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CCL Diaries – 3 – Birthdays & some Honesty 🎂

Hi Darlings,
Welcome back to your exclusive insider- unfiltered. This is your place to find out the real goings on behind blogging. These blogs are being so well received, and I am seriously loving writing them! I have found it hard to open up about some of the topics I mention. I feel like I am conditioned, like so many others, to play that everything is rosey and that life is perfect. Reality is, life isn’t perfect, not really for anyone, and yet we assume from looking at someone else’s highlight reel that others ‘have it all’. I am so guilty of looking online and assuming everyone else is living the lockdown dream, and I just don’t think that is the reality, but I have to keep reminding myself of that. How are you holding up? I do hope you’re okay, I think it is a tricky time and I know that as much as I am settling into lockdown life, mentally I do think it is also coming with its difficulties.
I have had quite the week, starting on such a ridiculously immense high, to sitting here on Sunday evening, finishing this off in tears. Either lockdown, or hormones, are messing with my emotions far more than I like at the moment!

That calls for a celebration …

The week started with the celebration of CCL’s first birthday! It’s safe to say I was ready for a proper Lockdown party, and that is exactly what I delivered. I can’t believe my blog has been running for a whole year – it actually feels like longer, I seem to have settled into the world of blogging so well, and it has become such a huge part of my life. Blogging is such a wonderful experience, and for me it is a great way to put my love of writing (which I found at University) to good use. I absolutely loved researching topics that interest me, and writing about them, and I was sad to see this go when I finished my two degrees. Blogging has allowed me to maintain that love, and I adore what I do. It isn’t without its challenges though, and blogging comes with just a few. I remember looking at big bloggers when I started out, and listening to them speak about trolls, engagement, numbers… all the classics we hear so much about. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to troll them, but I too have fallen victim to such nasty comments, and judgements, and it does make blogging sometimes very mentally tough. We all also know it isn’t about numbers, but when you work so hard towards something, there is an element of pressure behind peaks and troughs in engagement, everyone has questioned at some point, what did I do so wrong in that post. The reality is probably nothing, but those thought processes can still be there.
Blogging has also given me such an important focus and outlet, through what was a difficult year last year, when I was faced with such awful betrayal, and struggled with re-finding a love and confidence for myself.
The birthday was celebrated with lots of balloons, party food, cake and memories of the past year. It was a lovely day, and such a great way to celebrate how proud I am of the past year blogging. I have so many fond and amazing memories, so many fantastic achievements, and I have a blog I am immensely proud of.

I have been able to launch such a fantastic giveaway for the celebration of the first birthday, teaming up with some incredible brands. You can read about the brands included, and the prizes up for grabs in the blog I wrote here. And if you’ve missed the giveaway post on my Instagram, you can find the link to my Instagram here, this is also where you will find the post and details on how to enter!
This is my thank you to such an amazing audience, I am so pleased that you enjoy the blog and I wanted to be able to give something back to you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Honesty …

One thing I saw early on in the week, which frustrated me, was the promotion of a way to drastically increase Instagram following, in order for ‘success’. Whilst this may work for some, I don’t personally agree with this type of advice/promotion. I would absolutely urge anyone to try blogging, and if you’ve messaged me, you’ll know I do try to always help out and encourage. But what I don’t necessarily encourage is the promotion of extreme growth quickly, or what you should do to get better numbers fast. First and foremost, I believe tending to your current audience is crucial, and should be the main focus. I also believe that the thought process of this numbers game is damaging for mentality. This is just my personal opinion.

I also don’t believe that an Instagram following number, or extreme or rapid growth is always a true reflection of ‘success’. We take Instagram for granted, it’s just there, but if it went tomorrow, what would happen? Whilst extreme growth is now considered SO desirable, I think it is worth looking into the reason for wanting rapid growth quickly. I personally believe there are better foundations to build a successful blog on, but that is just my option – and I did warn you at the start – unfiltered!

Instagram is feeling more and more about popularity, and like a popularity contest. Who can like the most stuff, who can comment on everyones photos and send everyone DM’s. I don’t fit into anyones little clique, and I have always done my own thing and focused on my own stuff, but I am such a sensitive soul, and I often wonder that dreaded question ‘do people like me’, and I guess with that ‘why do they follow me’. I have put so much hard work into all aspects of my blogging. I know that people will do anything for free images or doing anything for something ‘free’, but I see people knowing things are wrong, and doing it anyway, purely for this considered benefit. All I ask is that you take others ‘advice’ with a pinch of salt- sometimes what they preach might not always be ‘right’, or the only way of doing something.

Ending on a happier note …

Gosh, I really hope you don’t think I am just all doom and gloom. I like positivity and I don’t want these blogs to come across negative – just more a true reflection. This week has been surprisingly hard for me, I don’t quite know why it seems to have felt more difficult than normal, and why I am beating myself up so much at the moment. I know lockdown is challenging on us all, and I think it is stirring mixed emotions in everyone, about a lot of things!
On a much happier note, I am loving being able to ride so much more now, and the weather is perfect! I saw my best friend earlier in the week too for a socially distanced walk, it was just so nice to be able to catch up – and see a friendly, familiar face, although it feels so odd not being able to go straight in for a hug. Feels like forever since I’ve had one of those!
I am hoping next week looks a little brighter for me, and I am able to feel a little less negative about myself. Let’s see what the week brings!

I don’t want to be too down in these blogs – that isn’t my online style. But the whole reason I set up this series of blogs was to document honest accounts, and they aren’t promoted widely, simply here for those who want to gain insight. I do hope you’ll stick around for the next one. Hopefully on a much happier note! 😃

See you soon, stay safe!

Lots of love, Lucinda xo

“There are far, far better things ahead, than any we leave behind”

C.S. Lewis