Consume Less, Create More

I have been reading fewer blogs lately; I purged by blogroll and I frequently hit 'mark all read.' It's not because I don&#...

Consume Less, Create More

I have been reading fewer blogs lately; I purged by blogroll and I frequently hit 'mark all read.' It's not because I don't like blogging anymore (although there are some issues) or that I can't find any blogs worth reading (quite the opposite) but because, for a while, I was consuming too much. I was reading and reading and reading.. and then came the side effects.

First of all, there is comparison, which we all know if the thief of joy and then there were the idea thieves, which irritate and upset but there is little you can do about them. Lastly, there is the competition and popularity contest that I refuse to be a part of. I found myself in a vicious circle of getting angry at little things that really don't matter.

Then I realised we have ourselves to blame, on the most part, for feeling like this. We can choose to ignore the negative and focus on the positive, if only we consume less and create more. If only we stop comparing ourselves and second guessing everyone's motives, or getting upset about things that really don't matter.

So I have been working hard on producing content I am excited about and ignoring everybody else. I'm not here to compete against anyone. I want to read blogs and engage with their writers but I also want to avoid negativity, it's all about balance and not taking things so seriously. So long as no one directly copies my words or steals my photographs, I can ignore the irritants and nuisances. Ignorance is bliss, right? I certainly feel happier for it. Originality trumps all.

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  1. I'm feel exactly the same way when I see your blog pop up on my bloglovin feed!! Ha! I'm kidding....No seriously whatever time I log on to BL determines what I look at...if it's there...that's what I read!! Then I don't feel overwhelmed or bogged down..

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I can relate to this post so much. I just posted something about 'blogging when there's nothing to blog about,' and while writing it, I realized that I'm burning myself out with stress due to writing blog content even if I'm not inspired to write about anything. I had to remind myself to stop treating blogging as race. It's an art. It's an expression. It's not a contest. All I need to do is write whatever I want to write whenever I want to write.

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  4. Sophie, this post I hope is not a sign that you are not enjoying blogging thing, as since I've been rereading and finding new blogs, I am absolutely loving yours in particular!
    I find I have a few in my Bloglovin reader, but I keep it small, as I love to read blogs... but too many and it's a full time job!
    Gread advice to listen to as a relatively back-new-to-it blogger - thanks :)

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  5. My Last pay check was $9500 working 12 h0urs a week 0nline, My neighb0ur's sister has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 2o hours a week. l can't beIieve how easy it was 0nce l tried it 0ut

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  6. That say imitation is a form of flattery but in the world of blogging I can see why it would be iritating. We can let our negative feelings consume us or just let it go. You create amazing and original topics Sophie :)

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

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  7. Love this post, and you're completely right! I think the landscape of blogging has changed so much in the last years (it certainly wasn't this way 8 years ago...), but the important thing is to post what you like and be yourself. :)

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  8. Yes. I am finding I am reading SO much that I have become completely confused about what my own blog is even about. I don't feel like it is a reflection of myself at all. I think I may have even lost myself because I'm trying so hard to be as good as everyone else. I'm taking a break going on massive unfollowing spree's & doing what I am drawn to instead of what I think I should be doing.

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  9. This is a wonderful post, and I truly agree with all of your points. I follow about 40 blogs on Bloglovin', largely due to the reasons you've mentioned above! I love to blog for myself as it gives me a creative outlet that I don't get at my job, so it's way too time consuming to get caught up in a popularity race.

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

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  10. This post is perfect! I defo read too many blogs, and it can get to the point where you get too influenced and lose your own voice. I think I need to cut back a bit as well :)

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  11. I agree with you and find myself removing blogs that i don't care for and retreating from social media. i need more time to create art and inspire myself.

    http://insidesai.blogspot.co.uk/

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  12. oh gosh, i know what you mean! sometimes though, I can´t help it and everyday i always add someone new to my feed. there are just so many great blogs out there that i want to read them all. although it can be a bit overwhelming and usually my week is consumed more by reading than actually creating content on my own blog, and then those little comparison monsters come out and you loose motivation....it´s a never ending circle.

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  13. Aww I know this feeling all too well. I rock back and forth between being inspired by someone's work and then feeling like a complete failure because I am not where I think I should be which affects my ability to create freely sometimes. So I totally agree with your "consume less and create more" motto :)

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  14. If it helps, I love your blog Sophie. You always provide us with unique pictures and words of wisdom. I find that each and every one of your posts is inspirational and adds something to my day.

    I think you are doing the right thing by taking a step away from the whole high school-like competition and focusing on the quality of your content and your own personal development. Quoting your own words: " Ignore what everybody else is doing" and "Always remember why you started" ;-)

    Sophia | www.SassySophia.com

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  15. So many people I follow are all sent the same products for review and I find myself reading none of them, be inspired to create your own content and enjoy it.


    styleaked.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I've just discovered your blog and I'm so happy that I did! There is so much to read on your site as opposed to photos only. I've recently started a blog with my best friend and I have to keep reminding myself: Ana, just stay true to yourself.
    Ana
    www.champagnegirlsabouttown.co.uk

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  17. I've been in this same cycle for quite some time now and I usually do purge of blogs that I don't read, but then there's a time where I discover and follow more blogs than I purged. I do completely agree that bloggers shouldn't compare themselves to other bloggers, I have to remind myself and LeShea about that all the time!

    Thanks for the reminder!!

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  18. As a new Blogger I have been reading a lot of Blogs and have found they are all generally the same content and can see a lot of copying going on and literally just thought a lot of what you said in my own brain last night . Reading your Blog was a breathe of fresh air. I can understand how it can be frustrating for you to be thinking up ideas and then you see them elsewhere, I have this a lot with my business I run. I seem to sit all night thinking up things to sell or the next "fad" with the kids and then I have to find a supplier and then I get them in stock then the shop round the corner from me has them in the week later but like you said there is nothing you can do to stop people copying you , I guess you could call it "flattery" but to be honest it infuriates me at the time to the point of where I thought of giving up etc. But anyway sorry for spamming you , don't give up keep doing what your doing . xox

    http://rainbowsandunicorns27.blogspot.co.uk/

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  19. I have recently done a purge of blogs that I don't read. However, I do like to spend quite a bit of time reading other blogs and commenting on people's posts because I feel like it's giving that bit back and supporting my fellow bloggers. I do understand what you mean with regards to comparing and the competition of blogging though - it can get too much at times!

    Emma | frillsanddoodads.com

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  20. Madison Lee10/31/2014

    so well said. i need to do this more often. i find myself comparing to other bloggers and i know its not healthy. thank you for the reminder! :)

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  21. Well said! I actually have this very topic on my editorial calendar and I'll be sharing my thoughts on it next week. I've been feeling overwhelmed by it all - all the blogs, all the communities + the comparison. It's very distracting and I really need to focus on the things that speak to me + inspire me, and focus on creating + developing my own space.

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  22. thanks for sharing this - i couldn't agree more. i need to cut down on some things as well, it just seems like they sometimes take more energy from me than give back. not just in the blog world, but life in general, i guess! and i definitely want to create more and more and more :).
    xo, cheyenne

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  23. It's good to have an information amnesty for a while. I've slacked off facebook/twitter/instagram for the past year and I feel so much better. I'm doing more, but ironically you still end up feeling slightly isolated when you realise these are the tools that people use now to almost exclusively communicate through - a depressing realisation.


    I personally think we live in an age of information overload. Our brains are re-wiring and I don't think for the better, I know my attention span has diminished and it was never great to begin with! I think it's because there are no central points of contact anymore, Livejournal was one, and gave us all 3d versions of ourselves, not condensed into sound bites or best bits. We all are our own little islands trying to stand out, which in itself breeds all of the above you mentioned. Needless competition and comparisons, constantly considering how well you are 'doing'. A sense of community is missing, and maybe that helps take away the suspicions or spuriousness, the idea we are only here to put our best foot forward.


    Wow went on a bit of a rant there, but yeah, cutting yourself off is so helpful in giving yourself space to implement new ideas and to actually stop and consider what you are doing and where you want to go next :) x

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  24. allthingsbeautiful11/02/2014

    Such a great post, totally agree. I have been narrowing down all my social media and blogs I follow, because it's just so overwhelming. We don't need so much.All Things Beautiful

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  25. Síle@ Any idle sunday11/02/2014

    I think a lot of people can relate to this - and I'm oversimplifying, but I tried to explain the whole blogging "thing" to a friend and was met with "So you bloggers create the demand for blogs? You all seem to read each others...." Which is true, and lovely in terms of community, but does make you forget why you started.

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  26. I've actually been the complete opposite currently, creating a ton and not consuming enough but I understand where you're coming from.


    http://wisechameleon.com

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  27. Bonita Samuels11/06/2014

    I love this, i feel the exact same way but recently I have realised I didnt create this blog for anyone else but myself! defo love your blog!


    bonitarochelle.co.uk

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  28. I just found your blog through N21 and I love your honesty. You're spot on about how we should focus on creation and not consumption. Also on the part about popularity and who's trending and who's doing what. It's hard not to get affected by all the competition and comparison out there so sometimes yes! Ignorance can be bliss.

    Characters & Carry-ons

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  29. Haha.. stop reading then? ;))
    I cut down my blogroll and now I dip in and out of individual blogs and skim read my actual feed instead of reading everything, I find it cuts down on over consumption and leaves me with more time to get things done, y'know?

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  30. "I had to remind myself to stop treating blogging as race."


    THIS. It's not a race; we're not competing. Our individual blogs are running our own race towards whatever our finish line is. Everyone has their own sense of success and what it means to them - we shouldn't compete against what others consider successful.

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  31. Thank you so much, Holly.


    I have to admit, for a while I have been struggling with what it means to be a part of the blogging community. It's not I don't enjoy blogging because I do - very much! - but because I feel myself occasionally slipping into a negative mindset about it. It's easy to feel it's a competition and hard to remember that all that matters is our own individual idea of success.


    I've returned from my trip away with a calmer perspective and with a firmer resolve to remove myself from the negative aspects of blogging.

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  32. I think everyone is trying to compete and "be successful" but the real success comes from setting your own goals and achieving them, not trying to hit other people's ideal of what success is.

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  33. "I think I may have even lost myself because I'm trying so hard to be as good as everyone else."


    I totally understand this; it's important to focus on what we want our blogs to be and have goals as to what makes that blog a success - not try to compete against other people's ideals. It's hard because A LOT of the blogging community attempts to push us in certain directions and to produce content for the sake of "hits" or "likes" because apparently THAT constitutes success. It's hard to ignore that or get away from that but we have to remember to in order to stay happy.

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  34. I've cut down on a lot of blogs and I don't think there is a single blog I read on a daily basis now. I try not to consume too much now because you're right, it's easy to get caught up in the popularity race.

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  35. Absolutely. When everyone is "shouting" it's hard to hear your voice over the crowd.

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  36. I worry I will "miss out" if I stop reading some of the blogs I have been reading for years.. but we only have so much time per day to consume things otherwise we become overwhelmed.

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  37. I think you nail this perfectly; the cycle of over consumption leading to comparison leading to loss of motivation.. it's all too common and I see a lot of bloggers succumbing to comparison that they lose their voices and start producing content purely on mass appeal alone.

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  38. I think it is good to occasionally compare, if only to see where we can improve ourselves.. but I think it's very important to remember we are all different. We do things differently and we have to produce content in a way that is natural to us, not force or inauthentic.

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  39. Thank you so much, Sophia.

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  40. Considering the age of a lot of bloggers involved in the beauty/fashion community, I get why it's hard to step away from producing content for the sake of popularity.. but for long-term success it's important to produce authentic content and to keep improving, developing, and evolving the blog and the content we write.

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  41. Thank you for reading, Ana.

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  42. It can be tough - comparison only leads to misery.

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  43. Keep strong - originality always wins :))

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  44. I definitely enjoy reading and commenting, I just think I would rather do that with a select few and become friends with the bloggers than try to spread myself too thin. I'm all for supporting bloggers, I just don't think over consumption leads to anything productive.

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  45. Our own individual goals and idea of success is all that matters :))

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  46. I look forward to hearing your opinions on the subject!

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  47. "they take more energy from me than give back"


    Perfectly said; I feel drained when I over consume blogs. I feel distracted and disheartened by some of the content I see. Limiting what I read and making sure the quality is high, leads to me feeling positive and inspired not drained and disheartened.

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  48. I am really against the idea that social media and technology is responsible for information overload - WE are responsible for that. It is OUR responsibility to stop ourselves from over consuming; just like food isn't responsible for us being fat, we are responsible for over feeding ourselves, technology isn't responsible for us have limited attention spans - we are for letting it happen.


    I actually would argue technology brings us closer together, I talk to people way more because of the internet and social media. I have met people I would never have met and I have made friends with people I never could have because of the distance between us. I think I have a stronger community of creative people surrounding me than ever before and, if it was down to "real life" interaction, I wouldn't have any of that.


    I also hate the idea of a "curated life." It irritates me that there is such negativity about technology. We should embrace it but remember there are always negatives to the positives and it is OUR responsibility to make sure we use these life improvements in a positive way.


    /rant over ;))

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  49. I love being part of a community, I just need to make things a little clearer and more concise. I need to stop over consuming and focus on the positives to it all :))

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  50. I think a lot of blogs are the same and it's purely because they want to follow a path to "success" but they don't stop to really think about what success means.

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  51. I've been creating A LOT of content, I am way ahead with my editorial schedule.. but I think it's purely because I have set a lot of time aside to create instead of consuming other people's content.

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  52. Exactly! I created this blog for ME to share with other people. It's not there for any other reason than to say what I need it to say - we all need to remember why we started blogging :))

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  53. Thank you so much for reading :))

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  54. I totally agree Sophie - too much time is wasted seeing what everyone else is doing and comparing yourself with others. I love reading blogs but I always go my own way with my content. It doesn't matter if it doesn't appeal to everyone - if I tried to make that happen it would probably appeal to no-one! And I agree that it's better to be original too.
    Kate

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  55. Word! Hello from a new follower :)

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  56. I am glad that you are trying to find the positivity in some of the disappointment. Although it can be very disappointing and disheartening when our hard work and unique ideas are "borrowed" by others, it is also a sign that people admire what we are doing and that must mean that we are doing something right! I think it is a great idea to try to stay positive amongst all of the things that can cause use to feel unhappy - we are our own worst enemies, and the only one causing us to feel terrible when we compare ourselves to others is ourselves. You have a great blog going. Keep doing your thing, lady.

    rae of love from berlin

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  57. lola hoad11/11/2014

    I know I've already mentioned it, but I can't tell you how much I needed to read this. I'm currently dealing with the heartbreak of people stealing one of my designs, with no credit/taking out the watermark, and I've been a bit of a nervous wreck. Going on social media fills me with dread at the moment, so I'm going to take your advice and consume less, create more. You're a star, thank you.

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  58. I think a little comparison is OK, I mean, it's GOOD to see how you are doing in relation to a similar business/blog but I don't think it's good to dwell on someone "being better" than us, that's useless. There will always be someone who is bigger, better, stronger - that's how the world works. The key is to focusing on ourselves and improving our own work.

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  59. Hello! Thank you for reading! :))

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  60. I hate being negative and always try to see some kind of positive in a situation.

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  61. This is horrible to hear and if you need any help, or just someone to listen, you can always email. It's a horrible position to be in.

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  62. Thanks for this post!
    I think I have been reading so many too, I feel like I'm forcing myself to just to keep up with them when really I should read them if I want to and if I have time ans focus more in my own content too.
    Haha thanks.

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  63. I'm a content coach (I help others create meaningful content) and even I think we're all consuming way too much content (I wrote a guide about how to consume more mindfully recently). I believe you can't create something great if you're too bogged down and overwhelmed by what everyone else is doing. Love that you're focusing on what works for you!

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  64. Kellie One Day I'll Do It6/02/2015

    Loved this post! Thank you so much. Just what I needed to read. I've just entered the world of blogging. One week today and as much as I love Bloglovin i find that i'm comparing my stuff to everyone else and find that i'm wasting time trying to improve the way my site looks rather than concentrate on writing and creating inspiring pieces! Thank you for your posts.

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