Let’s Catch Up

Becky leaning out of the door of a cabin in South Wales

Hey Owlets,

A while ago I uploaded a post called “It’s Been a While” and the irony hasn’t escaped me that it’s actually been a while since I uploaded again after that post. In case you missed it, I talked about struggling to find inspiration in lockdown and coasting by doing the minimum each day to continue to keep a roof over our heads - inspiring content, I know. In that sense things haven’t changed a lot, but other things have so I thought we were due a catch up because I actually miss sitting down to put my thoughts on a page with you.

So, what happened in the last few months?

In case you’re new here I’m lucky enough to live with my boyfriend, Jack, with the money I make from The Owlet. Jack’s a chef in a restaurant which usually means we’re lucky to see each other for an hour each day despite sharing a home, but for a lot of the past year he’s been at home due to a number of local and national lockdowns in the UK. In all honesty (and fully accepting that someone is going to get mad at me for admitting I was privileged enough to enjoy lockdown) I felt like I’d won the lottery - I was never going to complain at spending 24/7 in a seaside flat with my best friend after considering an hour together luxury throughout our relationship. However, it’s really hard to work on growing (or at the very least maintaining) your business when you know you need to be writing a sponsored article, but you have your favourite person in the world sitting next to you just waiting to do something fun. It’s partially because it was such a novelty to have time together and partially that I now felt like my job was the problem, but I got absolutely nothing done. Don’t get me wrong, we had our productive days and Jack helped me a lot with everything Owlet, but there was definitely more baking happening than working.

Becky watching a ship sail past the beach at sunset in Portishead, Bristol

As I'm writing this, last week my world turned upside down (again). Jack went back to work and as I’m writing this he’s worked 11 days without a day off doing ridiculous hours like 9am-11:30pm. I know that lockdown was only temporary but after 4 months together I’d kind of forgotten that it wasn’t real life. I had so many plans for Jack going back to work - my entire idea was to drown myself in work so I didn’t notice I was alone, but instead I watched Youtube almost as much as I watched the clock and I had absolutely 0 motivation to get anything done without my partner in crime cheering me on. 

Day 11 in a row of having to fill the days alone and after spending an entire week procrastinating with doing little admin tasks, making Pinterest graphics and repeatedly writing “Apologies for my late response” as I wade through the pile of emails gathering dust in my inbox, I’m finally ready to get back to the real work. You may have noticed that I’ve been posting on Instagram a lot - it was kind of my way back into the online world as if you were suddenly going to hate me for taking a break. I know what you’re like and I know you get it but it still made me feel better.

I spoke a little about my upcoming plans in one of the captions but I know a lot of you prefer to wait for me to write a long rambling post about it so this is for you. 

A cruise ship sailing past Portishead beach

First of all, let’s talk about burn out because I have history here. Growing up I loved photography so it made sense that it was the profession I wanted to go into - Dad taught me when I was younger, I continued my education through the power of the internet and even went to university. For a while I was pretty successful - I got invited to photograph exclusive events, big festivals and met some really important people. The issue? I was miserable. 

People treat photographers like absolute crap - as far as a lot of people are concerned “anyone can do it” and you £5000 camera and £9000 per year tuition is a total waste, because why spend that when you can just use a phone? This passion that I’d had throughout my entire childhood was ruined by a few ignorant individuals. I started to step back from being a photographer and just carried on working with my reliable clients and anyone they referred me to while I was trying to work out what to do now. I happened across a job which involved travelling around the UK, taking photos and helping with social media. 

Between this new job and volunteering for a local radio station I decided to start The Owlet so I could have something to look back on. I got lucky and this little online diary became a business, but history is at risk of repeating itself. I always enjoyed sitting down to write and would upload so much content when I first started (not all of it good, but we won’t mention that), but the more I’ve relied on it for an income the less I’ve enjoyed sitting down to work on my blog. It’s now a thing I have to do rather than it being just a passion project, and it takes the fun out of it. 

Lighthouse on Plymouth Hoe Park at Sunset

My resolution for this is two-fold. First of all, let’s get the big thing out of the way - I have another job. Ideally Jack and I want to be able to buy a house next year and lenders hate freelancers so that’s the main reason, but it’s also to help take some of the pressure off of my blog so I can get back to enjoying it. It’s only going to be part time so I’ll still be working on The Owlet and it’s a communication/marketing based role with some formal training attached so I’m hopeful it will help me further The Owlet too. I love The Owlet to bits and the fact that I can live off of what I’ve built is incredible, but I don’t want to have to rely on it if it means not enjoying myself anymore. Having a “normal job” for part of the week allows us to buy a house and takes some of the pressure off for me so I can get back to loving what I do. 

Secondly, is a big and kind of terrifying announcement for me - I’m launching two new websites. One of the things I’ve struggled with on The Owlet is knowing what “my content” is. I don’t mean in terms of finding a niche, I just genuinely don’t know what to publish sometimes. This little corner of the internet started off as my online diary of cool things I did and somewhere along the way it’s become a bit of a mess, driven by a need for more traffic to please advertisers but also by me growing as a person. The Owlet has always been about travel diaries, learning from my mistakes and chatting about what I’ve been up to that week. I still want to do that, but I also just want to be able to share some cool industry news that I’m really excited about or write a deep-dive article into a topic that doesn’t really fit in. My hope is that these two new sites will give me a bit more freedom to be creative, as well as getting The Owlet back to its roots and to what you really signed up for. The first site is going to be travel and hospitality focused, sharing interesting news, recommendations and well-researched reports. The second site is going to be similar to The Owlet in some respects - I want somewhere to write product reviews, share beauty industry news and talk about subjects that I just don’t feel fit into The Owlet. 

Becky on a swing at a hotel in South Wales

So why am I telling you all of this? Several reasons, if I’m honest. First of all I am a master procrastinator and I need to be held accountable for actually launching these new sites. I hate designing websites but I love running them so I’ve been putting off getting started even though I know I’ll love it once they’re launched. Secondly, because I wanted to offer a bit of an explanation as to where I’ve been and why you’ve been met with radio silence. Everyone has struggled with lockdown; it goes without saying that others have had it a lot worse than me, but at the end of the day you come here to spend time with me and I’ve not been here for you because I’ve been too worried about upsetting someone by not struggling enough. I’m fed up of being scared to say what I want in case I offend someone. It’s the internet, of course I’m going to offend someone!

So, that’s a very long and rambling update of everything that’s going on in my life at the moment. I’m still struggling to find the motivation sometimes but it’s getting better and I’m determined to get back to doing what I love AND loving what I do.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

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