*One of my India pics, taken in Pushkar, the holiest city in the country*
I returned from India unscathed! Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to Thailand, for personal reasons totally out of my own control. However, I will go one day, so I have to turn my frown upside down and just save some more pennies.
So I’ve been thinking a lot recently… And I’ve made the decision to call an end to HauteFuture. I know this is probably quite surprising, as my blog is the thing I have been most passionate about since I started it a couple of years ago. However, I’ve found that I’ve basically outgrown it and that I’ve totally lost sight of why exactly I started HauteFuture in the first place!
*Photograph taken before a posh dinner out with all of my uni friends when we handed in out dissertations*
Two years ago, I set up HauteFuture because I wanted fiercely to become a women’s lifestyle journalist for some kind of top magazine like Marie Claire or Vogue. I am still really passionate about writing and have never been someone to turn away a good magazine. However, I’m not quite sure that having a blog like HauteFuture is what’s going to get me there, or help me further develop the skills I’ve learned in the process of blogging.
Blogging quickly became about celebritizing myself. I would panic if I hadn’t blogged in a week because how would my readers get by if they didn’t know about my terrible lipstick malfunction?! What if they went and bought that same lipstick and experienced the same disaster?! It was my responsibility, nay, my duty to TELL THEM THE TRUTH. The honest fact of it is, that there are about a hundred other girls in the UK who have written exactly the same review as I would have done, and guess what? No-one really cared! No-one got handed a top London magazine internship for publishing the same uninteresting twaddle that I was angsting about and yet I carried on doing it. For what?
*Just about to head out last year to scout bands for my dad's local music festival*
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE writing, more than the next person. I would love to be a novelist and between you and me, I have started writing up somewhat of an autobiographical novel just for the fun of it. Plus, I’ve written freelance pieces for my local newspaper in the past year or so which have felt like brilliant, albeit minor, achievements. But what made me think that reviewing moisturizer improved my writing skills in any way? How was I ever going to do what I ultimately want to do, and make money from my space of internet? I wasn’t. And before you ask, no, it isn’t all about the money. But realistically, I, like many bloggers out there, started my page because it was the easier alternative to breaking into the impenetrable career of magazine journalism. But what pays the bills?
Having had time to think, I cringe at how much I made blogging all about getting followers and building up my lists of ‘fans’. I have been known to spend HOURS at a time, desperately tweeting and facebook-statusing my link to people who quite frankly, couldn’t care less about what I thought of the latest mascara. If someone unfollowed my blog, I would automatically hate them, even though I didn’t know who they were! A friend of mine even showed me how to monitor my readers by locating them in the world, working out how they had found me and even how long they had spent on my page before getting bored. Now, I know that running a successful website and a blog in particular is all about maintaining a healthy amount of reader traffic, but when you are spending more time trying to hunt for new readers and constantly feeling like the things you write are worthless because you only got three comments per day, I think you’ve slightly lost sight of why you started the page to begin with.
*At my graduation*
For the past few months I haven’t liked the way the women's lifestyle blogging world is going and that’s the honest truth. Anyone who is anyone has a blog, and the majority of those in the UK are in the sectors of beauty and fashion. The lack of creativity with blog posts that have popped up on my blogger dash has made me think, ‘Why do I even bother writing original posts when there are bloggers out there doing nothing more than the generic Instagram, Glossybox and 20 Questions posts who are ranking more followers than me???’ And even after spending so long musing over it, I still don’t have an answer to that question.
Since realizing that I didn’t want to be ‘just another beauty blogger’ I started trying to veer away from beauty and branch out into other areas, like travel, food and film and I really enjoyed it! In fact, I enjoyed it more than I think I ever enjoyed beauty blogging and vlogging. I just assumed initially, that because I love beauty products I would love writing about them. But when you realize you’re not really fulfilling any kind of niche, and are just providing more noise in an already noisy environment, it makes you feel kind of redundant. There are girls out there who are great at beauty blogging or fashion blogging and I salute them. I am just not one of them.
*On the way to my first 'grown up' job since graduating*
HauteFuture has served me well. I practiced my writing in a safe place, set up a successful page with HTML that I never even knew existed and I made lots of friends in the process. This reminds me to say, that I have respect for every beauty blogger out there, even those who like posting Instagram, Glossybox and 20 Questions posts. I actually really enjoy reading posts like this, I just didn’t like being a part of the culture which made me feel like these kinds of posts are the only things that would define me as being a true part of the community.
At the end of the day, without meaning to sound arrogant, I feel like I’ve gotten everything that I can from HauteFuture and to carry on would be denial.
*In San Francisco last summer*
So, what’s next? Am I going to stop blogging entirely? Of course I won’t, I’m not sure if I will ever stop blogging! After all, in spite of feeling like it is time to move on, having HauteFuture as a record of my past couple of years is a great memento! So if not here, where will I be blogging, I hear you ask, and why am I moving, what will be different?
Well, my latest venture is going to be called The NW Midlander and will be another Blogger-hosted page. The NW Midlander will be all about what the North West and the Midlands have to offer, as I have noticed that there are so many blogs out there about how great living in London is but none about how great the North West and Midlands are! And they are, trust me. Sure, there will be foreign travel updates, book and movie reviews and social networking tutorials (and maybe even the odd women's lifestyle posts...), but mostly you will be able to find beautiful photography, food posts which will make you drool and stay-cation reviews which will make you consider the North West and Midlands for your summer holiday needs.
*The sun setting on Tordi Sagar's sand dunes in India*
And as for my beauty habit, don’t think I’m going cold turkey! Actually, quite the opposite! I’m even considering going on a makeup application course, amongst other ideas rushing around my messy-unemployed-graduate head.
Once The NW Midlander is available to view I will pop the link on here, but until then this is goodbye! Thank you to everyone who has stood by me and supported me in my blogging. I really appreciate your loyalty, but now, onto new horizons!
Lots of love