Why do you blog?

Since launching this blog at the start of the year, my presence around here has been minimal. As I wrote last week, writer’s block has been partially to blame for this. However, I’m beginning to realise my struggle with writing also stems from the fact that if someone asked me today, “Why do you blog?” I wouldn’t have a truly solid answer. The truth is, I’m still figuring it out.

When your blog is attached to a business (or anything that can drive potential income to your bank account), it’s incredibly easy to become hyper-aware and extra critical of the content you put out into the world. Understandably, you want to put your best foot forward. You want to establish yourself as credible within your industry. You want to show you have your shit together, that you’re reliable, knowledgeable and good at what you do. I understand the importance of all of this, I really do. But when you’re constantly confining yourself to this bubble of professionalism, it’s fucking exhausting. And for me, incredibly boring and restricting.

My Twitter feed is continuously flooded with articles telling me about the secrets to blogging if I want more comments; what I should blog about if I want to showcase my design expertise to gain exposure and reach more potential clients; what steps I should make if I want my blog to propel me into a 6 figure income. This list could go on forever and the content overload can overwhelming and debilitating.

Why do you blog?

Of course, I understand why we all want the above but if we’re constantly chasing immediate results with every move we make, our definition of success can become extremely narrow and we can set the bar way too high. Likewise, if we’re constantly making calculated moves to promote our businesses in terms of the content we share, over time it can make you feel soulless and robotic.

Naturally, my blog is a place to show potential clients my expertise, but it’s also a place where I just want to simply connect with people. This connection doesn’t always need to have a business motive or a tangible result attached to it. When we become too focused on the latter, it’s incredibly easy to lose sense of our true selves and we can forget how to just be.

So, in the coming days (weeks) as I try to define why I blog and what I want to blog about, I need to remember that my goal is to simply connect with people on all different levels. Sometimes professionally, sometimes personally. If I can find a balance with blogging that feels natural to me and allows for growth in both directions, then I’m golden.

What about you? Do you feel stumped by the question “Why do you blog?”. Tell me I’m not the only one.

Avocado Toast

When you work from home, skipping lunch can become part of your daily routine far too often. With no co-workers coaxing you outdoors to grab lunch, it’s incredibly easy to remain sat at your computer all day and before you know it, it’s mid-afternoon and you figure you might as well just wait for dinner. Not good! So, for the past few weeks I’ve been making an effort to eat lunch daily and my current go to is avocado toast. I’m absolutely obsessed with it.

I’m a huge fan of avocados and usually just toss them into side salads I throw together most nights for dinner. However, now that I’ve discovered the joys of avocado toast, it has become my favourite way to eat them. Today I just toasted up some rye bread, slathered on a generous portion of mashed avocado, threw on some poached eggs and then topped it off with some melted cheddar cheese. Heaven on a plate I tell ya!

Avocado Toast

Besides tasting delicious, the other great thing about avocados is the health benefits. Unfortunately, my skin has been acting up like a naughty teenager as of late (ugh!), but since I’ve begun consuming avocados on a regular basis, I’m starting to notice an all round improvement in my skin. Bonus! Of course, I can’t officially confirm it’s the avocados at play, but as it’s the only dietary change I’ve made recently, I’m just going to go ahead and assume it is. :)

It goes without saying, not eating throughout the day will affect you physically and mentally. As I don’t eat breakfast (it’s never really been my thing unless it’s brunch later in the day – hello eggs benedict!), making sure I eat lunch is essential. Plus, that mental slump I tend to get around 3pm feels even worse if I don’t. So, if like me you’re prone to skipping meals throughout the day, do yourself a favour and quit that bad habit right now. Your body and mind will thank you.

What’s your go to lunch? Currently got a food obsession too? Share it with me in the comments. And of course, if you have a favourite avocado toast recipe (or any avocado recipe for that matter), send it my way as I don’t foresee my obsession disappearing anytime soon.

Writer’s Block

Over 2 months have passed since I last updated my blog. I didn’t intend to fall off the blogging bandwagon but I had a rather annoying visitor staying with me – writer’s block. Major writer’s block. Despite the fact I have a document outlining topics I’d like to eventually write about, words have consistently failed me and they continue to do so. It’s pretty frustrating.

To be honest, writing has been a constant struggle for quite some time now. I’ve battled with writer’s block before (haven’t we all?) but it’s never lasted this long (I’m talking for well over a year or more!). No matter what, somehow I was always able to steer myself back into that writing groove we all love to find ourselves in. Sadly, that groove has gone AWOL on me but rather than sit here wishing it would return, it’s time to set out to find it again. It isn’t coming back voluntarily that’s for sure!

To some extent, this struggle has been largely fueled by perfectionism (along with a dose of comparison to other bloggers). I’m sure you’ve been there yourself. We tell ourselves that our words aren’t good enough. We tell ourselves that the topics of our blog posts aren’t good enough. We tell ourselves that the photos within our posts aren’t good enough. When you find yourself stuck in this rut, nothing feels good enough! Does this all sound familiar? It’s a vicious circle that over time eventually silences us and before we know it, all the thoughts and ideas we have are just being blown around in the wind failing to land anywhere solid to root themselves.

Clearly I’m not an expert in overcoming writer’s block, however, I do know that NOT writing at all is certainly not the solution. So here I am, writing away with the intention of continuing to do so despite the struggle. I’ll try not to obsess over each sentence or spend hours trying to take (or find) the perfect photo for each post. Instead, I’ll simply trust that over time writing will get easier and that groove I miss will eventually return. What do I have to lose?

Of course, I haven’t been sat twiddling my thumbs over the past 2 months waiting for writing inspiration to strike. Thankfully, my creativity elsewhere has been flowing in my favour and I’ve been working with new design clients, enjoying life beyond the screen and spending weekends living aboard our boat on Toronto Island (you can view some scenes from that on my Instagram feed if you like). However, despite all of this good stuff going on in my life, I’ve constantly missed writing and blogging so hopefully this post is a step in the right direction to fire up my writing mojo again. Time will tell.

What about you? Got a bout of writer’s block you’re struggling to overcome? Or perhaps you have some tricks up your sleeve to help find that writing groove again? Either way, share your thoughts in the comments and let’s talk.

Logo Design | NOMAD Marine Repairs

Hey friends, I’m really excited to share some logo design work I recently completed for my client, NOMAD Marine Repairs. As a boater myself, having the opportunity to work on a project related to something I personally love has been a dream. My client changed the name of his business last year, so I was able to build out the logo from scratch and here’s final design we went with.

Logo Design | NOMAD Marine Repairs

My idea behind incorporating the life-ring in place of the O in NOMAD was simple. If you have a boat, a trusted mechanic is essentially your “life-line” when it comes to your boats health and safety. So, this subtle switch out enabled me to illustrate that whilst also drawing on the nautical theme. Another benefit of it’s usage is the fact the life-ring can stand alone as a simple icon throughout my clients branding as needed. Bonus! Gotta love when that happens huh?

The design work for this particular project doesn’t end here. Now that the logo is finalised, the next phase is to build out the website which I’ve already begun (the image below may be a sneak peek of what’s to come). So, you can expect to see more of my work for this client in the very near future. Stay tuned folks!

Logo Design | NOMAD Marine Repairs

Photography © Superfamous

 

Digital Detox

Digital Detox

Image + Hand Lettering Copyright A Pair of Pears.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve recently reduced the amount of time I’m spending online. It had to happen. For the most part, it wasn’t productive and often just led me down into the risky waters of comparison. It goes without saying, if you’re constantly plugged in to what others are doing, you essentially unplug from yourself. Priority issue there huh?

So yes, it was time to tip the scale back in my favour and reduce the digital noise. Distractions are just a click away and I needed to turn the focus back on myself, my business and those around me. Here are a few of the steps I’ve taken so far.

NOTIFICATIONS

I’ve finally purged all push notifications (okay, everything except the Gmail mail checker in Chrome on my desktop). All they did was disrupt my concentration – constantly! Did I really need to be alerted as soon as someone tweeted me, liked my Facebook page or a photo on Instagram? Nope.

This has nothing to do with not appreciating those interactions with others, because I do, but they were constantly breaking my focus and taking me away from being present (something I’m working on this year!). Plus, I had multiple devices alerting me concurrently and I was ready to throw them all out of the window when they alerted me within seconds of each other. So I figured it was time to save my devices and my sanity!

EMAIL

Many of the emails that show up my Inbox never need my immediate attention and I’m sure this is true for most of us. These emails now get filtered into folders and never show up in my main Inbox and I never receive an alert for them. The folders are visible when I have Gmail open, so I know when I have unread emails and I just check them out when I want to. Best thing I ever did!

I also only have one email account feeding into my iPhone and iPad. I’ve accumulated multiple email addresses throughout the years, but I just check the less active ones manually here and there.

DELETED MY FEEDLY ACCOUNT

While there was a lot of awesome content in there, it was just an excuse to “fuck the dog” far too much. One post lead to another and well, you know the rest. I was spending way too much time reading about other peoples lives, looking at work other people were designing or reading articles about how I should do this or that, and it was taking me away from actually ya know, doing.

Besides, as I follow a few of the sites I was subscribed to in other ways, I see when a new post is available anyway. And now that I’m managing my inbox better, I’m plan on subscribing to more blogs via email (so make sure you have that option available) so that I can read them in my down time.

I know I could of of kept the subscriptions in there and simply not logged in, but I’m just not that disciplined. If I have a carrot in dangling in front of me, I’ll usually take it. So, I dumped the carrot. Simple.

The results so far?

My digital detox will continue over the coming weeks but for now this is a good start and it’s working. As I’ve already said, my productivity and focus levels are super high these days, however I’ve also noticed that I am feeling far more creative too. I’m sure this is due (to some extent) to the fact I’m absorbing less “inspiration” on a daily basis. I back relying on my gut, worrying less about what others are doing and I just feel more confident all round in the decisions I’m making. Works for me!

What about you? In need of a digital detox? I’m sure if you look at your online activity closely enough and be honest with yourself about where you’re bombing valuable time, it wouldn’t hurt. Even just a little.