomin’ wonderful and I think anything you put your hand to you’d excel in. Also reaaaally hope you do go ahead with these classes, I would for sure be there! Thank you so much for continually providing us with such amazing content xxx

  • This sounds great, such a good idea! Good luck with it – I look forward to seeing some of the photos you shoot x

    https://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk

  • This was a really interesting read! I’m sure that whatever you decide to do you’ll smash it though – you’re just so motivated <3

    G is for Gingers xx

  • I absolutely love your blog and I think that what you’ve decided to do is so great, it’s important that we support each other and help each other reach our goals. YOU GO GIRL! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • That’s such an incredible idea Chloe and I think it’s such a wonderful thing that you can use your experience and your platform to help other bloggers benefit and to lift them up and support them! Much love and respect, and Good Luck with it, I’m sure it’ll be so successful and helpful!

    Daughter of An Air Hostess // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  • I can’t express how much I love this post. The first half of the post seemed as if you’ve actually taken thoughts out of my mind and written them down. I too get restless and i’m currently going through the same thing, what is my end goal, what do I want to do and who do I want to be. In a similar position that I’m in my early twenties and am able to experience lots of different things, but I mainly feel as though i’m wasting my time rather than building a ton of experience and adding to the character that I want to be.
    I absolutely love the goal you’ve set for yourself, and thing it will really help you to stop being restless with your current situation, at least for the time being.
    As ever, your writing is completely flawless, and you’re looking hot as hell!!

    Abi | abistreetx

  • I love this idea. I could not love this idea more. There are so many fascinating women out there doing incredible things but might not have the outlet or the opportunity to showcase their talents or stories . I find so many of the dialogues and conversations I’ve shared, some of which span over years with some of my readers, to be so inspiring and then I feel sad because here I am ranting about bad dates or writing some silly poem, when really it should be then with a following of some kind online because I deem them far more inspiring than myself.

    I also berate myself for my less profound posts, the ones focused on shoes or a blazer I love. I’m a little uncomfortable in my role as a fashion blogger but it pays my bills so I do what I can when I can with my personal writing. But really, I feel you there and I’ve never seen another blogger have that worry, so it’s a little bit of a relief to know I am not alone.

    And finally, Chloe, I think one day, you should write a book. It would take less than a year and thus no risk of you getting stuck in your 3 year restlessness. The way you write is so welcoming, so personable. You remind me of Caitlin Moran’s books. I only discovered you recently and was first enticed by all your amazing jeans. Seriously wtf all those great jeans. But fuck girl you have a way with words and it’s a talent that goes so overlooked in this industry, so I hope you know, you’re great at writing. There is definitely a book within you or at least I hope there is, because I want to read it.

  • Pingback: 5 blogs I actually love to read – VIXWILL()

  • Holly White

    I love this post Chlo!

    I adore blogging and everything I do, but I know that realistically that I won’t be doing it forever!

    I’d love to go into tv or radio or something in he future – still keeping in the creative job zone and relating to what I do now I think!! Luckily blogging and modelling allow you to go into a wide range of other things (thank god haha, I’m clueless otherwise)

    Ps, I’d love to see shoot with you sometime!! xxx


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