What Is Burnout?

What Is Burnout_(1).png

What is burnout?

Burnout is something that can happen in life regardless of your age, gender, race or employment status and can creep up on you so you don’t notice it is happening, often until it is too late.

Burnout can affect each person in different ways. Some may experience stomach problems, sleep issues, not feeling motivated to do anything, not finding enjoyment in the things you once found fun, general “fogginess” of the mind, feeling numb to things, memory problems, loss of appetite and other symptoms.

Why does burnout happen?

Burnout happens when the body and mind are subject to stress, lack of sleep and the cause can be the modern lifestyles. In this day there is a pressure to always be “on”, connected and busy – whether it is working all the hours, side hustle, study, hobbies or interests, something needs to be filling each minute of each day. The internet, especially social media, reinforce these beliefs with eh sharing of such “motivational” images “Live your best life” and others that encourage doing all the things.

Other causes can be from social media, email and mobile phones. For some, there is a pressure to forever update statuses, share photos and engage with followers 24/7, check and respond to emails as they happen. The ping of a new message or notification can be a buzz that becomes addictive and one that commands attention.

Even day-to-day life can be a cause of burnout. There are so many different things to juggle day to day, from paying bills, working, housekeeping, washing, cooking, hobbies, interest and other pursuit’s that can be a drain on your energy, lead to stress and lack of sleep.

How can we identify burnout?

As burnout can affect everyone differently, and the cause can vary; the best way of identifying burnout is to pay attention to how you are feeling mentally and physically. Are you tired all the time? Do you feel stress? Are you avoiding doing certain activities you once enjoyed? What are your reactions like – are you short-tempered or annoyed quickly? Also, assess how much time you have been “on” and doing things, if this is higher than usual then it is possible that you will be experiencing a form of burnout.

How you can treat burnout?

If you are starting to feel the effects of burnout, one of the best things you can do is to step away from all of the activities that have been taking up your time and energy, turn off your social media and email notifications and take some time to yourself.

Going for walks in the fresh air, spending time with friends and family, eating a healthy and varied diet, stretching exercises, reading and mindfulness can help, but one of the most restorative is sleep.

Safeguarding against burnout in the future.

  • Know the signs of burnout that are personal to you.
  • Understand what your burnout triggers are.
  • Take time out each week to relax.
  • Exercise, eat healthily and get enough sleep.
  • Take regular breaks from social media, emails and other communications.
  • Listen to yourself. Your body will often give you hints about what it needs and tuning in to this can be the preventative measure.
  • Assess how you spend your time and alter it to include more time focusing on relaxing.

Case Study – My Experience with Burnout.

I have been experiencing burnout for the past few weeks. I started to become aware that I was not very motivated to do anything much, preferring to spend my time mindlessly scrolling through Instagram rather than blogging or doing any of the other things, I usually enjoy. I felt disinterested in everything and struggled to get up for work in the mornings.

I had a pretty busy October and figured out some of the triggers for this burnout, these things included

  1. Blogtober, a month-long daily blog challenge, where I challenged myself to answer three questions each day, which, as I tend to blog daily did not seem too ambitious coupled with trying to maintain my usual blog routine.
  2. Season changes. The past few weeks have been really dark and gloomy, with a lot of rain and bad weather, which I have found, affects me.
  3. Shoulder pain. My shoulder injury has meant that I have not been sleeping properly and have been unable to do some tasks that I would normally be able to carry out.
  4. Inktober, a month-long drawing challenge where you create artwork from a daily prompt word.

I already knew that stretching my creativity could cause me to experience burnout, something I discovered in University but I thought that, because the activities I had set for myself through October were fairly varied then I would be ok.

As I had suffered from burnout previously I was able to recognise some of the signs and take steps to overcome it.

You may have noticed that I have not posted many “proper” blog posts for a week or so (aside from my Blogtober posts and my Saturday Shout Out Advert). I took the decision to step away from the blog, art and design work and get some well-needed rest.

I am now, slowly working my way back into my routines and looking at what I want to achieve, how to balance my work, play and relaxation time and how I spend my time.

 

 

What is…Pitted Keratolysis?

What Is...

I have pitted keratolysis which can be pretty embarrassing at times and painful at others but I have found a few ways to manage this condition.  Today I want to share with you what this condition is and how you can ease it.

So, what is pitted keratolysis?

Pitted keratolysis is a bacterial skin infection that can affect both the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. However, it most often affects the feet because of the sweaty environment created by wearing shoes and socks for an extended period of time.

This condition is characterized by small depressions or pits in the top layer of skin and areas of white skin. It can be a cause of smelly feet and is much more common in men than women. – https://www.healthline.com/health/pitted-keratolysis

My pitted keratolysis is on my feet and causes them to become really stinky, overly sweaty to the extent that they feel slimy, causes my skin to peel and in turn become really sore.

For years I was treating this condition as athletes foot, which had been wrongly diagnosed.  While the powders, sprays and lotions helped a little bit with the smell it caused my skin to dry out and crack which would lead to sore, weeping wounds, particularly between my toes.

I changed my socks 2 or 3 times a day which never really helped, cleaned my shoes with disinfectant and never wear the same pair 2 days running.  But nothing seemed to help.

I eventually decided to purchase some Dricolor roll-on antiperspirant and try that.  Dricolor contains aluminium chloride hexahydrate which is really effective at stopping sweat by blocking the sweat glands.  Application is easy, after washing my feet I roll the antiperspirant onto the soles of my feet and wiggle my toes so the solution disperses between them and then I leave to dry.  Sometimes this can take a while but I have found a hairdryer on a low heat setting can speed things up.  I then put my socks on and get ready for the day.

This is the most effective for me, and the effects of the Dricolor last for ages, even with showering.  I tend to apply this antiperspirant on a Saturday and a Wednesday each week.

Other things you can do to help with this condition are to go barefoot as often as possible and wash your feet often drying them well after.

This has been the most effective treatment for me and I am no longer embarrassed by my feet or how they smell (because they don’t any more!).

Do you have pitted keratolysis?  What do you use to care for your feet?  I’d be really interested in hearing your comments!

 

My Biggest Blogging Obstacles and How I’m Overcoming Them

lifetime

Blogging is not all sunshine and roses, and neither is it easy.  There is a common misconception that bloggers just need to open a new post, write it and then publish it.  But blogging, as with any job or hobby can come with its own set of obstacles.  Today I am sharing my biggest blogging obstacles and the strategies I use to overcome them.

  • Time Management

Writing a blog post and getting it ready for publishing can take time.  I don’t want to spend all of my time sitting at a screen and thinking about what I am going to write, nor do I want to miss out on other life events because of my blog, and I especially do not want to rush a blog post in order to hit any schedule I have in place.  This is where time management is crucial.  I have gotten into a routine of scheduling time of an evening to write blog posts, work on post ideas and plan my schedule.  I set aside 2 hours of my evening in which to write, plan and read other blogs.  It has taken time to get to this stage where it just comes naturally to me, that on returning from my 9-5 job I put the kettle on and make a coffee then settle down to craft a post.  It’s all about being time savvy and finding a good balance.

If you are struggling with time management and feel that you don’t have the time to spend on your blog that you want it is worth keeping a log of how you spend your time for a week.  The time log can be as detailed as you want but all you really need to see is when you have any downtime that could be used blogging.  Once you have identified these blocks of time you can start scheduling in blog time.

  • Productivity

Productivity can be a hard one to measure as a blogger especially when there are so many blogging activities that need to be done including writing posts, editing, images, links, catching up with other blogs, commenting and a whole host of other things.  There are also distractions that can make being productive quite hard.

Productivity is one thing I am forever struggling with.  Have I been productive by writing 3 posts this week?  By keeping on top of my comments?  By staying up to date with my fellow bloggers?  Every day can be so different that comparing one day to another in terms of what I have accomplished doesn’t really work.

I manage my productivity by making lists of the things I want to achieve on my blog each week and then break it down into smaller, more manageable lists that I aim to complete each day.  I roughly know how long each task will take me and try to allocate the tasks so that the time allowance is the same for each day.  I find that when I know what needs to be done and I can cross things off that I can then measure how productive I have been.

  • Lack of Motivation

Some days I am super motivated and seem to get a ton of blog things accomplished but then another day I have all the intentions of working on my blog but all I seem to manage to do is sit and stare into space and not get anything done.  We are only human and need to have back up plans for when the lack of motivation hits us.

I like to deal with this kind of day by having a few posts written in advance (I write these on the days I am feeling super motivated) which I keep in my drafts folder.  On the days I have a lack of motivation I open up my drafts folder and edit a post before scheduling it.  Just this little act can boost my motivation and I can then work on some other blog things.

But, I have learned that on days when my motivation is lacking sometimes it is best to step away from the blog and work on something else I enjoy.  There is no point in being harsh with yourself when you have zero motivation, it is your brain’s way of saying that you need a bit of time out.

  • Bloggers Block

When I first started this blog I went through a bit of Bloggers Block, its a bit like writers block (but for bloggers) where you have all the will in the world to write, you want to write and have a need to write but there are no words appearing on the screen no matter how hard you stare at it and will them to appear.  Bloggers block is one of the biggest fears of mine and one that I hope not to experience again any time soon.

I have developed a system in order to avoid the dreaded blogger’s block and that is to have a journal where I write down any ideas for posts that I may have.  Any idea, no matter how big or small or crazy gets written down.  I go through the book when I am working on my posting schedule for the month and schedule the ideas in for the following month.

  • Idea Generating

Coming up with ideas for the blog can be a bit hit or miss at times, and even though I add any ideas I have to a blog journal I am always conscious that these ideas may run out in the future.  I like to sit down every few months and go through some exercises that can help with generating fresh content ideas.

The first exercise is to look at the categories I write posts in, for example, Fashion And Beauty.  I get a piece of blank paper and write the heading in the centre then try to think of as many topics related to that category as possible, so for Fashion and Beauty, there may be things like the outfit, season, new shoes, shower gel, cleanser etc, a bit like a spider diagram.  From this I can then come up with ideas for blog posts.

The second exercise I have is to perform a hashtag search to see what kind of things are trending which are relative to my niche.  Sometimes words or phrases will come up that I had never thought of or expected which can then generate ideas for blog posts.

  • Accountability

As a blogger I often feel that I am only accountable to myself, and being accountable to myself is something that I don’t do well with as I am one of those people who will put off today the things I can do tomorrow.

In order to bring accountability to my blog and get things done in a timely manner, I have a blog posting schedule which I have loosely planned out until the end of 2020.  I created a calendar in Excel which I have written in re-occurring posts such as my Saturday Shout Out, Top 10 Thursday and Weekly Roundup, all the posts that are assigned to specific days.  I have also written out onto certain days the category of the blog post I want to be written for that day, there is nothing very specific on it.  However, I then start assigning specific blog posts and titles the month prior, so this month (September) I have already planned out the majority of my posts to their specifics for October.  Working to a schedule means that I always know what is coming up, what I need to write and when I need it written for.

The other way I have bought accountability to my blog is by sharing a post each month letting all of my readers know what is coming up on the blog in that coming month.  This works really well for me as I know, with my reader’s expectations, I stay accountable to them as well as myself.

  • Lonliness

Blogging is a fairly solitary activity and it can be easy to feel a bit lonely at times.  With other activities, such as a job, you are surrounded by people all in the same boat and it is easy to chat, share problems and generally talk about the job, but blogging can be one of those things that friends and family may not fully understand.  I have found that the best way to overcome these feelings of loneliness is to find other bloggers that you enjoy reading, start commenting on their blogs and build up a network of like-minded people.

I have been incredibly lucky to meet some really supportive, like-minded bloggers since starting this blog, and I am pleased to be able to call them friends.  But, I have only been able to build up this group of friends through following, reading, commenting and replying to comments.  I have found that if you reach out to another blogger, or if they reach out to you then it is worthwhile investing time in conversations, you won’t often feel lonely at all.

What are your biggest blogging obstacles and how have you overcome them?  Let me know in the comments, your responses may be able to help another blogger who is struggling.

 

How To Achieve Anything

How to Achieve Anything.png

You have all heard the saying “You can achieve anything if you work hard enough”, and it is true.  If you want to achieve something then you will find a way.  Nothing is truly impossible or too hard if you can plan for it.  I use a method which works for me, I am very visual and tend to work better when I make lists and diagrams and have charts to refer to and today I am going to share my method of achieving anything I want.

  1. Write down what it is that you want to achieve, whether it be cleaning the house top to bottom or writing a dissertation.  Make this the centre title of your page.
  2. Surround this “title” with all the things you will need in order to achieve this goal.  For example – if you want to clean the house you might write things like “dusters, hoover, mop, anti-bac spray, bleach” if it were your dissertation you may want to write titles of books to read, topics to research, stationery supplies you may require.  Anything can go in this word cloud, if it makes sense to you, write it down.
  3. Now we need to look at steps involved in achieving the goal, for a clean house this would be something like 1) Sweep floor, 2) hoover, 3) mop.  For writing a dissertation you may want to make a list of similar steps such as 1) Decide on the dissertation topic, 2) Research by reading x,y z books or reading online articles, 3) Make notes, 4) decide on cohesive chapters for dissertation, 5) Research x,y,z topics.
  4. When is the goal to be achieved by?  Once you have pinpointed when the completion date is, you can then start to look at breaking down your steps in the above section, and assign them their own mini completion time.
  5. Is there anything you need to take into consideration with achieving your goal?  If you need a friend’s help for example, or if you need to brush up on a skill or learn something new then factor this into your goal timescale and make these things a priority.
  6. Work on your goal by achieving each step within your set timescale.  I find working on things, especially bigger projects, little and often is better than trying to achieve the goal in a short period of time.

I know that these steps won’t work for everyone but the basics will,

  • Know your goal.
  • Know your timescale.
  • Know what you need.
  • Know your steps.
  • Focus and  little by little your goal will become closeer and more achievable.

How to Develop Your Own Fashion Style

CD81251B-8A80-4614-9145-8FEDEDE116A2

I am a big fan of fashion but an even bigger fan of creating my own style using fashion pieces mixed with tried and tested favorites that I already own, for me, it is more about how I curate my look rather than where I buy it.  In this post, I will be discussing ways to develop your own fashion style and give you some ideas on how to create your own look.

Developing your own fashion style is a bit like creating your own brand, choosing a color palette, patterns, accessories and a host of other things, that when bought together, create a look that is uniquely yours.

Firstly, I like to think about color and decide on a primary color – red, yellow or blue.  Don’t worry about the tone of the color, you could choose rose, mustard or turquoise as they are still part of the “primary color” family.  This color will be used for the basics of your style – the t-shirts, vest tops, jumpers, all those items that can be thrown together with anything you own.

Next, I like to think about patterns.  The pattern you pick, whether stripes, floral, gingham, zigzag, will be used to create a set of separates – dresses, tops, trousers, skirts, etc.  Choose patterns in colorways that will complement the color you chose in the first step as this will guarantee that you have a series of things that go together from the off.  I am really into black and white stripes at the moment which goes with any color.

img_5070
Image from https://www.sessions.edu/color-calculator/

Thirdly, choose a color opposite the primary color you chose in the first step.

  • Red = yellow-green, green, blue-green.
  • Yellow = red-violet, violet, blue-violet.
  • Blue = red-orange, orange, yellow-orange.

These are called complementary colors and work well together, acting as an enhancer of the other color.  These colors will be used for accessories such as jewelry, bags, shoes and, belts.

From this, you can assess what style you are most comfortable in or what style you wear on a regular basis.  Is this style formal, smart casual, casual, laid back, sporty or something else?  I am most comfortable and reach for items that are loose fit, boho, hippy and that have a beach/festival vibe.

Before buying anything go and see what you have in your wardrobe and think about things you can already wear.  Sometimes, by just re-thinking what you would wear with which item can give your style a new lease of life.  Note down any gaps in your attire and decide whether you are going to get that item in your primary or complementary color or in your chosen pattern.

Remember things such as jeans and jackets can be re-vamped and styled with ease, and you will probably have lots of items that can help to form the basis of your style, or help you to transition into your new look!  Try pairing black jeans, trousers or leggings with a bright t-shirt, blazer, and bright handbag and shoes!

I have found, since developing my own fashion style I always have something to wear to any occasion, I spend less time thinking about what I am going to wear, love all items in my wardrobe, they all get worn and I spend less time making terrible shopping choices!  In fact, I spend less on clothes now that I am happy with my style rather than buying off the peg outfits in a hurry.

What is your go-to fashion style?

How to Bullet Journal

img_4981

I have been using a bullet journal on and off for years now, some of them have been really creative while others have been more functional.  I have now settled into a style that works for me, it’s a mix of creative and functional with the most creative aspect of my journal being the page I dedicate to the month title.

I have never been one for following rules, and the traditional Bullet Journal Method of rapid logging doesn’t really appeal to me so I tend to borrow ideas from diaries and mish-mash them with things that I need in order to function on a day to day basis.

I wanted to share with you my tips and tricks I have learned along the way and how I bullet journal so today’s post is dedicated to this.

First up, let’s talk about the actual “journal”.  I want to start by saying that you really do not need to buy any kind of brand journal, any kind of notebook will do.  It doesn’t matter if the pages are lined, blank, dotted, graph or grid, whatever tickles your fancy will do nicely!  My personal preference is for a dotted grid that isn’t too dark.  Brand-wise, you can go with any, I have used cheap books from Amazon (which have no brand name), cheap notebooks from the supermarket, Lechtturm 1917, Scribbles That Matter, Flying Tiger and one that I picked up in my local TK Maxx.  The brand really does not matter, it’s what you make it be that counts!

Tools

You may have seen people on social media and blogs talking about this pen, that pencil, this washi, those stickers and a whole other myriad of “essential” stationery needs for your bullet journal.  My advice… disregard all that you have read.  Here’s a list of tools you will need.

  • Your favorite pen, ink color of your preference.
  • A graphite pencil.  Any kind will do.
  • A ruler or straight edge.
  • A few other pens in different colors, gel or fine liners work really well as do ball pens.
  • Eraser, accept that you will make mistakes, an eraser will help to remove most.
  • Post-it notes.

Now, before you even start on creating your journal, sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and write down a list of things you want your journal to have and what you want to use that journal for.  Each person has a different list of wants and needs and reasons to use a journal.

The main thing that is needed in a journal is diary space for logging things.  This can take up several different formats depending on what you want to use the journal for.

  • Future log – an overview of several months that you can add information such as Birthdays and other Occasions in little detail.  Usually, this will take up 2 or more pages.
  • Monthly overview – a page dedicated to just one month where you can log upcoming appointments in a bit more detail.
  • Weekly log – this can cover one page or 2 depending on the amount of detail you want to add to each day.
  • Daily log – a page dedicated to each day, where you have the whole page to use for recording things.

Basic Set Up

The next thing to decide is whether you want a divider page between each month.  Once you have answered that question you can then move on to thinking about the running order of your journal.  My personal preference is

  1. Future Log over 4 pages (title on the facing page then on the double page 8 months, and on the reverse another 4 months).
  2. Monthly title page on the next available facing page.
  3. Monthly overview on the reverse of the monthly title page.
  4. Weekly pages for the month over a double page.
  5. Repeat 2-4.

This is your basic set up.

There are so many ways to set up your weekly pages, columns, rows, squares, rectangles…a peek at Instagram will show you so many different ways.  Decide which layout is best for you. I find that rows and rectangles work best for me and alternate between the two every month.

Other Pages to Consider

Some people like to add a Key to their journal, a page of symbols or color coding that correlates to certain items in their journal, it is useful to add this to the beginning of your journal if you want to use one.  There may be other requirements you have for your journal, like shopping lists, trackers and other things.  Some pages you may wish to insert into your basic set up are

  • Trackers.  There are so many different things you may want to track, water intake, medication, sleep, steps, exercise.
  • Shopping lists.
  • Notes.
  • Checklists.
  • Projects.
  • Ideas.
  • Thoughts.
  • Daily/weekly/monthly reflections.

You can add these things in between your daily/weekly pages or at the beginning or end of the month, or you can have a whole section dedicated just to these kinds of pages. There is no wrong or right way when it comes to placement, remember it is your journal.

Making a Start

I like to start by opening a new Excel spreadsheet, in the first column I make a list of each page number (the amount will depend on how many pages are available in your chosen journal).  In the following column, I start to map out how I want my pages to flow, from my Future Log onwards and listing each page as if I were flicking through it.  This step gives me an idea of how many pages I will use and helps me to work out how many pages will be used and for what.  You don’t really need to use this step if you don’t want to.

I then map out in my journal the first few pages, firstly using post-it notes labeled with the title of the page or the date range those pages will cover so that I can get a feel for how the layout will be.  Again this is an optional step but helps me to make fewer mistakes or miss things out.

Creating Your Pages

Now is time to put pencil to paper and map out your pages.  Always, always, always start with a pencil!  Any mistakes you make can easily be corrected, and once you are happy with the way things look you can then commit to your design with a pen, trust me on this…I’ve messed up a ton and pencil is so much easier to rectify!

You can make your pages as intricate or as plain as you want, play around and have fun creating something that is useful and will be used by you!  Use as many or as few colors as you want, be minimal with your designs, be maximal, whatever you fancy!

Collections

I don’t really use collections but I thought it may be useful to mention here.  Collections are series’ of pages that log certain things.  collections can be lists of books to be read, films to watch, bucket lists, travel lists, packing lists, cleaning lists, and rotas… this kind of page is normally placed towards the back of your journal.

Bullet Journal Terms

Here’s a list of terms and definitions that may be useful

  • Future log – Overview of the yea
  • Monthly log – Overview of the current month
  • 2 Page Spread – usually a layout which spans 2 pages, normally a left hand and right-hand page.
  • Key – a series of symbols or colors that are assigned to certain events or tasks.
  • Week to a page – a week that is contained to just one page of your journal.
  • Week on 2 pages –  a weekly layout spread over 2 pages.
  • Tracker – a little infographic for you to capture information on whatever you want to track.

I hope you found this post useful.  Do you currently use a bullet journal?  What are your most useful pages?  If you don’t use a bullet journal, what would you use one for?

 

What Are Soapnuts?!

What Are(1)

I have been using Soapnuts for a while now and today I want to share with you just what they are!

I discovered soapnuts a few years back when I was looking for ways to be more eco-friendly, reduce the amount of plastic that I use and minimise the number of chemicals in my day to day life.

Soapnuts are not really nuts at all, they are berries that come from a species of shrub that is part of the Lychee family.  The shrub is called Sapindus and grows in several different places, namely Asia, both Northern and Southern.  The berries have high saponins which work as a detergent and have been used for many years in Asian countries.

Soapnuts can be used to clean a multitude of things, from surfaces, dishes, body and hair.

How I use Soapnuts.

I have been using soapnuts mainly to do my laundry and have replaced shop bought laundry detergent with soapnuts for pretty much all the washing that I now do.  I bought my soapnuts from here.  They came in a cloth bag, and the big draw for me was that there was 280 washes worth, they are compostable and are natural, no chemicals or other nasties that can work their way into our waterways.  They are really easy to use, just pop a few into a muslin bag and tie shut, place in with your laundry and set your machine for the regular cycle you would normally use.  Once the washing is done, dry in the normal way.

The nuts have no scent so I like to add a few drops of essential oil to the nuts before adding to the wash or I use a liquid, ecological conditioner (such as this Ecover one), though not having my clothes smell of anything does not bother me too much.  The soapnuts don’t leave your clothes smelling weird, they just don’t have any scent at all.  You can use the soapnuts two or three times before replacing.

Once the soapnuts have been used for laundry I like to collect them up, and when I have about 25 to 30 shells I place them into hot water and boil for 10 minutes.  I then use the water to rinse my hair or add to a bucket to mop over the floor.  The liquid can also be used to wash the dishes in or can be kept in a spray bottle and used for cleaning worktops.

The soapnuts don’t foam, which at first was really weird for me to get my head around after many years of being used to having soap suds being created when doing any type of cleaning.  It is hard to get your head around the idea that something that doesn’t foam can actually be effectively cleaning things.

I have found that soapnuts clean my laundry really well and lift out dirt and stains as well as regular, shop bought detergents, they don’t fade or discolour fabrics and seem to deal pretty well with things like deodorant build up too.

Have you tried soapnuts?  What are your thoughts about them?  Do you have any other uses for them?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

What is a Blogger?

What Is A Blogger_

When I say to people that I blog, most of them assume that I just write and publish to the internet but there are a lot of other things bloggers like me do aside from writing.  Today I am sharing with you what a blogger is.

First and foremost a blogger is a writer, we write about lots of different things.  There are blogs that people write about gardening, mental health, reviews on products, books, fashion and beauty.  You name the topic and I’m sure there will be a blog post written about it somewhere on the internet.

We are content creators, we are constantly thinking about things that would be interesting to write about and things that fit into our blog niche.

We are photographers, taking photos of things that we can add to our posts, and alongside that we are image editors, tweaking our photos digitally to enhance the lighting, shadows and making the most of the subject we have chosen to capture.

We are graphics creators.  We use different software’s to create page banners, logos and other items that we can add into our posts and social media channels to make them more visually appealing.

We are editors, writing posts and then re-reading them and checking them for grammatical and spelling errors, often re-writing parts of sentences and even whole paragraphs to make them easier to read.

We are social media marketers.  We share our blogs on different platforms in the hope that other people will want to read the posts we have written.

We are website designers, choosing how our blogs look to the outside world and how they operate.  We run checks to make sure that links work and things appear as they should and where they should.

We are schedulers.  We often work out a schedule of posting that fits in with the rest of our lives, sometimes this is easy to do and other times it can be hard.  Some people choose to blog daily and others work to a one post a week schedule.  We can be driven by self-imposed deadlines and try our hardest to stick to the schedule we have.

We are “stats” people.  Many of us are interested in the stats we generate, from page views to likes, comments and follows.  We like to keep tabs on this information and try to make sense of it.

We are readers and researchers.  We are always reading about things to do with our subjects and are interested in any new developments.  We research our topics to make sure that our facts and writing are correct and that our thoughts and arguements are well rounded.

We are not takers and makers.  We often have books full of ideas and thoughts, things we can do and things we need to do, things to look into and ways to improve.

But above all, we are human.  We make mistakes and we have days where we don’t want to get out of bed or leave the house.  We have lives outside of our blogs, we shop, we meet friends for coffee, we cook and eat food.  And we are all unique in what we write, what we post and what we do.