We’ve all been there. You’re knees-deep in a bag of chips, marinating in a too-potent express tan, balancing an iced latte on a teetering pile of magazines and press releases holding a bygone promise of inspiration. You stare at the blank sheet of a google doc on the lappy screen, wishing the words to appear. Come on, come on. Be witty. Be innovative. Be cool. They come out wrong. Your idea doesn’t materialise quite how you expected it to. A couple of tradies have even photobombed your street-style Summer lookbook. Ga-reat. Where’s the next bag of chips at?
Yep, it’s the infamous Creative Rut. A content creator’s most dreaded nightmare – usually resultant in a sad wooden tabletop flatlay, a caffeine-centric snap or a seasonal ‘favourites’ upload. Today, we’re turning to a gal determined to rekindle the creativity of the humble blog: a platform copping some serious neglect at the hands of the fast-paced world of social media engagement [and TBH, the convenience of it]. Lydia Elise Millen.
No stranger to the realm of Instagram, with almost 689k religious followers double-tapping at her every move, Lydia is using her own platform to call for a blogging renaissance – encouraging creatives to not forget this now-considered ‘old school’ method of influencing.
“When you see how fast-paced other social media channels move, it’s so easy to let your blog fall to the back of your priority list. And whilst I really do value taking a week or two out here and there to ensure I’m bringing fresh ideas and am not just churning out content to hit a self inflicted schedule – this is the one space on the internet that is just for you… You own it, you control it, and ain’t no algorithm gonna decide who sees what you post!”
And while the blog is facing impending endangerment as more and more opt for the tempting escape route of clicking exit and packing up ship [or perhaps just posting a lousy couple of articles every few months], Lydia is flying the flag high for keeping the blog boat afloat. “I’ve seen so many girls who I’ve admired preparing to throw in the towel after years of their lives poured into their blogs. I’ve met a lot of people who once upon a time had a blog and every single one of them have told me it’s their biggest regret that they didn’t stick at it.”
So what’s Lydia’s solution for turning this trend around?
1. Take a look back at what you’ve created
“We are constantly fed quotes about how you should ‘never look back because you’re not going that way’, but sometimes you have to take a stroll back through the years, through the archives, to truly appreciate how incredible this thing is that you have created”.
2. Remove negative energy
“Cleansing your space of [negative] energy and making your time spent online enjoyable is the key to wanting to spend a little more time on it.”
3. Look to others for inspiration – not to copy them
“My Bloglovin feed, my Instagram feed, and my Youtube sub box are now curated spaces where I go to be inspired. I go there to be reminded about what I love about being a creator, what I love about filming videos or writing blog posts. I don’t go there to find ideas and repackage them as my own.”
4. Don’t give up
“I know, I know! Easier said than done, but just don’t be so definite about it. You don’t have to shut down your blog because right in this moment you don’t feel it’s progressing how you want. We all have those moments where it isn’t working, but that is a chance to grow and a chance to evolve.”
Putting forward her final argument for why we shouldn’t bid adieu to the blog, Lydia writes: “I had my blog before I even had Twitter, Instagram wasn’t even a thing, and Youtube didn’t get a look in… It’s the one platform that seamlessly represents who I am in the online space. I’m not limited to 260 characters or required to fit into a perfectly square box.
“I designed everything about this space to make it not only functional but beautiful and engaging too. But the most beautiful thing about this space is, you make all the rules. There’s no cookie cutter mould or one size fits all blog, and that is what attracted me to it in the first place.”
Whether you’re a blogger for life or a modernised Insta-exclusive skeptic, Lydia’s musings prompt some major question marks that will have you rethinking the future of your little corner of the internet.
Click here to read Lydia’s full article.